Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

My First Wife and Only Child “Epilog”

December 1, 2010

It’s been almost three years since I’ve decided to write this next installment.  A lot has happened but thats another story.  So lets close this chapter up so we can move on.

I discovered that being married was not much different from living together. We both did our thing and at the end of the day we were together at home.  It worked out to be a really nice groove.  Carol worked at the restaurant and I did odd jobs and surfed.  Then one day Carol told me she was pregnant.  Yep pregnant.  I was stunned.  I had been living in the bliss of ignorance for a long time.  I’d never gotten a girl pregnant in my life until then. I thought I was shootin blanks.  “Yeah thats it blanks.”  Well you idiot you’re not shooting blanks  she’s a very fertile catholic girl.

Carol was elated by her new-found condition.  I on the other hand had to let it all sink in for a while before I could decide what I was feeling and I don’t think Carol liked that. It took me a week of soul-searching to come to grips with the whole situation.  So out of necessity I warmed up to the idea that “I” was going to be a father.  We told our friends about the blessed event including my in-laws which were “kinda” cool with it.  So here we were 6 months into the marriage and with child.  Things were changing faster than I could even imagine!

Having a new baby on the way meant it was time for me to really step up to the plate and get a good responsible job and maybe even a career.  I never really knew what I wanted to be except when I was around seven years old.  I wanted to be a jet fighter pilot flying F-86 Sabre Jets just like Steve Canyon.  Well I was along way from that dream.  So a meat cutter was my next option.  At that time there was  a large meat-packing facility just up the 101 freeway in Carpenteria about two miles from where we were living.  I decided I was going to put in an application and try my hardest to land a job as a union working apprentice meat cutter.  So I  went in and filled out the long application and turned it in to the receptionist. “We’ll call you as soon as there is an opening.” She said to me.  “OK thanks!”  As I left the building I really thought I was on my way to a new career.  So I went surfing.  For about a month.  I kept checking back with the meat-packing house calling on the phone, showing up personally but I just kept getting the same answer. “We’ll call you as soon as there is an opening.

Then one day I was looking through the want ads in the Santa Barbara News Press. “MEAT CUTTER WANTED WILL TRAIN RIGHT PERSON”  I called immediately.  “Hello?”  “Yes I’m calling about the position you posted in the paper for a meat cutter.  Is the position still available?  Great I’ll come by today to fill out an application.”  I spruced up and jumped into my Rambler  wagon and sped off to Percals Meats on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara.  I met Jim the owner. Jim was a big thick meat cutter of a man wearing a blood stained apron.  Percals was a retail and wholesale butcher shop supplying meats to the public as well as many restaurants in the area.  Jim took me to the back office and we talked.  I told him about my wanting to get into the packing house in Carpinteria and how much I wanted to break into being a butcher.  He liked my dedication not to mention I was a 21-year-old man-child with a new baby coming.  I got the job without filling out an app.

I had been working at Percals for 6 months learning the ropes. I mostly learned to chop up chickens on the band saw.  Then I learned how to de-bone chickens with a boning knife.  Then I learned how to make ground beef with different percentages of fat content.  Then I learned how to make sausages.  I also drove the delivery van to the restaurants with their orders.  I really liked my job and felt like this was what I wanted to do.  Then one day the swell got really, really good.  I hadn’t missed a day from work in six months and I was never late.  So I decided to take a day off to surf.  I called in and told Jim that my car had sprung a leak in one of the freeze plugs so I was going to stay home and fix it myself. He said “OK”  So I jumped into my car and headed down the coast to my old stomping grounds the pier at Mussle Shoals.

The surf that day was soooo good!  I surfed with some of my buddies that lived at the Rincon Cliff House Johnny, Dave, and Chuck.  We surfed all day till dusk.  I got home exhausted.  Carol asked me how the surf was “Awesome!” I said.  Then she handed me the note that had been stuck on our front door earlier that day.  “Came down from the shop to take you to work.  Didn’t see you or your car.  Must be running OK.  Surf looks really good too!”  Mike was another surfer that worked at Percals.  He knew what I was doing and he was jealous.  “I hope it was good enough to lose your job over.”  Carol said.  “I’m not going to lose my job.  Shit I haven’t missed a day since I started working there.  Fuck! all I did was go surfing!”  The next day I was fired.

Carol was getting pretty big with that baby in the oven and I was pretty pissed off at the world after that SOB Jim fired me.  I had to find another job pronto.  I looked, and looked, and looked. Nothing.  We were just getting by week to week.  Carols parents helped us out with some cash to live on.  Then I found another job in the paper.  WANTED LIQUOR STORE CLERK  Oh yeah!  I jumped on it!  My interview went very well and I got the job.  In retrospect I think people kinda feel sorry for you when your young and have a baby coming so sometimes getting a job is easier.  Anyway I was now working in retail as a liquor clerk and I was also in the Retail Clerks Union. I was making $8.50 to start which was pretty good in 1976.  I really loved working at Miratti’s Liquors.  They had several stores throughout Santa Barbara and I worked at the main store on the corner of Mission and De la Vina streets.  The clientele were awesome, my boss was cool, and the hours were great 3pm till 11:30pm friday through thursday.  I was to be employed there for 5 years

Life was getting pretty darn good going into Carols final trimester of pregnancy.  I was holden down the fort with my income from Miratti’s  I was surfing in the mornings and on my days off.  Everything was flowing.  Then it got really, really sad

It was mid February and I had the day off from work so I walked down the road from the house to surf Rincon.  It was late afternoon and I was starting to get a little edgy about leaving Carol alone this close to her due date.  Then one of my water buddies told me that my wife was on the beach calling me.  I looked back down the point and saw Carol in the cove wearing her Hawaiian moo moo waiving her arms and calling for me.  “uh oh looks like it’s on.”  Right away I caught a wave and rode it to shore.  Carol had a really bad look on her face.  “Are you OK ? Do we need to go to the hospital?  Did your water break?”  Carol looked at me I could see tears welling up in her eyes.  “Whats goin on honey?”  “Your sister is up at the house.”  “Yeah so whats up?”  Carol started crying.  “your brother Guy has been in an accident.” “Now what?” I said.  “Did he get into another dirt bike crash?”  “No”  “Did he do something surfing?” “He was hit head on by a drunk driver.” she could hardly get it out.  I could not believe what I was hearing.  Instead I thought “Oh boy he’s gonna be really banged up for a while.”  We walked back to the house where my sister Gail was.  When I walked into the living room and looked at her she looked like she’d been through the ringer. She gave me a hug and started crying really hard shaking in my arms.  Thats when I started to grasp the reality of the situation.  “How bad is he?”  “He’s really bad we need to go to the hospital.”  So we all got in the car and headed down the coast to Thousand Oaks crying the whole way.  As I was drivng I asked Gail what happened.  “Guy and Joe were coming back from a high school basketball game when a drunk driver in a four wheel drive truck hit them head on.”  “Hows Joe” I asked. “Hanging on by a thread” Gail said. “Then hows Guy?” no answer.  I knew then how bad it really was.  I went into the emergency room where my brother was being kept alive with machines.  I held his hand and told him how good the waves were that day.  Then I kissed his forehead and told him how much I loved him.  We buried Guy Leslie Miller a few days later with a stone that read. “May the Wind Always Blow Offshore”

Four weeks later Carol gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Olivia.  In 18 months I had got married, lost my brother, and had a child.  I was only 22 years old.  Then Carols parents decided we needed a bigger place so they put down a down payment on a house in Ventura CA. five whole blocks from the water.  All we had to do was pay the mortgage.  I left Carol and Olivia after two years to march to the beat of a different drummer.  Or so I thought.

