Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1977 – El Morro Motel

It had been the worst year of my young life. I was 14 going on 15 years old. But Junior High at Fels was finally over and I was at the shore for the summer in Wildwood. I was basically what my father called a Prisoner of Love. That meant limited time out. You don’t get rewarded with a bunch of fun and free time after having such a shitty school year. I think if some of the bullying laws were in place back then like they are now maybe I wouldn’t have had such a horrible time in school.

When a child is being abused at school and at home you just can’t concentrate in school. I was a smart kid, but I hated my life and didn’t want to apply myself like my more compliant and solid sister Janice.

My father was going to keep me busy all summer doing chores around the house. First of which was to scrub all of the rust off of all of the bicycles. The salt air oxidizes all things metal at the shore. It was going to be a horrible arduous task.

I was walking down 10th street one day with my friend Dominic. We were probably coming from our favorite arcade, Botto’s. We were nearly to the corner of 10th and Ocean ave. It was a warm day in June. That corner property was the El Morro Motel. It was a cute classic seashore motel. (That’s the best pic I could find of it, but that’s the genuine article)

On the door to the office was a Help Wanted sign for a poolboy. I went in and applied. I had never had a job before and didn’t even know how to go about it. But I went in and spoke to the owner. He told me to fill out a little application, and come back with signed working papers. I think you need that if you’re under the age of 18. (Maybe 16?)

My skin was clearing up in the summer sun and sea. My top braces had been taken off, and I didn’t need to wear my glasses all of the time. So I was emerging from puberty as an okay looking boy. I felt a little more human.

I go home and tell my parents. My mom said we’d go to the local city hall and get the necessary forms. But when my father found out he was overjoyed. That’s all it took. This was the beginning of my teenage years getting better. No more prison time, I was treated better, and especially no rust scrubbing job for me. This was actually the turning point for me as a young man.

I got the job and started that Monday morning at 7am.  I made $40 a week. But for a 14-year-old kid in 1977, that was serious money. I was living on $5 a week allowance from my mom and doing fine. Comic books were 20 cents back then so for a buck you could get five! A slice of pizza was fifty cents and a soda was a quarter. Pinball was twenty-five cents for three games. So five bucks went a long way back then. The rest of the time we were on the beach playing. That was summer back then.

I go in and the owner is there to show me how to do the job. I thought I’d be skimming the pool and what not, I had no idea what a job was but I actually had a somewhat complex job description. Pool Boy sounds like a nothing job but here is what I did all morning at the El Morro Motel.

Bring out all of the cushions for the lounge chairs around the pool. Empty and clean all of the ashtrays between each one. Sweep around the pool area. Mix the cleaning agent in a bucket and scrub all of the tiles around the entire pool above the water’s surface. Skim the bugs and detritus off the surface of the water. Hook up the aqua vacuum and clean the bottom and walls of the pool under the water. Check the PH balance of the water in the pool and add chlorine as necessary. Clean the baby pool the same way you clean the big pool. Sweep up around the hotel in front of the rooms. Vacuum the Astroturf on the second floor outside the rooms. Empty and clean all of the ashtrays in front of every motel room. Sweep the walkways, and pick up any trash around the parking lot. Then come back at night around 7pm and bring in all of the cushions from the lounge chairs around the pool. Take out the trash cans every week. So basically Pool Boy means entire motel maintenance crew!

Around 11am I would finish and punch out. This was my favorite time of the day. I would smoke a cigarette. (Fuckin’ punk I was) Then I would go back home two blocks away. Best part was, my mom would still be at the beach with the girls. Janice would be working over at Russo’s Market, so she wouldn’t be home, and like I said, my mom wouldn’t be back to the house with little April and Gabrielle until noon. So there was only one thing to do.

Put the album Aerosmith “Rocks” on my dad’s stereo and crank that shit up and play air guitar and pretend I was in a rock band and chicks were screaming my name. It was glorious. Girls hated me in junior high because I basically looked and acted like a leper, but a boy can dream for a half hour alone in his house.

So things were looking up for me. As long as I got up every morning and went to work and behaved myself, I was in the black with my parents.

Life was good. But it was about to become wonderful…

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Sun Stories – Lara – 2016 to Present- Tinderella

How did I match up with a 19-year-old girl?

