THE WINSLOW SAGA: 1981 - 1996


Names of Winslow residents have been changed.



APRIL 25: The USS Essex returns to San Diego.

JUNE 10: Carl buys a 1994 Toyota pickup truck at a tent sale at Jack Murphy Stadium, and drives to La Crescenta the next day.

LATE JUNE: Carl and Lisa break it off again. During the summer he falls for a girl at church, but learns she is taken. Late in August, the ship goes to Hawaii for exercise Cooperation From The Sea.

NOVEMBER: On leave for the first time in over a year, he flies to New York to videotape the wedding of another cousin, and also makes his sixth trip to Winslow.

DRIVING SONG: Bigger Than The Beatles
The first stop, as always, is Schultz's General Store. Maybe Carl just needs the emotional boost to get him going. He drives around town to burn off time until Denise gets off work. He gets Room 103 at the Price Right Motel, then parks down the street from her work.

Like 1994, the office door is closed but the side door is open.
Unlike 1994, he goes in this time.

A new lady working there gives him a friendly greeting, he tells her who he is and how he met Denise Gottlieb in 1993. For a few minutes, they are the only ones in the room; soon a well-dressed young man named Ken comes in.

Carl and Ken talk for about a half hour; then Denise comes in with a couple of other people. Initially, she doesn't quite remember him; it's almost as if he's meeting her again for the first time. But she takes to him just the same, even asking him to stop by her work the next morning.

He goes back to Schultz's to tell Betty the news. Later he sees the movie Gold Diggers at the Rialto Theater.

His spirits are high the whole night, eagerly anticipating the morning.

Morning comes. He eats breakfast at McDonald's and washes his truck in a wash bay down the road. Then it's off to Denise's work.

No one seems to be there yet; he assists a young lady in unlocking the door. He's got his video camera with him and hopes to get Denise on tape. Then the van rounds the corner and he sees the silhouette of Denise in the vehicle as Ken drives by. The van doesn't stop.

Moments later Carl hears a voice behind him say, "Excuse me, we can't have you around here." It's Denise's supervisor, Barbara Harrison. At first, he's worried that he is doing something wrong, but she tells him that it's a new 'no visitors' policy that the new management has enacted. He chats with her for a few more minutes and then heads back to the motel.

A few minutes later Ken pulls up to the building and Denise asks, "Where's Carl?" Meanwhile, back at the Price Right, Carl is sitting on the bed somewhat depressed.

Shortly after 10 AM, he opens the door and is surprised to see one of the people from Denise's work in the parking lot. He goes outside and looks over to find Ken -- and a few of Denise's other coworkers -- cleaning rooms at the motel!

He chats with Ken, who tells him that the reason they didn't stop when they passed her work is that Ken had to make a phone call. (Why couldn't he use the office phone? Interesting!) Carl asks where Denise is. She's stayed behind at the office unfortunately, so he writes a note to her and gives it to Ken. Because the proper level of trust has not yet been established, Ken does not give the note to Denise. (Why was she left behind at the office? Interesting!)

Despite the fact that he failed to see her a second time on this trip, Carl goes home quite happy. He's got a definite plan now. No longer will he have to bug anyone at Denise's work. As far as accommodations go, he knows at what motel he will be staying.

On Thanksgiving Day he makes a somewhat bold move: he calls Denise on the phone, even though she doesn't know he has her number. She tells him she never got the note he gave to Ken.

They talk for about twenty minutes. He says he'll try and see her next time he's up.

About This Photo DECEMBER 2: On a hayride with a church group in Tucson, he sees among the group a young lady in a wheelchair. He learns that she was physically normal until a drunk driver hit her. Soon after this, he decides not to drink any more alcohol.

* * * DECEMBER 25:-( He calls Denise to wish her a Merry Christmas, but gets her sister Rhonda's answering machine instead. Then he leaves a little Merry Christmas message, an act which turns out to be the biggest mistake of the Saga. Rhonda hears the message later and is alarmed because she's never met him and doesn't know what he's like. She cautions Denise not to invite him over.


APRIL 9: Starting another ten days' leave, he drives up I-15 to Barstow, then takes I-40, intending to go to Winslow directly from San Diego. Having started the trip late in the day, he spends the night in room 312 of the Motel 6 in Kingman.