A lady stands before an open window

Staring so far away

She can almost feel the southern wind blow

Almost touching her restless day

She turns from her window to me

Sad smile her apology

Sad eyes reaching to the door

Daylight loses to another evening

And still she spares me the word goodbye

And sits alone beside me fighting her feelings

Struggles to speak but in the end can only cry

Suddenly it’s so hard to find

The sound of the words to speak her troubled mind

So I’m offering these to her as if to be kind:

There’s a train everyday leaving either way

There’s a world you know

There’s a way to go

And you’ll soon be gone — that’s just as well

This is my opening farewell

A child’s drawing left there on the table

And a womens silk lying on the floor

And I would keep them if I were able

Lock her safe behind this open door

But suddenly it’s so clear to me

That I asked her to see what she may never see

And now my kind words find their way back to me

There’s a train everyday leaving either way

There’s a world you know

You got a way’s to go

And I’ll soon believe — it’s just as well

This is my opening farewell.

“Jackson Brown”  This is My Opening Farewell

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“My First Wife and Only Child”

May 18, 2008

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It was the summer of 1975 I had been living with my roomates David and Antman in the little seaside shangrala of La Conchita California 4 miles south of Rincon Point and 6 miles south of Carpinteria.

I was doing some odd jobs like working in a large wholesale nursery filling thousands of plastic pots with soil, picking avocados, and house painting. Basically just getting by. I didn’t have a car so I had to bum a ride into town or hitch hike up Pacific Coast Highway to get to town. I was also limited to surfing the beach across the street unless someone offered to take me with them on a surf trek elsewhere. It was on this beach one hot sunny afternoon in the summer of 1975 that I met Carroll. She was a beautiful women of Italian and Mexican heritage. She was tall about 5’7” with a beautiful olive complexion and long straight dark hair down to her narrow waist. She worked as a waitress at a local mexican restaurant in Carpinteria. I had gone to this restaurant several times so I recognized her lounging in her sand chair soaking the afternoon sun. I noticed she was reading a book that I had just recently finished called “Stranger in a Strange Land” “How do you like it so far?” I asked her. Huh? she said as she looked over to where I was parked. “That book your reading, how do you like it so far?” “Oh it’s great she said, have you read it?” “Yes, I just finished it.” “Hey don’t you work in Carp at that mexican restaurant Casa Ayala” I added. “Yes” she replied. “Yeah I go in there every now and then” “Yes I know I’ve seen you but I’ve never waited on you because your never at my station.” “Well how do I get your station?” I asked. “Next time you come in just let me seat you.” “Are you working tonight?” I said “Yes, in fact I need to go in about an hour. I start at 3:00” “I’ll come up tonight for supper” I said. “I’ll look forward to it” she said. We talked until it was time for her to go. Then I helped her with her beach gear and walked her to her car. “I’ll see you later on.”I said “OK I’m there till 10:00” She slid her long sexy legs into her Opel Manta as I closed the door. “See ya later” she said. “Count on it” I said. That evening I got cleaned up and put on my Guatemalan embroidered peasant shirt , my best Bermuda shorts and my “Rainbow” flip flops. Style n for dinner.

I walked out the front of my house, down the steps from my deck, across the frontage road, and across the railroad tracks to the side of the highway and stuck out my thumb. I got a ride right away into town. I walked down Linden Ave. to Casa Ayala and walked into the front entrance. Casa Ayala was a family owned restaurant that had been a fixture in town for many years. It was a modest place that seated about 40 people. It had a nice atmosphere with tall maroon upholstered bench seats at every booth offering privacy. The lighting was dim but not too dark, and the food was consistently excellent! As was apparent by all the locals that frequented the place. I often saw many of my surfing peers chowing down when I went in to eat. “Hey Keith!” “Hey Brad, Hey Mike!”

I went up to the hostess, a beautiful girl named Elsa I told her “Carroll’s going to seat me tonight” “Oh so Carroll wants you all to herself” Elsa replied. I chuckled “I hope so” Carroll came through the double sided flapping kitchen doors carrying dozens of plates of food for one of her tables. She caught my eye and gave me a big brite smile. She was glad to see me. She came over to me and in a cute way like she had never met me said “Where would you like to sit sir?” “how about here” I said as I took a booth all to myself. “Perfect” she said as she gave me a menu. “Would you like anything to drink while your deciding?” “Yeah, I’ll have a Modello please” “Coming right up” She walked back to the bar to get my beer. I was checking her out as she turned to walk away. She was wearing a short black skirt that really showed of her legs and a white embroidered peasant top tucked into her skirt with a wide black belt around her waist. She was wearing some sandals with a slight heel on them that complemented the whole package. I liked what I saw.

I ended up going to Carrolls apartment that evening. But it wasn’t what you think or what I expected. We talked into the wee hours of the morning and when it was time for some sleep she told me I could use the couch so I agreed. You see I found out that Carroll was a good Catholic girl so I respected her wishes and in fact liked them. I gave her as big a kiss as she would allow then curled up on the couch and crashed. In the morning we had omelets, coffee and english muffins then she gave me a ride home. She asked me if I would like to come back over to her place the next evening for a home cooked meal, naturally I agreed. Things where about to heat up both physically and emotionally.

