A BAG OF STEMS, LEAF, AND SEEDS.

Mapes

 

On a rainy night in the fall of 66, Rob and I are standing under the marque at the Mapes. The neon cowboys whose legs formed the M, are reflected off the wet roadway.

We are waiting for our ‘buy’; we have gathered up $10.00 for a ‘lid’ of pot. It is our first; not only our first buy, but our first ‘try’.  Our dealer shows up on time, and we swap the money for a full baggie of green stuff.  The guy that sold it to us said it was ‘Acapulco Gold’; in truth is was a bunch of homegrown leaf, seeds, and stems, not as much as a pea-sized bud.

We make our way to a friends house, and look at the bag wondering what to do next.  The friend we were visiting knew what had to be done.  He began trying to roll a big joint of still green leaf.  I knew how to roll a Buglar without the little machine, so I did the honors. We lit the small cyliner and sucked hard, and passed it on.  The four of us are soon coughing in unison.

Did we get high?  I force myself to have it be true that we did.

I have been a consistant user of Cannibis, and will continue to be so.  If anyone has objections, let’s TALK.

 

Leaving Reno.

I found a girlfriend in Portland.  She was fifteen, and a Mare Winningham dppelganger,  I was nineteen.  Before anyone goes off the handle, she was officially an emancipated minor, stating that she was on her own in her personal life.  She had papers stating the fact.

I talked Erica into moving to Reno.  We found a place and she found a job as a maid.  I wasn’t so lucky, and we soon found ourselves broke.  I borrowed some money from my mom and bought her a bus ticket to her home town of Alton Illinois.

A few weeks later I have scraped up enough money to prepare myself for an adventure.  A new backpack and a smaller bag.  I have $30.00 in my pocket as I stick out my thumb at the newly opened Vista onramp to I-80.  I stick out my thumb and within five minutes a car pulls over.  I get in and the driver looks over to me and asks if I know how to drive.  I do.  He is a salesman on his way to Denver. He stopped in Reno and stayed to long.  He hops into the backseat as I take control of the car.  A few hours later we are in Salt Lake City.  It is morning and he calls his office and is told that he is needed in Salt Lake so my ride ends.

I get three or four rides to Cheyenne and Denver, still making record time for a hitch hiker. In Denver I am picked up by a guy in a truck with a Camper.  I load my gear in the back of the truck.  He says he is going to Kansas City, but he has to make a detour in Oklahoma, if I wanted a ride.  I am not in that big of a hurry.  The detour takes about three hours.  In the back of the truck he carries a purebred Greyhound and he is on the way to have the dog breed with a Okie bitch.  It was quite interesting.  When we arrive in Kansas City Mo it is dark and I am tired.  I remove my backpack but forget the other small bag.  I am bummed out, but since I couldn’t actually remember what was in it, I shined it on.

It is a little after dusk when I am let out in the middle of Missouri.  It is dark as I search out a place to throw my sleeping bag down.  I am looking for a tree or something I can sleep under.  As I walk I see flashes of light around me, I am baffled thinking I am having an acid flashback, until a small bug lands on my arm and it’s butt begins to blink a pale blue.  A lightning bug; I had never seen one.

The next ride was to good to be true, the guy gave me a ride to the door of Erica’s door.  She greets me with a hug, and all is good.   A few days later I am at her trailer when a package is delivered, addressed to me.  The greyhound breeder had found my small bag, which held an address book.  He had recalled where I was going, and found Erica’s address and mailed back the bag.

After a

 

One Day Love Affairs.

BLACK-WIDOW

At 15, I am a 6’3”, 160 lbs, stick. It wouldn’t be long before I got the nick name ‘spiderlegs’. I am a ‘virgin’ sssh, don’t tell anyone, third base, I have been there. I fall in love everyday; it is rarely returned. The mean guys seem to be the one that have girlfriends; I’m not mean.

My first ODLA, was a girl at Clayton. Her name was Lorna, well, at least that I remember. She was blonde and pretty; not beautiful.

One day I am walking home from school with a friend, he was a better friend of Lorna, and we are invited in to her house to see her science fair project. We said sure, there wasn’t much going on outside. Her project was set up in an unused bedroom; it don’t recall if she had brothers of sisters.

The room is full of several different sized plywood boxes, most of the boxes have been cutaway and screened with fine mesh metal screens. Inside the first small box that I look into, there is a large furry white oval, it is surrounded by hundreds of clear threads. I look closer and perched above the oval is the largest Black Widow I have ever; and never hope to see. Another box holds about 20 smaller, black balls of venom. Another has a multitude of male Latrodectus mactans.

