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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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  

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  

‘Ramble On’

ramble on

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 4, 1970

…  for two years!!! and she always said no. And now all of a sudden she says we can join this particular record club. I got excited till I saw how few choices there were. Man, in the old days there were ten times that many choices in a magazine ad for a record club. Then I saw Dean Martin was on there and yeah, makes more sense because she loves Dean Martin soooooo much. And she wants the little record player for her own bedroom.

The only thing I see on there that I want is Led Zeppelin II, but that cartoony album cover they show is NOT the real one, so who knows? Maybe it’s the songs of Led Zeppelin covered by the Lawrence Welk Orchestra or something. I mean a year ago I might’ve wanted the Blood Sweat & Tears. And I already have every Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night album, so great, thanks Mom. Have fun with your teeny tiny little baby plastic speakers.


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Red cowgirl hat

cowgirl dress

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 3, 1986

… pulled out this dress and I barely remembered it at first, so she showed me a picture of myself wearing it. It was really red, I said. It was, she said, and then started telling me that she once saw the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz and they’re not as bright red as they used to be either. I’m so sure you saw the real ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, I said, and she said she sure did because her Aunt Virginia took her to the Smithsonian once and they have all that kind of stuff you’d ever want to see.

You got to go to all the cool places, I said.

You went on a good long vacation once, she said, but I think she’s probably referring to the vacation when I stayed at a motel with a swimming pool  of which excuse me but I don’t even remember at all so what good is that?

I asked her what happened to the red hat that went with this outfit, but she said I left it in the motel room and when she talked to them on the phone later they wanted five dollars to mail it to us but that was twice as much as the hat cost in the first place.


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Published in: on January 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Four stitches

four stitches

Handwritten page of a diary dated January 31, 1970

  I called her into my room and said, look Ma, now I’m getting the yellow jaundice too, and she said that’s not jaundice. That’s just the iodine they used to clean the wound.

Then she thought she’d cheer me up by telling me that The Wizard of Oz is on TV tonight and I said I’ve seen the Wizard of Oz about six times already and she said last year you liked it and I said last year I liked any song sung by the Turtles.

Actually, I still like the Turtles, but I would never say that out loud any more because now my friends and I have decided that any music that’s not psychedelic is really not much worth talking about.


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Published in: on December 7, 2012 at 10:50 am  Comments (1)  

Cleopatra’s slaves

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 17, 1970

… went to the park with my two new friends who are boys because there happens to be no other girls in this entire neighborhood these days except for me!!!!!

They have a new bench to sit on at that park and I stretched my legs out on it. Robert said I looked like Cleopatra and that he and Brett should kneel down and be my slaves so I said ok and then I decided to start ordering them around. I told them to pick some of the white clovers growing in the park and tie them together to make a crown for my head. Well Robert hopped to it but Brett said that sounded boring so I said “off with your head” and he went over to walk through the maze again. Robert made me the crown and then I told him to find something to fan me with and he found a paper bag in the trash bin and fanned me and then I said he had to sing my favorite song which at the moment is “Mama Told Me Not to Come” by Three Dog Night and he did a pretty good job singing it like they do on the record.


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Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm  Comments (2)  

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 12, 1979

…  pretty worrying if you consider that her very favorite song is “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads and she’s only 14. Then about a week ago she asked Mom for permission to stay up until 3 a.m. because there was an old movie she wanted to tape on the Beta player. Turns out it was “Whatever happened to Baby Jane.” I knew she saw it once before because she came home from a slumber party talking about how cool it was. I went and told Mom that she needs to hire a psychiatrist to figure out what’s wrong with Mary Jo’s brain. Mom said she would do it if we had the money. She was sort of laughing when she said that, but anyway last night, “Charlie’s Angels” was a rerun and Mary Jo asked me if I wanted to watch “Baby Jane,” again. So I said “oh I don’t know, is there anything you want to TALK about?” I said this as casual as I could, but she looked at me like I was cracked in the head. I went back to Mom and I said “are you sure there’s nothing you can figure out about why Mary Jo is so demented?” She thought for a minute and then she said “oh maybe it was the Santa Claus.”

I’m not sure what she meant because to me Santa Claus is just jolly and not creepy at all.


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Published in: on June 15, 2012 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Yikes, it’s a red ghost

Handwritten page of a diary dated August 16, 1978

because the thing about Teddy is it is just SO easy to pull one over on him.

Mom got back the pack of photos she took with her new camera and he keeps looking at the one with a big blotch over his head. I said “oh no” he said “what?” and I said “I probably shouldn’t tell you what that means” and of course I knew I had him. I told him it was a ghost hovering over him and since it was red, it meant that he had a twin who died before they could be born together. First he didn’t believe me but I’m pretty good at keeping a straight face. I told him we studied this in school and the fact that it was near his brain meant that part of his twin’s body swam in through his ear and settled in his brain. I said maybe that’s why you think you have to be such a model citizen of the whole stupid town now because you are responsible to live life for both you AND him at the same time so maybe that’s why you have good posture and you always help mom carry in the groceries and you button your shirt all the way up to your neck on even the hottest day of summer.

The poor kid has been acting even dopier than usual ever since. I guess I should tell him the truth. Tomorrow maybe.


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Published in: on April 15, 2012 at 9:25 am  Leave a Comment