Bit & Pieces, Scraps of Paper

After the Pledge of Allegiance she would read to us."The Three Musketeers" her diction was precise, slightly clipped. With the writing of Dumas and the reading of Miss Welch the clashing of swords filled the whole south west side of Washington grade school. The moans of the cut and slashed drifted in the background and I could feel d'Artangan's back pressed against mine as we fought the real enemies of the King.

The reading stopped. Silence ---several breaths of silence-- and her voice stated."If they would have had the petition process in those times, these men would not have had to risk their lives".

More silence and finally a breath escaped "the initiative petition guards against the Tyranny of the leadership".

Another silence as the words dropped into the center of the brain. And the clashing of swords was again filling the sixth grade room.

At Christmas, a neatly wrapped small gift box appeared on the front of her desk. The tag said "For my favorite teacher" She opened it and took from the box, a safety razor. She held it up for the class to see. Most of the class was red with embarrassment . "This is a nice gift but I prefer not to shave my mustache, will the person who gave this to me, please pick it up and take it home to give to some one who needs it"

It sat on the front of her desk for the rest of the year. Each time you walked to her desk your eyes couldn't avoid it. Miss Welch was a Master Teacher.

Mardel and I went to work for Helen in 1978?. She wanted us to help her since her husband Benny Linn was in San Francisco. He had opened a wholesale showroom for United International. I'm not sure but I think that he had been driven from the house on south Main Street in the Borg. One time when we visited there was a broken, French, gold rimmed, mirror and a broken walnut chair leaning up against the wall. After about a half a year, Mardel asked Mrs. Johanson what happened to the mirror and chair as they just kept leaning up against the wall and Mrs. Johanson said "Ask Helen!" Well that was embarrassing so we didn't.

We were to start a jewelry company, from scratch. We had both had jewelry classes in college but that gave us almost nothing to start with. I thought about it for a week and then started by ordering Jewelry Magazines from the trade. At night at home we would sit and try to design stationary and business cards. I don't remember why, but we fixated on "Venus on the Half Shell" a painting by Bottichelli. We used the face of Venus as seen above for the business card and stationary. Each day Mardel would look at the styles in the trade magazines and circle stuff. I would spend an hour in the mornings calling for catalogs or information from the companies which she circled. The rest of the day I was to figure out how to increase the sales of United International.

Helen had been sending out thousands of copies of a four color catalog which had been photographed in a fancy home in Los Angeles. I built a backdrop to photograph every style of brass container that we made. We did the front and back of six pages. We sent out one page a month to the mailing list in a stamped envelope.We followed up with a letter referring to the big fancy catalog. It worked, sales increased. Specifiers started calling for quotes on custom work.

Then I started looking to find out where the jobbers were selling. Jobbers bought brass and copper pots in smaller quantities and Helen said that they had developed their own individual markets, that we needed to find the customers and sell directly too them. Finally after a lot of dead ends I found the Fireplace and Wood Heat Industry and the Interior Landscape people and started finding ways to enter their publications with a minimum of expense. In six months we acquired 24 of the top 25 Interior Landscape Companies as our customers. Needless to say Helen was happy. She made brass fireplace covers for redevelopers, and the planters for the Chicago Airport. We placed one of her brass planters in every room of the Opryland Hotel.

 Beth Imel & Patricia Smith at Washington Grade School

Lowell Timm remembered them -- Beth and Patricia. They showed up at school and of course were the center of attention as we never had any new kids in our grade and now here were two. They were pretty by what ever standard a male has in grade school. Beth was a blond with budding breasts and knew it. Patricia and her were inseparable. Their fathers both worked on the pipeline. What was the pipeline? I have no idea, except it was going all the way across the United States and these two girls had been following it for years. They had been every where. They had seen everything and done everything worth doing. They also had encapsulated into their brains the concept of "outsider". They watched out for each other and always stood with solidarity against any idea or nuance that might appear from the rest of the kids in my class. For some reason I was most attracted to Beth, but preferred Patricia's company. Patricia had a little bit more daring, willing to get dirty, ready to try most anything and had, what later, when I lived in L.A., I came too know as a wise mouth.

It was the drive to be with Patricia that taught me a lesson of great importance. A lesson which was multilayered, multifaceted, a lesson which I have kept adding information too even until last year. Some lessons seem to be dependent on an initial penetration into the center of the intellectual center. The pathway taken by the initial lesson also lays down a tracer of some kind, that if you are very lucky becomes a beacon, which is used by additional experiences or information accumulation to add, to change, rearrange, to cause some form of restructuring from time to time. I have come to think of it as this little line of Hansel & Gretel bread crumbs, which do not get eaten by the birds, which becomes responsible for the "light bulb" going on, the hair on the back of your neck raising, the click inside your brain which translates into "You better pay real close attention right now". This instant can lead to your greatest wish coming true, to a slow death without any soul transformation, or some other fate which is only known to losers. Any way the longing to be with Patricia (Patty) was a foundation lesson. The lesson took place at a party known as a Box Supper. It took place in Miss Welch our sixth grade teachers room one evening.

At a box supper you bid on a girls lunch. I heard several people say that the green one was "Patty's" so I out bid everyone and it was a different "Patty". A Patty that NO One wanted to sit and eat with. Well I sat and ate with her and my father later told me that I reacted like a man I took what I had coming and smiled.



