Gary Rinsem

Messages To People Important To Me
by Gary Rinsem
August 2020

Tells a lot about me
It's remotely possible that
A few may actually read them

  • All Day And All Of The Night

"The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye... until we meet again."
Jimi Hendrix


You're Still The One... that turns my head.

You are my first love, my deepest love, my persistent love.

Take a few minutes and read to the end. You'll find tidbits to you scattered throughout.

There's a long message for you at the bottom.


I had two different cars while in high school, you barfed on both of them.

It makes me sad to pass by your missing house.

I have two questions which only you can answer.

In 1982 you saved me from a pathetic future.

You even degaussed my ship.

Several times I tried to find you in San Diego, but nobody knew what degaussing was much less where. Google Earth... now I know where.

You're a special memory in my life and in my heart, for several reasons. I'd love to reminisce with you and get my two questions answered, they're bugging me.


I hope you find this.

December 15, 2004 never came. I've tried repeatedly, but can't find you.

You are an incredibly important part of my life. Our time was the most alive, the most intense and the most fulfilling imaginable. It was way too short. I think about you often and I love you dearly.

'That Girl' from the lake,

There's no chance you'll ever read this, but it still makes me happy to write it.

I've celebrated Woods Canyon Lake with you at 8 am every Aug 19 since 1972. I was 13, not 16, I lied, we wouldn't have happened if I had told the truth.

We got cheated twice! We never got to say goodbye! The look on your face at the amphitheater has haunted me ever since. Thanks to you I had the best coming-of-age possible.

Have you kept true to our promise? Have I celebrated and remembered, with you or alone?

To all the girls of apartment 604,

Free Spirits rule within these walls.

Three dreams we lacked the resources to realize, destined to never be finished:

The Definition Of Intimacy

The Most Important Corner

The Story That Can't Be Written

We were on the oldest, rusty'est, most battered, most broken, most embarrassing piece of junk the US Navy ever floated. I turned down a transfer to the USS New Jersey to stay with all of you. I'd do it again.

We were too close to have lost touch for so long. Eleven of us never lost each other, twelve are MIA. I'd be delighted to hear how you're doing.

Gunner's Mate Bev,

You said you don't remember, I'd like to remind you.

Nikki and Erica,

I often remember the ranch, the motorhome and Quartzsite.

Grilled corn on the cob dripping with butter. Movie nights. Snuggled together with popcorn. Hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. Toaster Strudel and OJ in the morning. Long walks and longer talks.

I still have cravings for that potato breakfast. One more ingredient would have been too much.

Revisiting my younger years with the two of you, was just what I needed back then. It's what the girls had in mind when introducing us. Smart bunch of girls.

It was a great three years with you, it ended the eight year funk from loss of BB. The time with you put me in the frame of mind to fall in love with Susan.

Thank You both, I hope you're doing your happy.

First Fourth,



What was wrong with triple?

They call you a Unicorn now.

The girls never knew, but in 2006 I found out who you are. You're finally "an old, old lady" and still beautiful. I wonder if your promise to us came true.

Hello Buffalo Buns!

The walk-in cooler at the Scottsdale Hilton. Did you spell it Cyndi? You're great no matter how it's spelled.

You dated him years before, but were you the Cyndi married to Steve when he died? Hope you were.

Christine and Sharron,

With you I learned to be friends. Without you I wouldn't have known many of the women in my life. I may never have known real love without the lessons learned with the two of you.

Thank You...

"You are the scum from the bottom of the pond where the warthogs go to pee all the time."


We haven't talked in years. It's time.


Love you, but I still don't like being bitten.

For a long time you were good for lunch every couple years, I'm worried, where did you go?


You were a thorn in my foot that took five years to pull out. I never wanted to think of you, I never wanted to see you. Somehow for some strange reason, I still think of you. I guess because it was so creepy. If you can deal with that then so can I.


Burgers at The Rock Store on Mulholland Drive and the guys who spotted the Happy Buddha.

Watching you learn to ride on the steep streets in San Pedro, that was a riot. It worked and your clutch survived somehow.

I had far more fun on rides with you than I did with any of the guys. How much fun was it exploring the boardwalks of all the beach cities... and twisties in the hills...

Meet at the flagpole?

Let's do Denny's instead.

To the six original flagpole girls,

Your joint decision that first day set the course of my life. For decades I've been torn between loving you and hating you for it. Still today I can't decide. The only thing certain is that my entire life would have been different if you had decided differently.


