John has been good friend of mine for a very long time. After the following story we have remained friends, which is surprising. This took place back in the late 1980s.

We were working on a big project in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. It was a really tough job in one of the roughest areas of one the most crime ridden cities at that time. Everything was a disaster. We had to keep a sense of humor about it, keep the mood light or we couldn’t have endured.

We both lived back in Austin so frequently flew on Southwest out of Love Field. Many times we took the same flight but our schedules didn’t work out this one Friday, with John leaving before me. The night before John and others had been out drinking and dancing with him bringing a pretty young Hispanic gal back to his apartment. He was more than happy to share all the details.

When I got to the airport on Friday, I pulled in and parked right next to John’s suburban.

While sitting around that weekend I composed a note to be left on John’s windshield.

I don’t remember the exact wording but it went something like this:

“Hey señor, my name is Manual Gonzales. The beautiful lady you spent the night with last night is my wife Rosalinda. We have a fight and she left to come to Cowboys Dance Hall but I follow her. I saw when you took to your apartment. I was waiting when you dropped her off this morning. I followed you to your place of work on Kiest Blvd. I just wanted to talk to you but I couldn’t get the courage. I followed you here to the Airport, but you got away before we could talk so I’m just writing you this letter. When you return will you call me so we can meet. I promise I won’t hurt you, but I just want you to assist me in getting Rosalinda to love me again.My phone number is (there were billboards around DFW back then for Dial-A-Prayer) so I used that number”.

I had a friend re-write it so he wouldn’t detect my handwriting.

I took a Sunday flight back so I could get an early start on Monday. John was scheduled to come up on Monday morning.

After arriving back in Dallas, with the note in place I went on about my business. The next morning at the time we were expecting John to arrive at the job-site, he didn’t show up. Finally I got ahold of him by cell phone. He wasn’t feeling well. He had gone to his apartment, but would be in later.

I worried that maybe I’d gone too far, driven him over the edge. Finally he got there but looked awful. I went in to his office to see what the matter was. He was shaken beyond anything I had imagined. He laid it all out. Yes the whole story. After savoring the moment for a few moments, I let him off the hook. Within seconds the color had returned to ashen face.

Although it’s been 30 years since that happened, the subject of Rosalinda still comes up often when we talk.

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