”A few days later Carroll and I went down to what was once the place I lived. I went inside and grabbed my clothes, a few photos, my two guitars, my other surfboard and I said goodby to La Conchita and the single life.
It wasn’t to long that Carroll and I settled into the lifestyle of a young couple working and pooling our resouces together to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. I was able to buy a car from my friend Steve Padroni who lived at Rincon Point. It was a blue 1968 Rambler American station wagon with a six cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. It also came with a big bright orange bumper sticker that said “NATIVE CALIFORNIANS UNITE” I loved this car it was the perfect surfing vehicle. I continued working at the Plastic Factory. I was working three 12 hour days with four days off. I was also busy one night a week mopping and polishing the floors at Casa Ayala. This allowed me to eat there whenever for free.
Carroll and I had been living in her apartment for about two months under the guise that I was looking for my own place. Which I kinda was. I had checked with a few people in town that were renting rooms or small studios. But whenever I brought these up to Carroll she would get all teary eyed and sad and ask me why I wanted to leave. “Well basically your parents don’t like our arrangement” I told her. “I know” she said “They don’t like the idea of us ”Living in Sin” “OK then I’m looking for my own place so we arn’t living in sin and then your parents won’t be on our case” “Do you really want your own place?” she asked me “Well to be perfectly honest I could live with you forever if your parents didn’t mind.” Really? forever?” “Yeah probably” I said. ”Then lets get married” Gulp! “It would be just like we are now but legal and then my parents would be happy.” “Maybe we could look for our own little place and get out of my apartment.” The wheels in my brain began to turn all the positives and negatives, you know weighing things out. “Humm maybe we could find a little house on or near the water. Do I really think I can make a long term commit… fuck long term, you mean a fuckin lifetime commitment to one women. That was the hard one. ” I don’t know Carroll that’s a really big step I gotta think about it.“ “Whats there to think about don’t you love me?” Whoa! now we’re throwing that word out on the table. It had suddenly occurred to me that I had never said “I love you” to her. She had me pinned down with her marriage proposal and the “don’t you love me” thing, a one two punch to the soul. “Of course I do baby” I blurted out. “But let me think about this and I’ll get back to you OK?” “OK” she harrumphed. We didn’t talk much that evening, I was doing some serious soul searching. But I still thought she was hot!
A week later we were engaged to be married and the planning began in earnest. Carrolls parents were elated to marry their first daughter and they were going to spare no expense. Then about two weeks before our wedding day we found our dream house. We had heard from a friend that a small cottage located on Bates Road was available for rent. Bates Road is a small two lane coastal canyon road that follows Rincon Creek back up into the avocado and citrus infested coastal mountains. It’s the divide between Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. The small wooden bungalow was located right at the mouth of the canyon on the side of a small hill. It was lush with vegetation like a jungle and all you had to do was walk down to the point to ride world class waves. I was sooo stoked to get that place. I knew this marriage thing was a good idea. We were to move in one week before our wedding day.
The days and weeks flew by and before you knew it the big day was upon us. We got married in the historic Santa Barbara Mission and held the reception at Rockie Nook Park just around the corner. It was just another typical lavish wedding. If you’ve been to one you’ve been to them all. The best part was coming home to our little house on Bates Road.