You should have called me way back when. Do it now. You wouldn't be reading this if you didn't want to talk to me. 480-945-5515

Cynthia died in 1994. She was married and a school teacher, that's about all I know.

She never spoke to me again after you moved away. I expect you know why, I know too, took me years to truly understand. It really is OK.

To the Nick & Terry fraternity boys,

They're both long dead. Terry's car went to the scrap yard!

To the Indian Trails girls,

The stable is a long time derelict failed shopping center. So sad. The mall really didn't last that long.

The "spring" has been a residential area since the late 80s.

Mags Ham Bun closed about 2000. I ate there shortly before it closed, was thinking of all of you and Noni too.

To housekeeping and room service,

The center glass elevator holds a special place in my heart. I last rode it in 2018 and was thinking of you, wondering how often one of you got nostalgic and took it for a ride.


If not for Miss B you would never have known I was only sixteen.


If you still have feelings for Mr. Earring then you need to call him immediately. He loves you. He will always love you.

Kris, Kari, Mike and Kelly,

I hate that I didn't get to see you finish growing up. It's awful that you weren't in my life. I had to join the Navy, there were no other opportunities for me. After the Navy it was too late.

Music With Memories,

    In 1970 I discovered my father was in love with Patsy Cline. He was crazy for feeling so lonely.

    • Patsy Cline - Crazy

    To the "Silent Crew",

    In various groupings... we had a blast from Mazatlan to Seattle and from Hawaii to Tasmania.

    The next sections are a stroll down memory lane. Just the highlights and I'll keep it mostly clean, a couple things are too good to let die.

    West Coast Liberty Ports,

    First order in the Plan Of The Day, let the universe decide, enjoy life, take it as it comes.

    I don't want to do it again, but LA pride in drag is a memory I'd never give up.

    Did everybody get a "sombrero" pic in Tijuana? Enjoy the San Diego Zoo? Have you been to the "H" in the Hollywood sign? "The Alternative" in Hollywood? Cruise to Catalina? Have fun in Monterey? Ride trolleys in San Francisco and browse antiquarian book stores? Did anyone miss the Bremerillos in Bremerton? I remember clearly, all who went to the Seattle Space Needle. Fun on the beach in Mazatlan?

    ❤ ⚓ Hawaii,

    Who'da thought of going to Hawaii for the zoo? Tami's dad, that's who. It was much fun. Newly remodeled, felt brand new, not like he described.

    Two rented scooters for the three of us. Got to Diamond Head and far beyond. Beautiful nude beach by Rabbit Island, Makapu‘U Beach... Like so many others... Turns out it wasn't a nude beach until we got there. What are ya supposed to do when no swim suit?

    Scooters and exploring all the way to Naval Air Station. Another free helicopter ride, pays to be at the right place at the right time. Air tour of Oahu. US Navy rocks!


    Yokosuka, the Outlaw Saloon with cabbage tacos, "retus too spensive."

    The horror... Carousel Show Lounge where the odd little shipmate got a BJ on a rotating stage from the toothless 100 year old Japanese woman. OH NO! What was he thinking?

    Yokohama. The red light district with no sailors! "Step out of the closet please."

    How many Buddhist temples did we explore?

    Tokyo on the train, out of the blue late at night, two young American girls walking through the train cars panhandling, singing the Beach Boys 409 & Little Duece Coup.

    Hiroshima, the atomic bomb ruins, Genbaku Dome. Visit the peace park. Brings the horror of war into very clear focus.

    Hong Kong,

    Soviet "submarine sailors" in the British Servicemens Club. No Soviet sub ever surfaced in a British port, they were trolling for information. Were they that stupid? Or did they think we were?

    The tram to Victoria Peak and harbor view of USS Prairie at anchor, quickie civilian paint job in progress on the hull. Looked less rusty for a while.

    Restaurant with live chickens in cages over the grill. Where does the poop go? Not eating here.

    How many shared the hotel room? Just a few hours to rest and off exploring again.

    Giant Chinese fire drill that wasn't a drill.

    The RC hobby shop with teeny $3 RC cars.

    Kowloon. Wild. Nuf said.


    A sick & sad place.

    We smelled Shit River 10 miles out of port.

    Subic City? NO.

    Marilyn's Super Inn, who wants to play "Knights Of The Round Table?" (don't let her touch you)

    The 6' 4" Marine tree trunk who called BB dykes, got his clock cleaned by a teeny little female sailor. Everybody run. Catch a jeepney to the safety of the base main gate. Hide out til 2 am before it was safe to go to the ship.

