Girls to Women

So, there I was in High School and I had just added going out on dates with women my own age.  I mention my own age because I was later to learn that dating women older than me had several different dynamics.  Females that were younger than me I didn’t feel any attraction toward.

I mentioned in my last writing my attraction for Toni.  Somehow this game we had about considering dating but never doing so continued over several years.  It seemed like a game on her part but for me it was a torture and I had headaches all the time.  Fortunately, I had politics to focus on but it was unfortunate the issues in politics remained the same.  I learned that the ego was a bargaining tool, something I cynically used more of as I got older.  And that finding out the want of others was a way to pay for the programs I didn’t have the funds for.

My dating was mostly disastrous as I kept up a wall between us as I was not allowing myself the time to date.  So, we would have a fun date and then I pulled back because I was scared of getting involved.  Part of it was how new dating was to me, some of it was I the devotion I had for politics, and some of it was the focus I had regarding my self as I moved away from academics.  I was shy and quiet and hid it, often acting loud and outlandish instead.

Women

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Girls

Up until my time at Culver High I didn’t socialize much and certainly not with girls.  I felt I was too busy and that I had to stay focused on my school work, working at the restaurant, and volunteering on political causes to socialize much.  There were also at that time no girls in my political circle.  Actually, there was one and we were close friends for awhile but then she dated a few of the guys which I didn’t like and eventually dropped out of the political group.  My heart would go pitter pat when she was near and I was very unhappy for a bit when that attempt at romance fizzled out.  Eventually I recovered and regained my political focus and got involved with two redheaded best friends.  They were involved in the off-campus politics I was into like the UFW, student politics, civil rights and efforts against the war. That was a very confusing busy time for me as I added dating to a very full schedule.   I did not treat them the way they deserved to be treated because even when I showed care and concern for them they remained near the bottom of my cares and concerns.  It took many years for me to learn that people came first, that everything else would be a slow fixit.

And then I met Toni.  There was something about her that made me think of her much of the time.  She was sexually active and my adventures with the redheads was all mixed up.  I was scared of Toni and wanted to hold her in my arms and kiss her.  But somehow, I knew, somehow, I felt that it would be a one-night stand for her and since I wanted a long-term romance with her my reasoning told me not to get involved with her unless I was sure it would be something more.

During this time my grades dropped for the first time and I was about a 3.3 but I didn’t care.  I had politics and work and my family, and now girls.

Girls

 

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Growing in Several Different Ways

So there I was in Culver City Growing in Several Different Ways.  I lived in Culver City for three years, my high school years at my parents house they hoped to buy one day.  My mom was much keener on that idea than my Dad but he certainly went along with the possibility.  I talked to my little brother seriously on a regular basis for the first time.  We shared a room but no more bunk beds.  My6 sister and I talked some but I had done some damage to that pure little girl who just wanted to be loved and who got a narcistic bastard of an older brother instead.  My mom and Dad worried about money most of the time and I helped out when I could.  I soon discovered that my Dad considered my earnings at the restaurant, his.  This was another clue that money matters weren’t good.  I didn’t care much about money so giving this away and be quiet about it was easy.  Over the years Mom got a new refrigerator and washer and garage door paid with my accumulated savings.  The only time it hurt was when I had a specific use for the money, like when I was preparing for my European trip.  The restaurant had incorporated some years ago and I had some savings and Dad used my money to buy one hundred shares.  When I was planning an after High School graduation trip to Europe and asked my Dad to sell the stock I found that it was gone.  All gone.  I discovered some of Dad’s money woes was self-inflicted as he was a compulsive gambler.

I was focused on Chavez and on the War as we were still in Vietnam and on Economics.  It was an old refrain but the rich got richer but not the poor – and middle-class families found that in an increasing number the family unit depended on more than one wage earner. There were some of us that lived in mansions and others who lived on the streets.  Some who gorged themselves on the latest foods and some of us who went to bed hungry.  Some of us with health who went to a doctor for plastic surgery and others who couldn’t afford a doctor to help them fight disease.  Some who warmed a twenty-room mansion for two and others who shivered all winter long.  This lack of sharing of profit pissed me off and that anger with the super-rich remains to this day.  After all, how could you knowingly spend to an excess when there were people starving?  Children starving?

