Saturday, August 30. 2014
Posted by admin in Random-multiple
...No escape from events that come to everyone. My mother died a couple weeks ago; I've been in California to attend the funeral. I thought I'd have several days to figure out what to do with my self, a chance to track down old friends and say thanks for the help one guy gave me when I was young. As it was, I was pleasantly surprised to have continual interruptions. I met relatives I didn't know I had. Some of them are in the old photo in front of the violin shop.
For years, we were told that we were 3/8 Irish, and 5/8 German. I used to tell the kids: "You MUST learn to vwerk hard, we are Cherman, ja." That's not correct, now I understand that we're actually descended from an Austrian violin maker. My father was in the USAF, we traveled a fair amount. When I was small, we lived in a housing project in DC. I think the two pictures of my brother and me were taken there. You see the neighbor kids over for a party; kids that small don't see race, or don't care.
While I was there, I took a few pictures of haunting locations. The one is a 7-11 convenience store at the corner of Auburn Blvd and Van Maren Lane, in Citrus Heights, Ca. I remember five incidents at that intersection. Back in the 70's, there was a metal utility box there, probably controlled the signal lights at the intersection. On that box, someone had stenciled "Impeach Nixon". It stayed for years; then after the black lettering faded away, it had protected the silver (paint?) under it from turning dull; so the bright silver message was still there for years more. Later, I worked as a concrete laborer, in the California sun. The summer dirt was dry, and the dust would float up and stick to the very wet perspiration. I was always brown by the end of the day. Once, I walked into that 7-11 to get cigarettes. I apologized to the cashier for all the dirt; she smiled and said: "That's alright honey, it's HONEST dirt".
Across the street was a little strip commercial center, anchored by Farmer's Market; a supermarket. In that parking lot, when I was about 16, a car of older, bigger guys stopped the car, one got out, and started harassing me. I had long hair, and looked the part of a hoodlum. He was asking stuff like "You think you're BAD?!?" But I had an empty 16 ounce refundable Pepsi bottle by the neck; I guess that was deterrent enough for him to leave me alone. Near the end of the commercial building was a bar called the Red Baron Lounge. It had a replica of a Fokker Tri Wing plane crashed onto the roof. One new years eve, I went in there with an older friend of my brother, a black guy. I was at the bar, he decided to dance with white women. Soon as he got in a fight over it, I didn't even have a chance to react. Somebody had put me in a Full Nelson, with my face pushed against the bar top. We were kicked out. A few years later, I was talking with a distraught woman out by the street. She told me that her (boyfriend?) who everyone called "Applewhite" had been in a fistfight outside the bar. His opponents knocked him to the ground, then kicked him in the head till he died. I don't know if the story is true, but she sure was sad about it. Interesting too, is how I don't recall seeing it in the newspaper; and I was an avid paper reader. Maybe they were trying to suppress copycat crimes.
Miles down the same street, at Auburn & Myrtle, was the Town Theater. They showed porn during the day, and late on Friday nights, they had the "Midnight Movies". I never went during the day, but was a regular on Friday nights. Always something weird, selected just for the pot smoking crowd that attended. One night, in the 70's I guess, we all came out. Not too loud, but the usual talking and jesting. Then we noticed a small car, like a Datsun, turned over on its roof. Flames had engulfed it, there was a lone passenger thrown through the windshield, cut to ribbons. He was lying there moaning. A bystander said that an old pickup truck had run a red light, hit the car, which had several more people inside it. The one thrown out was a kid, his family was in the car. Many from the theater gathered around the car and stood there in absolute silence. The only sound was the crackling of the flames, and the distant sound of an approaching siren, echoing between the commercial buildings. There are two incidents in my life where the silence is an overpowering part of the memory, that is one of them.
During the 80's, Life didn't take a turn toward greater morality or peace; in fact, having left high school, I was a lot more of a loner. Life then can be best expressed by the sound of a popular song about the boys of summer, by Don Henley. I never did completely relate to the lyrics,and now, as a Christian, I can't endorse them. But that SOUND! The Feeling of that song, was and is inescapable. It was there, fifteen years ago, echoing loudly in a metal building when I walked in and saw something from my childhood. It was there the other night in Sacramento.
Back in those days, I was a drug user, and a heavy drinker. As I tried to find the guy that helped me years ago, i encountered somebody that appeared to still dislike me, this being more than 30 years later. Earlier in the day, I was informed that another person was recently telling people "You think you know him, but you don't; he's a bad man". At 10:30 PM, I get a chance to drive around, see what I haven't seen in decades. My mother has just died, my past like Le Miz still with me, I'm searching for classical music on the FM dial, and clear as a bell, there it is, the Boys Of Summer. It's all a bit like no escape; except that I don't mind the song being a strange regular coincidence. I like the song, I really like the sound of the song.
Back in the 80's, I was told, like scuttlebutt, that some of the people I occasionally did drugs with were part of a criminal gang. I have no way to verify it, which is good, I suppose, because a guy like me walks away with nothing that resembles facts. I was told by the same grapevine that one is not to ask anything specific regarding who what where; and to be suspicious of anyone asking me those things. It has somewhat of a negative effect on my relationships to this day; I don't like to ask people what they do, and other normal questions. Anyway, my life back then was in a big dark world where I felt so alone. Then I met The One who created every molecule and planet, saw Him do miracles in front of my deliberately skeptical eyes. My world got a lot smaller.
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