Age 16-20

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Information 1974-1978


The Neighbors

1974
Our closest neighbors, Mr. H. and his family, lived at the end of a long sandy drive.  across the street, but about a half-mile away. His wife was an elementary-school teacher. She was petite, fragile, and perpetually cheerful. They had two young sons, and two older daughters. Jessie and Virginia were 1 and 2 years older than me.

The family was rather reclusive, and the father bordered on hostility on the few occasions that he dealt with me. I would sometimes walk down to their house. If his wife was outside, or he wasn’t home, I could hang out with them for a while. I found them all skinny-dipping in the pond behind the house on one occasion. luckily without being seen before retreating home, confused about it.

a couple years later my mother informed me that Mr. H. had been sleeping with the senior daughter, and that his wife had suffered some sort of breakdown, and was in the process of navigating a divorce. That explained a lot, I thought, and assumed that his belligerence towards me was rooted in the dynamics of competitiveness. The daughters eventually escaped as well, and I met them both briefly a dozen years later.


Pigs in Spaces

1974
Tim Allen has a routine that he starts with this statement… “Men are pigs!” I agree, and if I were a woman, I would be a lesbian, and never look back. Aside from the bits already mentioned, my opinion is partially influenced by the number of men that wear (only) their socks while having sex. Like they wanted a head-start home after finishing up.


Liar Bill Expires

1975
Bill couldn’t swim. He knew it, and was practically terrified of the prospect of drowning. Bill spent a fair amount of time hanging out in the bar at the fish-camp just east of Christmas. The same fish-camp where Kim entertained the local boys now and then.

I heard of Bill’s accident from my sister. He had apparently left the camp after an evening of drinking, and headed east on the narrow two-lane towards Titusville. Perhaps he changed his mind, of realized that he was heading the opposite direction of home, but he attempted to make a u-turn. His vehicle didn’t quite make it, and rolled down the steep embankment that crowded the pavement on either side. Bill’s truck came to rest upside-down in the water and drowned.

There was no sense of jubilation, justice, or relief associated with the news for me. It was just another day. He was gone, I was still here, and everything seemed to be the same.


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The Wright Brothers

1975
Teddy, Gary, Larry, and Arthur lived on 10 acres about five miles away from our house. Gary and Teddy went to school with me during my junior-high years.


Jim Jones

1975
Ukiah, California


The Parliament House

1976
The Parliament House was a gay-bar on South Orange Blossom Train in Orlando. 

 


Cathy

1976
I honestly don’t remember how I met Kathy. Or what we did while I was in Florida. She may have been a friend of someone I knew, perhaps. I do remember that she was 13 years older than me, her mother was divorced and lived in Sanford, and her father was a detective. I apparently had her phone number, and would see her again soon.


The Perils and Pluses of Hitchhiking

1979
The large majority of men that picked me up while hitchhiking would attempt to have sex with me. I imagined that this was what women experienced on an even larger scale. There were those, like Bill, that picked me up as I headed home from school, and others as I traveled on the Interstates, making my way across the country.

Some would pull over in a secluded spot and provide a blow-job… One after inviting me to peruse the (gay) porn magazine under the passenger seat. A few would offer to get a cheap motel room and spend an hour or two with me. And every now and then one might take me to their home for a day or more.

I usually felt guarded, but safe enough being with them. But occasionally I would encounter men that I felt extremely uncomfortable with…


Dodging John Wayne

1976
My aunt and uncle owned a Mayflower moving truck, and traveled the country relocation household furniture on a full-time basis. They invited me to ride along as hired help to load and unload as needed. They put me up in my own motel room, covered my meals, and paid me a wage for the work I did.

We had been on the road for a few weeks, and were heading up Interstate 95 towards upstate New York when I decided to head off on my own to Denver. I asked them to let me out at I-80, collected my pay, and climbed out of the truck.