Growing in Several Different Ways

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Pulpdiddys Permutations My Way

I’ve been writing Pulpdiddys Permutations several years now and recently felt it was time for a change.  The change is not because I am burnt out because of the writing but because the nasty stories which is our current history has caused me to shy away from writing about it.  I still am a news junkie and when reading it have my peculiar take of it.  The battle to stay afloat amongst the vast majority of the constituency, especially in a world in which the wonders are so great that we all can benefit, is a battle we should not have to face.  What we should be doing is focusing on worldwide problems first, like Climate Change, instead of pretending they don’t exist.

Basically, the old format has been this – Monday – Sunday writing about politics or social issues or economics except for Wednesday which I reserved for Neurotic Man, and Friday, which was Thursday repeated, and Sunday which was an explanation of the purpose of the column.  But I realize I’ve had it, I’m pulling a Duran.  So Neurotic Man will be taking a rest and the rest of the format will remain the same.

While rare instances of man helping man remains, the rise of so much cynicism and jealousy and greed have forced me to re-examine the past, starting with my own.  Where did the dreams of fairness and democracy start, and where did they all go?

I know this is simplistic but we all began somewhere and mostly it is different.  While all stories can be similar, essentially, they are the same.  Well, for my story it all began in the city of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, District of Brighton in the apartment of my loving family that will be re-examined for fun and maybe a few truths along the way.  And if it doesn’t work out for either of us there’s always the possibility of the return of Neurotic Man.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

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Culver City – Feelings

The Culver City time was some of the best time.  The kids were bright and the parents too.  Most of the people had feelings of well-being for their neighbors. Of course, there was plenty wrong in that city but for that level of government it was pretty neat.  Candidates for the school board wanting support from the group of kids I headed would meet with us to do a Q&A before we would support them.  Some didn’t, which was to be expected, but that a least part of the city took us seriously was a wonderful feeling.  While the minority population was small outside of the police force everyone was welcome.

The tensions were of a more personal nature.  It wasn’t just Culver City but everywhere in America those of the middle class, who accounted a lot for the public zeitgeist (the rich tried to stay hidden and the poor were purposely ignored) found one wage would no longer support the family unit.  Women especially wives, started to work.

Remember, this was back in the days that the great overdue struggles for civil rights were occurring and women were just re-discovering their voice.  And other repressed things were finally getting some exposure.  The sexual revolution had just begun and the use of drugs, especially marijuana.  Free speech, free speech for all, including college campuses was beng debated and protested for and against.  The extent of our hidden government was being explored.  Computers and all that related industry was in its infancy.  And in some cases, protests became violent and largely unaccepted such as the Black Panthers.  While non-violent protest such as the UFW was occurring, it was still largely un approved.

Except for non-violent protest much of what went on remained foreign to me.  I’d protest against a War or against Farm Workers getting shafted or the black citizens seeking to achieve rights but the sexual and the drug revolutions remained foreign to me.

Culver City Feelings

 

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Divisions

In my last post I mentioned all the divisions in the student populace of Culver High.  These divisions actually worked well.  People would visit several neighboring groups thus not having the narrow confines of their own group.  In the small group it was easier for someone new to assume the leadership of a group.  And the group or division gave one pride in their identity without being squashed.  So it was in the case of me and those kids interested in politics as I slowly rose to leadership of that group.

It also increased my popularity with the girls which I was happy about but how I treated them I was not.  Girls, it seemed, came in three divisions.  First, there was the great majority that ignored me and my politics.  Then there was a smaller group of girls who seemed to like me and for the most part I treated the girls in this group badly because of my friendly and then indifferent attitude.  Then there was the small group of girls that seemed to like me and who I liked too much to be indifferent to.  In this last group was Toni. And meeting her caused the path of my life to lurch a bit once again.

Divisions

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A Divided School

Lennie seemed to know people in all cliques of that divided school.  Generally, people mostly stayed in one group but interacted with two or three more.  There were the academics and the surfers and the soon to be housewives and the business people and the athletes and the mechanics and the creative artists the intellectual or musical snobs and the radicals and the conservatives and those more in the middle and subsets of each one.  There were those students in favor of our country’s withdrawal from Vietnam and others who wanted to send more troops. (This was the time of the lottery draft by Birthday and we were too young to know what our fate was going to be.

While this left the school fragmented in most ways it also meant communication was easier to be believed from group to group.  So that’s the way it was when a handful of students protested the US government’s war in Vietnam.  Those at the forefront of the protest, including me, found that a majority of the student body supported our activities-they had our backs.  As I discussed this with our Principal telling him that coming down hard was going to expand the protest I thought about the past years and what had occurred and what had happened to the community and to me.

