Posts Tagged ‘Santabarbara’

Routine Maintenance

March 31, 2011

Every so often I’ll throw in a diversion short story thats just got to get out. This is one of those. First let me preface this by telling my dear reader that I am now a chauffeur driving the wealthy and super wealthy to their destinations.

Picked up a family in Montecito last night at their double gated hilltop mansion overlooking the blue Pacific. I’m driving the black “limo van” because as it turns out I’m taking a family of 4 and two other guest to be picked up on the way in Brentwood all going to LAX to catch a flight. The youngest child a boy about 11 or 12 asked to sit shotgun. Sure dude, come on up” I say. All the way to Brentwood this little shit is telling me about how many gas stations his dad owns. “He used to own USA Gasoline till he sold it for $48 million and bought his own refinery. Now he owns the gas and the gas stations.” blurted the little dweeb. Soon we arrived in Brentwood to pick up the other guests who were waiting at one of dads gas stations. Jr. went to the back of the van. Then Mom moved to shotgun.

Much younger than dad which was no surprise, but still an attractive fading rose Mom starts with phone calls. Oh hello Madeline, Oh yes we will be staying in the Lesser Antilles up in the north island for a couple of weeks then we will be departing for Tuscany. Yes we will be staying in the Alps as well. Oh did I tell you? My Porshe Panamera was delivered to me last week. Well I don’t think I really like the color, I thought it was going to be a little more off-white.”

As we begin to enter the airport Mom gets off the phone and says to me “We are flying Air Tran are you familiar with them?” “Yes they are at terminal three.” I tell her. “Well we have never flown Air Tran. You see we were going to use our own jet but it came up for a routine maintenance schedule. We found out that it needed a part that we could not have installed in time so now we are forced to take this Air Tran airlines. I looked at her and simply said, “I just hate it when that happens.”

“Rights of Passage” conclusion

November 8, 2007

passage-ending.jpg…and the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids, and you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses, how his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing. “Cream” “Tales of Brave Ulysses”

Marco’s and I were stoked to finally be at our destination in one piece with no mishaps or weirdos on our hitch hike adventure to Jalama beach. Our ride dropped us off at the far north side of the beach park near the small Jalama Store where they sold basic camping and fishing supplies, as well as grilled burgers and fries. We dropped our gear and filled our canteens with water from the drinking fountain. No bottled water back then. “Which way dude?” I said to Marcos. “North.” said Marcos “Not many people go north of the creek and the trestle, besides the waves at that little rivermouth can get pretty good sometimes.” We picked up our gear walked out on the sand and started our 1 mile hike north to our “own” campground. You see Marcos and I were penny-less so we couldn’t stay in the park campgrounds even if we wanted to. Not having money can really make things exciting and adventurous!

The wind was howling hard as we strained to hold on to our surfboards as we walked headlong into the stinging sand hitting our faces. We needed to find some kind of shelter from this nasty wind. Maybe a little southeast facing nook or better yet a cave. We kept walking looking for a spot, we finally found a small little crack of a canyon and walked up into it to test its “wind sheltering qualities.” It was pretty good but not perfect. Our camp had to be wind proof. How could we smoke that hashish if the wind kept blowing out our “supply” of matches? We had a dilemma. Marcos was a seasoned camper, survivalist and naturalist he was to earn a Masters degree in horticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo later in life. So what does he pull out of his backpack, but a 6′ by 8′ nylon swatch of lightweight military parachute. “I thought we could use this as a makeshift tent.” he said “Awesome!” I said. We started to comb the beach for stones and driftwood to secure and prop our parachute, the wind was still howling.

Our first attempt to put up the “tent” in that wind didn’t succeed. We needed complete blockage, like a fuckin brick wall. “We need to go underground.” Marcos said, “Huh” I responded. “Yeah we need to dig a trench and fortify it with rocks and driftwood and then cover it with the chute.” “Good idea” I said. Marcos was digging the trench while I went looking for better pieces of wood. I ventured up into the little canyon and low and behold I found a pile of old railroad tyes thrown from the tracks up on the hill. “Dude come here look what I found its perfect! we dug our hole about four feet deep and stacked the tyes up along three of the walls, the fourth wall was our entry. We covered the pit with the chute and tested it out. It worked like a charm.The only time a match went out was when we blew it out.

The wind blew hard for three days straight. We didn’t surf. We gathered firewood, continued to strengthen and improve our sand floored dwelling, we explored the coast, and of course got high. Our food consisted of stretchers like rice and beans, pasta, peanut butter and honey, Ritz Crackers, popcorn, canned veggies, granola and dried fruits. No refrigerated stuff and no meat. Just healthy food actually.

