Somewhere in
Alaska: And they lived happily...

I thought the story ended there. However...

...on July 21st, 1998, a dozen years since I'd said goodbye to Julie and her family, I ran into good friend and ex-Cowboy Jazz piano/saxophonist Deanna Bogart.

I launched into this story, the first time any other member of Cowboy Jazz would hear it.

As soon as she realized who I was talking about, Deanna excitedly began her own story:

"I can't believe you're telling me this—I got a letter from her! Completely out of the blue."

"What?! When?"

"About two years after the tour. Her marriage broke up because that guy couldn't deal with Kiki's handicap. What a jerk; she was a really cool kid. Julie's remarried. Her new husband loves Kiki. She's had a second baby with him. It was great to get the letter but I didn't know why she'd written me. It was like she needed to tell me."

We were breathlessly stammering at each other. I finished my story, to Deanna's astonishment. We both agreed: Carl—what a loser.

Julie's life turned out OK.

I wonder about the reasons she and Carl split. Was it really as simple as explained in the letter? Did Carl's abusive drinking play a role? The dissolution of a marriage, even a dysfunctional, abusive marriage, is likely a complex and painful matter.

I wonder if she ever took drum lessons.