Car Clubs were very important well at least when you are 18 they are. I was in the Channels, the Ladds, and the Paragons. I think that I actually owned a car when I joined the Ladds. Well my "car" was cited for 32 violations when the cops finally caught up with me on a dead end street. There were so many things wrong that by todays standards it would have been impounded. Tuck Pierce helped me lower the 29 body so that it met the regulators. It had to clear the ground when the tires were flat. I actually skipped school the day that he welded the shell back onto the frame.

It had a three speed transmission and three two barrels carburetors, which when you let off of the gas and then punched it and let off the gas again would blow flames out the air intakes. At night running with no lights it was like a mythological reptile when the fire blew out the air intake against the front window and lit up the road. Connie rode in it and praise be, she pushed it to get it started--she couldn't get the pop the clutch sequence down.

Altic got swats from the Sargent of the Guard ( Chuck Turney) because he was stealing gasoline and wearing his Channels jacket at the same time.

Chuck Turney fought Skip Stroud three times to defend the honor of the Channels. Where are you today Chuck?

The LADDS met in Cave Junction for a reunion.

The LADDS met in Seattle in 2001 for another reunion.

My membership in the Paragons was short. There were some Paragons from a Long Beach City College art class that did striping and car painting & several of those guys had bikes and I was riding the infamous "crazy man's" Triumph. I got a call one night that there had been a shooting at a party in Long Beach and since our president was part of that club that we would not meet until further notice. Most of the Long Beach clubs had dual club memberships which made it hard to understand who was your friend and who wasn't.

The bikes at my big dance were guys from the Paragons.



The big dance. Somehow I got it into my brain that I had to make some fast money. It was probably my "I'm going to hitchhike through Europe" dream that started it all. I knew that somebody made a lot of money on entertainment at least they got my drive-in money and my rock & roll money, and I wanted to get some of everyone else's Friday night cash. I found a place off the beaten track that had a stage and dance floor. Off the beaten path was especially necessary in my mind as if there was trouble I wanted it to be a little bit hidden from the public eye. I had some cards printed up which needed to say nothing. That way I could have advanced sales without any advance publicity as to who, what, or where. With no one except me knowing what was really going on I could raise the odds against some one putting the kabash on the deal and me looking foolish. I dressed up in my West Adams Street suit and went to see the man who rented the "out of the way " location. I had cash for the down payment. I held my finger over the date on my drivers license when I showed it to him as I.D. for the contract. He never asked. I charged a dollar per person. I made two posters --one for a pole at Harvey's Char Boiler and one for McDonalds.

I gave away five dollars worth of tickets which guaranteed me at least forty dollars of paid admissions. A couple of friends put pieces of paper with the admission charge, the date, and the name of the band on bulletin boards at the high school. I had secured the services of the infamous REEFERS BAND. Now a little bit about the band, I do not really remember if they used that name because they sounded better if you smoked a little reefer or if it was because they sounded so good because they were the ones that smoked the reefer. For the intermission entertainment I had two guys from the Paragon Car Club who were mostly into bikes bring their chopped Harleys into the hall and ride them in circles. They simply put one foot down and roared the bikes in circles which had an amazing effect on the windows and walls. Speaking of windows. I was talking to my partner in crime RJ and heard a window break in the men's bath room. A slime ball named Duckbutt came out with his hand in his pocket and RJ pulled the hand out of the pocket and it was all cut and bleeding so I took $35.00 out of Duckbutt;s billfold (all he had) and escorted him to the door. He was going to call the cops and have me arrested for stealing from him blah blah blah. Only one fight and that was Bill Martin hitting a neighbor who lived on the street where the hall was located. Bill hit him three or four times before the neighbor hit the ground. Fastest fists I have ever seen. I paid the band, paid for the window, paid for the hall, and put a few dollars in a few friends pockets and got two hundred into my bank account. At that time $200.00 was about two and a half weeks work at the Ford Motor warehouse in L.A. I made two and 1/2 weeks worth of money in three hours. The real wealth was involved in the fact that it gave my reputation a couple thousand dollars worth of bullshit effect.


I actually got a blue ribbon for a wood carving! My senior year of high school I wanted to go to a vocational school. I had even gone down and toured the facility but my parents were totally against it. So that could only mean that my co-operation my last year would be barely observable. So I ended up with two art classes, swimming, senior problems, and study hall. The one art class was a poster and design class where we did silk screening and made posters and the other was crafts where we could pick a craft and pursue it. I did a couple of drinking vessels out of clay which I carved with strange creatures and then I did a wood carving out of ebony. Not knowing that ebony was one of the hardest carving woods after it has been cut and sat for a little while. The wood carving really almost appeared by itself out of the wood. A magic old man with a humped back.