“Jobs That I Have Done”

April 2, 2008

b4aa.jpg1. Newpaper delivery both by bicycle and by automobile
2. Window washer
3. Ditch digger
4. Wood Chopper (for fire wood)
5. Butcher Shop Meat Cutter (Fired after taking one sick day to go surfing in six months)
6. Plant nursery (putting dirt in pots)
7. Production Welder (luggage racks for MG sports cars)
8. Fiberglass Chopper Gun Operator (boat hulls)
9. Injection Mold Operator (skateboard wheels)
10. Injection Mold Operator (shampoo bottles)
11. Milk Man
12. Salvation Army Truck Driver (collecting donations)
13. Liquor store clerk for 5 years (I liked that one)
14. Fiberglass Parts Sander (that was itchy)
15. Janitor/Dishwasher (paid with free mexican diners)
16. Sheet Metal Fabricator
17. Produce Delivery Driver (lots of free fruit and veggies)
18. Capet Installer (hard on your knees)
19. Painter (I hate oil base)
20. Gas Station Attendant (before self service)
21. Cutting Press Operator (cutting patterns for childrens nusery furniture)
22. Lathe Operator (gun parts)
23. Drafter/Technical Illustrator (first on ink and velum then on the computer)
23. Graphic Artist (A morph from technical illustrating)
24. Photo Film Maker (documenting and editing clean room processes)
25. Solo Long Haul Semi Truck Driver (I saw all 48 states in one year)
26. BMW Prototype Test Driver (to bad it was only temporary)
27. Pizza Delivery (I don’t like pizza anymore)
28. Auto Parts Delivery (mechanics are not happy people!)

29. Chauffeur ( Rich people don’t tip)

“How to Blow a Good Thing”

February 12, 2008

Surf AddictWell let me just preface this next little journey with the fact that I got a little more time. Last week I had my second heart attack within the last 5 years. I’m almost 53 years old. I think it’s a hereditary thing. I caught it in time, had a second stint installed and I have been taking it easy. I’m walking 4 to 5 miles a day as usual and playing some golf. The weather here in Southern California has been absolutely beautiful the first part of February. So I’ve been out there in it!
So with my ipod playing one of my favorite songs, “Indigo is Blue” by Catherine Wheel….

So here I was living on the waters edge in a really cool funky beach colony with new friends a good job, money in the bank, a cool ride everything is perfect. Except I have an addictive personality, watch me blow it!

I was working nights at Northrup Aviation my shift was three o’clock in the afternoon till midnight. I had been working this shift for about a year but when I finally moved to the coast all I ever wanted to do was surf. I live in an area of Southern California that has some of the most pristine world class point breaks in the world, not to mention the sandy beach breaks just a few minutes drive south. It is paradise. If only you could see the sunset out my window right now! But I digress. It was my exposure to this new environment that made me want to never leave it. You see as a surf addict when the waves are good you don’t want to go or do anything but surf. Even if that thing is work. Oh the dreaded “WORK” why oh why
do we have to work? To pay the bills. But I didn’t know that part yet. I started missing more and more days from work until….I got fired.

On the night I was fired I wasn’t disappointed but I knew deep inside that this wasn’t good. I just sorta pushed it aside and said to myself “I got some bucks stashed, no need to panic.” For about two months things went great. I surfed when there were waves. Hell I even surfed when there wasn’t any waves. I hiked and explored the back country of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. I went sailing regularly with my friend Craig. I went to parties in the U.C.S.B. college town of Isla Vista. Life was good. Then the rent came around again.

I was $150 short on the rent that month. I was out of my savings. I needed to find some work. Then my friend and neighbor Bruce said “Hey Keith how would you like to be my helper laying carpet?.” “Sure I need to make some money.” I said “OK we start Monday morning at 9:00 be down at my house.” “Great, thanks Bro” I replied. Now laying carpet is a tough job but I got good at it and for awhile things were going pretty smooth. Then the work started slowing down as it always did toward the winter season and I was no longer needed. Once again I was short on my rent. No I wasn’t short I just didn’t have it. Well that month we got our eviction notice to move out in 30 days. I let myself down. I let my roommate the Antman down. I was losing paradise. Then I decided to sell my VW panel bus so I could get some money. I sold it for $1200 and bought a 65 Chevy pickup truck for $500. Then instead of looking for a job I surfed for a month before I had to move out.

I had $500 left in my pocket two weeks before moving. Antman and a friend of his had found a 3 bedroom house just up the road on the other side of PCH in the little coastal hamlet known as La Conchita California. I didn’t know if I would be included as a roommate after the debacle I had created at the last place. I asked Antman and Dave if I could move in with them and occupy the third bedroom. I knew that my $500 would ease the burden of the deposit and first months rent. They reluctantly said OK as long as I got a job pronto! So now it was three. We were not on the waters edge anymore but we did have an ocean view and we could see Rincon Point right off our front deck. I had bought myself another month and now I was broke. I didn’t even have money for petrol. I was beginning to live the same way I had lived on the Rock one day at a time with no concern for the future. Que Sera Sera…

Rock Me On The Water

January 27, 2008

Water Pipe Well it’s a cold, rainy, wet wednesday morning and I didn’t get to work today. I use my cell phone alarm to wake me, but last night I turned it off because some bill collectors have been buggin me. I thought I would turn it back on before I had to wake up. Yeah right! Needless to say I over slept and with my job you can’t just show up an hour late. You have to be there at a specific time or else you don’t work. So I guess the bill collector did manage to stick it to me. So with my ipod jammin some killer tunes and me poised at my keyboard lets go!

“Grandma I need to let you know that I will be moving out in a week.” I said “What! Why on earth are you going to do a thing like that? Your living rent free with a good job and saving money. Why on earth?” Grandma you know how much I love to surf and you know how much I love the beach and I’m not leaving my job. A place right on the beach has fallin in my lap and I took it. I’ve already made a payment and deposit so it’s etched in stone.” “You do whatever you want” she said in disgust. The following week was nothing but the cold shoulder. We said no more than 5 words to each other. It was awful, and I really felt bad. But at eighteen your gonna do what you want and I did.

On April 1st the Antman and I went up to Mussel Shoals California to 1578 Pacific Coast Highway, my new address. I loved writing “Pacific Coast Highway” on my mail. I brought my surfboard and gear, my clothes and that Indian rug I’ve been lugging around. Our place was partially furnished but we wanted to decorate it to our specs. So the next day we drove out to Glendale California in my new VW panel van to an import store that had everything we needed. Doorway beads, tapestries, brass, giant throw pillows, incense and a really cool water pipe. Our place looked like the inside of Lawrence of Arabia’s tent.

Two weeks after moving to the coast I went to working nights 3pm to midnight. Perfect for surfing during the day. I was in absolute heaven. I had money, a car and was living my dream. I met new people and made new friends. I loved the lifestyle and laid back attitudes of people that lived on the coast. It was a peaceful easy feelin. So I decided to throw a big party!

