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Entry date: 3-20-2022 - Camping with Trollops - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

So, when we left off yesterday, we were saved by Norah’s family and my glorious last adventure before joining the Army could continue. We made it to the trailer we were camping at and realized it was locked up and there was no key. No big deal. We could still camp out there. We had sleeping bags.

We got ourselves straightened up and went to JJ’s. What a revelation that was for me. I could buy beer at a bar. Tequila, too? What heaven was this? The night is kind of a blur after that. I do remember finding the girl I had been dating, Suzy, and it was good to see her. Our relationship was kind of new, still, at that point. Michael and I had been out at Dick’s Drive-In in Tempe one night and met her and her friends and we hit it off. Considering that I was on borrowed time, with the Army looming, I wasn’t trying to get into anything serious, but I liked Suzy Q.

During that Labor Day weekend in Rocky Point, Jeff C. and I became friends. We had only talked a little bit prior to that at Camelback, but we ended up spending a lot of time together and I had a new friend. We had so much fun that weekend. Michael was pretty busy getting to know Norah, so I had some free time on my hands and when I wasn’t with Suzy, I was with Jeff.

On the last night we were there, I walked into JJs after consoling Brandi. Michael had been asking me to help run interference and she finally figured out what was going on. Jessica had figured it out a day or so before but wanted to avoid the drama and nobody said anything to Brandi. She kept saying things like, “Where is Michael? Why won’t he hang out with us?” I did my best to be a good friend and make up excuses, but that time wore out.

I didn’t realize I was going to fall into my own drama, though. I got Brandi calmed down and said I needed a beer, so off I went. When I got into the bar, I ran right into my old seatmate from Senior English with Mr. Churbuck, Leighann. I had a huge crush on her all year and figured she was out of my league, but that night, she just walked up and started kissing me.

I forgot about everything else and was enjoying kissing Leighann for what seemed like a very long time before a commotion broke out. Suzy Q saw what was happening (and even though she had been blowing me off all weekend for a guy named Justin) decided to take a bottle and try to hit Leighann and me. Luckily, Troy, my guitar player from what would become Religious Skid saw this getting ready to go down and stopped her before she could get to us.

On one hand, I felt really bad. It was a lousy thing to do to Suzy, but she really had been sort of stringing along her ex, Justin, while we were there. I didn’t care that much, at the time, because I was leaving for four years in a couple of weeks, but it was lame. It was also Mexico, I was 17, and wanted to have fun. Leighann and I were friends and things happen sometimes that are totally unexpected. I never kissed her again, nor was I able to do so, and it was a one time, fluke kind of thing that was totally alcohol fueled. If Suzy had connected with the bottle, that could have been a horrible end to a fun weekend.

By the end of the evening, Suzy had forgiven me. She admitted to being a bit of a two-timer herself, and we dated until I left for the Army and then for another six months or so after I got home. Sadly, she died of an overdose in the early 2000s, leaving my friend Steve and their daughters. Norah’s family gave Michael and I a ride back to Phoenix and we didn’t have to deal with any hotshot border guards on the way back. We just crammed into the truck with our new friends, and I ate a bunch of Mexican muscle relaxers to make the ride that much more pleasant.

There were more shenanigans that took place on that trip, but it’s best to leave them in the past where they are. Well, that and I don’t remember a lot of details. I’m happier about the things that didn’t happen but could have if I weren’t the owner of a conscience. As much as I enjoyed having a good time, I did always try and be at least kind of a gentleman. Somewhere I do have a few pictures from that trip. I’ll have to dig them out.

When I got back from my seven-week Army career, and yes, I will tell that story eventually, there were a few more trips to Mexico for camping on the beach and once, camping inside a house in a tent. That one also involved Michael and Norah and got a little weird at one point. Norah liked to play with girls, and she was hoping Suzy was game. I’m not sure if she was or wasn’t. I wasn’t in that tent.

I once rode down to Rocky Point in the back of Tom’s truck. Tom was my Religious Skid bandmate, Michael’s older brother, and in many glorious ways, my older brother, too. I think our friend, and onetime bandmate, Bob, rode back there with me. That was a fun trip. I don’t advise riding all the way down there in a back of a truck, but we survived. That one was in February or March, I think, and it was cold. I went to bed one night wrapped in this really warm green blanket I had back then. I woke up at dawn and the blanket was gone. I was shivering and bitter and then I saw that a guy named Matt and my friend Bonnie had stolen it from me. Bastards!

But I stole it back. It ended up being my curtain in my apartment for a long time.

See you tomorrow.

A few years older than we were in 1987, but a good picture just the same. Photo by Rhondi.

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1 Comment

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart
Mar 22, 2022

Your memory recall is amazing!!! (and frightening)!! Much love to you my brother

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