I was waiting for the train in Newton Kansas in my HIPPIE days. I was standing in the passenger boarding area, obviously, not from Kansas with a long beard and a pony tail. There were a large group of scrubbed, smiling faces, all males about 14 years old standing together. One of the guys had on a Boy Scout shirt. I asked him if he was one or if he just picked the shirt up in a Salvation Army store. "Yes Sir I am a Boy Scout, Troop 349, could I be of assistance to you." I smiled, yes, he was for real. there were still some places left in America where kids were respectful and wanted to be helpful. I answered that I didn't need any help. One of the watchful leaders saw one of his angels talking to a long hair and immediately fearing that I was trying to get the kid into an alley for dope or sex took two quick steps placing his body between the Boy Scout Shirt and me. "What's going on Jimmy" he said to the Boy Scout shirt, never letting his eyes leave my face. "Nothing Mr Brown this man wanted to know if I was a Boy Scout!" I smiled my most lecher-ish smile and said, "You guys are on your way to Philmont, I went there in 1955." 'One of the most amazing things that I have ever done." The leader's eyes said, "What a fucking liar", I continued speaking, "You guys have to go to Porcupine Flats and make sure you climb the seconded highest mountain, you can see all the way to Mexico." I kept right on talking. "It is the maximum place to practice being Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Thrifty ,Brave, Clean and Reverent." "If there would have been a Tattoo Parlor there I would have gotten Philmont Scout Ranch and the names of the guys I hiked with tattooed on my arm all the way down from my shoulder to my wrist." Philmont is better than smoking dope." Philmont set my basic philosophy into stone."

The Scout leaders face was green and there was a lot of fear in his eyes, maybe his Boy Scouts would turn out like I did.


Always wondered if any of these guys understood how lucky we were to be part of this experience?

The height of Society was to get your event covered in the paper. This is another event I do not remember at all. I do remember Shirley Abernathy. I been looking for Chuck Turney off and on for ten years. Heard something about him and some mushrooms in Hawaii, but I think that info came through Buck Michaels. Phil tried to sell me some kind of phone deal a few years ago, he is a retired dentist who quit teeth work to make some real money. I seem to remember that Georgie Cosgrove was actually one of the "Amazing Phantom Dancers" at El Monte Legion Stadium. Sherry Wahl had Mercuricom red hair! Lost track of Pancy Nowers.


A Little Bit of Education 

A guy I met at Long Beach City College, who passed himself off as a musician, wanted to buy a little smoke. He wanted someone to go with him to a bar in Long Beach to make the buy.When we parked across the street from the CORVETTE CLUB in red neon I knew that this was to be one of those moments in my history that would reappear in my mind from time to time and cause me much merriment and also a little bit of pondering.

Only after entering did it dawn on me that this was a Negro bar. Nothing seems to slow up your heart and your mind to a snail pace quite like the instant realization that you are a minority and a long run from home.

A visible minority, no way to blend like I did at dances or at a club fight . John D. MacDonald wrote about a watch that could stop time. Well when a room of Negroes all freeze in mid motion and mid sound and even the loud, Loud, LOUD jukebox seems to have stopped in mid record, you are caught in mid stride and you wonder if the next few minutes will be part of your life or if you are already starting to die. I mean you 've seen Twilight Zone so you know that maybe you are already dead, you just don't know it yet. Two guys backed up against the wall and I was looking for some air to breath standing only two steps inside the front door. The bartender said "Hey" the musician said "Hey" and I found a little air. I recognized the bartender he played football for Long Beach. Sound returned to the room and people started moving slowly.

A few minutes later we were being escorted through a door into a room next door, "a party room" which was in the back of the boarded up storefront west of the CORVETTE CLUB in red neon. It was very private, the door locked behind us. Several guys sitting around a table said "Hey" the musician said "Hey" and we sat down. Across from me at the end of the table was a young black guy in a suit with a skinny tie. We were supposed to test the smoke. Fine with me. I offered to buy a round of drinks. The skinny tie glared at me saying something about "the white devils poison". I smiled and offered to buy a soda. He drew his 95 pounds of body up and with great invective, said quietly, that he "don't take nothing from blue eyed devils". This guy was interesting, he didn't jive or B.S. like the other brothers present and yet he had their respect. I kept trying to strike up a conversation with the skinny tie. No luck. The smoke was passed and Coltrane was soft in the background. The moment mellowed, except the skinny tie passed the joint with out participating. I was really interested. This guy placed himself outside the circle with his actions and yet none of those present said a thing. I tried again to start a conversation. One of the guys sitting across the table said " he's a Mooslem, they don't do nothing fun" In a very level modulated voice the skinny tie spoke, about "the blond haired blue eyed devils, the slave masters, the so called Negroes, the driving of the white devils from the face of the earth", and I realized that my education had just taken a new turn. I was being introduced to Elijah Muhammad, the F.O.I. Mr. Fard and the evolving fish merchants who would in a few years be the target of Henry Kissengers wrath. As the skinny tie talked, he seemed to realize from my questions that I really was interested and not as closed minded as white devils were supposed to be. Before we left he told me to remember "Assalam Aliekum", a greeting which might keep me from being killed, when the removal of the blond haired blue eyed devils started.. A month later Playboy Magazine had an expose on the Nation of Islam, the Black Muslims. That summer Malcolm X showed the L.A. Police what real power was and forty years later I met Robinson 2X one of the leaders of the Nation of Islam Mosque in Los Angeles, at a MacDonalds restaurant for coffee.


In reality it was my intro to Capitalism. I "bought" a job delivering papers for the Council Grove Republican. The money game was quite interesting. One paper cost 3¢. The Republican was a daily so it cost a total of 15¢ per week per customer. You always collected for the previous week on Saturday morning and then you took the money to Don McNeal the guy who ran the paper and you paid him for the papers you would deliver the next week. The route I carried had between 96 and 100 customers. It was a small route. Kalley and Grimmett carried over two hundred. Kalley had the east side north of Main and Grimmett had everywhere else on the east side. I think those guys delivered in the dark in the winter time. Don McNeal got a nickel per customer so that meant that I had to give him $9.60 in order to get papers for five days. It was a pretty good deal because that meant that I got $4.80 every week if all of the customers paid. Don tried to get kids to deliver to the area of town they lived in so that there would be less problems. Like when you would miss a house and they would call the Republican and complain, he would call and you would get up from the dinner table and walk out into the night to the customers house and knock on the door and apologize and hand them a paper.