I hitchhiked west, and was approaching the end of one particular ride near South Bend Indiana. I had heard that the Gary, Indiana area was an exceptionally sketchy place to be getting rides, so I made it to the local Greyhound terminal and bought a ticket to Boulder.

36 miles northwest of Gary was the home of John Wayne Gacy. Between 1972 and 1978 he lured teen boys and young men (including one from a Chicago Greyhound station) to his home, where he sexually assaulted and murdered 33 of them.


RV Guy

1976
My bus ride took me through Bloomington, heading southwest towards St. Louis, then west into Kansas. Along the route, I managed to get the roomy bench-seat at the rear of the bus to myself. There was enough room to lay out comfortably to sleep.

Along the way the bus had stopped for a meal break, and when we re-boarded an older man made his way back to my seat as well. He was friendly, and told me that he delivered recreational vehicles throughout the country. He said the plant was near his home in Kansas, and that he would just ride the bus back home after an RV was delivered.

At some point, he began rubbing my leg, and after some time, slowly moved his hand over my crotch. At that time, a man sitting a few rows forward had glanced back and witnessed the event. RV Guy, Alex, had stopped touching me, but the other man continued to stare. I had dark sun glasses on, and was reclining enough to pretend I was asleep, and eventually the man turned towards the front of the bus.

As we continued westward, Alex told me that I could work with him delivering RV’s, and after a while, probably get a job with the same company. He invited me to go home with him when he was getting ready to get the bus in Salina, Kansas. I accepted his invitation, and had my ticket adjusted at the terminal to accommodate an open layover. He called a friend to pick us up, and we rode 20 miles north to his home in Minneapolis, Kansas.

I stayed with Alex for a couple months. But told him I needed to go to Denver, for a few days. He gave me $60 to get a bus back to Salina, and drove me to the Bus Station.


Denver

1976
The morning I arrived in Denver, I had about $35 left from the money Alex had given me. Getting a job was first on my list, but not before having my hair cut. It was past my shoulders.

After the trim, I ended up near a Denny’s at Santa Fe and Alameda. I went in and requested the manager, and asked him if there were any openings for a cook. I had worked as busboy and dishwasher at a Denny’s in Orlando, but never had a job as a cook. I figured cooking might pay more, and would put me in a position to be better fed. The man said he did need a cook, and asked me if I could start right away. And I did.

I began working with the other cook, a young man named Dave. He came from Michigan, and was attending Denver Automotive and Diesel College, a few blocks south, off Mississippi Avenue. We were exchanging our stories while working, and he asked if I had a place to live yet. I told him I didn’t. He said his roommate had recently moved out, and that if I were interested, he would share his two-bedroom apartment with me. The apartment was just east of Broadway on Alameda. Walking distance to work. What a deal!


The Unexpected Guest

1976
I called Cathy in Florida, and we talked about my adventure in Denver. She asked for my address so she could write, but showed up at our apartment door a few days later. We decided to let her stay with us. Cathy got a job at Reeces’ Diner, a dozen or two blocks north on Broadway.


Gail

1976
Cathy brought Gail her home one afternoon after work.


Portland

1977
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Navy Times

1978
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Becky

1979
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The Projectionist

1979
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The Philippines

1980
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Delong

1980
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Karen

1981
I met Karen at the base bowling alley. She invited me to hang out with her the coming weekend, and I met her at the women’s housing center the following Saturday.


Drugs 101

1981
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 Virginia

1981
I worked as a Journalist in the Public Affairs Office on board the ship. One of our assignments was to produce a live news broadcast each day while we were at sea. The ship had over 400 television sets onboard. Adjacent to our work-space was an electronics lab, and we worked with the techs daily.

I made friends with Mike, Jay, Duffy, and a few others from the shop, and would regularly spend time with them off the base. Jay was living with Virginia in Imperial Beach, south of our North Island Naval Station, and we would all often hang out at the house they were renting.


Annette

1981
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The Baby

1982
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Divorce

1982
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Guns Part I

1977
Bruce dies


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