The fourth day dawned still and quite like earthquake weather in California. All we could here were the waves breaking on the beach. We walked south of our camp and surfed the rivermouth. The waves were small but fun clean peaks. It felt good to rinse those first three days of sand out of all the nooks and crannies. The ocean was our bath tub. It was a beautiful sunny blue day and all we did was surf and hang at the hut and surf some more. We lived like this for days and weeks until we started, “running out of food.”

After about two weeks into our adventure, we were bronzed, weathered, bleached, lean, fit and hungry as hell. By that time we were starting to live on rationed portions. The reason we didn’t want to leave was the fact that a really good swell was starting to fill in and we wanted the surf more than food. We ate one tablespoon of granola and one tablespoon of honey three times a day with water. We surfed all day. On the third day of this “diet” we were sitting hunched over on a sand dune watching the waves, we saw a girl sitting on a towel in her bikini looking over at us, probably because we were looking over at her. We weren’t looking at her because she was smokin hot, but because she was peeling an orange. That juicy vitamin C filled, mouth watering, scurvy curing orange. Then for some reason she offered us half. Like little sand crabs we scurried over to get our offerings. It was the best three wedges of orange I ever tasted.

That evening Marcos and I were seriously considering going home due to the lack of food. Maybe one more day but that was it. When suddenly we heard voices in the distance. Not many people came up this far from the campgrounds unless they were hiking or fishing, especially this late in the afternoon. We poked our heads out of our hut and in the distance we saw Marco’s Mom and Dad and his little brother coming up the beach! “Wow it’s your parents!” I said to Marcos.The first things we started to think were, there gonna tell us we have to go back with them, there pissed off about something, or there’s a family emergency.” NO to all of the above. They came to see how we were doing and asked us to come down to the campgrounds for supper!” We had the most incredible barbecued burgers and potato salad, corn on the cob with butter and strawberry rhubarb pie with milk. Marks folks left that evening, and they left us with another weeks worth of food. How awesome is that! We walked back to our hut in the dark. I couldn’t help but think about how lucky Marcos was to have a mom and dad like that. I got a little teary eyed to myself in the dark.

A week went by, the swell got insanely good, we surfed hard everyday. Then one day the surf went flat and the food was low again. It was time to head back to “Sunland California.” We were ready. We packed our gear, walked back through the campgrounds and stuck out our thumbs heading south. Despite our shabby weathered appearance we got back into our little town in four rides in one day, phenomenal!

When I finally got home and I walked up my driveway to this drama ridden, God forsaken, heartache excuse of a home, I felt a heavy heart. The whole time that I was up at Jalama I never thought of my mother, of my breakup with Debbie or anything negative. Now I was back in the fucking real world with summer coming to an end and my senior year in high school coming up. My sister told me to call Debbie apparently she was worried about me and wanted to talk. I gave her a call.

“Rights of Passage” part 2

November 8, 2007

passage-part-2.jpg…”I wanna live my life in the rivers and trees, I wanna spend my time just making ryhme and be free… and be free… and be free…” Loggins & Messina

After Marcos and I climbed back up onto the 101 highway from our little surf session at Emma Wood beach we felt refreshed and invigorated. “Lets break off a piece of that hash” said Marcos “Sounds good” I replied. We lightly heated a small corner of our “Hashy Hershy Bar” and a nice little chunk softened and fell off into our small little pipe. I took a good hit while Marcos swirled the match above the black chunk keeping it perfectly heated. I did the same for him. We finished it off and stuck out our thumbs on a sunny summer afternoon heading north on “High” way 101. The ocean to our right and the RR tracks and mountains to our left. It was perfect.

We got a ride by some cowboy in his pickup truck. He was going to Lopoc which was just past the road to Jalama Beach we threw our boards and gear into the back of his truck and headed up the coast. “Where you guys goin?” he asked “Jalama” we both said back “Where did you hitch hike from?” “Sunland” “Where?” “Sunland” I said back. “Where the hell is that?” the cowboy asked. “About 120 miles southeast of here” “Oh you mean LA” our driver said. “Yeah LA” I said, I didn’t feel like getting specific with him. “Thats a long way especially with them surfboards” “Yeah but it’s worth it” I said.

We reached the small two lane ranch road off of highway 1 that curves through the rolling hills to the beach at dusk. The cowboy dropped us off with a warning. “If in you guys are gonna stay out here tonight you better find a good spot to hide off on the side of the road.
Alot of weird ass shit has happened out here. There’s alot of crazy motherfuckers out here in these parts.” “Thanks man” Marcos said. And our cowboy drove of into the sunset. “Dude sounded like he was from Texas or somethin” I mumbled.