I was elected the second President of the RSU which was a politically based Student Union that was able to work outside the confines of the school and the School Board.  I lost the first election to my friend Kelly who won because his indifference to winning. This group organized in the community for the UFW via food drives and had shown its support for our activities.  The students had sponsored a Westside Fair in which the activists from all the surrounding High Schools would meet each other and come to form a group.  We helped elect local politicians and became a mini power because of our manpower.

A Divided School

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City of Culver City

We moved to the city of Culver City which was a wonderful place for most people to live in, except if you were Black or Latino.  Actually, it was a good place for everyone but unbeknownst to most Culver Citians their police force was feared by most minorities who had the misfortune of driving through the town.  The restaurant was on the East edge of Culver City and I heard that members of any distinct minority on the Westside would take the long way around to bypass as much of the city as possible.

Culver City had a fine school system and though the houses were old they were well maintained and it was a pleasure walking through the town. The citizenry voted for school initiatives year after year. Probably most of you are familiar with a food landmark in Culver City, which is Tito’s Tacos. There was just something about their food, a little different, a little cheaper perhaps, that just drove people to the mostly take-out place.  The kids especially loved it, right there on the corner of Washington and Venice, who moved next door about 1980.

The restaurant that my Dad and I worked at was part of a large chain of higher quality restaurants.  The money was great and the flow of business strong and several people from the movie business ate there from actors (Edward G. Robinson, Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotten) to directors and writers (Ray Bradbury and Sam Peckinpah) who wanted to be left alone when they sought a meal and that’s what they got in that restaurant.

Some sports people also ate their as did politicians and radio personalities.  It was fun talking to and kidding with some of these people but the biggest kick was telling people I talked to someone famous.  Personally, I didn’t give a damn and when (mostly Dad) introduced me to someone famous I would smile but really didn’t give a shit.

Culver City

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Culver City

Mom and Dad found a house to rent with an option to buy in Culver City.  I didn’t know anything about Culver City but I was glad to move – I never felt comfortable in Mar Vista.  In California the Jews were mixed into the general population – there wasn’t a place really Jewish but lots of middle-class and working-class Jews made Culver City their home and neighboring Beverly Hills where the richer Jews lived.  The house was California old and was a one floor Spanish Ranch style model. I had just finished Junior High and was now entering High School.  I was focusing on politics and the UFW and my school grades began to slip though I was still near the top.  The summer of our move I was at an End the Vietnam War rally where I met Lennie and soon discovered he was planning to go to Culver High just like me.

After the rally he took the bus with me from Griffith Park to Culer City.  One transfer and quite some time later (over an hour, probably two) we arrived at my parents’ house.  We used ladders to climb on the garage roof where I built a small watermelon patch.  Lennie was entranced with the view of Culver City and walked all over the vines, killing the plants.  There was something about Lennie that made me laugh even when he pissed me off.

Culver City

 

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Pulpdiddys Permutations My Way

I’ve been writing Pulpdiddys Permutations several years now and recently I felt it is time for a change.  The change is not because I am burnt out because of the writing but because the nasty stories which is our current history has caused me to shy away from writing about it.  I still am a news junkie and when reading it have my peculiar take of it.  The battle to stay afloat amongst the vast majority of the constituency, especially in a world in which the wonders are so great that we all can benefit, is a battle we should not have to face.  What we should be doing is focusing on worldwide problems first, like Climate Change, instead of pretending they don’t exist.

Basically, the old format has been this – Monday – Sunday writing about politics or social issues or economics except for Wednesday which I reserved for Neurotic Man, and Friday, which was Thursday repeated, and Sunday which was an explanation of the purpose of the column.  But I realize I’ve had it, I’m pulling a Duran.  So Neurotic Man will be taking a rest and the rest of the format will remain the same.

While rare instances of man helping man remains, the rise of so much cynicism and jealousy and greed have forced me to re-examine the past, starting with my own.  Where did the dreams of fairness and democracy start, and where did they all go?

I know this is simplistic but we all began somewhere and mostly it is different.  While all stories can be similar, essentially, they are the same.  Well, for my story it all began in the city of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, District of Brighton in the apartment of my loving family that will be re-examined for fun and maybe a few truths along the way.  And if it doesn’t work out for either of us there’s always the possibility of the return of Neurotic Man.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

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