APRIL 10: Carl leaves Kingman around 8 AM, recording more scenery. Around 10:30 he tapes himself getting off the 40 at Exit 253, then it's cut to the Price Right Motel. None of the people from Denise's work are there.

Just for fun, he's brought his cordless phone with him, but it doesn't work on the motel's phone system. Around 4:00 he goes to Denise's work as Ken is getting ready to take some people home. Denise is sitting in the back of the vehicle and happens to look out the rear window as he approaches. He waves to her. He peeks in the vehicle and says hi to Ken. Then he hears Denise say, "I'm over here, Carl!" He says hi to her and asks if he can call her. He tells Ken where he's staying.

A new girl sitting in front of Denise asks, "Carl, who's your favorite hockey team?" He's torn between the L.A. Kings and the New York Rangers, but he'd gone to his cousin's wedding in New York in '94 the night after a big game so he tells the girl it's the Rangers. Then she asks, "Who's a Penguin fan in your family?" He's not sure.

That night, he calls Denise. They talk for almost an hour and a half about everything from A to Z. She wants him to get her something, and suggests Lion King or Pocahontas collectables. He gives her the number to the motel so she can call him if she wants. Sure enough, she does and they talk more.

APRIL 11: After getting some more video, and breakfast at McDonald's, he goes back to the motel, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Ken and the cleaning crew. At 9:53 AM, he hears Denise's voice in the parking lot. As she walks by his room, he opens the door and they wave to each other. He closes the door and turns the video camera on, imitating the narrative style of Jerry O'Connell's character Quinn Mallory in the series pilot of Sliders, and excitedly says that Denise is here.

Opening the door (and leaving the camera on), he piles a bunch of clothes into his seabag so the room will look presentable, and flips on the radio to give the place a festive atmosphere. At 9:54, with camera in hand and country station KAFF playing in the background, he gets video of Denise and friends cleaning the room, and shows Ken his copy of the book Sliders. He leaves the camera on until the tape runs out, and later tells the proprietor he'll be staying another night.

This Photo

Around noon, he drives to Flagstaff Mall -- a good 60 miles. It is snowing lightly when he gets there. He goes into a store and finds they are having an incredible sale. He buys not one, not two, but a bag full of Disney stuff -- about $50 worth -- for $19.05.

(You can click on this photo if you like)

When he gets to Denise's work, she thanks him for the Disney stuff. Later that night she calls him at his room. He heads home the next morning, his time in Winslow well spent.

MAY 10: The night before leaving for Hawaii for RIMPAC '96, Carl briefly chats with Denise on the phone.

SEPTEMBER: Carl goes on a liberty cruise to Mazatlan.

OCTOBER 9: He checks out of Amphibious Squadron 5 the day before the Essex goes on a six-month deployment, and goes on leave. His next (and final) duty station is to be in Chinhae, Korea.

DRIVING SONG: Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter
By chance, Carl runs into Ken at Arby's and they chat. He shows Ken some photos he took on previous Winslow trips.

To pass the time, he stops by the Pilot truck stop and then buys a few souvenirs at The Reminder, a shop located on the famous "Corner".

Later that afternoon, he goes to Dairy Queen and has a small Blizzard snack, which he takes with him. He drives around a bit, then parks down the street from Denise's work just as she is about to go home. Around 4 PM, he says hi to her as she's coming out the door.

As Ken is getting ready to take people home, Carl and Denise chat briefly. She tells him that he can't call her tonight because she's going out. He shows her some souvenir pins he bought at The Reminder. Moments later, Barbara Harrison comes walking around the corner.

Caught off guard, he awkwardly asks, "How ya doin' Barb?" She says hello, then says apologetically, "I'm sorry, we can't have you around here." She goes on to tell him that the family requested that Carl not be allowed around Denise. He has done nothing wrong, but after all he is a stranger and they are naturally suspicious.

Disappointed but not surprised, he tells Barbara that he understands their position; after all, he did come on strong with that Merry Christmas message and the Disney collectable stunt.

Realizing that he has been a little too kind to Denise too soon, he says farewell to Ken, shakes his hand and starts back toward the truck. Carl and Denise manage to wave goodbye to each other before he walks away.

With Carl having been figuratively judged and executed without a trial, the Winslow Saga comes to an end after over fifteen years.

Life goes on......

Return To Top

BACK .....Return to Part One

Home Page