I’ll be in the van listening to the James Gang

vw van with privy

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 19, 1972

…  surprised I made it through my senior year. I was not focused at all. A teacher once said “Seems to me …” and I didn’t hear the end of the sentence because all I really heard was “Seems to me … you don’t wanna talk about it. Seems to me … you just turn your pretty head and walk away.” James Gang record — so good AND they’re from right here in CLEVELAND!!!!!

I can’t help it. I like rock and roll. I can’t help it that my goobery brother makes me look bad because he has decided he wants to study actuarial science. Who decides that when they’re a junior in high school? Huh?

So my grandpa has decided that I need to get a job this summer before I go to college and I said what if I don’t and he told me to sit on the “daveno” so we could have a discussion about it. Who calls it a daveno? Geez Grandpa you old geezer, it’s called a davenport. It’s not the 50s any more. So he sat there and said maybe he would start charging me rent this summer because when he was my age he was already in the army and saving up money to get married. Whoa Nellie, I’m not planning on either one of those things. So I said I’d live in my VW van this summer. And he said there’s no “privy” in there. And I said I’d rig something up.


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Janis Joplin and Tom Jones? Huh?

Janis and Tom

Handwritten page of a diary dated December 5, 1969

…   older sister was watching the Tom Jones show on TV which I never bother with but she came up and said “one of YOUR people is going to be on it tonight” ha ha which means someone who can really rock out more than Tom Jones which by the way doesn’t take much. So I go down there and she has abandoned her Pepsi which I wipe off her cooties from and drink it because it still seems cold. Then Janis Joplin comes on! Wow. I mean Tom Jones should sing with her more often because he did actually keep pace with her screaming and he really doesn’t have such a corny voice when he’s not singing to old 30 year old women!

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Published in: on November 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Yipes stripes, Fruit Stripe gum

gum wrapper chain

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 3, 1977

…  taught Benny to make a gum wrapper chain and it’s ok, but it’s making me have a taste again for gum, which I haven’t chewed for almost TEN years since I made my REAL gum wrapper chain — the one I spent an entire summer chewing and folding and creating and then my mom decided it was cluttering up the house and threw it away!!!!  It was a million feet long and I was going to make something really huge out of it. Like a rug for when I get my own apartment. It sure smelled a lot better than this new one does. I think because this one doesn’t have any Fruit Stripe Gum wrappers. “Yipes Stripes Fruit Stripe Gum” which they still play the commercial of sometimes, but not much any more.

Benny would rather have Big Red gum. I mean it’s cinnamon! What kid likes cinnamon gum? Eww. That makes about as much sense for him to like as that stupid song he plays over and over — “I believe in miracles, since you came along, you sexy thing” and believe me it’s disturbing to hear an 8 year old boy singing “Now you’re lying next to me, giving it to me.” I have so much to teach him about how to talk to females. But I’ll wait till he’s folding gum wrappers again. Then once he really gets going he’s a captive audience.


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Published in: on October 15, 2013 at 3:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Take me to the chocolate


Handwritten page of a diary dated January 8, 2009

…  and great-grandma Alice was about driving me nuts. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with her most of the time, but ever since her friend Howard backed out on their Vegas trip, she’s been in a crapped out frame of mind. And I kept thinking this was my chance to get out of here a while before the new semester begins. OK, first time I asked her to take me she laughed. Right in my face. So not only do I have to talk her into taking me, but she and Howard had plans to stay at the Mandarin Oriental, and hey, I’m sure it’s very nice, but I have my heart set on the Bellagio Hotel.

So I drove her to Denny’s for lunch. I think it’s a boring place to eat but she just loves it — so OK. Then while we’re there I ask her to tell me the story about seeing a Judy Garland show at the Dunes Hotel and after she gets done practically telling me every song Judy Garland sang that night, I say “Hey, you know what hotel is on the very same piece of land that the Dunes was on?” and she says no and I say “The Bellagio.” And I can see the wheels starting to turn. I say “yeah, that’s the place with those water fountains that make cool patterns to the rhythm of whatever song they play.” So I let those thoughts simmer a while and then when we get home, I get out the computer and I show her a picture of the world’s largest chocolate fountain. And oh yeah, it just happens to be in a shop at the Bellagio Hotel.

I’m so close I can taste it.


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Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 3:33 am  Comments (1)  

Hold your head UP

45 record case

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 1, 1972

…  then my idiot brother comes home from downtown and here’s the problem — he bought a 45 and then decided he needed the dollar for something else he wants to buy tomorrow, so he comes up with the idea that I have to buy it off him. So pretty soon we were fighting because I wasn’t about to buy his rejects.

Then this fight gets so loud that my dad gets involved like he’s gong to be the judge, and he asks me, did I tell Kenny to buy this record for me and I said no. And because I’ve been through one of these “TRIALS” before I had my two good reasons lined up.
1. My 45s case is already too full of records and next time I buy one it won’t fit in there.
2. Even if I did decide to get rid of one of my 45s to fit a new one in, I would rather have “Hold your Head Up” by Argent and NOT the stupid short version of “Layla” that he bought. Come on!!!! When I get Layla, it will be when I can afford the whole Derek and the Dominos album!

Then my dad says those are good reasons and he starts giving a long lecture saying Kenny is suffering from “buyer’s remorse” and he dealt with that all the time when he was selling Real Estate. (And why did I get dragged into another long lecture when I was just minding my own business???)

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Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Stormtroopers dropped in for breakfast

storm troopers donuts

Handwritten page of a diary dated February 9, 1979

…  KNEW Micky would fall for it, and I was so right. As usual.

We get Wendell’s brother’s stormtrooper dolls from his Star Wars collection and we set it all up as planned.