Since it was getting dark we decided to sleep out in the cattle pasture under an oak tree. We thew down our sleeping bags and pulled out the “Hashy Hershy Bar” for a night cap. It was pitch dark out. We did the usual smoking ritual and lay-ed down to go to sleep. We were both just about into dreamland when we heard a car engine in the distance. It wasn’t on the paved road but on a dirt road within the ranch’s property. “I wonder what there doin out here” I said to Marcos. “I don’t know” he said. We could see the headlights of the vehicle, it was about 200 yards away. Not real close but still kinda strange, especially after what our cowboy friend had told us. We watched and listened, you could hear the doors close and voices mumbling. Then we heard a gunshot! “What the fuck!” “Shit!” We froze stiff and watched. The trucked doors closed and the engine started and they drove off. “What the hell was that all about?” I asked Marcos. “I think we just saw someone get wasted” he said. We didn’t know what to do. There were no cars, no houses, no cell phones back then, nothing. We decided to stay put and be quite. We slept very, very lightly that night. The next morning at dawn I walked about a 2 thirds of the way to where that truck had been the night before to see if there was a body. Nothing. Marcos yelled “Hey we got a ride!” and was waving me back to the roadside. I raced back glad that I didn’t find anything.

The road into Jalama is a winding two lane road through hills, valleys and small canyons dotted with a few ranches. Classic California cattle country. The last hill you climb takes you to the crest with a panoramic view of the blue Pacific Ocean and a long white sand beach down below. This is Jalama Beach. This was going to be home for three weeks

“Rights of Passage” part 1

November 8, 2007

passage-part-1.jpg “I got a baby’s brain and an old man’s heart took eighteen years just to get this far,
Don’t always know what I’m talkin’ about feels like I’m livin’ in the middle of doubt… “Eighteen” Alice Cooper

The summer of my break up with Debbie was just one big bummer of a summer. It was all I could do to just surf and get stoned. My buddy Marcos and I got to be pretty tight friends. Marcos was about a year older than me. He spent alot of his childhood growing up near the water in Vero Beach Florida. A shaggy brown haired blue eyed kid Marcos was the best surfer I knew, he even made his own surfboards. I met Marcos hitch hiking to school one morning. He picked me up in his VW squareback with surfboard racks on it, “wow I wonder if this guy surfs?” I thought as I got into the car. As I climbed in the smell and the smoke of some fine herb was wafting through the early morning sunlight shining through the windshield of his wagon. Marcos had just lit up a nicely twisted joint, “Care for some?” he asked. “Thank you very much.” I said as I took a nice deep pull off the spliff. “Whats your name?” I asked as I gave him back the joint. “Marcos” he retorted “Keith” I volunteered. “You going to school?” Marcos asked. “Yeah, you?” “Yeah later today, I go to Pierce College in the valley.” “I noticed the surf racks on your car, do you surf?” “All the time.” Marcos said. “So do I.”
“Really? you wanna go this weekend? Marcos asked. “Yeah!” I’d love to go” We became close friends, and still are to this very day.

Later that summer of the big breakup, Marcos and I were just hanging out at my house doing nothing when I proposed an idea. Marco’s car was in the shop for a major engine rebuild. I didn’t have a car and neither of us were working. But we did have a little bit of cash between us from other clandestine investments. “Lets go on an adventure” I said. “Where?” “Jalama Beach! lets get as much food as we can from or moms and take our boards and hitch hike to Jalama Beach!” “You mean just pack up and hit it?” “We’re not doing anything else” I said. Now Jalama Beach was about 195 miles away. It’s located around the corner from Point Conception about 55 miles north of Santa Barbara. It’s a very magical place and the surf can get unreal. We had taken some surf/camping trips up there before and always scored good waves. “Lets do it!” said Marcos “We’ll leave in two days!” I said.

The next day I called Marco’s and told him I knew where I could get some hashish to take along on our trip. We pooled our money together and I was able to get an once of some black hash marbled with opium. It was about the size of a Hershy Bar and it had a decorative stamp on the top of the “bar” This stuff was exotic. We smoked some the night before leaving and got really stoned. We were very happy with our purchase, even if it did take all the money we had. The next day our back packs were stuffed, our boards were ready, the pipe was filled and we had no money. That morning we stuck our thumbs out on Foothill Blvd.

We made our way out of the valley and into Newbury Park California at around 2:00pm. We got stuck at Ventu Park Road for 18 hours and were finally picked up the following morning and taken all the way to Emma Wood State beach just north of Ventura. We dropped our gear on the sand and even though the surf wasn’t that good we threw our trunks on and surfed for about an hour. The water, the sun, the salt air, “wash my blues away mother ocean.” When we got out we rinsed off under the camp showers, grabbed our gear and walked back to Highway 101, then we started making our way to Santa Barbara. To be continued..