    Restaurant, indentured servants, slavery by another name. Little girl crying was told she should be happy because they don't make her have sex with sailors. No life, no home, no childhood, no education, no freedom, no family, no future, no friends, no hope, no opportunity, no pay, three in a shack on the roof. There were a thousand of those girls in Alongapo.

    Was no surprise when they kicked the US out, if you knew how barf boys acted when in the Philippines. Not different than anyplace else, just didn't have to hide it in PI.

    At anchor 2 months off the coast of Oman,

    Pure boredom.

    Typhoon! Rescue attempt for shipmates adrift in the gig all of the next day. Captain irate on the 1MC.

    Weeks of boredom.

    Helping Kelly catch and haul in a giant shark. The riggers loft got it all the way up and on the fantail, amazing. Was it the XO who caught us?

    Endless boredom.

    USO show on steel beach.

    Vast amounts of boredom.

    Diego Garcia,

    Who was the sailor that returned on the liberty boat, already in a coma from alcohol poisoning? Pulled out the catheter in sick bay next morning and hit the mess decks with blood dripping from his penis. Still too loaded to see straight or even know that he wasn't wearing pants.


    Prairie in Hobart at a quay full of women looking to pick up a sailor. More women on the quay than there were men on the ship.

    Gourmet dinner at the casino in Hobart followed by the odd couple in the disco. "Demented Wallabies!" What were they doing?

    Hotel room given to us by the two triples.

    Cascade brewery tour during a labor strike. The governor declared a state of emergency that allowed beer imports.

    Playing pool at the Lady Franklin and a dip in the hot spring.

    Hot dogs and insanely giant bag of fries from Popeyes.

    Cat and the Fiddle Square, bottles of apple cider we didn't know were alcoholic.

    What I LOVE...

    Most of all, by far, I love the four deep heart piercing loves of my life, Tami, Vicki and BB. I'm fortunate as hell to have four true loves when few people know one.

    I love being open to the universe. Beats most people's delusion, pretending they're in control.

    I love working with Vicki to help run-away girls on the streets of San Diego.

    ⚓ I love the Seattle Space Needle! Man turned on the elevator at 2am for $125. Owned it for 5 hours.

    ⚓ I love the H in the Hollywood sign. Have you been to the H? Midnight is best.

    I love the TV show Dharma and Greg. YouTube. At least the first two episodes. It'll be good for you!

    ⚓ I love Musty book stores in San Francisco.

    ⚓ I love Nude beaches everywhere, official or not.

    ⚓ I love the "Alternative Club" in Hollywood. Short lived but memorable.

    I love Riverdance. Mesmerizing...

    I love Noble Library at ASU.

    I love the amphitheater at Woods Canyon Lake.

    I love the El Tovar Lodge at the Grand Canyon.

    I love getting Snowed-in at the Flagstaff airport.

    ❤ I love Hall Park at McDonald and Pima.

    ❤ I love Center stage in the Pueblo cafeteria.

    ❤ I love the 60/40 reclining passenger seat in my 1971 Ford LTD Brougham

    ❤ I love letting Tami drive home from school. First time she screamed "I CAN DRIVE?" so loud that I can still hear it 45 years later.

    ❤ I love getting "arrested" with Tami. Those kids deserved it for what they did on Halloween.

    ❤ I love my prom "Tux & Gown" pictures. Thank You Joyce, thank you, thank you, thank you...

    ❤ I love the feeling of horizontal pleats around the waist of Tami's prom dress as the pictures were taken... and every time I touched her that night.

    ❤ I love the sweet little memento that Tami gave me, my most cherished possession. Bet you don't remember it.

    ❤ I love the 100 building at Saguaro. So many memories, sexy... you know... rear view of satin'y hip huggers on my girl... just plain... drive me insane... shush... nuf-a-that...

    I love my archery teacher Ms Gray and English IB teacher and creative writing teacher and public speaking/debate teacher and Mr Forsythe, Mr Vanderlaan, Mr Bruner and Mr Cady. Great Saguaro teachers.

    ⚓ I love the private gourmet restaurant in Beverly Hills with kinky entertainment. Particularly yet far from the only thing that night, I love the recitation of The Raven. It defined beauty. Wish I had a video for YouTube.

    I love day camping with Susan, Sam and the girls in the forest near Payson. Let Sam run wild.

    I love Sam! Big silly furball of an Australian shepherd puppy that I got stuck with when my dad died. She stayed a puppy till the very end.

    ⚓ I love day trips on motorcycles in SoCal and all over Arizona.

