Becky took an apartment over a shop on Market Street. There, she gathered me under her wing when, about two weeks after I quit smoking cigarettes, I developed a nasty respiratory infection. I was living in a dark and moldy hippie house in Arlington, had already been off work for over a week, was immobilized by the illness, and wasn't getting any better. I hadn't eaten in a couple of days. Becky showed up at the house, made me a sandwich, packed up my toothbrush, and ordered me to Frederick.
A day later, she made an appointment for me with her physician, who took one look at me, and said "You're going to feel so much better tomorrow." It actually took another week, during which Becky went to work each morning and came home each night with an armload of groceries and good humor. I spent the day sleeping on the sofa we had grown up with--Mom gave it to Becky along with the oriental rug Mom acquired in The Divorce. Mom didn't particularly want the rug, but Doug loved it, so she made a point of taking it. It looked great in Becky's living room.
It was a wonderful place to recover. The place was sunny all day. You could watch shoppers, traffic, and the comings and goings of patrons and cops at the bar across the street. There were songful starlings on the window ledge and a great view of the sunset. You could walk to every place worth going in downtown Frederick, which I did when I started to feel better.
A friend of ours from North Arlington crowd, the periodically insane Jerry Ludwig (not to be confused with Other Jerry from New York), popped up while Becky lived on Market Street.
Jerry had been coming and going in our lives for several years. He was prone to bouts of antisocial behavior, of which he was aware and tried not to inflict on his friends. He had recently emerged from a bad spell and needed a warm place to spend the winter. Becky invited him in out of the cold, something that turned out to be ironic, given the way he eventually did himself in.