California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 3 – Big Night Out In Atlanta

Things were good. Frank and I were chilling at his Aunt’s house in Atlanta and enjoying our time reconnecting. But I was itching to get back on the road. Frank’s Uncle came to visit and said he wanted to take us out. I’m fresh out of the nest at 19 and Frank is a world traveler at 21, so we’re down for anything. I can’t believe how many Irish people have relatives and friends scattered all over the globe.

The first place we go to is this cool country bar. We’re drinking beers and eating food and all is right with the world. This guy comes out, sits on a stool and plays original songs. I remember him being really good. It was a good warm up to the night ahead.

Then his uncle says he’s taking us somewhere else.

I’ve been to Baltimore and Washington DC, but not really anywhere else. I lived with my parents before this. This is the furthest I’ve ever been away from home in my life. I’m happy I have Frank with me, because he’s my security. I’m just a scared musician with anxiety and depression I barely even know I have. My mom made me three square meal a day my whole life. I have no clue as to what the world is.

Travel is so broadening. The world is such a bigger package than most people ever realize. All you know is your little world. But I know this journey is going to fundamentally change me. It’s something that has to happen. Leaving home was hard enough. I was terrified traveling all of that way by myself. None of my friends are doing anything like this. Just me. I’m different. I’m not but I know at that moment I’m different from all of them. I’ve always walked among them but never really joined them. This trip is proof of that. I have to learn to crawl towards the things that frighten me. Frank has no problem with anything. He’s a solid, bright guy. I’m just a skinny nothing. I don’t want to go to college like my sister Janice. I just want to go out into the world and find out who the hell I am.

Maybe music will carry me forth.

I just needed to get away from the dead-end existence of living in Wildwood. That’s a fun place in the summer, but nowhere to raise your kids if they’re from a major city. The winter is and empty desolate place where most of the people who live there are business owners that make a nice living and they spoil their children. The kids grow up in wealth but are bored out of their minds. I saw more drug abuse and teen pregnancy in that town than when I was back in Philly growing up.

Do I love that I got to spend every summer in the 70’s at the shore? Damn straight. It was amazing! Nobody on my block got to do that. Only us. So it set us apart from our neighbors in Lawndale. We didn’t care. We didn’t know. We were just kids. It’s something we just looked forward to and did every summer.

But Janice going off to college and me having to take my senior year at Wildwood High was just some self-serving selfish shit on the part of my father. But I’ve covered that already.

I’m happy to be on the road and free of the trappings of my parents existence. I’m sure Janice had her own awakening at college and so did little Gabrielle. We all made our way in different ways.

I’m here to be open and brave.

Here we go.

Frank’s uncle takes us to a place called the Pussycat Lounge. I don’t know what that is but it sounds sexy.

We go in and there are naked women dancing onstage.

My brain explodes.

I had never experienced anything like this in my life. I’ve heard about it and seen scenes like this in a movie but never the real thing. Back then I was still wet behind the ears. It was fascinating to see naked women before my eyes. Getting out in the world was an exciting adventure. They didn’t have anything like that anywhere I grew up. In between the girls dancing, there was this comedian that would come out and tell dirty jokes. He was really funny. Normally it takes a lot to make me laugh, but this dude killed.

Frank, his uncle and I had a great night out. I was still reeling from seeing that many naked girls standing right in front of me that night. When you’re young, and you see something like that for the first time it has incredible euphoric power.

I slept well that night and was still excited about what was next in the coming days.

 

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Kellie – Mormon Date

Years ago I asked this cute hostess for her number one day when I went out to lunch.

I called her a couple days later and she sounded confused. She asks me if I live in Utah. Strange. Apparently the area code is very similar to my phone number. She says she’s in Utah with her friends. I thought that was strange since it was mid-week and I had just seen her two days before. She tells me she’s going away for a Mormon retreat.

(Strike one.)

She calls me back a few days later when she’s back home. She’s a student working two jobs so she’s busy, but we arrange a date. The day of she cancels because she finds out she has to work. So we get to talking more.. she asks how old I am. I was 24… she says “Oh good, that’ll make my Mom happy” and I ask how old she is. “How old do you think I am??” Great.. that’s not good. I tell her she looks like 21-22 and she says she’s 18.

(Strike two!)

