Wichita, Kansas - Rick Bailey, an 82 year old former ironworker and now retired masturbater, has sent a thank you letter to the woman who has given him so much happiness.
It all started back in 1941, when Rick was 14, and excited to learn that America was entering WWII. After the announcement in his junior high class, he was staying over to clean the blackboard, when his teacher, 22 year old Julie Owens, broke out into tears due to her fiancee having been killed at Pearl Harbor.
"She started crying", related Rick, "then reached out to hold me. My face was pressed right against her beautifully soft breasts. I could smell a heady blend of her perfume, make up, and the detergent she'd washed that cardigan sweater of her's in. I could feel her warmth, and my cheek even felt the slight poke of one of her nipples. I went home that night and masturbated to the thought of all of it."
Of course, that was not the first time that Rick had masturbated to images and fantasies of his pretty young teacher. Since first seeing her, he had masturbated to her at least half a dozen times, but she was only one out of a dozen or so others that he fantasized about.
For of course Rick, like every other male, continuously took little mental snapshots of every girl over 12 and under 100 that he encountered, for possible masturbatory fantasy material later. At the time, his teacher Julie was just one of many that he particularly focused on, and but for that incident, she would have been forgot in favor of more recent images.
But this was the formative period of young Rick's sexual life, and by the time he actually had sex with a prostitute at the age of 18 while on leave after basic training, he had already well imprinted himself with the teacher that he knew but one semester.
As with the prostitute, was as with all other women in his life, including his wife of 52 years. And as was with all four of his mistresses. He had images of Julie in his head each time, at least briefly. But most of all, he had images of Julie in his head each of the approximately 24,500 times he masturbated over the next 68 years. Few others in his class did so for more than a few years, but few others had had their face on her bosom.
True, like all men, there were others who entered his masturbatory fantasy world. A USO woman, a military nurse, that woman in the short red dress in Paris, Rita Heyworth, his boss's secretary, Miss January through December 1958, his neighbor's wife, a woman he saw in a grocery store, a delivery girl, his wife's sister, his son's first girlfriend and several thousand others. But such were transitory, and few stood the test of time for more than a few months.
Julie Owens, now 90 years old, was blissfully unaware of the staggeringly large amount of sexual pleasure that she has given to Rick all his life or his loyalty to her that exceeded that given to all other women in his life combined. Nor has she been aware of the multiplicity of roles that she has played, from stern teacher to naughty nurse, from slave girl to dominatrix, as her image has flitted through the mind of Rick. Indeed, she has performed a greater variety of sexual acts in Rick's mind than she ever learned or experienced in her actual life.
Being a gentlemen, Rick felt he owed her thanks for all the times that she's given him sexual release. Or as Rick put it in his letter, "Without you, I don't know how I'd have managed to sleep with my wife all those decades, or weathered the dry spells." Rick's one page letter was easy enough to write, for all that it was heartfelt and sincere.
Harder, was finding Julie Owens. But find her he did, at a nursing home in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, where her kids placed her after her third husband died. Unbeknownst to Rick, who died within a month of sending the letter, Julie's life was rather hard, and she'd probably have welcomed an actual union, had it meant some degree of peace and security in her otherwise impoverished and abused life.
But the letter arrived too late for any solace or regrets. Julie got it, but being in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease was in no position to read it. The minimum wage earning attendent on duty read it though, and dismissed it as "gross" when she shared it with one of her fellow bed pan changers before throwing a lifetime of happiness in the trash. (Ironically, each play roles in many of the male patient's solitary sex lives.)
Thus the romance of decades, albeit private, ended unfulfilled and unknown. It is believed - thank you letters wrote or not - that the same tale is played out in this nation about as many times as there are men alive.