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Women are not only the strongest sex, they are the meanest.

A woman can break your heart, run it through a wringer, chop it into hamburger, and feed it to the dog. And when you crawl out the door, with your stomach twisted into a tight knot, her last words will be: “We can still be friends.”

The answer, of course, is no, damn it, we cannot. The wound that she has inflected will never completely heal. It may scab over and stop bleeding, but it will always be there – a reminder to never let a woman ever get that close again.

And sometimes, years later maybe, she calls and you come running, and you get together, and maybe she’s married now, but it doesn’t matter because all you want to do is bask in her presence and try to hopefully recapture just a little of that warmth and chemistry that used to exist between you.

Or maybe it’s not like that at all. Maybe after long years have passed and you’re both senior citizens, she is right. You truly can be friends. I am not sure I believe that, but maybe I am wrong.

What brings all this to mind is the love affair from 1966 to 1968 between musicians and singers Stephen Stills and Judy Collins. He didn’t want to let her go, she was ready to move on. So he did the most powerful thing he could think of to capture her heart. He wrote her a love song – a Suite, actually, with four distinct movements – called Suite Judy Blue Eyes.

He rushed to her hotel room to share his new creation with her, and she loved it. Then she went to be with her new boyfriend Stacy Keach, who was her co-star in a New York musical version of Peer Gynt.

Judy Collins was 29 at the time; Stephen Stills was 23.

Now the young lovers are on tour again. This time, she is 78 and he is 72. She has been married twice. Her only child Clark Taylor committed suicide in 1992 at age 33. She and her present husband, Louis Nelson have been married 21 years. Stills has been married to his current wife, producer Kristen Stills, for 21 years. He has two ex-wives, and five children.

So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you finally reach a point in life where all the silly drama and angst of the past finally melt away. Maybe after enough time has passed, you really can be friends again.

Either way, we’re planning to buy tickets to see the old lovers when they come to Southern California later this year. Here are their tour dates.

George Lee Cunningham

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