About two months later in June as the days got longer and warmer I decided to take some of my money and throw a huge outdoor party. I got together with the residents of the community and we all agreed to go ahead with it. Now Mussel Shoals is a small coastal hamlet, a little niche on the coast. At that time there was probably 45 to 50 dwellings many used just as a vacation home. Maybe two thirds were year round residents. Inside this community there was a large lot about the size of half a football field. The lot was situated at the entry to an oil pier with beach on each side of the lot and the pier. A perfect setup for a party on the water. I contacted my old friend Jimi Williamson the drummer from “The Purple Freight Train” the band I once sang in. I had heard of a project that he was playing in called “Clean Slate” and I asked if they would like to come up from LA and play, Jimi agreed. I had a band! Next on my list was to get some beer. Lots of beer. I went to Pats Liquor in Carpinteria and ordered 10 kegs of beer and a bunch of red plastic cups to be picked up on the day of the event. Party promotion was all word of mouth. Keep in mind this all took place in 1974 when you could freely do such things.

Saturday morning the day of the party. I awoke to the distant sound of wood saws and hammers going. I made a cup of coffee and walked down to the “lot.” It was a beautiful sunny day with no surf, but thats OK stuff needed to be done. Arby and a couple of his carpenter friends were building a stage for the band. Other neighbors were routing lights and electricity out to the stage. I was stunned at the enthusiastic participation of the community, you don’t see that anymore unless it’s a disaster or crime. I said good morning and thank you to everyone. I walked back to my house and the phone rang. There was a guy on the other end named Ronnie he said that he was in a band and he wanted to know if they could come up and play. I don’t know how he got my number but thats not important. My mind started thinking “Wow! two live bands!” I asked him for his phone number and said that I’d call him back. I called Jimi to ask him about putting another band on the bill. He said “No problem bro.” So I called Ronnie back and said “sure dude, pack it up.” “Right on man we’re gonna rock it!” “I expect nothing less Ronnie”

4:20pm Saturday the stage is built, Clean Slate arrives and starts setting up. Not long after Clean Slate Ronnie showed up with his band called “Dreams” I decided to set up Dreams on a concrete foundation slab next to the stage, the original spot for a band if a stage was not built. Clean Slate got the stage, Dreams got the slab. Dreams opened and Clean Slate closed. Entertainment schedule done.

6:45pm I take a shower and get all dolled up. I throw on a pair of Levis my flip flops and my favorite Yater Surfboards T-Shirt. I go out to the living room and the Antman is twisting up doobies for the evening. “Spark one up bro” I select one from the half dozen rolled on the table and spark it. I have not had a hit all day and I take a nice long pull. I hold it until I begin to feel the expansion, expand hold, expand hold, expand, I let out a huge cloud of smoke and start coughing violently “I gotta drive up to Carp and get the beer” I croak out to Antman.”Hey that reminds me” said Antman “Bruce said you could use his old Chevy pickup truck to put the kegs in then you could tap three at a time and serve it off the tailgate.” “Brilliant!” I said. I walked down the street and talked to Bruce about using his truck he said “no problem” he gave me the key and I gave him a nice fatty. I fired up the old 54 and drove up to Carpinteria.

7:07pm I went to “The Spot” and got a burger and onion rings for my dinner. Always eat a good meal before you start drinkin. I arrived at Pats Liquor and got my kegs, ice, buckets, taps, red cups and started heading back to Mussel Shoals. It was getting close to dusk as I arrived back. I pulled off of PCH into the little hamlet and I was stunned. There were already hoards of people arriving. Groups of people were walking down to the “Lot,” cars were funneling off of Pacific Coast Highway and jockeying for parking spaces. I saw Bruce and the Antman as I pulled in and crept the old Chevy through the neighborhood trying to get down to the Lot. “Dude this thing is getting huge! and it hasn’t even started yet!” said Bruce. As I got the beer wagon down to the Lot there was already about a hundred people there. The bands were set up and sound checking. A cheer went up when I pulled onto the lot and found a spot right in front of the “pier for the beer.” A crowd charged the truck as I got out to climb into the bed and tap the kegs. I heard a familiar voice yell “Hey Keith you need some help?” as I looked out among the growing crowd I saw my good friend Jeff that I met shortly after moving in. “Get up here now bro!” I yelled. Jeff plowed through the crowd and jumped up into the bed of the truck and helped me get everything flowin. “This is gonna be insane dude!” he said as we worked. “Yeah I know!” I said.

That night as soon as the last sliver of sun dropped into the blue Pacific “Dreams” launched into the Allman Brothers Statesboro Blues followed by Southbound and Whipping Post turned out these guys were big Allman Brothers fans. They also played songs from The Marshall Tucker Band and 38 Special and of course Lynard Skinner I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were.

Then “Clean Slate” hit the stage. Lights Camera Action! They played almost all of David Bowies’ Ziggy Stardust as well as Mott The Hoople, Lou Reeds Velvet Underground and others. They blew everyones mind.

People danced and mingled as a big bon fire was going on the beach. I got off the truck for awhile and mingled about. As I was walking through the crowd I had three different girls come up to me at different points and say “Are you the guy that threw this party?” “Yeah” all three of them gave me a big kiss. “That makes it all worth it” I thought.

I never got drunk that night. I got a little buzzed but I needed to keep things in control. Not that I could do anything about it if it got out of control but I felt a responsibility. But what was really amazing was the cops never came! Yeah thats right the cops never came. There were no fights. No car accidents or fender benders, nothing. Buy 3:00am everything was over except the clean up. I went to bed and got up around 10am and walked down to the lot to survey the damage and clean up. As I walked down to the lot I noticed no trash along the way no red plastic mugs, cigarette packs or butts. When I got to the lot it looked like nothing ever happened. Nothing! Even the stage was gone. You see back then communities pulled together for parties and disasters.

“View From My Kitchen”

December 28, 2007

The Pier Even as a restorer of some men’s souls, the seashore has less magic than it held until a few short years ago. Seldom nowadays can one seek and find solace and refreshment from a seaside wilderness — that desert of water, sand, and sky where the only sounds are the lazy pounding of a summer surf, the faint rustle of the wind in the dune grasses, and the occasional cry of a tern. No section of our shore is now free from the jeep and the airplane. It is difficult to become attuned to the ancient rhythm of the sea while assailed by rock-and-roll from a portable radio.

Taken from The National Park Service “Pacific Coast Recreation Survey” 1960.

I had been living with my grandmother for about six months and working at Northrup as a fiberglass fabrication technician. I still didn’t have a car and Thelma was my only way to get around and getting around meant going to work and back. Sometimes I would go to the grocery store with her just to break things up a bit. My life was very boring. Sometimes my old surfing friends from the Rock “Antman” and Marcos would come by on the weekend and take me surfing. How I loved those days when I could get out and hang and surf with my buddies. Not to mention the chance to smoke a little weed and drink some Mead Wine from a botta bag.