So I ask why her Mom would be happy that I’m so much older and she says the last guy she dated was 30-something. O…K… We arrange to meet the following Sunday.

She calls me a few days later. Tells me she got sent home from work because she looks sickly. She has a herpes sore that has erupted.

(Strike three!)

This isn’t good. She’s also complained about the kind of crap high schoolers complain about (parents, living at home, stupid friends). But.. at this point I might as well go through with it.

The day before the date she tells me “So I’m Mormon and I take it seriously, and one of the things is we don’t spend money on Sunday. I’m a stickler for it too.” I’m thinking cheap date! I’m also thinking. what in the hell are we going to do?? I can’t take her to dinner.. or to a movie.. or out for a drink. What happens if I need to stop for gas? Sheesh!

At this point.. why am I doing this? She’s 18, Mormon, has herpes, and we can’t go anywhere so that pretty much precludes anything good happening. But. we’ve dragged it out for two weeks, I might as well have the experience.

On Sunday I go to her house and knock on the door. This super young-looking girl answers and I’m thinking shit!!! I really underestimated her age!!

It’s her 14-year-old sister. Which gives way to meeting her parents. Awkward. Hi. I’m not going to rape and pillage your hot daughter because she’s Mormon and won’t allow it.

Finally she comes downstairs. She’s really good-looking, but looks really young when she’s not in her work clothes. We drive to the beach and walk around for a few hours. Turns out she’s a little wild.. likes riding motorcycles.. got herpes from an older guy with a motorcycle. But she complains about the kind of high school crap you don’t want to listen to when you’re my age. Then she tells me her feet are tired and she’d like to do something else. We’re in her hood so I ask her for suggestions, since it has to be free. The best she could come up with was watching a movie at her house. With her parents hawking over us? Yeah.. I don’t think so. I drive back to her house and walk her to her door. Who happens to be there?

Her pastor! So I get to meet her pastor. Good god! This is just a first date!

It wasn’t an awful experience.. but it just kept getting worse before the date.

 

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California Dreamin’ -1982 to 1984 – Chapter 1 – The Idea

Back in 1982, I left New Jersey in my ’69 Volkswagen mini bus for Los Angeles. I’ll tell the whole story of that journey at some point, but I wanted to intro a new series that tells some of my interesting dating and social interactions while out in California. I was only 19 years old when I left, so these stories come from a younger man’s life. We got up to some wild shit back then.

These stories contain a bit more sexually explosive content so beware fair readers.

We were young, in a band and living in L.A. What could happen?

It was a long time ago but some of these tales are worth telling.

I’ll kick it off with this one.

 

I was sitting in a little tavern with my friend Bill in North Wildwood back in the summer of ’81. It’s a nice little beer and shot neighborhood bar. Woody’s is located at 19th and New Jersey Ave. It took me a moment to remember the name and location. It was a good lunch spot and also cool to hang out at night if you wanted to stay away from the club scene.

I met Bill working on Hunt’s Pier. It’s an old amusement pier on the boardwalk. I worked on The Golden Nugget Mine Ride, which was an old roller coaster enclosed in what looked like a big old western type mine. People road in little mine cars through the ride and stuff popped out of the darkness to shock and surprise them. It’s been torn down for many years but I have so many wonderful memories to write about regarding this period of my life. I can still smell the grease of the chain that carried the mine cars to the roof of the building.

Bill worked one of the games at the front of the pier. I don’t remember how we met, but we became good friends because at the time he was the funniest guy I had ever met. We hung out outside work and Bill was just so funny to be around. Usually I’m supplying the laughs but he just had a quick wit and I loved that about him. Bill wanted to go to California and become “the next Robert DeNiro” at the end of the summer season.

I tell him I want to go to California and become a metal god. (guy that plays hard rock and metal in a band) I suggest we save our earnings and go out together. He agrees.

I was a young naïve teenager back then and fell hard for people I met. We talked all about how great it would be when we got to L.A. and became stars. We did this most of the summer.

At some point I remember my dad chatting with Bill about our plan. I had him over to meet my Dad because I was so taken with my funny amazing new friend. My Pop has a lot of experience with people.

My Dad later told me that it sounded like Bill, was a bit of a feather merchant. Someone who could attach himself to me to get a free ride out to L.A. He also said that the stories Bill had told him about things he did and said back home in South Philly, and my Dad felt those stories didn’t wash. He also felt that Bill wasn’t really saving any money for this trip that I had already saved a thousand dollars for.

