A large crowd of dorm denizens gathered in the front lobby of UCLA’s Hedrick Residence Hall, anxiously awaiting the announcement of their numbers piped in over the PA system.  With each birthday read someone celebrated or moaned.   

I ended up with 259, a number I felt was relatively safe.  Indeed, in my senior year, 1972, I went I-A for a year, was not called, and hence was forever exempt. 

But roundabout, the draft affected me greatly.  My good friend got the number 3.  He immediately went and joined Air Force ROTC, so that when he was called four years from then–and he was certain that would happen–he would at least enter as an officer.  As he had suspected, the war still raged four years later, and my friend was assigned to Hanscom Air Force Base in Burlington, Mass.  Meanwhile, my new bride and I packed up our car and drove to New York City, where I hoped to begin a career that would rival Bob Dylan’s.  Alas, when we got there, NYC proved too much of a cultural shock (it was then, remember, at its nadir as an inhabitable city), and after a couple of weeks, we thought we’d high-tail it back home.  But not before we visited our friend in Burlington.  We arrived in Massachusetts on a Thursday, and on Saturday we drove down to Boston to see the city for the first time. 

It was love at first sight.  On Sunday we drove into the city again and rented a third floor studio apartment on Beacon St, near St. Mary’s Place, where the Cleveland Circle trolley emerges from the underground at the Brookline city limits.  We lived there 16 wonderful months.  I eventually abandoned my erstwhile music career, but the memories of those delightful days in Boston and our myriad explorations in beautiful New England remain one of our grandest adventures.  And I’ve never stopped being in love with that wonderful wonderful city.