Friday, March 07, 2014

Danny and Lani

After I visited the Masseys I walked down the street to the home of Danny and Lani, friends from the late 50's when I came to San Diego to teach.  Lani was talking to a friend on the porch and she immediately said, "Janet!" when she saw me.  Danny was getting ready to go to lunch with a friend when Lani called to him that I was there.  He asked for her assistance, "I can't let Janet see me with my walker."  Lani and I were talking about why the Christmas decorations were still up when we heard Danny say, "The heart can only stand so much, Janet is here."

Evidently Danny had been in the hospital for a couple weeks starting on December 13 and he was still recouping from an injured back.  Lani had put the Christmas decorations out and they were still celebrating the Christmas they missed by being in the hospital so much.  He was apologetic that the yard was not weeded as usual because he still could not bend down, but he was giving instructions to Lani to be sure and show me his '40 Mercury in the garage and other pictures of his restored vehicles before he walked out the door to lunch with his friend.  Lani was her usual happy, giving self, doing all he wanted.

He gave me a big hug, and said "Not like the last time we locked lips."

In 56 when I came to teach in San Diego with my friend Colleen we were part of about 17 new teachers that had come from Utah colleges to teach school in San Diego.  We all ended up in 4th Ward on Hamilton--there were only six other wards in San Diego and 4th Ward was the Stake Hall. There were also about 15 or so Navy boys who came in each Sunday to church there, too.  They were returned missionaries who now had to do their draft time in the Navy.  Then there were the San Diego locals like Danny and Carol, etc. There were probably about 35 to 40 of us young adults going to this ward and having dances on Saturday nights and firesides and potlucks on Sunday and other youth activities like the beach and mountain parties, etc so it was a very fun time in San Diego.

During the three years this was going on before I met and married Richard in October of 59 there were a lot of romances and break ups among the group.  Marta married Quinton and Colleen married her Navy pilot and Lani married Danny, Norma married Ray and there were several others, too.  I have a picture of Lani in her wedding dress in my blog here somewhere.  She was so beautiful.  I remembered the Christmas that Lani and I were the only ones left with no where to go for Christmas. We ended upon Christmas Eve driving to Orem, Utah so she could spend Christmas with relatives and I could spend Christmas at Jeanne's.  Lani was always a delight to be with, she taught school and then substituted until just last year!!

In the first year Norma got us all together to put on a play (Danny remembered the title) but I didn't. He wants me to send him copies of the pictures I posted a few blogs back.  He played my son and my hair was floured to look grey and I wore a sophisticated dress and Bob was my husband in the suit. We had to kiss in the play but Danny and I had an impromptu (much better kiss) behind the curtains. He flirted with me for three years but Lani was crazy for him and eventually they married after Richard and I had married and moved to Pacific Beach.

He has kidded Meagan and Matt about me since they moved nearby and was always playfully upset I did not come down to visit them.  The last time I saw him was when I was walking in La Jolla with Maria and Linda when they were in grade school.  He was driving by in a SDGE truck and yelled out the window--Hey, Janet.  Anyway, always a fun guy.  He had brought me to his home in '56 to meet his Mom and show me the Japanese hut and pond, etc he had built on the side of the canyon.  I thought this was the house he and Lani were living in but it was not.

Lani told me they had been living in an apartment down the street and he told her to find a house to buy, a big house with a big yard, he was not coming with her.  She said she found a five bedroom house with a small yard and a smaller house with a really large yard.  They bought the latter, for the big yard which Danny wanted.  She showed me Danny's restored Mercury first.  The garage was filled with trophies and pictures of all the car shows he had been to and won--he restored one car, sold it and then another, etc.  Beautiful work. When I knew him in '56 he had bought a new Chevy and polished it every night after work, kept it meticulous.

Then she showed me the rest of the yard--large tif-green yard with a couple patios, ponds (there also had been a Japanese hut but it was burned in a fire 20 years ago) and a very large beautiful pool in full sun, another deck and then property that is theirs all the way down the canyon, a huge yard!!! They have 19 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Anyway it was a fun visit and Danny wanted me to come back when he was there but I told him I was leaving Sunday and not going to drive the freeway out there again.  Maybe they can stop by when they go to an autoshow in Redding.  He comes up to the August nights in Reno all the time, too.  Small world.  I have seen those restored cars drive on Highway 36 in the summertime.  Never thought Danny might be one of them.

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