Friday, March 20, 2009

Two Steps Backward? or

Ok, so I had to go back to Auburn again, after I first took a trip to the Gulf Coast in December, 1970. It was so beautiful at the beach that year in December.

I went with my true soul mate Curtis. I knew we were soul mates because we even had the same birthday, January 4. He was one year older. We met by happenstance on Southside a few months earlier. I went to a party one night with someone I can't remember that I knew from high school. I met another guy there who was more fun, and left with him. His roommate was Curtis. Curtis was a prominent businessman on the Southside. Anyone remember gold microdot?

Curtis was from Santa Rosa. Back then the Santa Rosa and Grayton Beach area was almost uninhabited. One of the good things about Birmingham is that it is between the Smoky Mountains and the Gulf Coast. It was easy to go either direction and be in beautiful surroundings in a few hours.

So naturally we went to Florida for a little trip, and went to the beach and stayed all day amongst the sand dunes at Grayton State Park.

That is how I lost my car. I was still only 18 years old, and parents giveth but also taketh away. They also decided that Southside was a little too much for me, and didn't I want to go back to Auburn?

So I went back to school, and that was the end of Curtis and me.

Auburn was not really much better than Southside as far as being safe from wild goings on. Although I must say, I got a creative education inventing fun things to do. I went with a fellow student up to Ashville, NC to see the snow and mountains, and we went to see Rod Stewart in Knoxville. Rod Stewart was great- especially the band- I guess it was the Faces with Ron Wood. Knockout! Also the dam slides were good for hours of fun when the weather got warmer that spring.

Soon thereafter I met a guy named Nicky who was about to graduate with a degree in Math. He certainly was a prominent businessman in Auburn at the time. So of course, all the action was around him and his friends. I went to a few classes but was pretty bored by school. I started reading Dostoyevsky, Hesse, Sartre, Vonnegut- all the usual suspects.

By April, we decided to just get married for the heck of it. I borrowed a "Mexican wedding dress" from a friend. We went to the courthouse in Opelika and got married. Just like that. I did not even have any shoes on, nor did I have any kind of ID. We told them we were students and they married us! He graduated in May, and we moved back to Birmingham.

You know, come to think of it, if I had stayed continuously on the Southside during those heady days, I might have lost my head entirely. I think the side trips extended my life. To be continued.....