Here’s a little tale about a hot baby that comes into the salon. She’s got long raven hair, light eyes, and a slamming little body on her. She’s 19 years of age and goes to Temple University. She always wears black, but it just makes her look darker and more mysterious.

She comes in pretty regularly before Spring Break. She wants to get her base tan built up so when she goes away she won’t burn.

She’s attractive and sweet, and sometimes looks a little stoned when she comes in, but that somehow makes her lovely eyes more limpid. I chat with her regularly, and last year I saw her quite often.

But one day she comes in and we’re chatting, and I feel like I know her from somewhere else. But I can’t quite figure out where. Facebook? Instagram? Maybe. We’re not friends, and don’t have any friends in common so that’s not a thing.

I search my memory to try to remember where I know her or have seen her before, but I can’t think of anything. Maybe I’m just in love with her soft beauty and I’m creating all of this in my mind.

That weekend, I’m lying in bed, looking at all of my past contacts on Tinder to see if I can resurrect a lost connection and get a date. Then I suddenly come upon a woman I matched with named Lara. Oh God, It’s her! How did I match up with a 19-year-old girl? Why would she swipe right? I’m obviously too old for her. She’s younger than my daughter! On Tinder she says she’s 22. It doesn’t make sense. I swipe right on everybody that comes up, just for the sheer numbers and stories.

The next time Lara comes in I decide to take a chance. One of our rules is no dating the customers. I will never break that rule, and there is no way Lara wants me. I mean, she may be looking for a sugar daddy, and for that I would almost pay to sleep with her, but I digress.

But I have to find out.

When she comes out from the room, she comes by the counter and asks if she has any tans left. I tell her she’s out. Lara’s fine with that because she tells me she’s going on Spring Break anyway Friday. I whip out my phone and pull up Tinder and start swiping through her pictures.

“Now we’ve all made mistakes, and swiped right when we obviously should have swiped left. I’ve done it myself, Lara. But is that you?”

I turn the phone to her and swipe through her pics on Tinder.

She’s alarmed but not upset. (Probably too stoned)

“Don’t be embarrassed, we all make mistakes, Lara.”

“I have a weird thing. Age doesn’t matter to me.”

Her words shocked me, and I thought she has to be a sugar baby and worlds are colliding right now.

“Don’t worry about it, Lara.”

I don’t know why I just didn’t ask her if she made “arrangements.” She had to go and before she left, she asked, “What’s your name again?”

I told her. I’m sure she wants to go look for my profile on Tinder to see what’s up. She’ll probably unmatch and delete me out of sheer embarrassment.

Later I go into Tinder and text her the following message: “Hello, Lara. Please don’t be embarrassed, it’s (my name) from the salon. If you’d like to chat, that would be fine. No expectations.”

Crickets.

————————————————————-

So a year goes by and it’s March and Spring Break is once again upon us. We’ve moved the salon and people are beginning to trickle in. But, because we just got here, there are only 3 beds currently operating. One stand up unit, and the two premium beds.

When sweet baby Lara comes in and wants to tan, I remember her name of course and chat with her a bit. I thank her for returning to us for her tan. She is surprised I remember her name after all of this time, but I tell her she must have made a favorable impression on me.

“That and we have a little history.” she says.

I know she’s eluding to the Tinder match! So exciting!

“And we share the same birthday, Lara. August 9th!” (NOT a bold-faced lie for once!)

Of course her birth year is ’97 and mine is ’62.

“Oh my god, we’re both Leos! I can’t believe it.” she exclaims.

She doesn’t know that we’re putting everybody in any bed available just to maintain a level of service. No matter if they have the basic, all access, or premium package, we’re just tanning them in anything we can. So when I put Lara in the best unit in the house, she thinks I’m doing something special for her because I like her.

I do like her but she doesn’t need to know that everybody’s getting what she’s getting. She doesn’t know where to throw her little towel that we’ve provided so she just hands it to me. But before she does, she wipes her nose with it. I don’t say anything and simply toss it into the small hamper behind me.

She thanks me for the best tanning experience and off she goes.

——————————————————————

The next time she came in was the day before she was to fly to Florida for Spring Break. She was literally my last client of the night. But when I go to send her into a bed to tan I see that her package has run out. She’s out of tanning sessions!

Lara gets upset and asks how much it is for one tan. I tell her $17 and she’s shocked. She then asks if there is anything I can do.