Well I think somehow Bill caught wind of what my dad was feeling. (Just looking out for my best interest) and got pissed off.  I remember him saying how he really hated my father and the trip was off.

I was crushed. I loved Bill and it was like he was breaking up with me. But as I write this now, I know my Dad was right about him. Bill’s pride was hurt, he was kind of a blowhard, and he hadn’t saved any money all summer. This was his immature boy’s way out.

But all was not lost. There was another guy I worked with on the ride. Frank. He was from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was studying law and taking a year or two off to travel and have fun before he entered law school in London. We worked together every night on the ride and became good friends.

I remember telling Frank what had happened with Bill, and he said he’d go to California with me. He was going down to Florida with some of his mates in October and they were just going to work there for a bit. Irish people can get jobs like crazy. Great people! He said that he’d be coming up to stay with his Aunt and cousin in Atlanta after the holidays. So we started to plan for that. I was happy to be going with Frank, because I liked him and knew he was trustworthy and reliable.

I never really saw or spoke to Bill ever again. Not that I hated him or anything. We just lost touch after the incident and I guess he went back to South Philly.

But I was excited that the trip to Cali was still on!

 

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You’re Twice As Likely To Get Divorced If These 7 Things Are True

https://va.topbuzz.com/s/veSy

 

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Cherie – Chapter 41 – Wish Upon A Star

Happily, it has only been a week since I saw Cherie. She says she wants to come down on Sunday for a few hours. I finish at the salon at 4pm. She says she can get there around 5pm. I ask her when she has to leave and she tells me that she’ll probably head back home around 8pm.

Perfect.

She also tells me she’s on her period and I’m thrilled. I love Cherie. I really do, but lately with our schedules and all of the time apart, when we’re together it’s really just felt like booty call after booty call. I love our sex. That shit is FIRE! But I miss the dating and romance we once had. I mean, we still have it but we haven’t had any time to do anything other than have sex because of limited time constraints and just our raw need for each other.

Priorities, man!

So I look to see what movies are playing and there is one I think she’ll like at 5:50 at the Riverview Theater down on Columbus Blvd. I find a movie. It’s called, Wish Upon. It’s a horror movie and Cherie loves horror.

So I head home after work and clean up, change my shirt and get the AC on in my house.

Baby arrives on time and tells me she’s parked the Alpha Romeo down the street at 18th and Pine. I turn off my AC and scamper down there. I hop in and her AC in the car is frosty! The weather’s been so hot lately it’s a welcome relief.

I’m so happy to see her. She looks amazing. I immediately kiss her. She seems happy too. Her skin looks gorgeous and her lips are ripe. Her hair is all long braids of gold, copper and ebony.

Hot as shit!

I GPS our way down to the theater. The drive gives us a chance to catch up a bit on all the stuff that’s been happening with her life. School, work, son, family. She says she and her whole family are going to Japan to visit her brother and his wife. Her brother works in Navy Intelligence, so we don’t know what he does really. But I’m really happy for her and her son and her family.

I bring her up to speed on my stuff, Trish busted for cocaine and fired, going out drinking with Jill and Jill getting kicked out of her halfway house because of Trish. Also fired. Then Monster Mike stealing money from the salon and we fire him, and now it’s just down to me and Achilles. Because at least we know the only two people left are at least dependable and trustworthy! I tell her about the Ghost concert and that whole fiasco, but other than that I’m gushing about how happy I am to see her and that we’re going on a proper date.

We get there and there is tons of parking under I-95. I remind her that we parked under here for our first movie date. She remembers how we smooched in the car on that cold November day last year.

We head in, get the tickets, and go directly to hour theater. It’s small but there aren’t many people in the 5:50 show on a Saturday in the summer. We’re about 10 minutes early so there are loads of commercials playing on the screen, and then another 15 minutes of trailers for all the idiots who can’t get to the movies on time. The film begins and there is cuddling, caressing, hand holding and a little necking.

Now this is what I’m talking about. I miss this part of our relationship. Normally in every other relationship I’ve ever been in, it’s like a bummer when your girl is on her period. But I rejoice in my girlfriend’s menstrual cycle! We actually get to go on a fun date for a change. I tell her we must do more of this.