At the last minute I was afraid his stupid cat was going to try to eat the donuts or run off with one of the dolls, but it just sat on the table staring weirdly. So Micky wakes up and stumbles in the kitchen and looks at the table like he’s confused. I made Wendell talk because I was afraid I’d start laughing. So Wendell tells him there was this girl who came by and set this all up for him. Micky kept saying “Huh?” and Wendell says “Yeah, I’ve seen her before coming out of the North Dorm, but I don’t know her name. She’s really pretty, you know, the one with the long curly hair?” And Micky says “No, man, girls don’t like Star Wars.” So Wendell says, “She’s seen you around wearing your funny Darth Vader T-shirt and she wants to get to know you. Oh and she left you a note.” So we give him this note that I carefully wrote to look like a girl’s handwriting, that said, “OK you sexy son of a bitch. How do you like me now?”

Then I got bold and I said “See that donut in the middle? She took a bite of that! Her lips were on it man.” So he picked it up and smelled it!!!!! And he was giddy as a girl for about half an hour. Then we ACTUALLY felt a little sorry for him so we told him the truth. Besides, otherwise, knowing him, he would’ve been staring funny at every girl he knows who lives in North Dorm.


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Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Rick Springfield, coverboy

rick springfield

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 17, 1982

…  was all bummed out because the mail got thrown on the steps and her copy of TV Guide got rained on. She ran around the house saying, “It couldn’t happen some other week? Like some week when Rick Springfield wasn’t on the cover?” So she put a paper towel on the cover and then ironed it! Yes with the IRON!

She said we shouldn’t pick on her because she only watches “General Hospital” and some of her friends watch three or four soap operas every day. And besides Rick Springfield is multi-talented. Yes, we know, we know, he had a hit song. And she goes “You like ‘Jessie’s Girl”” and I’m like “I never said that” and she’s like “Every time after I play the record you sing that one part of the lyrics over and over.”

OK, she’s right, I do like that one line where he says “and she’s lovin’ him with that body I just know it” because he sings “know it” like it was all one word and he practically spits out the T in knowiT. That’s the only cool part.


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Published in: on August 21, 2013 at 2:25 am  Leave a Comment  

“come on strong!!”

%22come on strong!!%22

Handwritten page of a diary dated November 14, 1966

…  water balloon contest. And it was nice of him to take me inside his house since I was dripping wet. Their phone was ringing but before he answered it he pointed to a chest of drawers and told me to look in the bottom drawer if I wanted a dry shirt. I found his Beatles T-shirt (which is really too small for him anyway and I wish he’d tell me to just keep it) and this magazine page fell from the drawer onto the floor.

By the time he came in the room I had changed into his shirt (in the closet just in case) and I was reading the page. He said, “I don’t really read Playboy all the time – uh, sorry – but I know I’ll need a suit for the winter formal and I was going to ask you if you liked this blue one.”

I said “I don’t care if you read Playboy. I really don’t. But there is something wrong with this advertisement.”

He said, “You don’t like that guys hair …” and I said “Yes he looks like a squeaky clean Tony Curtis, but that’s not it either.” So he kept looking at it and couldn’t find anything wrong. So I finally told him about the book “The Feminine Mystique” which my aunt loaned me. But he obviously had never heard of it so I had to tell him the gist of it. Women don’t need for you to “come on strong with the exclamation points. They don’t need men to be in charge of everything.” I made him read the first sentence of the advertisement — which said “Get that DOMINATING feeling in the Forward Fashion Suit.” Then he asked if he promised that we went to prom as equal partners — then would I like the suit and I said “Sure. In that case. As long as you don’t comb your hair like Tony Curtis.”


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Buddy Rich vs. Keith Moon


Handwritten page of a diary dated January 8, 1972

…  asked for drum lessons, yes. But what I didn’t tell him is that I want to learn drums so I can be like Keith Moon. When I was a kid — must have been 6 or 7 years ago at least — I saw the Who play a couple of songs on the Smothers Brothers TV show, and Keith Moon changed my life. His arms moved so fast they were like a blur. I wanna do that.

But my dad wants me to be like Buddy Rich. He says, “Kid, if you get this going and have the career Buddy Rich had, we’re gonna be in Fat City I tell ya — livin’ on Easy Street.” Then I think he’s gonna shut up but he says when he was in high school he saw a picture in a magazine of Buddy Rich “wearing some kind of a rich guy robe and sittin’ there like he didn’t have a care in the world.” Then — right in front of my mom — he says “I wouldn’t have a care in the world if I coulda dated Lana Turner like he did.”

Well, I hate to tell him, but I saw Lana Turner in a movie once and she was ok, but I bet Keith Moon has much better looking groupies than old Lana.


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the body electric


Handwritten page of a diary dated November 14, 1972

…  before she would even sign my permission slip to go to the museum with my class, she had to ask me a few thousand questions. She was pacing the floor thinking of all the things that could go wrong. She said “What if the teacher doesn’t watch you and someone grabs you while you’re in the big city?” I said to her the same thing she always says to me: “Look at you, so nervous in the service.”

Then at the museum I saw an actual dead person’s central nervous system. I asked our guide lady what happens when a person actually gets “nervous” and she said, “Well, we would need a doctor to explain that, but I do know that there’s electrical activity when nerves are activated.” She probably wishes she hadn’t said that because then a bunch of guys in my class started asking all kinds of other stupid questions like “if nerves are activated near the blood, why don’t we get electrocuted like we would if the hair dryer falls in our bathtub full of water?” and “Do we have enough electricity in us to power an electric popcorn popper?”


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Published in: on June 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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