Names of Winslow residents have been changed.
Inside the office are three people, including Denise's supervisor, Barbara Harrison. Barbara asks, "Can I help you?" and Betty replies, "Yes, is Denise Gottlieb here?" One of the men in the office asks Carl, "Who are YOU?" (Carl has expected this reaction. He's run this scenario a few times in his head, putting himself in their shoes and always remembering that he is the stranger in the building and therefore must not appear too forward.) Betty Schultz leaves to go mind the store.
Carl tells them who he is and why he's there. He also gives a little background information about himself (in the Navy, drove all the way from Mesa, been wanting to meet Denise a long time, etc. etc.), and shows them the Inquisitor article, all the while keeping his cool and holding in as much nervous excitement as he can.
Exercising self-control and keeping calm pays off. He is soon able to put Barbara Harrison's mind at ease, as well as the other people in the office.
Denise is in another part of the building while all this is going on, and one of the guys goes to tell her.
2:23 PM:-) The man returns to the office, escorting a young lady. He tells Carl, "Here she is!" Carl introduces himself to Denise and they shake hands.
The next two hours fly by. Denise takes to Carl very well. She talks to him like she knows him, and this makes him very happy. Barbara Harrison makes photocopies of the Inquisitor for various people in the office.
Barbara invites him over to the other part of the building, where cake and ice cream are being served. Denise partially colors in a drawing of a butterfly to give to him, and she signs it Denise Katherine Gottlieb. He doesn't give her the Opry tape; she says she likes rock, not country.
4:15 PM: Quitting time. Carl is sorry this day has to end. If not for a scheduled dinner date on May 18, he'd stay overnight at a motel. He finds an old video receipt on the floor of the Corsica and hastily writes down his name and address and gives it to Denise. she says, "Maybe we could go out for lunch sometime, and you could meet my mom."
4:30 PM: He gets in the Corsica and returns to Schultz's, excitedly
telling Betty about Denise and thanking her for her support. Then he heads
back to Mesa, smiling and reflecting on a job well done.
That evening, he calls David Henry, whom he hasn't seen since 1989. David is not there, so he tells Jim Allen about the day's big event and asks him to tell David the news.
Two days later his leave is over and he is obliged to return to San Diego.
When some of his shipmates ask how his leave was, he replies with a one-word
SUMMER 1993: Seeing as how the third trip went VERY well, he puts in for leave in September, just before the Tarawa goes up to Long Beach for an extended overhaul. He buys Terrence Drysdale's 1986 Olds Cutlass Supreme.
SEPTEMBER 24: Using the Olds, he makes his fourth trip to Winslow. The facade of Francine's Diner is gone, leaving just the sign and a vacant lot. Around lunch time, he arrives at Denise's work and learns that she has gone home for the day. Although this is his shortest Winslow trip, he does manage to take a few photos.
NOVEMBER: Carl is awarded the Good Conduct Medal in a ceremony on the USS Tarawa.
DECEMBER 29: Carl takes ten days' leave. Although the Corolla Diesel gets repaired, he does not make a Winslow trip this time.
A little discouraged by his failed fourth Winslow trip, he becomes close with Lisa Tappetino.
MARCH 28: Carl calls Lisa Tappetino and makes plans to see her the coming weekend. The conversation goes a little too far and lasts over two hours. Three days later he calls her again, but they have an argument and the relationship cools off for a while.
Carl reenlists in the Navy for another four years. The ceremony is held on the forecastle of a barge in Long Beach Harbor that the crew uses on duty days. Reenlisting with him is Terry Drysdale.
APRIL 29: On the day that his first enlistment would have expired, the Corolla Diesel reaches its 200,000th mile across the street from the Long Beach Sheraton.
JULY 15: Having received orders to his new command some weeks earlier, he checks off the Tarawa and goes home on leave.
DRIVING SONG: John Anderson's I Wish We Coulda Been There
AUGUST 8: Cutting his leave short, he checks in to his new command, Amphibious Squadron Five onboard the USS Essex. They get underway that same day.
AUGUST 21: Carl and Lisa resolve their differences for a time. Lisa wants to get back together with him, but he's unsure.
OCTOBER 22: Returning from the Arizona State Fair with Lisa and her friend Sheila, the car's timing belt snaps at 75th Avenue and McDowell Road. For the second time in the car's history, the engine is lunched.
OCTOBER 25: Carl leaves with his new command on another six-month deployment to the Middle East.