I am awestruck as I listen to Lorna explain what she was doing at each station of the project. I have fallen in love with a ‘smart girl’ who knew she was. I left the house after a half hour, and walked home, shaking imaginary (I hope they were imaginary) black widows off my shoulders. I never saw her again, and I seem to remember hearing that her project came in 2nd in the State Science Fair.

A year and a half later I am at the 7th street pits. We hear gunshots and make our way to the sound. There is a group of five or six people target practicing. We are welcomed into the group. Everyone is armed. It is 1966 so there is only one rifle that wasn’t bolt operated.

I turn and there she is. An angel. She is 5’6”, blond, slender and 15. She is wearing a light blue light cotton, long sleeved plaid shirt. A pair of multi-pocketed khaki pants; those were a high ticket item in 66. She also has on a khaki vest. There are several sewn on patches. One is a NRA sharpshooter award, and the dozen other patches are similar. Her most attracting (not attractive) feature is the Remington .308 strapped over her shoulder and the holstered .38 on her lovely hips. The rifle has a large scope mounted on it. I watch as she fires off round after round, scoring bulls eyes more often that not.

I ask her question after question and she answers them all fully and intelligently, I am once again talking to another ‘smart girl’, they are out there guys, it’s just that they are ‘smart’ enough to avoid fools like us.

It is good that a ODLA is just that, if not, I probably would have been poisoned or shot by now.

A Day at the Races

swamp-rat-1

It is a hot summer day high 90’s and my wife and I are bored. We hear an ad for Top Gun Raceway outside of Fallon, proclaiming they would be featuring Jet dragsters. We look at each other and within minutes we are on our way. It is an hour long drive, Lori has never been to this part of the state, and it has been a decade or so since I was. We arrive in Fallon. I’m not sure which was to go to get to the drag strip, but at the corner of US 50 and US 95, I see a sign trailer pointing the way to the track. It is 15 miles of highway to the entrance to the track. About 10 miles away we see what we think could be the strip, although the it is difficult to be sure through the shimmering heat waves the stretch before us. Did I mention it was HOT. We pass thousands of acres of green fields, and the final few miles of desert scrub. We turn right and follow the signs to the parking lot; lot is a superlative term for an acre of dirt filled with cars.

We walk the several hundred yards to the ticket booth and pay our admission, and sign a waiver that pretty much says; “if you get hurt here, it ain’t our fault”, we sign and then walk another quarter mile to the north side grandstands. There is a small building next to them that sells beer and a few hot snacks; a small dried out hamburger or hot dog, not really worth eating. We get a beer.

It is a NHRA sanctioned event, but most of the cars we start watching are mostly locals out there for the fun, and it is fun.

We get up and cross the concrete over pass to the south side of the track into the staging area and look at the cars. There are a couple of trailer next to the control building and we buy a hat for me and a t-shirt for Lori.

We begin looking at the cars waiting to be called to the staging area.

As I walk by one, my brain starts to shudder, and kicks me back to the late 50’s. There sits Swamp Rat 1, and sitting beside it is my one time hero, Don Garlits. Don Garlits was the first man to go 170, 180, 200, 240, 250, and 270 miles per hour in a quarter-mile. He even went over 200 mph in an 1/8th of a mile. I am in awe as I look at Swap Rat 1, he has brought it out for the event, it was no longer painted with flames, just a brown primer. I wait in line and ask for his autograph, which he gives me on a small pink piece of paper. My day is made; until I move to the next car.

Sitting next to him I see a woman; not just any woman, but the FIRST woman to have ever won the NHRA Winston world points CHAMPIONSHIP, Shirley Muldowney. I am godsmacked, and I wait in line for her autograph, also on a small pink piece of paper. We had heard nothing of this dual surprise.

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It is several hours later and dark as we get to the Jet dragsters. We move up to a wire fence on the north side of the overpass and see the jet dragster pull up. It is only about 5 yards away from us on the starting line.

The jet begins to whine as we watch, and then it gives a loud bang, causing both of us to jerk to attention, it pops three or for more times, and then we watch as a four foot flame bursts from the rear of the car. It takes another minute, and several more bursts of flame before it begins to warm up. Soon it roars to full power and sends out a cloud of white smoke reeking of Kerosene fumes. We are engulfed in smoke. At full power my wife is now in a trance, the volume and vibrations are effecting her in an almost sensual way. We are oblivious to the fact that if the jet were to fail, and explode we are in a direct path of any shrapnel, that could easily tear through our hearts or brains. We are lucky as the jet dragster tears from the lights and hauls ass down the track. There is another car after that, that we luckily survived.

It is late as we arrive home and get ready for bed, and as I climb in I can smell Kerosene in her hair.