Now in any system that really works there is some slack. Part of the paper route slack was that you got 3 or 4 free papers per hundred customers so you had no gripes if some one was too lazy to walk out to the end of the porch and see if it was laying on the first step instead of right on the porch, right outside the door. I always threw my extra papers on the porch of non customers to try to get them to start taking the paper. Of course on the night when there was a customer who couldn't find his paper, my father would get rather upset when I took his paper (used) and rolled it up and delivered it to some one else. He couldn't gripe too much because he took credit for getting the job for me and thus thought that his employment fee or finders fee should be a free paper FOREVER. So one of my free papers always went to my parents house. I was told that the little kids that weave carpets in the sweat shops of Asia have to give their parents all of their wages not just a three cent paper!

So when I was told that the regular guy who delivered the paper in my parents side of town (north of Main and west of the Republican), wanted to quit his route, it meant that I had to go with him for a week to learn the houses and then carry the papers for a week and deliver while he walked along and joked to make sure that I knew every house that got a paper by heart and then on two Saturdays I went along on his collection route. Then the big moment came when he would hand over his "cards" like the one above and I would give him $9.60 and he would give it to Mr. McNeal and I was officially in charge of the 96 customers.

The problem came with the idea that he had customers who owed him money for a couple of weeks and he wanted me to pay him so that I could collect those past debts. My father told me to think that over when I talked about it and I came to the conclusion that I had no proof that any money was owed. No one would give a new guy any money for anything except for the immediate service that had been rendered last week. Now my route had mostly people who had good jobs and paid their debts, some of the other guys had some well known dead beats on their routes. I said No to the guy I was buying the route from. He brought it up to Mr. McNeal when I handed over the $9.60. Mr. McNeal said, "Remember, all I do is sell you papers, what you do with them is up to you. If you don't collect in a timely manner that is part of your business, not mine." "Do you want to take the route back and not sell it to Mark?" I was instantly hot all over and embarrassed. I was going to screw myself out of a good deal over some money. But the old paper boy was tired of the paper route business, he had a guy trained and he decided to quit trying to get me to ante up any more money. I was in business. My business associate was Don McNeal, an honest, straight, businessman, a good guy to learn from.

It only took a couple of months to find out about customer relations, customers expectations, and to meet the guys who were never home on Saturday. Several "customers" made it hard for me to collect but only one was impossible. He was into me for a fortune. I knew it would do no good to talk to Mr. McNeal, it was my problem. So I tried mornings before school to catch the man who would not pay. When I mentioned that I was going to this guys house right after Sunday School my father became interested. He asked who it was and I told him. My father said that I was never to think of working on the Lords day again. No more conversation.

Next Saturday my father said he wanted to drive me on my collection route to see what it was like. It went fast being in a car and then we came to the place were the man who would not pay lived. When we got to the compound, (and it was a compound) it had a wooden gate six feet high that a truck could drive through and there were typical junk yard dogs snarling and jumping at the gate when ever I knocked. My father pulled right up to the gate and honked his horn a couple of times and almost immediately the gate opened. This guy in a padded welders cap with about two weeks growth of beard opened the gate and looked out. He smiled. yelled at the dogs and came out to the car, He greeted my father by name and asked him to come in. I followed past the dogs who were waiting for the command to tear me to pieces. He drug a backless chair out of his house and offered it to my father, I sat down on the steps where I could watch for the dogs when they started their charge. The man who would not pay, yelled at the dog --Bongo come over here and make friends. He told me to put my hand out palm upward and let the dog smell it. As the dog smelled me, the man who would not pay said to the dog, harshly "He OK, good man". The dog moved up under my hand and the man who would not pay told me to scratch his ears real slow. The dog licked my hand and lay down. The man who would not pay and my father " had a little drink" and my father talked about an upcoming job that the school district needed done to satisfy some rule about handrails. My dad wanted to know if the man who would not pay could get it done in two weeks and how much would something like that cost. After some more talk my father said that we had to go as I was trying to collect for the Republican. The guy looked at me, He knew what had just happened, I knew what had just happened and he said "How much I owe you? I pulled out my record book and asked for his card, he stepped into the door of his house, pulled it off the wall and handed it to me. Our totals matched, it was $3.30, three dollars and thirty cents, which translated into 22 weeks or 110 papers. The equivalent of 33 comic books, or two sport shirts, or 110 of Kirchoff's giant cinnamon rolls. He went back into the house and came out with a hand full of change that paid the full amount. I thanked him, pocketed the money and petted Bongo's ears.

As we passed through the gate my father turned to him asked if the job could be done faster. The guy smiled and answered "yep sur can".

My father did not charge me a collection fee.As we finished my collection route my father wanted to talk about the man and what I thought about the meeting. I don't remember what I said then but now I realize that I learned that day about the concept of one definition of the word purchase, of leverage. I learned that it is many time who you know, some times it is what you know, and a lot of the time it is what you don't know that builds up bogey men in your mind bogey men who become "the man who will not pay". Oh yea I learned that Capitalism has fixers.