    ⚓ I love Christmas eve 1984... Oh yeah, I loved THAT bike. Freezing, Terminal Island to Scottsdale, 400 miles, avg 120 mph, gloves frozen to the grips.

    I love giant strawberries from Costco, huge buckets full, mouthgasm with every bite. Five of us in the kitchen, 30 min all gone and several giant tubs of whipped cream too. Sexy... stuffing them in Susan's open mouth with far too much whipped cream... Too big to fit... So much laughter that day.

    ⚓ I love the years with Janet & Saundra. BB & I meeting Janet & Saundra at the mall. The "Silent Crew" apartment. "Car Hood" parties in the park on the mole. Cheap motels. "Avant-Garde" night at The Alternative. Liberty ports. The secret telegraph. BBQ parties in Scottsdale. Three day party to paint the townhouse. "Endless movie weekends." Antique malls. Chocolate festivals. Scottsdale, Tempe and Fountain Hills art festivals. Boyce Thompson Arboretum. And so much more.

    I love that rotten old 1937 John Deere model B tractor and the antique tractor pulls and hit & miss engine displays.

    I love my long gone model T C-cab truck, 2200 lbs with a big block.

    I love cruising central in the late 70s & early 80s.

    I love the Case steam traction engine that belonged to the tractor club.

    I love the Maricopa Live Steamers at McCormick RR park.

    I love the steam railroad crane at the museum and the guys who spent months helping me get it ready.

    I love the joy that overcomes a rescued cockatoo when they realize they're in a good home. Hi Andy, Eddie, Tyler, Angel and MANY others. You cost us tens of thousands of dollars, but we gave each other a bunch of great years. Miss you forever.

    I love taking birds four at a time, out in public for socialization therapy. The many thousands of people we met over the years and all the parrots who benefited from it.

    I love... parties at home, long weekends with BB, hearing Susan in the back room playing her guitars (for hours), BBQ-ing with friends & neighbors, rescue group parties with all the guest parrots, the talking orange tree, years feeding the wild flock of identical love birds, humming bird feeders on the patio, study parties with Susan's ASU classmates, holiday dinners with close friends, teaching the girls to work on their cars. Much much more...


    I'll be direct because it's too late to hold back any longer.

    This message uses many words, all of which can be succinctly replaced with... "I Love You." Still and ALWAYS.

    My love for you is unbroken through all the years. You have never been absent from my heart and you're often in my thoughts.

    Your father and I had a secret that he asked me to keep. It's a secret I'd like to share with you. I still have something you gave me and the memory behind it is another item I want us to share.

    You might like to know, in the Navy I repaired your father's ship. I must have touched some of the things he lived with. I walked the decks he walked, checked out his berthing and engine room, looked over his bridge and passed through the mess decks where he ate his meals.

    Your father told me several things he did in Hawaii. I recreated his day with the two people closest to me. Not knowing what else to do, I remembered your dad's story and so we did, the things he did on his first day in Hawaii. We had fun doing them on our first day there.

    I'm still the boy you fell in love with, wiser and more experienced, but it's still me. Is my little Tamara Jo still in you? Only one person can answer that. I hope you're true to yourself.

    We were each other's first love. It was a love far deeper than most. I know you were still missing me in December 1985, the same as I was still missing you. That was a short seven years after we parted.

    The plain truth is, we weren't done with each other. We were meant to spend our lives together and it's my fault we didn't. I have felt this guilt for a very long time. I have missed you... all these years.

    I Want You To Know, loss of our love is my life's single greatest regret. There were many missed opportunities to save that love. What hurts most is, in hindsight one day, I saw how easily our love still could have been saved, but I didn't take enough steps to find you. I gave up in despair.

    For a long time I've felt that I owe you a full life with me. I did you a disservice by not rescuing our love when I still had the chance. It's a horrible feeling, but I feel as if I abandonedour love, abandoned you. I feel responsible for any hardships you may have known because I wasn't there to prevent them.

    It would mean the world to me if we could finally connect. I've given you much of myself here while you remain a closed book. I want us to reminisce, to remind both of us of forgotten days together. I want to hear whatever you want to tell me about your life and I have a million questions.

    I hope reading this has effected you because it would prove my TJ is still here. The fact that I care so much proves the boy you love is a big part of the man I am. Let's arrange for the four of us to connect in some way.

    Think about it, maybe even read this again, but whatever your situation is... Facebook message, text, email or call... very soon.... if I don't answer, keep trying till I do... before it's too late...

    Tami, trust that I Love You, ALWAYS. Whoever you've become you'll forever be my girl.

    xoxo.. Gary (Pinger)

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