I turned 14 in 1978.
I remember less from '78 than I do other years. Perhaps by writing about it now, I can recall more and add more. Or not.
It was my father's ritual to work all day, and then go out to his brother Bob's at night, nearly every night, to feed and care for his oxen. One night, during the Winter, there was a fleamarket-type thing at my school, and I wanted to go. The only way I could go was if I tagged along with Dad at his brother's (my uncle's, by definition) and thence to the school. I did.
I am pretty sure that Dad remained in the truck while I ambled into the school that Wednesday night. I found some books that I wanted and some comics of interest. One of those books, I still own. I will try to scan it in before I publish this post. But it featured the monologist Brother Theodore. I had not heard of the guy before, but the book featured many stories by writers I liked, so I got it. I still have the book. Turns out that BT had been popular in the 1950's and '60's and enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970's. For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to put out a book with his name on it, even though he had nothing to do with its production.
Wow. 2 paragraphs about going to a fleamarket at a school I hated.
I finished Grade 8. That summer I would have picked strawberries like I did in 1977. I earned enough money to buy a record album from time to time. One record that I still enjoy listening to was The Rolling Stones' "Some Girls". I also bought KISS's "Double Platinum" record and a few others.
Also in the summer, a Sunday in August, actually, we all visited my uncle Bob's again. Dad and Bob enjoyed some alcoholic apple cider. So did I. As I related the story at Dad's funeral, and you can read here, I drank more and more of it until I was drunk. My mother was shocked. Dad shook a finger at me and told me not to do that again. And I haven't had a drop of alcoholic apple cider in the last 34 years.
I went into Grade 9 that Fall. We were moved from the smaller high school to the bigger one. The highlight for me was the huge library on the upper floor. I would spend many a lunch hour examining the books in corners of the room that hadn't been borrowed for many years, and which had been in the stacks for 20 years or more.
It was sometime during this school year that I suffered an ignominious defeat in math class. The full story was written before, back in 2009. Here is a link to it.
I still wasn't treated very well by my classmates, but a few of them reached out to me and I got along with them. There were still bullies, but I had learned to avoid them most of the time. Most of the time.
My gym teacher still despised me; and I, him.
Christmas came. For the holidays that year, Mom spent too much money buying me the KISS solo albums. Each member of the band, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley, put out an album of new material. I struggled to make my way through the Peter Criss record, although I did like "Tossin' and Turnin'". Each record cost Mom about $7.98. A year later, all four albums could be had for a total of $7.98. A year after that, they would pay you $7.98 if you would take the four albums. A year after that, the members of KISS would come to your house and do a concert in your living room and pay you $7.98 for the privilege of doing so. A year after that, well, there was no demand whatsoever.
1978 was over. 1979 beckoned like a common street walker when the ships are in. It would be a year of revelations and a massive change that I nearly came to regret. And the Beachcombers was in full bloom.
Read all about it... tomorrow.
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