This was another of my lessons on Capitalism. Going to work at Ford Motor Company Parts Warehouse in Los Angeles. I got the job because one of my friends Al Korneff got a job there right after graduating from High School. It was a horrible place to work. They started you out in the box cars unloading automobile parts. You had a checker who was supposed to help you unload. It was expected that each team would do a boxcar and 1/2 per day. If you got body panels you could make it, but gears and ball bearings would almost kill you off with just one boxcar. I of course not having much luck was assigned to "Butch". He was a big muscle bound guy who preferred to sit on his stool and read the most gross totally nude bondage magazines. No matter how much I "hinted" or how hard I worked, Butch sat and I worked. I couldn't do a boxcar and ahalf by myself. I was getting noticed as one who did not keep up with the Plant Managers assumption of a good days work. Finally in exasperation I talked to the union steward, a tall raw bone Okie from Bakersfield named Tate. He didn't say much, so I figured that it would be a couple of weeks and I would be getting fired for not putting out the expected labor. Un known to me Tate watched "Butch" and I for three days and then he walked up and told "Butch that he wasn't pulling his share of the weight. Butch said "fuck u" get away from my work station." Tate smiled his best Okie grin and said "NO" Butch came off of his chair and swung and hit Tate in the head with his fist. Tate dropped his clip board and backed into a crouch, probably trying to clear his head. Butch rushed him and the two of them hit the end of one of the steel shelves that the parts were housed in. There was a steel pipe in the steel shelf and "Butch" grabbed it raised it over his head and brought it down , trying for Tates head. He missed and hit Tates shoulder. I saw Tates arm drop an inch or two. Tate got his other arm around Butches neck and ran him into the steel shelves. "Butch" went too his knees and came up swinging. Tate moved like a cougar back and forth and occasionally his fist would scream out and connect with part of "Butch's" body. The arm on the side where the steel bar had hit was just hanging. Tate stepped back and Butch tried to rush Tate with his head down. Tate stepped to the side and his good arm hit with incredible force behind "Butch's" head and then again and as "Butch hit the floor. Tate's good arm hit again. "Butch" let out a wild pig grunt and Tate stepped back and kicked him in the side several times as "Butch" just grunted. Tate stood still and turned toward the steel shelves, bent over and picked up the steel pipe with his good hand. I hadn't noticed but several of Tates relatives who also also worked at Ford had been watching from a couple of the aisle ways. They came out quickly and grabbed Tate. He just smiled and said "roll him over I just want to talk to him" Butch's face was real bloody and swelling and he was gasping for air. Tate walked up to him and said real quiet like "Butch" you gonna do what's right ? he tapped the side of Butches head with the pipe. "Butch" moaned "uhhhhh" "uhhhh" Tate tuned to his cousin and said "put this in my locker I might need it one of these days."

Tate's collar bone was fractured. "Butch" had broken ribs, stitches in his face and didn't come to work for a week. When he came back Tate would walk by with his arm in a sling every once in a while just to see if "Butch" was pulling his own weight.

So what does this say about Capitalism? Capitalism always needs a fixer and sometimes an arbitrator or an equalizer to keep the system out of the control of the rich and/or the powerful who prefer to sit around and earn money with out pulling their own weight.

I actually spent a lot of time attending sporting events. My father seemed to enjoy the contest of wills.
Athletics was exciting, but after I graduated from High School I probably attended no more than a dozen athletic contests all total.
As can be seen from the activity pass for Long Beach City College, not one number is punched.
Once I got to college, athletics just had no attraction. Watch sports on T.V.? You got to be kidding.
Who wants to watch some little dolls run around on a T. V. screen?

So why does anyone keep ticket stubs to Drive-in Theaters? I have no idea, they were just in the bottom of the box. It was fun to try and decipher which Drive-ins they were. The West Coast at $1.75 was probably a walk-in. I went with Connie Hineman to walk-ins several times and she lived in Long Beach. The Circle Drive-in was also in Long Beach. The Rosecrans was the one I went to the most often. Usually a dollar a car load on Saturday night. The three stubs for the Rosecrans was one night when I took two girls at the same time. I wanted to remember that. Now the Chief Drive-In was in Council Grove Kansas. Six of us in a car and that was one summer when we went back for a visit. The six were Myself, my sisters and the McNeal kids.

The Pink ticket with a $6.00 admission was to see the play "Luther". I was attending California Lutheran College and took theater as an elective. The teacher made arrangements through a friend of hers and we got in for a discount. The stage sets were changed by the actors, which was a new innovation at that time. I think that -------- was the actor.

It is the one legitimate theater performance I have seen and it was fabulous.

I do not know what the "Keep This Coupon" was for but I did what it said.