DAD.

mccloud

A lot of my Ffriends talk about their Mom and Dad, like they were a UNIT.

I had a MOM.

I had a DAD a time or two.

The first time was when I was bundled up, placed in a car, and a few hours later I found myself in Burney Falls, California. It is still morning as we end our trip, and Dad has a surprise for us. Two brand new Huffy Bicycles from the nearby Western Auto store. Dennis’ is bigger. And mine has a clunky set of training wheels.

Within a few days one side of the training wheels gets raised, I am so proud, and by the end of the two week visitation period, the training wheels are gone.

The visit is up, it was lots of fun, we went camping and had a generally good time. It is time to load up for the trip back home. We pack the car, but notice that our bicycles are not strapped to the car. No, the bicycles would soon be returned to Western Auto for a refund. Good memory?

I am now 12, when a car pulls up in front of our house on Ridgeway Court. It is DAD. He pulls himself from the car; a large white cast covers his leg. Dad was a Lumberjack; I knew that and was proud.

One day, I don’t know if was a wet fog-filled day, or one with dazzeling sunlight, my dad was helping a crane load an immense log onto an idling tractor and rig. The hook, holding an immense log failed and crashed down on my father’s leg, shattering the leg bone into 16 different pieces.

When he comes to visit he is on his last cast. He comes into the house and talks to us boys, but within a half hour he is in a fullbore argument with my mother. A few minutes later, dear old Dad revealed a deep dark ‘secret’ of the family line. It was easily dealt with.

In 1963 I am once again under control of the law. I am being sent to Mt Shasta under Visitation rights; even though Dad has forgotten the “child support payments” for years. It is November 1963. President Kennedy had been assassinated. I was informed by my teacher at Mt. Shasta Jr High. Later that night as we discussed the assassination, I rudely interrupted my step mother; stating “I was talking to my father”

A day later I am at my cousin’s. The cousins I did not know; I had a dozen other cousins I did know a mile away. I am watching TV when I see Lee Harvey Oswald, shot by Jack Ruby on a 13 inch B&W TV.

I am back home as I watch the funeral procession.

I see nothing of Dad for years, and then one day in 1989 I answer the door. Dad is standing there. He wants to see his grandaughters, It is the first time in 26 years that I have seen him. I allow the meeting to happen, and he is gone within an hour. Over the next few years there had been a few unexpected knocks on the door and there is Dad.

What do I do?

Oh my, where do we go tonight?

portland

      May 15th, 1968.

     I am 17 and homefree/less, who knows? I have always slept in fetal position so the back seat of the 57′ Pontiac was quite comfy. Rob is shorter so he gets the front seat whenever he could’nt meet up with Diane, usually often enough.

     A month earlier I had set a personal best on being held at Whittenburg. That morning Rob came running back to the car after exiting Diane’s bedroom, hopping the 4 ft Tholl fence. He wasnt being chased, just hyper—a word that wasn’t in vouge–, he had lots of energy.

     He was also Dyslecic, another term not yet understood. He was smart, funny and not nearly as handsome as me. Rob was an expert ‘shade tree mechanic’, if his dyslexia had been known about, he could very well have been a NASCAR lead mechanic; he liked greasy hands, and abhorred ties.

     As he is getting into the car and I am pulling a blanket off, a RPD car rolls around the corner. An few questions, and 45 minutes later we hear the clang of the door at the Hall. An hour later, Kenny, Robs dad shows up. Somehow he managed to get me out too, so mom didn’t know. No Harm Done. It takes us an hour to walk back to the car, but the rest of the day has been cruising.

     I was actually living at home most of the time; if I got home and went to my room and stayed quiet, my stepfather would never now. At about curfew I began walking home up Coleman, when I was pulled over, once again by RPD, it could have been the same two cops. I once again find myself at Whittenburg, this time I spend the night, the bunk wasn’t that bad. I didn’t want then to make mom come down until the morning; which she did and I was once again a free child.

      OK. Back to May 15th, 1968.

      Diane now has her own house, a small bungalow, near Mary S. Doten; it will be condemned six months later, along with many others in that area. I-80, you know.

      Diane tells Rob to bring home a quart of milk, and a loaf of bread, as we leave in the morning. Rob and I have $30.00 between us. We head out and stop at the Texas Independent Gas station, and fill up the tank, 30 gallons = $10.00 + .20 cents for two quarts of recycled oil in slippery glass containers. Recycled wasn’t a word then, this was old drain oil poured through a screen and a magnet, that would pull all of the shaved metal. It worked.

