THE QUEST FOR NICOLE

1986

MAY 24-25: Carl decides to make one last try at Nicole D'Amato before giving up. He drives to California for the commencement ceremonies at Ichabod College, knowing that Nicole's brother Geoff will be there. Sure enough, he meets up with Geoff and his girlfriend at Foster's Donuts and they give him a ride back to Campus. Carl tells about senior year and missing out on the perfect girl. Geoff tells him that she's not coming to the ceremonies because she has to work.

JUNE 1986 - JULY 1987: Having given up completely on Denise and Nicole, Carl tries to find someone closer to home. After failing to win the heart of a girl named Maryann, Carl needs a little reassurance -- something to lift his spirits. He forms a bond with a big guy named Eddie Kessler who's long on the jokes. Eddie quickly becomes part of the skating crowd.

In September, Alicia and Carl go to a football game with Barry at Apollo. Carl meets Barry's girlfriend, a 21-year-old handicapped girl named Lisa Tappetino.

1987

EARLY 1987: Erik Kellstrom moves to Glendale, California. He keeps in touch.

APRIL 18: Carl moves into an apartment in Phoenix.
Attempts at relationships with various women falter and by mid-1987 he's wondering why he gave up on everything he wanted before. He decides to find out whatever happened to Nicole D'Amato.

AUGUST: Carl learns that an alumni directory is now available. He mails his order on the 24th. It arrives on October 5.

OCTOBER 16: On a trip to California he tries to meet with his friend Rich Scott at the USA gas station, but Rich has since quit. Carl calls another friend, Dave Peterson. Dave tells him where he's working. When he goes home to Phoenix, he checks the directory again and learns that Geoff D'Amato works at the same place!

Carl makes plans for another trip, but is sidelined by a kidney stone the first week of November. On the 12th, he calls Dave and Geoff and learns that Geoff is getting married on the 27th, and of course his lovely sister Nicole is attending! Unfortunately, he's so excited by this sudden turn of events that he fails to ask Geoff for an invitation. Still, he plans on going out there.
Trip #3 to Winslow is put on hold again because full attention is given to Nicole D'Amato.


NOVEMBER 25: Carl drives to Pasadena, and spends the night at his friend Andy's brother's house. The next day, he enjoys an Egyptian Thanksgiving dinner with them. He attempts to contact Geoff, who is so busy preparing for his wedding that he's impossible to get hold of.

NOVEMBER 27: Carl meets Dave at his work and comes up with a new plan: since Dave is invited to the wedding, he can talk to Geoff at the reception and ask if Carl can come. Yea or nay, Dave can call and let him know. Dave goes home to get dressed for the wedding and Carl calls him from outside the Melody Theater, giving him the numbers of all three pay phones. At 6 pm, he goes to the phones to await Dave's word.
Dave never calls. Carl finds out the next day that Dave didn't even get to talk to Geoff. A golden opportunity has slipped by.

1988

MARCH: Carl gets pulled off the road to work in the office answering phones, at minimum wage. He can't afford to visit California for any longer than a weekend. He goes out there with Alicia Van Dyke to try and find Rich Scott. They don't see him, but they do visit Hollywood with Erik Kellstrom, who picks up some rather odd sunglasses.

Lisa Tappetino begins to show an interest in Carl, having broken up with Barry.

JULY: Carl goes back to being a driver, and begins saving money for a major trip out to California. He wants to nip this crush in the bud. Alicia, meanwhile, meets and falls in love with an ex-Air Force sergeant named Donald Winters.

OCTOBER 21: Having saved about $1800, Carl quits the job at Hop-To-It and takes an extended vacation to California. Erik introduces him to his friend Derek Mitchell. He goes back to Phoenix in November to vote, then back to L.A. a couple of weeks later.

Among a heap of old newspapers Derek lets him go through, Carl finds a copy of the August 2, 1983 Inquisitor. Derek lets him keep it.

* * * DECEMBER 16: During dinner at Carl's Jr. in Westwood Village, a day after Carl had tried to talk Dave Peterson into conversing with Geoff, Erik encourages him to make the call on his own. (Carl had, for some time now, known of a listing for Geoff D'Amato in Solvang.)
The person who answers the phone is a much older gentleman who turns out to be Geoff's grandfather and namesake. After they chat for a couple of minutes, Carl eases Nicole's name into the conversation. Geoff Sr. mentions that Nicole married an actor just a week earlier.
When Carl gets off the phone, the world looks very different.


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