The Cathay Circle was to see Little Richard and Bo Didley --yes for $3.50 each. Langs parking lot was for a Beatnik Poetry readings in Venice. The Huntington Beach parking ticket involved a real strange night with Jocko and two women we picked up at Harvey's. I was doing him a favor and it almost landed us in jail. I was so bored that I made the mistake of letting the woman drive the car and she drove with the ocean on her right side for an hour or more while I slept which means that we were not going towards home but towards Tijuana. When she finally stopped, in front of a closed liquor store a cop pulled up and accused us of getting ready to break into the Liquor store. Yes I had a sledge hammer and crow bar in the trunk

One of the Hollywood Bowl tickets was with Pat Kroener who I met at church camp. She was a student at Earl Warren High and probably one of the most picture perfect females I ever went out with. Dick Clark was introducing musicians and for some strange reason Cliffton Chenier was on the bill and the Isley Bros. Pat took me my first coffee house which was The Unicorn later it became Whiskey-A-Go-Go's. Lennie Bruce was in charge that night.That one event opened a big door for me and I was soon driving to Hollywood to Cosmo's Alley, ______________, __________ and later to Positano's.

So there were also tickets for travel. Bus tickets when I was hitchhiking and couldn't get a ride through a city. $48.35 pesos to go from the Mexican border to Tampico one Easter vacation. I hitched to the border and met two other adventurous Bethany College students in Matamores where we stayed in a motel with a pool and met a couple of young girls who invited us to attend the movie with them that night. The chaperone was knock dead gorgeous and more our age. She hated Gringos and sat between the girls and the boys.

In Tampico we got off of the bus and went into a very small bar which had a pee trough running around the bar. I ordered wine which was warm , Fred ordered Tequila and McKean ordered a beer. The door was open and a Federale walked in, looked at us smiled and ordered without a word just by holding up two fingers. The bartender brought Tequila - a double. The Police officer went through the ritual and downed the Tequila with one gulp. He brought the glass down rather hard on to the top of the bar. Looked at us as if to say I like trouble makers and I hope you are some. I raised my wine in salute. He smiled and walked out of the bar.

The Washington D.C. ticket was for the night that Muhammad Ali fought in Madison Square Gardens. A guy talked all night on the bus about how he just got to his seat in the Gardens and the fight was over! I hitched to NY, bus to Washington D.C. Hitched to K.C. tried to hitch to Chanute, KS. to see my relatives while Jerry Stec visited with his aunt & uncle in K.C.

I got stuck in Dallas on the way to Mexico and took a bus through. I walked to the back of the bus and sat down. After riding for a couple of minutes it dawned on me that I was the only white face in the back. The bus driver had his eyes glued to the rear view mirror as he drove. People got on and off and I got a lot of stares of incredulity. I finally asked a guy across the aisle "Am I in the wrong place?" He smiled and said " Not as far as I'm concerned. "

A few minutes later I told the same black guy that I could feel the weight of the people staring and he said Oh that aint you that's JFK We went right through Daley Plaza and it was very eerie.The hair on the back of my neck was standing up and all I wanted was to get out of Big D.






Reel Education It was only a matter of time before I was in a "Coffee House" and found a flyer for one of the small movie houses in the Hollywood area. The Cinema, the Rivera-Capri and the Coronet. The Coronet was listed as the Coronet Film Museum. I was told that a Jewish couple had escaped from Europe with a lot of film and that was the basis of the Coronets collection. I know that I saw some incredible images of Hitler giving speeches where he would end up screaming "Seig Heiling" while the drums reverberated off the walls of the stadium. The drummers were in sync at maximum speed. The people in the audience appeared totally enthralled and yes that is the correct word. ENTHRALLED.

There was an evening of WWII cartoons, there were both German and U.S. cartoons. They let one see the total propaganda of countries at war, even the film industry and the old axiom "That the first casualty is always truth," is driven home forever. Years later while attending Bethany Lutheran College I got to listen to a Mrs. Sergio who was in the Italian Information Service serving Mussolini's regime. She told about leaving Italy because she saw what the Black Shirts were actually doing and she said that with in three weeks of arriving in the United States as a former enemy of ours she was hard at work in the United States Information Service. It was these movies and her speech that brought home the fact that Education and Propaganda should be approached in the same manner, Cautiously!

I took my oldest sister Marcia with me to see a lot of the movies, as I thought she would benefit and to be brutally honest, most of the girls I dated from DSHS were intellectually shallow. Those Downey girls with the intellectual ability to benefit from an evening of questioning consensus opinion, did not have the critical thinking skills to keep their mind in abeyance long enough to allow expansion. The drive home was a real treat because, my sister had many different perspectives from mine and many times noticed things that I had glossed over in the movie. We saw "Animal Farm" "La Strada""Battleship Potemkin" Mifuni in "Magnificent Seven" "Strike" by Eisenstein, Fritz Lang's "M" with Peter Lorre. The entrance fee was $1.00 and the theater was never full. There was free popcorn, and a lot of very interesting people in the audience to watch and eavesdrop on.

This was from the Cinema Threatre which had Midnight movies. Which meant that one could go to one of the other Art houses and then catch the Midnight movie at the Cinema.

Looking back at that experience brings up some interesting thoughts. All of these movies are available on DVD's now, so, why don't I check out some of the ones I have not seen and watch them? Was it the fact that it took extra will to borrow the car, drive 15 miles, dress so that I looked old enough to get in, and then there was the scarcity of the material at that time. No more than dozen "art" houses in L. A. and most were into "The Green Door" and other sexual movies rather than those pushing thought processes and visual forms of protest. Is it scarcity that piques the interest. Is it only that which exists out of the mainstream that attracts my attention?