Check out the trailer:

 

Pretty awesome, right? We both really enjoyed this film. I really recommend it. It’s got some really suspenseful scenes and also some good scares. What I find funny about it, the main character gets this magic box that grants 7 wishes. But because she’s in high school she wishes for a bunch of high school girl stuff. It’s great! If you like scary movies with a cool story, you should see it.

After the film we head back to the car. It has started to rain a little bit, but we’ve never minded the rain. Just like on our very first date! We run under the freeway to where all of the cars are parked. and hop into the Alpha and smooch a bit. I love Cherie so much. She seems to be managing her life better lately. She was really going through a rough patch for about a month or so there. But everything seems to be back on track and my chill, sweet soul sister is back.

She drives me back to my place and I tell her how much I’ve enjoyed today and how we have to keep doing this.

She wholeheartedly agrees.

“Drive carefully dear, and text me when you get home so I know your safe.”

“I will. I’ll be careful.”

“I Love you, Cherie.”

“Love you more.”

She smiles and off she goes.

 

 

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Wildwood Daze – 1980 – I’ve Had It With This Town

I love the summer. I’ve been dropped here against my will by some other person. My father. I have no control over my life. I have to go to school at a new school as a stranger. I know you have a problem with my dissatisfaction and depression.

I excel in school and start a band. I thrive in this shit hole you’ve dropped me off with no concept of how that will break your son’s spirit.

Janice is off in college so you’re good. If anything is of kilter your going to lose your shit and that is me.

What did you think was going to happen?

Let’s rip the 17-year-old son from all of his friends and his band from Philly and drop him off in Wildwood, New Jersey. A retirement and resort town the you already know is a deathtrap for young people.

You dropped out of high school to get away from this hell hole. You joined the army rather than turn to crime at 17. You fucking asshole that I love.

I get it. I worked in banking just like you for 30 years. You were making a bunch of bad loans at the Provident in Philly and got out when the getting was good.

You retreated to NJ. your little safe haven to escape, but you never thought of what that would do to the children in your life.

The little ones were fine. April and Gabby didnt;t know any better. But I was a senior in high school. I never got to graduate with my friends at Frankford in Philly. I had a band. You destroyed that for your little escape plan.

But what was that. You replicated your life in NJ as the regional manager at First Fidelity Bank. You’re a great manager and a great man. But you really have a taste for some of your employees, man.

I remember telling you about a girl I met once how I was in a relationship and I told you about how I had feelings for her.

You said, “Why don’t you just move on her”

I said: “Because that would be wrong. I’d be cheating on my girlfriend and that would betray her trust in me.”

You were pleased and happy with my answer.

I knew it.. because you could never be that. I could see it in your eyes you were relived that I wasn’t like you in that respect.

That respect.

Bitch, please.

If you’re unhappy in your liffe, divorce mom and just send the check and leave us the fuck alone. Then you can bag Jennifer Sweeten or as you call her “sweet meat” all you want until her husband finds out.

You’ll figure it out.

 

You and your brother Jack were dropped off here after your parents divorced. Nobody got divorced back then.

Why the hell would you think it was a good idea to drop me off in this shit hole?

Wildwood is a glistening sand castle of magical fun and romance in the summer… and then it turns into a bleak shroud of dark depression where there is nothing going on in the winter. It is a desolate hole of isolation that is impossible for a teenager to escape.

Here I am. I know you and there is a part of you that is me. Some great. Some awful. But you have the chore of raising the shitty you and now the shitty son you don’t understand who is too much like your brother Jack.

So if there were any questions as to why Chaz wanted to load up the ’69 Volkswagen minibus and drive across the country to go live in sunny California let’s put all of that to rest right now.

I love you, you selfish, self-serving prick.

I really do.

Thank you for teaching me to read. Thank you for all of the books. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for teaching me to ride a bike. Thank you for teaching me how to catch a fish. Thank you for teaching me to drive a car. Thank you for teaching me about wine, art, and literature and film. Thank you for teaching me about women. (To an extent) Thank you for everything.

I’m not going to mention all of the bad stuff here.

All ready did some of that.

 

Time to load of the 69 VW minibus and head to California.

 

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6 Urban Legends That Actually Came True

I thought this was interesting so I thought I’d share.

Enjoy!

http://www.cracked.com/article_25219_6-horrifying-urban-legends-that-actually-came-true.html