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Would you like to meet Bobbi? You can meet her here:

How Vance met his Partner, Bobbi

to "hang out" = to pass leisure time at a particular place, doing nothing much

I was dating a girl at the University of Houston named Carol. The "Cougar Den" at the U of H was a hangout for a lot of students, and the students tended to gather at tables where their friends would hang out. So sometimes I would go there and hang out at the table where Carol hung out and look for her. That's where I met Bobbi. Bobbi was a friend of a friend of Carol's, but I don't think they knew each other all that well.

Carol wasn't always there, so I would often end up hanging out with Bobbi. Bobbi had another boyfriend at the time, but we would sit and chat. Eventually, I broke off with Carol, had other girlfriends, and graduated from college. After graduation, I went to Mexico for a few months, and on return I got a job back home in Houston and took an apartment near a large park. I would often go to the park to hang out there. That's where I saw Bobbi again. We started dating. That was a couple of years after I had last seen her at the Cougar Den at the University of Houston.

Bobbi and I still had other girlfriends and boyfriends, but eventually we settled on each other and moved into another apartment together. I was working for a large company but my passion was traveling. So at some point I decided to quit my job and join some friends in Europe, and so I said goodbye to Bobbi, hitched a ride from Houston to New York, and took a flight from there to Luxembourg (via Iceland). But we agreed that Bobbi might join me later.

This was in the days before Internet, when people sent mail to travelers via "Poste Restante" at capital cities where the travelers might be. It was in this way that I learned that Bobbi was planning to fly to Rome to meet me there. I was to go there and meet her plane.

I was in Moscow at the time. To get to Rome I had to go through Poland and Czechoslovakia, and across the border from Prague was Vienna. I rested in Vienna and then tried to hitch-hike from there to Rome. In Salzburg I stood all day on the road without a single ride and that night I took a train to the Italian side of the Alps. After spending a night in a youth hostel at the foot of the mountains, I had one day to hitch-hike the length of Italy to reach Rome. I made it to Rome that night and spent the night in the train station. In the morning, I took the bus to the airport and met Bobbi there.

Our travels together took us to the Middle East, and we split up in Egypt. Bobbi flew back to Houston and resumed her job at Gulf Oil. I continued south and spent nine months traveling overland through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. When I finally flew back to Houston, Bobbi was there waiting for me.

So we got married in 1975. Now 25 years later we still love each other very much. But we still allow each other freedom to travel. In fact, I'm about to fly to South Africa, but just for a couple of weeks. I'll be back in Abu Dhabi with my lovely family at the end of the month (I hope).

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Last updated: September 5, 1999