This has a multitude of disparate thoughts attached to it. These are the tags from the "Hope Chest". Among my friends the "Hope Chest" was something they only talked about when they wanted to see me get real mad, real fast. It was maple and bought from Wallers one of the better furniture stores in Downey. I do not remember the actually beginning of the concept of buying the "Hope Chest". It is still rather embarrassing to contemplate the fact that I actually spent one weeks work at Ford Motor Company on a piece of furniture that I gave to a 16 year old girl. With all of my personal opinion that I have always been rather grown up and adult like, this is direct proof that I was a dumb ass kid at 18. The "Hope Chest" was a gift to my first love. I do not know what that statement actually means. The love affair was never consummated. We fought all of the time. Our personal ideas were actually oil and water, not like oil and water, but actually oil and water. I really liked her mother and her oldest brother. Why out of all of the hundreds of girls I had dates with, I fixated on this one draws into conflict any ideas of logical, educated, behavior. I can make a good argument for the configuration of the planets, or the intoxification of inhaling to much of the scent of night blooming Cereus being the impetus. One close friend said that he thought this laison showed irrevokablly, that I actually have a very well hidden streak of masochism. A self flagellation, need to be tortured, and demeaned.


"KALI -Keep Alive and Listen In, beamed on the airways from the front window of FLASH's RECORD SHOP at Vernon and Central". It was Huggy Boy calling us down to one of the best collections of Jazz and Blues Vinyl in Los Angeles. In all of the trips to Flash's I never got killed, stabbed or even mugged by the so called Negros.



Radio was important when you spent five to six hours cruising around every night of the week. Art Labboe, Hunter Hancock, Dick Hugg, Montigue, they all sold records or pushed the "Reeaally Big Dance and Show this Saturday" night. I never went to the 54 Ball Room as it was just too much of a chance to find trouble. The stairs from street level was always filled with guys hanging out.


 The Wolf Man from Via Cuna Qualo Mexico could be picked up at Harveys Char Broiler on Lakewood in Downey and all the way across New Mexico and Arizona.

Humphrys Harmony House sold "oldies" on Lakewood across from the cemetery where the Highway Hobos had a wake for one of their members.

At Auction City there was the most well built blond woman ever --who sold B.B.King and Little Willie John records. Next door was where I bought my Sir Guy shirts. The owner and his wife showed me the tattoos on their wrists from the German concentration camp were they were held.


I had a poster and design class my last year of high school. These are two cards that I did for that class.It was years later that the perfect title for the card on the right showed up. I attended a presentation by various college professors who each read a famous protest speech to investigate the over all totality of the concept of Protest, there was Portia's speech, John Browns last words before being hung, but the one that real got to me was the E.E.Cummings poem "Ode to Ole" and the phrase "there is just some shit I won't eat"

The Wild New Year card of course shows some of the beatnik influence from hanging out at coffee houses in Hollywood. Both of these were linoleum cuts, We also did some silk screening.

This class was the one that my old partner RJ was in and so was Suzy. She had this thing about coming back to the desk where RJ was sitting and stepping in between his legs and smiling which caused the blood pressure of every other male in the room to jump through the roof. She would flounce her breasts, and fluff her hair, and RJ would just sit their and try to look unaffected by this pure mating ritual. The teacher was livid but as long as none of the "rules" were broken there was nothing she would do. No contact, I mean that was what made the ritual so HOT - was NO Contact.

Fishing was one of the relaxing things that my father liked to do. We went to Rosarita Beach , Mexico, and we went deep sea fishing, usually on the other side of Catalina. We hit an Albacore run twice. W e also bottom fished on a half day boat north of Catalina. The best trip was when my mother's Aunt Amy came to California to visit. She stayed up all night watching the Bullfights on UHF television. When my dad asked if she wanted to go Ocean fishing she never hesitated. It was well known that she like to pond fish in Kansas so for her to try the Pacific Ocean pond was a real deal. She really pulled in a lot of fish and ended up winning the money pot for the biggest fish caught all day. She was nearly eighty years old and was so tired she slept on the drive home. Hell she shingled her barn by herself when she was 86.

 This photo was taken on the way to Rosita Beach Mexico to go fishing with my father. Rosita Beach was a wide spot in the road. There was a group of "tourist" cabins, probably built in the 1940's. Next door was a big dance hall and bar. We surf fished until dark on Friday and most of the day on Saturday. The fishing was poor. Saturday night the dance hall filled to over flowing and the Mexican guitars and horns were unbelievable. A lot of people who worked hard all week showed up to have a little fun. We watched the dancing until I almost fell asleep.

I heard that it is a real nice beach city now. I probably wouldn't like it.


This is one of the two Albacore we caught off the coast of Long Beach on a full day fishing boat.
This was the first year that we lived in Los Angeles

Another place we went fishing was at Panguitch Lake in Utah. We caught so many fish there, that my father got blisters on his hands from cleaning them. It was north of the area the polygamist Mormon sects call home. I knew about them but had no desire to

go see them. We went to the movies in the town of Panguitch Lake it was a typical small town with a very small walk in movie. Saw some cowboy movie I think. The next time we went fishing, we went into town to go to the movie, but it was closed because some cowboy had thrown a boot through the movie screen. Probably didn't like Gene Autry.