Then one day we went to Mussel Shoals to surf the pier. Our friend Arby had moved to the coast about a year earlier and was renting a duplex there right on the water. We parked in front of his house and went surfing. The surf was really good and we surfed for about six hours straight. Later that afternoon we were all kicking back on Arbys sun deck watching the other locals getting their wave quota in for the day. Really great surfers like Dan Riley, Mike Reese, and Ross Cave were tearing it up in the late afternoon emerald green waves coming through the pier.

It was then that I thought to myself “I wanna live here, not San Diego, not Huntington Beach, not San Luis, but right here!” Then Arby said something that blew my mind. “Hey if anyone is interested the place down below is going up for rent at the end of the month.” “Really!” I said “Yeah April 1st” “How much?” I asked “$450” said Arby. “It’s got two bedrooms but one is pretty small it has a nice living room and a really cool kitchen with a big picture window looking out at the pier”. I started thinkin.”I have some money saved up but If I moved I would need a car so I could get to work. Plus $450 would be a little tight for one person to swing. If I could split it that would be just fine. Plus I would need to give a first, last and a damage deposit.” Basically I needed a car and a roommate. I told Arby that I was very interested but I had to work some things out. He said “If you want it I need to know within a week and I’ll refer you to the owner.” “Cool, thats fine” I said.

On the way back to grandmas house I was determined to get that house on the beach. The money to pull it all off would completely tap my savings. Especially the car. I would have to buy a cheap transportation vehicle that would get me through the 40 mile round trip to work everyday. Then a few days later when Thelma and I had come home from work, Thelma was going through the mail and said “Looks like you got something, it looks important” “Shit not another legal surprise” I thought. I took the envelope and opened it. It was a check made out to me for $5000. It was a life insurance policy that was from my mother. I felt a tear come to my eye then I started to cry really hard. “What’s wrong Keith?” Thelma asked. I couldn’t speak I handed her the papers and check. It took seven months for my mothers death to finally hit me. “I’ll be darned” she said “What?” I said “I didn’t think they would pay on this because it was a suicide” “Well they did” I said.

I put the check in my bank account with the rest of my savings. I had enough money to move to the beach, buy a nice car and have plenty left over. All I needed was a roommate. I called Antman back on the Rock. “Hey bro whats happening” “nothing how about you?” “Well dude I called to ask you something” What is it?” “Remember when Arby said the unit down below him was going to be available next month?” “Yeah” “How would you like to move in with me and spilt the rent?” “Really” “Yeah really” “Man I’d be stoked to move in there dude, but I don’t have enough dough for the deposit.” “Tell ya what I’ll do. I’ll pay the deposit and you get the smaller bedroom. Deal?” “Fuck yeah bro that sounds great!”

I now had a roommate. The next weekend Antman and I went to Arby’s house to meet the landlord and look at the duplex. It was such a hip California beach pad. I gave them a check for everything and signed a year lease. As we were walking back upstairs to Arby’s place I mentioned that I needed to buy a car. “You looking for a ride bro?” Arby said. “Yeah” I said. Well there’s a guy right around the corner selling a really nice 1969 VW panel bus. You should go over and take a look at it.” I walked around the corner and saw the bus in the guys driveway. It was a very clean yellow VW panel van. I talked to the owner and drove it. I gave him a deposit to hold it for me for one week. I now had a car. Not just a car but a VW van to go to work in and keep my surfboard and gear in. In two weeks I would be living on the beach in Southern California. At age 18 the real “Surfing Lifestyle” was truly just starting.

Now all I had to do was tell my grandmother.

“Grandma Drove a Porsche” conclusion

December 26, 2007

grandmas-porsche.jpgI fought the law and the law won…

Well that holiday is over and New Years is no big deal with me. I’ve always thought of my birthday as a new year of life to plow through.

After I hung up the phone with “The Man” Thelma asked me who it was because a call for me at her house was extremely rare because nobody knew where I was. Except “The Man” “UUuhhh it was just an agent with the Federal Secret Service Department” I tried to make it sound nonchalant but thats hard to do with the words agent, federal and secret. “What! are you in some kinda trouble?” Thelma asked. “Yeah I think I am” “What do you mean you think you are? That was the Federal Secret Service your damn right your in some kind of trouble! So what is it?” “Uuhhhh I think it might have something to due with forgery” I said. “Forgery! what the hell did you do?” When my grandmother said “hell” I knew she was pissed off. “Well about a year ago I received an income tax check in my mailbox for a friend of mine that was fighting in Viet Nam. I held on to it for awhile then one day a buddy came over to my house and we managed to get it cashed at my bank.” OK I spilled the beans to granny. “Why did you do a stupid, idiotic thing like that?” she asked. “Because I was broke and hungry. I think those are two pretty good reasons.” I didn’t tell her about all the beer and weed we bought.”

So what are they going to do come over here and arrest you?” “No they gave me the option of going down to L.A. tomorrow on my own accord” I said. “Well it looks like we are both taking tomorrow off from work then” she said.” I’m sorry grandma but I’m trying to turn my life around” “Well your life might get turned around sooner than you think!” she said to me. “What do you mean by that? “There’s a good chance that you might be going to prison for a stay.” “Fuck! I hadn’t even thought about that yet.

“I didn’t sleep well at all that night. Early the next morning Thelma and I got up early to get ready for my big day in Los Angeles at The Federal Building. It was a beautiful sunny day as we made our way through the morning traffic. I had been thinking about going to prison all night long and I was getting to the where I had resigned myself to the point of accepting my fate. I had imagined how I would deal and cope with prison life with a thousand made up senereos going through my head over and over. I’ll just shut up, lift weights and kick ass if I have to.

We arrived at the Federal Building at 7:40am for my 8 O’clock appointment. Thelma waited in the lobby of the Secret Service Office as I went in to see “The Man” I sat alone in an office not unlike one you would see at a police department. There were men in suits and ties as well as a few uniformed officers around. Then a gentleman in a black suit came out to the room and said “Mr. Keith Miller” “Yes sir” I formally replied. “Come with me.” We went into a stark room used for questioning where another “agent” sat waiting for me at a table. The scene was just like in the movies where they beat the shit out of you. I sat down at the table while the man who brought me in stood behind me. The man at the table started his questioning with “Why don’t you tell me why your here today Mr. Miller” I told him why I thought I was there and I was right. “Do you know you could go to prison for up to five years for this kind of offense?” the agent said “Shit five years!” I thought to myself. “No I didn’t sir””Well Mr. Miller we are going to have to arrest you and put you in the holding cell until later today when we can put your case before a judge” Then they handcuffed me and a uniformed officer took me to my cell. As I was being escorted I said to anyone that was listening. “Hey can somebody tell my grandmother in the lobby what’s going on so she knows.” “We’ll tell your granny” the rookie cop escorting me said with a smart ass attitude.

