Peace Of Mind

February 20, 2016

though  I have had throughout the years  alarm systems…that I fortunately  never had to depend on….
A year ago…after my bike was stolen from my locked garage with a  security gate before it….. 
 (I had just  ridden home from work) ….
I bought several terribly inexpensive security cameras…… but at the time I thought they would be too complicated to set up…
 I had time  recently to try them…. and was blown away by technology today…as from my smart phone I can move them 360 degrees … move them up and down…hear what is happening in the room  and even talk to someone there …..and they are sooo easy to set up
 ….(in my gated community lately   there have been several robberies – as there are in any area – due to drugs)….
 they Give me Great Peace of Mind
someone said today …well aren’t you sorry that you put them (the sandbags)  up…and I said in all honesty….we are not out of the woods yet….
I will Never forget losing my Datsun to El Nino 1982 as water flooded down San Vicente Blvd in West Hollywood….cars went floating down…my car at the curb was just totally submerged….much to my horror….
It is an  Awful experience…that you Never forget…..
and is   Why I have fire extinguishers Everywhere…(tho I have gotten better with that phobia)
in the 70’s I was cooking pork chops for Paul and myself….in one of those old ovens where the broiler was way   on the bottom…they caught on fire…smoke started billowing through the house…I opened the door to the broiler …and back then they all opened down….pulled out  the tray that  fell on the floor….and this was Before one had smoke alarms….sort of like the days before seat belts or those god awful child seats….in those days you could throw as many kids that would fit in the back area of a station wagon behind the back seat….do miss those days…..
 and fire was shooting up everywhere ……I threw water on the blackened chops – which made it worse…the fire slowly started to spread across the kitchen floor…until I grabbed the old “Flour” tin…everyone use to have back in the day… that ALWAYS sat on the counter along with “Sugar”  “Salt”… etc etc….
the flour put it out…..
I hope never to have to use my sandbags…as I never have had to use my 6 fire extinguishers…but lets face it  I cannot go get sandbags or fire extinguishers AFTER the fact….and the weather we once had….is like the Good Humor man…GONE
but when you don’t have something on hand that one could so easily get it is well 
sort of like condoms…
it might just be too late…….
Wonderful Robert and I were talking about them tonight …just  HOW difficult it  was to get them back in the day….I mean they were hidden back behind the pharmacist’s counter and God forbid anyone was in the store when you asked for them from that lady with the old scrunched up prune face…”now Honey WHY do you want them….”
it was like when Mother asked me to get Kotex for her….
Robert said the same thing happened with him…but in his case it was his mother that was embarassed to get them 
but  Robert did NOT know what they were used for…just told to get the blue box on the upper shelf that you needed pincers to bring down….later he was married to a wonderful woman  and found out……
funny how so many of us did not realize we were Gay until college or after….like my Uncle Sumner….he had planned to marry and raise his kids in Virginia…(he went to the University of Virginia for 6 years…never graduating…was a party boy…until the Dean took him aside (Sumner’s parents had died when he was in high school)….and said “Sumner you are NOT getting anywhere…I think it is best for you if you joined the Navy”….which he did….
and the Navy ….. would have loved to kick him out if they could have….
he got to be an officer due to his parent’s friends…dear Mrs Crane (her husband  owned  Crane Plumbing …..toilets etc)….she had a cocktail party at her house in Chicago  and invited her naval friends….mostly Captains and Admirals…and told Sumner to drop by during cocktail time…and to ask for her son  Jack – who was a friend of Sumners but out of town at the time …..which he did
she asked this one Admiral who was impressed by Sumner…”Admiral WHY is Sumner not an officer??
he said Well Gladys I will check into it
Sumner became an officer quite fast…
even though he had to  bribe a friend to tell him what “blinker” was saying  when he took the test
..he  ended up one night in the South Pacific Seas ……. 
for the first time “steering” the ship he was on  …in circles…
as he had NO idea how to navigate
….the Captain of the ship was thrown out of bed and came up and said “Matteson WHERE in the F… are we????”….
Sumner said well I really don’t know…pointing at the map….I KNOW we started here and we could really be Anywhere…
he was demoted to playing the records through the audio system on the ship…..his favorite was “Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar”…which as Wikipedia explains it:
The title adopts 1940s’ hipster slang coined by Raye’s friend, Ray McKinley, a drummer and lead singer in the Jimmy Dorsey band in the 1930s. McKinley kicked off certain uptempo songs by asking pianist Freddie Slack – nicknamed “Daddy” – to give him a boogie beat, or “eight to the bar
which just INFURIATED the captain….
but Sumner found out he was Gay in the Navy…. he raced a new friend …. Jo Ridder in a rickshaw in Shanghai from the bar they met at…(they were on different ships)…back to the pier….Sumner had paid his rickshaw driver to get Jo’s driver drunk….well Jo’s “driver”…(no driving was really involved as they pulled your rickshaw)…but Jo’s driver was so drunk he pulled the rickshaw with Jo in it off the end of the pier into the waters below …much to my uncle’s amusement…..
they were close friends for the rest of their lives….Jo being a Catholic and a Ridder…(they owned a lot of the newspapers back in the day)….married a wealthy homely girl….
I will never forget receiving a bed spread in the 70’s from my uncle as a house warming present….a mink throw for my bed…he told me that it was Betty’s old mink…(Jo’s ex….) Jo’s secretary at the time…found out that Jo had been paying storage on it for several years after his divorce…she asked what she should do…Jo said oh make it into a mink throw and give it to Matteson…
He said knowing Jo was Gay gave him a Great Peace of mind…as he confusedly  thought he was the Only Gay person in the World..
(an aside)…my new electrician (Todd Hill)…who is NOT gay… about my age…and is the nicest guy one could meet…I asked him yesterday how long he had been in business…25+ years….how long he had lived here….he said well I was born in Iowa…we moved here when I was 4…and Palm Springs only had one stop light… father moved here to be a barber…….

Moving to Palm Springs has been the Best thing that I have Ever done….as I have never been happier….and due to my friend Ron…Never Ever have  known  such a wonderful group of friends…so many from the Midwest….from where my family hails…

someone recently asked me Why I was not writing like I use to…
once a week…
and all I could think was it’s due to having for the first time in my Life Ever such a Valuable essence….
a true….
Peace of Mind

3 Responses to “Peace Of Mind”

  1. Richard said

    Super enjoyable once again. Thank you for the fab stories, so glad our families came from the Midwest with the same “values” R&R

  2. Richard said

    Oh I forgot, when I worked in the little grocery store in my hometown, I had to wrap the “kotex” in brown paper bags and put them on the shelf, just this mysterious little brown box that people would come in to buy. We have come a long way–I think.

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