I first found the Hoo Doo stuff at the Botica Guadalupana in San Antonio. I was doing my time in the Army and since the predominate minority in San Antonio was Mexicans that is where I was digging around. I found the Gypsies and the trailer camps they lived in. Visited the Hispanic Pentecostal Church to see if the Holy Spirit descended the same as in the Saturday Night services at the Army base. The Pharmacist at the Botica was very straight forward with me he told me of the cures, of the Curando's and he gave me the educated school approach about the stuff he had for sale in the back corner of the drug store. He had beautiful multicolored humming bird skins for sale. The wonderful cures that could be brought about with the use of these bird skins were responsible for rapidly depleting the species in Mexico.

I sold Valmor products for several years in the TOMTEGUBBE GALLERY in the middle of Kansas.

I met this guy at Long Beach City College in Donates painting class. He and his lady were going to Australia after he got his Associates degree. They had found out that immigrants could get title to land under some type of homestead act and so they were going to immigrate together seperately and then get married in Australia. That way they would get twice as much land. He told me about a dance down on West Adams. Myself and a young lovely ascended the stairs above the liquor store, paid $2.00 and entered the hall. The band was from Africa (for real). It was a very interesting evening, the music, the dancing, and the fact that the young lovely who accompanied me could not get over us being the only Anglos. Her fear was real and unwarranted in my opinion. The relentless terror in her eyes helped to conclude our relationship. The guy from Long Beach got hung up else where and so did me a favor by helping me see my choice of women more succinctly.

or should it have been

I am fascinated by the people in this photo.

What happened to Gary Barrons?

Connie Rea?

Fred Bammes?

Red Van Fossen?

Hazel Furman?

Larry Graham?

Why wasn't Shirley Avery in this picture?

Who else was missing the day this was taken?



I am fascinated by what I remember about each and everyone of these persons. I am fascinated by the economic inequities that many of these kids had to overcome. Then there are the semiotics. Only two guys with ties. What did they have in common. Two of the girls are wearing dresses with sleeves.

Fascinated comes from Latin for fascinare - a spell or - fascinum which indicates the addition of evil - it is always the male ending.



 As you can see from where the money was spent my chickens ate real well. 58 chickens cost $5.50 . The reality was that they charged $1.10 per dozen for newly hatched chicks and they either screwed me or miss counted so I ended up two short. We built a cage with a cover and put a light on all night to keep them a little warm. The cage was in the garage which had a dirt floor. I still wonder why the rats didn't get any. I fed and watered them everyday, until the day came to turn them into a product. My sisters were out in the back yard, which turned into a massacre in their eyes.

My father started me off showing me how to "whip" their heads off which didn't work to well for me or the chickens. So it was the hatchet and a block of wood. They kept moving their heads but finally I got on to it how to kill a chicken and without cutting any of my own fingers off. Soon there were a half dozen chickens running around with their heads cut off, and blood spurting out of the neck where the head used to be attached. My sisters were screaming about their "favorite" chicken and the headless chickens seemed to run right into the area where my sisters were jumping up and down screaming. I tried to concentrate on making each swing of the hatchet count. My father was standing holding six or eight chickens and trying to hand me one at a time. I would miss one and it would run off flapping its wings terrified by the death and shounting surrounding it.

A very similar scene was repeated in one of John Nichols novels.

I also had to pluck the feathers and cut the chicken into frying parts, memorize the names of the different types of chickens. I even washed the feathers and made a feather pillow. Used the manure for the garden. For all the work I got a merit badge, a piece of cloth about one and one half inch in diameter to wear as part of my uniform.

Ten years later I met a guy who killed chickens for a living.


















Marv and I decided to go see the beatniks in San Francisco. He borrowed the Ladds treasury (which he publically admitted to forty years later at a reunion of the club). We hitched to Yosemite where we lived by stealing food from campers at night. We lived on an island in the middle of the "river". Saw a Japanese guy get mauled by a bear. It happened so fast that it was over in less time than it takes to read these two sentences.
Ater a week we left the mountains for the Bay. Slept the first night in a park. Then we stayed in a hotel that the Chinese owned. The next door residents argued all night in Chinese. It is funny how I laid their almost all night long tryng to understand something that was said by the loud irrate voices. Most of the places where anything was happening served liquor and we were under 21. We got in to a couple of places for a little while. Heard some poetry and some jazz. Listened to a lot of talk on the streets too. The North Beach area was totally taken over by the beatniks. They were a Tour Bus attraction. We found the City Lights Bookstore where I bought Howl and something by Ferlingetti. I spent almost one whole day at City Lights, just trying to get the whole melew of books on subjects foreign to my mind to stick a little bit.

We ate very little, mostly Chinese as I remember. Got some free soup from some people who fed the street people every night.
One memorable event happened on the way to San Francisco. We were standing in the hot sun by the side of the road and an old Mexican guy and his wife gave us a ride in an old car that only ran about 40 miles an hour. They were moving from one fruit picking job, I think it was grapes, to the apple orchards in Sacramento. Absolutely dirt poor Mexican stoop labor and they insisted on sharing their meger meal as we drove along. We offered a couple of dollars for gas money, but they refused.

After a week of seeing San Francisco we hitched back to L.A. My father treated me differently when I got home. He had said some harsh words when I left. Like never come back! But, I had to go and it was the first good decision I made. Marv was a dependable guy to hitch with and it was a very easy first attempt at being on my own.

It helped to set the idea of Europe, which took place 2 1/2 years later.

P.S. I just sold an eight page poetry book I bought in S.F. on that trip. I got almost $100.00 a page for a $1.75 investment. It will only happen once as I wasn't smart enough to buy two of them.