About an hour later a man that I hadn’t met entered the room where my holding cell was. He said he was a public defender and he told me exactly what to say when I met the judge that afternoon. “When the judge asks you how do you plead say guilty.” he said “But if I say guilty I could go to prison” I said “So you think lying is going to get you out of this? Listen kid you screwed up and they know it. That was a federal income tax check that you forged. Your in the big leagues now.” Fuck I’m up the creek for sure” I thought to myself.

Around 1:30pm I was finally sent to the courtroom to see the judge about my case. I was led into the chambers through a door that came out in the front of the courtroom off to the side. I was in handcuffs and my grandmother was in the courtroom seating. I felt so ashamed for her to see me like that. The judge announced my name and crime then he asked for my plea. “Guilty your honor” I said. “Mr. Miller this is a serious offense I don’t know what you were thinking but I think you know now it was wrong. Because you have no prior criminal record and you are employed and have a place to live I am going to sentence you to three years probation as well as a $1000 dollar fine and you are to pay back James Colton $500 for his income tax refund” he slammed his gavel down.

I was immediately lead back to my holding cell to be released. It’s a very strange feeling when a huge chunk of stress suddenly comes off of you, but I was feeling it then. All I knew was I was not going to prison. I could be good for three years and I had the money for the fines in my bank account. No problem.

I sat in my cell and waited for my release. I waited and I waited and I waited. First an hour then two then three.” What the fuck is going on” I thought. There was no one around to ask and no one was coming back to my area. Finally an officer came back in and I asked him what was going on “Officer I’ve been in here since 2:00p.m. waiting to be released can you find out what the problem is?” I asked “Since 2:00p.m.” he said “Yeah!” “What’s your name? he asked “Keith Miller” “Hold on I’ll go find out.” “Thanks man.” About another half an hour later he came back to my holding cell with the news. “Mr. Miller!” “Yes sir” “Your still under arrest” he said “What! for what!” I yelled. “Apparently you have a traffic ticket that you haven’t payed and it’s gone to warrant.” “FUCK!” I yelled. The officer turned and walked out the door. “WAIT!” I screamed but he didn’t come back. I thought of my poor grandmother out there waiting for me. “She’s out there wondering why I’m not released yet.” Then about another hour later the same officer came back to my cell and said “Mr. Miller your free to go now” as he unlocked my cell. I walked out into the same office that I started this fucked up day in and saw Thelma standing there. “Are you alright?” She asked “Kinda” I said. “Lets go home” “Thats the best thing I’ve heard all day grandma.”

“As we both rode back to Newbury Park in the Camaro I asked Thelma what was going on with her while I was stuck inside the jail. “Well I waited for about two hours and then I asked someone what was going on with your release. They got back to me about an hour later and told me about that ticket you didn’t pay. I asked how much is the bail and they told me $1000 dollars. So I decided to call your Uncle Tom at the District Attorney’s office, he pulled some strings to get you out free and clear.” “Oh yeah uncle Tom” I thought to myself. He had worked his way up through LAPD to an assistant to the District Attorney.

“Thanks grandma” I said with deepest sincerity. “Your welcome. Now do you have anymore surprises?” “UUuuhhhhhh not that I’m aware of.” I half jokingly said. We stopped at Dupars Restaurant in Thousand Oaks on the way home and had dinner. It had been a long day and we both had work tomorrow.

“Grandma Drove a Porsche” part one

December 23, 2007

Grandmas PorscheWe come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow… “Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song”

So according to my calendar today is the first day of winter or the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. Once a very celebrated and mystical day in ancient cultures.

I walked home on that wet and rainy night on New Years Eve thinking about the state of affairs my life was in and I knew I had to do something about it. I was just heading down a dead end road with no direction home, a complete unknown, like a rolling stone. I needed help from someone but who? Who really cared about me? Who would say “come stay with me till you get up on your feet” Then it hit me! But staying with her meant no drugs, no drinking and no weed. Weed is not a drug. Pills and needles are drugs. I would have to be clean and sober if I wanted her help. The more I thought about it the more excited I became, as soon as I got back to my little house on Hillrose I called my grandmother even though it was 12:50a.m.

My Grandmother on my moms side was named Thelma Louise Iddings she was the mother of three children Joyce, Lois, and Dale. My mother was Lois. So my grandmother buried a daughter and I buried a mother just three weeks earlier. My grandmother was a very attractive women of Spanish descent her maiden name being Belardez. She was single but had a regular suitor for several years, a handsome gentleman named George. The two of them traveled and played golf regularly. She lived in Newbury Park California next to Thousand Oaks.

I called information and was able to get my grandmothers phone number and gave her a call. She answered the phone with a groggy “Hello?” “Hi grandma it’s me Keith” I said. “Oh hi Keith how are you is everything OK?” her voice snapped right back into alertness. “Yeah well sorta.” I replied. “What is it?” she said. “Grandma I need to get out of this place. I need to get away from here. It’s not a good place to be. I was wondering if I could stay with you awhile?” “Absolutely. I would love to have you come and stay. I have that extra bedroom, it’s small but you can use it. When do you want to come out?” she said. “Tomorrow?” I said hoping it wasn’t to sudden. “Thats fine I’ll come out and pick you up.” she said. “No I’ll drive out myself” “In what? she said. “In my truck” I replied. “What kind of truck?” “My 48 Ford” “You won’t need it” she said “OK I’ll just leave it here.

“The next morning my grandmother showed up at my place I was packed with just my clothes, some sundries, my surfboard and of course that Indian rug. Now one thing my grandmother loved was nice cars not big luxury cars but sports cars. Cars that were fast. When I was little she had a Porsche SC that I would love to ride in with her. I remember once going somewhere with her on the freeway and she said “This is a very well made car Keith you can tell buy just holding on to the steering wheel and turning it just a little bit” She very lightly turned the wheel from right to left and back again and the car responded to every nudge. “Here you try it” she said. I reached over put my seven year old hand on the wheel and turned it just a little as her Porsche swerved suddenly. “She what I mean?” she said. But now she was driving a 1968 Chevy Camaro SS with a 327 V8 and a factory 4 speed. Instead of European finesse it was American muscle. I put my bags in the back seat and slid my surfboard and the rug into the small trunk and tied them down with some rope. Then with the tail of my surfboard and the rug hanging out the back of my grandmothers Camaro I left Sunland/Tujunga California never ever to return again.

We drove through the valley and got on the Hollywood Freeway to the 101 Freeway westbound all the way out to Newbury park which is just before the Conejo grade drops down into Camarrillo and the Oxnard plain. I was now living only 24 miles away from the ocean less than 30 minutes by car. But I didn’t have a car I left my truck back on “The Rock” which was how I would refer to my old hometown from now on as “The Rock.