Now at this point I know that some of you may be thinking and this story will take a dark turn.

“How much cash do you have?”

Digs through her purse. “Seven bucks.”

I make a face.

“I’ll give you two cigarettes.”

“Four.”

“Okay, Four. Here. Now can I tan?”

“Yes. Go back to room 6.”

I watch her as she strolls back to the tanning booth and closes the door behind her. I put the four cigarettes into my pack. I then pull out my wallet, and grab a ten-dollar bill and ring up the $17.00 single session. I put the money in the drawer. Legitimate sale completed. (You didn’t think I was going to barter a tan for sex did you?)

Then I hear her call my name.

“Yes Lara?”

“My phone is nearly dead. Can I hand it out to you so you can charge it for me, please?”

“Sure. Put it into airplane mode so it’ll charge twice as fast, Lara.”

I walk back to the room and she opens the door. She has her forearm and hand across her bare breasts covering herself. She looks me right in the eyes. Then with her other hand she passed the phone and charger out to me. She smiles and closes the door. That little minx!

So a nice little glimpse that I’m sure was an additional little tip for my service. My heart is pounding as I walk back to the counter and plug-in her phone. I grab a little cloth and wipe off the phone and clean it up nice for her.

When her tanning session is complete, she emerges from the room looking radiant.

“Thank you sooo much for everything you’ve done for me!”

I give her the phone and we even laugh about the Tinder incident.

“I’m not embarrassed about anything” she says.

She seems high. She hands me her sweaty towel like last time instead of dropping it in the hamper.

“Oh… sorry. Is that gross?” she says looking at the spent towel in my hand.

“No, Lara. It’s not gross. What’s gross is when you first wiped your nose off with it before handing it to me last time.”

She looks mortified. “Oh my god. Did I do that? I’m so sorry.”

“I’m just kidding, Lara. That didn’t happen.”

She cracks up and we have a nice laugh about it.

“Okay, well I’m headed to Florida tomorrow. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.”

She leans in and gives me a hug and a kiss, I hug her back and somehow my lips end up kissing her hair. She smells lovely and I’m feeling giddy.

She heads downstairs, and I watch as she disappears out the door into the night.

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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My Family – Lorelei – 11/17/1996 to Present – The Apple of My Eye

When I began writing this story, I thought I would only cover certain topics. Mainly, my life in Philadelphia over the last ten years. The focus of Phicklephilly is romance and dating. But while on this journey, I realized my life is rich with so many other great characters, I should add them to the Phicklephilly universe.

So let me introduce you to my lovely daughter Lorelei. She turned 20 years old two months ago. Lor has always been a sweet, and easy-going child. Now a young woman. I am very proud of her, and its great watching her grow up and flourish. She’ll be occasionally popping up in my stories.

Her mom and I divorced when she was three and a half years old. She lived with her mom, and came to me every other weekend. This went on for many years. I’m not going to go into all of the details of my divorced life because that’s not what this forum is all about.That blog would be called, Nightmare in New Jersey.

One thing I never agreed with, was her mother putting her on ADD medicine when she was a little girl. But happily when Lor  was thirteen she came told me that she wasn’t going to take that shit anymore, because it wouldn’t allow her to perform in a dramatic way on stage. How fucked up is that?

Let’s have big pharma brainwash a bunch of stupid parents, and turn their creative and rambunctious children into dull robots, and life long drug addled customers. Just so we can make even more money for the stockholders. Pure evil.

There once was a kid whose teachers described him as unreachable. A boy lost in his dreams. Yea… that dude was Albert Einstein. Let’s crush any future Einsteins or Leonardo Di Vinci’s with a bunch of drugs. Shame on you all. And damn you all for what you’ve done. I was very proud that my daughter had the foresight to see what that junk was doing to her body and mind. So she kicked that shit years ago.

Anyway, Lorelei had become tired of the grinding frustration of living with her mother in New Jersey. Her mother’s 2nd ex-husband after me, was usually the blame, but once they divorced and he went back to Arizona, she was out of excuses. My daughter was and A – B student who was a beloved member of her high school’s theatrical group. She was lead soprano in a musical in 2014, and co-star of the musical they performed her senior year in 2015. This was a good kid. You have to wonder why life with her mother was so hard. What do we ask of our children growing up? Do well in school, and behave yourself. Lorelei was doing that and more. But I was married to that harpy for 8 years, and I know what kind of fresh hell it can be for anyone to live with my Lorelei’s mother.