      We start the car and look at each other. Ten hours later we are headed north up I-5. To my left is the glittering skyline of Portland Oregon. It is not surprising that there is a light rain magnifying the glitter of the lights. Four hours later we have arrived in Kent, Washington, at the apartment of Rob’s cousin. I hate Rob’s cousin, he’s nuts; a Hells Angels candidate, that Sonny Barger himself said no. We stay there a couple of days; I managed to avoid the cousin. We spend a day loading corn at some farm for a day, and headed south, back to Portland.

      We arrive in the morning, and spend two hours driving through towns and crossing all the bridges. Within a year I would be trolling underneath the Hawthorne and a block away from the Burnside Bridge. I was enchanted. This and SF were the biggest cities I ever lived in. Portland is #1. We are broke now but a visit to the blood bank cures that problem. Two hours lying down, bag full of blood sucked out of a vein, the plasma removed, and then the blood cells pumped back into your arm. We now have enough to get back to Reno. 10 hours later rob pulls into the Keystone 7-11. He returns five minutes later and we head to Diane’s.

      As we enter the house for the first time in two weeks, Rob hands her a small brown bag; inside is a loaf of bread, and a quart of milk.

      Rob was smart, despite his dyslexia, and funny, but sometimes he was a complete DICK.

The Asocial Media.

Facebook, Snap Chat, and Twitter, ad naseum, Democratic, Republican party logos_35712674_7960360_ver1.0_1280_720all state that they want to provide a Platform for the People. This is not a condemnation. It is a WTF moment, the W standing for Why.

For the recorded past it has been shown over and over again that when one group meets another there is usually an orgy, or a battle. 95% are battles. That is the way we are; not the way we should be. I am sure that last statement was met with more boos, than smiley faces, or thumbs up.

Five years ago after a number of years of abstinence I got a Facebook page. I remained friendless for two years, the only thing I did on FB was get easy access to Candy Crush Saga, et al. I would sometimes scroll down my home page, meh; no big deal. I would occasional comment on something I read. I had no notifications set so I never saw any options to reply. I was a FB virgin then.

One day when I was feeling a bit depressed I searched for Reno on FB and a site came up. I looked at what I could see; and found out that I liked what I saw. I asked to join, and was invited to join.

I became a poster, I would post an obscure Reno photo with a single line comment. The first post was a picture of a self-serve laundromat, that had been in Reno for decades. My comment was a mild sarcasm about how much “FUN” it was to do two loads of laundry on a night I should have been out driving around. The first reply to my post was a vitriolic rant by a woman who “LOVED” to do laundry. It wasn’t a reply offering ‘critical critisim’ it was just rude. It kind of hurt for awhile. Then the postive comments and replys started. I was ready to quit ‘social media’ for good, but I read the positive comments. A day or two later after getting over the blast from my retractor, I wrote another little story. Within hours I watched the likes, and comments grow and grow. A while later, after another half dozen stories, I was informed by FB that I had achieved 6000 likes. The notifications grew more frequent, at one point the likes increased by a thousand in less than a week. I have made a few Friends, there are more requests than I accept.

I continued to explore and joined a few other groups, mostly political. I had fun I guess, but then in 2016 it became vicious to engage a lot of people. It became DEMONCRAT vs. REPUGNICANT. I still don’t understand why. What ‘good’ does a political designation do?

The first time I registered to vote I registered as a Non-Partisan, no one has the right to classify me. I have never changed. We hear about the left-wing; all people oriented, and the right-wing all business oriented. Fuck Both of you. I am NP, or should I say the HEAD of the Eagle, the one that keeps both ‘wings’ in sync.

What the Fuck is wrong with you — wing people? You go out day after day; picking up groceries, buying gas, and eating out. You run into scores of people every fucking day. A red hatted overweight man opens the door for you, you enter and tell him “thank you” and proceed. As you leave the store a young Mexican man holds the door for you, and you tell him thank you? When you get home you forget about the 20 people you have interacted with; without conflict, and come home and turn on your FB, and immediately pounce on the most racist rant you can find. You like the quote or the pic, which you have no fucking idea if it is true. You see a post with something in the picture that catches your eye. You have not read the post or bothered to see who posted it, but yet withing seconds you comment.

If you are a “T” supporter or not, shame on you. You are an “American”

There are dozens of old driver’s education films, which empasize the way a mild mannered husband becomes a devil in control of a 200 hp Vehicle of Mass Destruction. It is the same for a lot of us when we get behind the “invisibilty of asocial media”

Political Affiliation is NOT a genetic trait. If you describe yourself as REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRAT. Shame on you, and everything you have been “told” that you believe, are you unable to “THINK” for yourself?

“THINK!!!!”