Tuesday, May 21, 2013
There's a Red House over yonder
2126 S. L Street. Sometime in the early part of 1980, the red house next to us was lived in by a guy who was in the Army, but had gone AWOL, and was looking for someone to take it over while he was off doing his thing. Since the rent was only something like $100 a month, we not only jumped on that, but spent no time at all moving all of our stuff across the vacant lot that was between this house, and ours. We lived there for about a year or so before we were found out about, and had to move elsewhere, but during the year that we lived there, an entire lifetime of events happened there; some good, some not so good, and some golden ones permanently etched into the walls of my mind. Not only did the fun and adventures continue here, they were enhanced by the befriending of a guy we knew as "Red Fred", a tall, sort of Ted Nugent-looking guy with long red hair and homemade tattoos on his arms. He knew about music as much as Dad did, if not more so, and he helped introduce me to some things pretty early on. He was around a lot, and as soon as Dad was home, the beer was flowing freely, the clouds of pot lingering around, and the stereo rolling out endless streams of tunes...some old favorites, and plenty of new and "new" stuff behold. This was an interesting time. Disco music was in its death-throes, and while that was being slowly phased out, a new phase of stuff was coming in that included power-pop, straight-ahead rockers, and full-out Heavy Metal. Here's a good example of what life was like living in that house: Red Fred lived out in Roy, and one day he came to the house with a friend of his who had just bought a new battery for his tractor. God only knows how they came up with this, but when the guy mentioned that he had the old, dead battery out in the trunk of his car, someone decided that they should give it a proper burial. That they did with Dad, digging a hole in the ground for it in a vacant lot across the alley, and erecting a little marker that said "John Deere was buried here!". Then Dad, Mom, Red Fred, his friend, and whoever else was there that afternoon, all climbed up to the top of the carport in the back yard and held a wake for the dead battery: drinking beer, smoking grass and singing all the sing-along songs that they could think of, including "Yellow Submarine", "Cover Of The Rolling Stone", "Happy Together", "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die", "Born To Be Wild" and whatever else they could think of. Things like this could never be bettered or duplicated, and still reside happily in my memory. And yet, I turned out fairly normal...whatever that word means!