My daughter was having stomach disorders, and anxiety living with her mother. Being in that hell house with her mother had for years been an extremely difficult place to be. Sad thing was, I split after 8 years, her second husband amazingly lasted a full ten years before he left. But Lorelei couldn’t leave. She was a child. She was like a prisoner under the ragged claws of her mother. But once she reached the age of majority she wanted to escape. She turned 18, and by February of 2015, she asked if she could come live with me. “Daddy, I’ll sleep on the floor if I have to if it’ll get me away from her.” Of course she wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor, and I would never turn my child away. So I told her to come live with me in Philly.

There was an obvious shit storm that ensued. Her mother likes to control everything, but lacks any real control over her own life. But my daughter was 18 years old. She could do what she wanted. She could vote, buy a gun, and serve in the military if she wanted. So technically, there was nothing her mom could do about it. She fought it of course, but I think we even had my daughter’s high school on our side. They realized her mom is crazy and were fed up with her nonsense as well.

But all aside, I forgive her mother. It takes too much of ones time and energy to hold a grudge against someone. That is some bad energy that you have to maintain everyday. It’s just a waste of time. You only have to forgive once, and your mind is free.

Lorelei would get herself up at dawn everyday at my house in center city. She would walk in the winter weather to the PATCO station and take the train into Jersey everyday by herself. In the beginning she actually was having anxiety attacks at the end of each day, because she was expecting something bad to happen. She discussed this with me, and it seemed like a form of post traumatic stress disorder from living with her mother. I understand that. You never knew who, or what you were coming home to. I reassured Lor that nothing was going to happen. I was putting her on an allowance, and if she needed anything to let me know. I was always here for her, and she was now safe. All she would be coming home to would be her Dad sitting in his chair, sipping a glass of wine and watching Netflix. Nothing more. In a few weeks she settled in just fine. She’d get up and go to school in Jersey every morning 5 days a week. She did this until she graduated in June of 2015. She graduated with good grades on a Friday, and started working as a hostess in restaurant here in Philly the following Tuesday.

She has since gone from vegetarian to vegan. She eats a balanced diet, and is lean and fit. Her stomach disorders are gone, and she no longer takes any of the medicines her mother put her on. She works at her job and likes it. I let her live her life.

I love her very much, and would do anything for my baby. She’ll always be the apple of my eye. My one and only daughter. My immortality in this world.

I have always believed it’s not as hard as everyone thinks to be a parent. Just give your children love, good information, manners, consistency and discipline. I’m sure there is more to it than that, but that’s a decent foundation.

I always looked at parenting this way. I am the Archer. Lorelei is the Arrow.  I need to be firm when I hold the bow. But I also need to be flexible like the string. I must cast the Arrow straight and true into tomorrow, for that is a place I can never go.

Tomorrow belongs to our children. Try not to fuck it up.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday at 9am EST.

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I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

Welcome to Phicklephilly

This blog is about my life here in Philadelphia, people I meet, and the experiences I’ve had with them. Mostly women. I’m a gentleman, but I’ve been told I’m very fickle. My goal is to bring you the best dating and relationship content I can.

I appreciate you reading, commenting on, and most of all following my blog. 

I publish every day at 8am and 12pm EST.

Please check out my Collections tab. There you’ll find a list of all of the great collections of stories that are so fun to read.

Here is a list to get you started!

*** Go to the SEARCH widget on the Homepage and simply enter the name of the series you’re interested in, and off you go!

Here’s the list:

Celebrity Sightings

Crazy Dating Stories

Dating and Relationship Advice

Miscellaneous Stories 

Sun Stories

Tales of Rock

Tinder Moments

Wildwood Daze

 

More to come!

 

I also have several series about all of the people I’ve met here in my 10 years in Philadelphia.

*** Go to the SEARCH widget on the Homepage and simply enter the name of the person and you can read their series!

Annabelle

Carol

Cherie

Clarice

Dina

Eliana

Johnny R.

June

Kylie

Maria

Marisa

Mary

Michelle

Rebecca

Sarika

Trish

Valerie

 

If you’d like, you can just cut and paste the names into the SEARCH widget on the home page and go from there.

If anyone out there knows an easier or a better way to do this please let me know!

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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