“Life at Granny’s was pretty boring the first couple weeks. She went to work I watched daytime TV. Then one day she came home from work and told me she had scheduled a job interview for me. “Really!” I said “Yes really, I’m taking you with me tomorrow morning for an interview.” she said. “Thats great, thanks grandma!” I was really excited about the opportunity to work for Northrup Aviation. A good company with great pay! I went to bed early and got a good nights sleep. I awoke fresh and ready to interview. That morning I rode to work in the Camaro with grandma at the wheel. She dropped me off in front of the Corporate Office, a big concrete and glass building with three very tall flag poles flying three giant flags, the State of California, the United States and one Northrup Corporate flag. The people entering the building were all dressed in suits and ties and the women were wearing dress suits and heals. It was all very formal, conservative and a little intimidating. From the outside it was one of those places that made you think, “I wonder how you get a job in there?” So I walked in wearing my grey corduroy pants and my best button down shirt. I approached the receptionist and gave the name of the person I was to talk to.

One week later I was an employee of Northrup Aviation. I was working in the fiberglass fabrication area. I sanded the excess fiberglass and resin off of parts to be used as air ducts in aircraft. I would stand at a work station in a white suit that covered me from head to toe. I wore a respirator over my nose and mouth with safety glasses covering my eyes and latex gloves on my hands. The sleeves of my suit were also taped around my wrists to keep the fiberglass dust out. For eight hours a day I would sand parts with a hand held rotary electric sander. Despite the protective gear the fiberglass dust still managed to get into any little crack in your armor that it could find. I was itching all the time. But the pay was good and I didn’t have anything else to do so I worked and worked and worked. I offered my grandmother rent but she refused. “You just save your money” she said. So thats what I did I put every dime I made into the bank and pretty soon I had a pretty good lump of money saved up. I was clean, sober, employed and rich.

Then one day after work my grandmother and I were having supper when the phone rang. I answered it and the voice on the other end said in a stern authoritative voice “Am I speaking to Mr. Keith Miller?” “Speaking” I replied. “This is the Federal Secret Service Office in Los Angeles and we would like you to come down to our office for some questioning as soon as possible.” I couldn’t speak for awhile, I was thinking real fast through the rolodex in my head. “What have I done lately that I might be caught for? the voice on the other end of the phone came back, “Do you have any idea what this might be about Mr. Miller?” “Ahhhh, Ahh” and then it hit me like a ton of bricks and the man on the other end new it. “Mr. Miller you can come down tomorrow on your own accord or we can send a car out tonight to bring you in which would you prefer?” “I’ll be down tomorrow morning” I said. “Fine” the man said and he hung up. Now all I had to do was tell my grandmother about some baggage that I had forgotten about.

“A Turning Point” conclusion

November 29, 2007

Spuce I buried my mother on December 11th 1972 I saw all the relatives, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. etc. They all asked me what had I been doin where was I living bla bla bla bla. I really didn’t have anything good to say about myself and so I just sort of faded out of site got into my truck and went back to the shack. I finally got back to my little house on Hillrose street and when I went inside I was shocked! While I was at the funeral someone had taken ketchup and squirted it all over the walls, the bed, the floors everywhere. It looked like blood. I had no idea who did it or why and to this day I don’t know for sure but I have a pretty good idea. That night after I cleaned up the bloody mess I got really fucked up on pills, pot and booze and passed out. The next day I really felt like shit I was really getting tired of taking downers so I decided to clean up, not completely but just stop taking the pills. I was getting strung out and I knew it so I stopped, plain and simple. I kept on smoking pot and drinking my wine but the pills were out. No mas! Sometimes people would stop by and want to hang out but I told them I wanted to be alone. My mothers death was the perfect excuse to keep people away. I was able to have some privacy, reflect and do some serious soul searching.

Christmas came and went uneventfully. I didn’t go anywhere. I stayed home with my good neighbor Kathy. We had some wine and pot and she brought over some ham, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. We fucked. It was a cold, grey, cozy day, I liked it. By the time New Years Eve was here I was feeling alot better. I had been off the pills for a couple weeks and I noticed a marked improvement in my energy level I wanted to do stuff. I wanted to go surfing! For the first time in about a month I decided to throw my board into the back of my truck grab my wetsuit and a towel and head for County Line beach just north of Leo Carrillo. It was winter I didn’t know if there was a swell or not, “this was before internet surf checks” You didn’t know until you got there what the surf was going to be like. That was the reward of going. I knew that County Line broke good in the winter, picking up northwest swells off the top of the reef. When I hit the coast coming out of Kanan Road onto Pacific Coast Highway I saw lines of swell combing the coast and the surface conditions were glassy smooth. As I headed north towards County Line I knew it was going to be really good and I was right! The conditions were perfect the tide was a 1.2 low coming up to about a 3.7 high tide so kinda medium all day. Surface was smooth. Swell 4 to 6 foot and a little inconsistant but there were three to four waves in a set with excellent shape with a relatively lite crowd. I coudn’t get suited up fast enough.

My conditioning was a little weak at first but after about a half hour of paddling I was back to my old self. It’s amazing how fast you bounce back when your young. I had one of the best days ever surfing that day and no one was with me to share it. The day was all mine. Late that afternoon when the winter sun started going down into the blue Pacific I climbed back into my 48 and drove back to Tujunga exhausted and stoked beyond belief.

When I got home I took a hot shower, put some clean clothes on and had an Ultimate Cheesburger and fries that I picked up from Jack In The Box. Then the phone rang it was a girl I knew named Susan, she called to let me know that there was a New Years Eve party on Pinewood Ave. I told her thanks and said I might show up for a little while since Pinewood was only three blocks away. I kicked back smoked a little weed and reflected on my day surfing, nobody in this town had a clue about how spiritual and good for the soul surfing can be. But I did and I liked it that way.

I decided I would walk down to the party on Pinewood and check it out, if it was dead I’d come back home and chill. When I got close to the house I was having a faux deja vu. I’ve been to this house once before. “Oh yeah this is where I met my ex girlfriend Debbie.” “Wow what a trip” I thought to myself “Wouldn’t that be weird if I saw her here again” I thought. You see Debbie had been completely out of my life for about 18 months. Isn’t it strange how you can be really super close to someone and then when you break up you never even see or bump into them. Even if you live in the same town.

