Mike was gone by the summer of ‘85. He had applied for, and was accepted into, the Indianapolis Fire Department. Shortly before he moved into an apartment complex on Indy’s west side, he asked Kevin and me to take care of Dee while she stayed behind in Muncie. Our shrinking group was now down to Dee, Kevin, Rosie, and myself. There was also a satellite group made up of other folks from the Tally that would join us every now and then but were not what you would consider to be regulars. Those of us in the main group maintained our routine of going to the Chug on Monday nights and added Wednesdays at Kings Corner for the Comedy Caravan.
That new routine didn’t last very long, essentially coming to an end by the start of the new school year. Papa Lou made some unfortunate renovations to the Chug, turning his neighborhood bar into something like a dance club to draw more college students. Worse than that, Dollar Pitcher Night was now a relic of the past. We went back two or three times while the bar was in that horrible state. It was too much to take, so we said “Goodbye” to the Chug and wished it better days ahead. We also reached the end of our rope with Kings Corner. The Comedy Caravan was petering out as the acts coming in were the exact opposite of humorous. The “younger” crowd now coming in was mostly a bunch of douchebags. We took our sophisticated tastes to a new place that had recently opened for business.
A new bar called Orv’s had just opened up south of campus. We gave the place a shot and liked it well enough to keep going back. As it turned out, Orv’s was just a stone’s throw from Paul’s apartment. He started joining us more often and soon became a regular member of our group.
As Paul started transitioning into the group of regulars, Dee started spending almost all of her weekends traveling to Indianapolis to be with Mike. It became pretty obvious that the two were getting ever closer to matrimony. We also lost Rosie somewhere along the way. He and his bright red hair just sort of disappeared. No one appeared to notice his absence. We gained another redhead as Joe started hanging out with us full time. There was growing speculation that Rosie’s absence was key to Joe hanging with us more often.
The proximity of Paul’s apartment to Orv’s gave our group a place to go to on those nights when Orv’s just wasn’t cutting it. It wasn’t long before Kevin, Paul, Joe, and I were spending most of our time at the apartment.
I didn’t know it at the time, but after three years of nearly constant change, my little group of friends had finally reached a point of relative stability.