I walked up the driveway to this California bungalow and onto the large covered front porch the stereo was playing Crosby Stills and Nash “4+20” I chatted with a few high school mates I hadn’t seen for awhile then walked into the house and got myself a red plastic cup to fill with some keg beer in the kitchen. I got a little spooked when I saw some friends of Debbies that I knew when we were dating, I said “hi” but they didn’t acknowledge me at all, fuckin bitches. I went back into the dimly lit living room and then I saw it! The bean bag chair! The same bean bag chair that I had sat in with my first love. It was scrunched up in an unrecognizable ball stuffed behind a door. I grabbed it and shook it into shape and placed it in the same corner that my girl and I sat in almost three years ago. I sat down in it. It was all just starting to get really, really strange when suddenly Debbie walked in the front door. Boy was I surprised to say the least. I was glad she didn’t see me. She was with another girl but no boyfriend. I watched her walk across the living room to the brightly lit kitchen she looked awesome. Her thick wavey long blond hair was pulled back into a loose french braid with a flower stuck in the back. I still wanted her. “God didn’t we make a good looking couple?”

For about an hour I just looked from the shadows. I had nothing to offer. I had quit high school, she graduated. I was a flunky, stoner, loser. But I surfed. Yes I surfed. I had one of my best days surfing that afternoon. I thought of my day alone at County Line and it brought a big smile to my face! I got bold just before I left the party and walked into the kitchen where she was at, she saw me and looked surprised as she awkwardly blurted out “Hi how are you?” “Good” I said “Real good” “You look like you’ve got some sun” she added “Yeah I went surfing today” “How was it” she asked “Fun” I said “Good, I’m glad you had a good time.” It was then that she along with some other girls went out to the back yard to do whatever. That was the last time I ever saw her again.

It was early and I wasn’t even high, I didn’t even smoke the genuine Tai Stick I brought with me. Remember those little pinners that got you sooo ripped?  So I decided to go home and get a good nights sleep. Then as I started walking down the driveway the sky opened up and it started raining. It was then that I had my epiphany. “Keith why are you here in this town?” “Who are your friends?” “Where are you going?” What is here for you?” “There’s no one to love” “What did that ketchup all over your house mean?” “You need to get out RIGHT NOW!” Happy New Year!

“A Turning Point” part 1

November 20, 2007

spruce1.jpg “Well it’s comin on Christmas their cuttin down the trees their puttin up raindeers and singin songs of joy and peace, oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on…” “Joni Mitchell”

I was moved into my new house on Hillrose street on the first of November when I began to see more and more of my old associates. They were dropping by to hang out and get high. Seems word got out as to where I was living and since I was in a bit nicer place than previous more and more riff raff started showing up. Now I could have just put a stop to all of this but I kinda liked having people, “even the seedy type” drop buy now and then. Then one of my buddies Tracy picked up a very large quantity of pharmaceutical barbituates. Seconal, tuinal, phenobarbitol. On the street they were known as, reds, yellow jackets and rainbows. So for awhile I was just enjoying the ride.

Tracy asked me if I would hold the stash at my house for a few weeks. If I did he would give me a hundred pills every week, so I agreed to let him keep them at my house. I started taking downers everyday. Sometimes I would go to work at the welding shop to weld those sports car luggage racks. I got alot more burns when I was loaded and my production went down. Then one day I got fired for not wearing my safety gear. So once again I was out of work but feeling no pain. People started coming over to my place all the time, getting loaded and passing out all over the place. I had lost control of my invironment. I lived in a loadie crash pad.

Thanksgiving was just around the corner and I got word from a former girlfriend that my mother had moved to Northridge California. “Northridge?” I thought to myself “why Northridge?” Apparently my mother had met another guy named Gary and now she Gary and my three younger siblings were living in Northridge. Northridge is on the very northwest end of the San Fernando Valley it’s crowded and busy almost city like compared to Sunland California. There just isn’t any nature in Northridge.

One of the luxeries that I had acquired by being employed was a landline telephone, “no cells back then” and my mother had some how aquired my number. She called me one night when I was exceptionally loaded she said I was invited to have Thanksgiving diner at the house in Northridge. I was told of this conversation by my friend Kathy the next day because I didn’t remember ever talking to my mother on the phone.

I didn’t really want to go to my mothers for Thanksgiving but I thought “what the heck I’ll give it a try.” I fueled up the old 48 Ford truck and drove the 25 miles out to Northridge to my mothers new house. When I arrived there seemed to be a really weird vibe. It seemed as nobody really cared if I was there or not, you know like they were just shining me on. Maybe it was because the last time I saw my mother it wasn’t the best of experiences. Read “The First Downward Spiral.” So I sat alone in the living room looking at Cosmo magazines while everybody else was outside or in the kitchen. I brought about 10 seconal pills with me because I knew my mom like em once in awhile to relax. I got up from the couch and walked into the kitchen and discreetly gave the pills to my mother and wished her a happy Thanksgiving. I walked out of the house, crossed the street, started my truck, popped a couple of reds and drove back to my crash pad. I didn’t like being there at all. When I got back home I popped another red and took the phone off the hook and plopped down on the sofa closed my eyes and started to get some little rushes. I loved that feeling when the seconal really starts to hit your head. It felt good just to be alone in my house when all of a sudden there was a knock on my front door I yelled “Who is it?” “It’s me Kathy.” Kathy was a really cute brunett that lived next door, she would come over and hang out with me now and then but that was all. “Come in” I said. She walked in wearing a Led Zepplin T-shirt with no bra and hip huggers tucked into some black knee high boots. Her hair was shoulder length with heavy long bangs just barely above her green eyes, she was looking exceptionally hot! “Why are you home? she said “I thought you were going to your moms house today. I saw your truck in the street so I thought I come over to see you.” I told her the whole story about the vibe at my moms house. Then without a word she got down on her knees and leaned over and gave me the most passionate kiss I ever had. She slowly pulled away from me and looked closely at me and said “Keith, I want you to fuck me!” As loaded as I was I didn’t refuse her offer and she was fantastic. She spent the night with me on that Thanksgiving evening I never even missed the turkey. A couple of weeks went by, Kathy and I had a casual easy thing goin on nothing really serious. She was using me and I was using her and that was just fine.

I remember it was December 7th Pearl Harbor Day when I was coming home from the store and I saw my Aunt Joyces car in front of my house. Now if my mother didn’t even know where I was living how did my aunt find out and why was she there. I hadn’t seen her for five years even though we lived in the same town. I pulled up got out of my truck and walked over to her sitting in the drivers seat of her car. She was very distraught. “Hi Aunt Joyce are you allright?” I asked her. “Whats the matter?” She looked at me and could barley get it out “Your mother is dead” she said “What?” was my next reply. “Apparently she’s committed suicide” I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t surprized, I was emotionless. The only thing that bothers me to this day is the fact that she killed herself with the pills that I gave her on Thanksgiving. Is that karma?

I buried my mother at Forest Lawn Cemetary in Burbank California I cried at the funeral but only because everybody else was. Kathy came over to me when I was crying and held me close to her. For a few moments I really thought she was Debbie.