Degar: The Life and Times of an "Odd Duck"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A reflection on my early years!

Submitted: April 20, 2011

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Submitted: April 20, 2011

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Degar: The Life and Times of an “Odd Duck”

 

Chapter 1

 

It all began in the year of our Lord, to wit: 1944, in the small farming community of Taft (formerly, Moron) on the west side of Kern County, California. Little did I know at the time, only being minutes old, just what was going to transpire in the next 66 years! Now, mind you, about thirty-five years of my recall that I have put into these writings were done so, from a dense fog; resulting from the consumption (not to be confused with the malady: Tuberculosis) of vast amounts of liquids composed mostly of water, hops, yeast, malt and fermentation; also referred as beer. It is from this fog, that I write these memoirs.

 

My first experience with this medium (inebriation) came when I was just 4 years of age. My father or grandfather had left an opened bottle of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) on the coffee table from the previous night. The rest is self-explanatory. It was the first time my late Mother would see me in that altered state, nor the last! Something, I would later, regret deeply. From there the gravity of life seemed to take the reigns, as I spiraled uncontrollably downward, on a roller-coaster ride, without parallel!

 

Things were tough for the next 17 years, because I was unable to buy the “magic liquid” legally. In retrospect it may have been better, if I had had a shorter life span, the world would probably have been a better place (just kidding). If I had all the monies that the state of California spent on my arrests for public intoxication, (i.e., *(647- F CPC) bookings, lodging, food, etc., etc.) I could have balanced the state of California’s financial deficit fiasco, without the aid of the buffoons who had tried unsuccessfully to do for decades!

 

Since, all of my schoolmates in elementary school at St. Bartholomew’s were non-drinkers, I stayed sober until I left Catholic school after the 6th grade and transferred into the public school system to begin my junior high school days. This is where I would meet and befriend “The Lobster” and things would never be the same!

 

Sorry, folks, but I forgot to convey the fact that yours truly and the family had, by this time, left the “sleepy little hollow” of Taft and moved south to Long Beach, California into an east side section of city, known as Belmont Shore. Wow! I was in heaven, a block from the beach and a hoard of young adolescence drunks to hang with. At long last, I was in my element! I thought to myself, hell I’ll drink to that, or anything else for that matter. My run (not Rum) had begun!

 

The first of several divine interventions came to fruition on October 9, 1955 when Lions Associated Drag Strip opened up on the Westside of Long Beach. I say this because it began, and to date, I have had a fifty-six year long running love affair with the sport. My love of the drags would keep me sober on Saturday and Sundays, not that I drank that much during the school week. Well, not just yet, anyway! My Mother would later say that my interest in this sport would, and did keep me at a distance from the “magic liquid” and out of trouble. In later chapters I will focus on some of the trackside manor at the drag races.

 

My years at St. Bartholomew’s were rather uneventful, as the Nuns wouldn’t take any shit from anyone, especially a young smart ass with an attitude! If I had a buck for every time I got my knuckles whacked with a wooden ruler, I, once again, could have balanced California’s fledgling budget, yet, a second time! In hindsight, I think some of the Nuns could have batted over 300 with ease, having swings with the likes of theirs!

 

* Es mejor tarde, que nunca: better late, than never

* 647-F (California Penal Code: Public Intoxication)

 

 

Chapter 2

 

My escalation and consumption of the “magic juice” didn’t really grab me by the *“huevos” until junior high school, when my late friend, Darwin (aka: the aforementioned: “Lobster”) and I drunk a bottle of Canadian Club (only time that I ever drank Whisky, or was that Bourbon, hell I don’t know, I was DRUNK!) that his girlfriend, Sylvia, had removed from her father’s home bar and given us. However, I do recall a thought deep in my subconscious say: “oh, oh” and the dopamine began to flow, likened to a Tsunami of monstrous proportions! That night after being asked to leave a party, because of my drunkenness, something that would happen a multitude of times during nearly the next half century. Unfortunately, I returned home three hours before my designated curfew. And with my luck it was raining and my Mother had the laundry on the rack drying in the hallway to my bedroom, which was next to the wall heater. Yes, you guessed it! I stumble, or rather fell into it and awoke my Mother, who immediately accused me of drinking! Imagine that? After declaring my sobriety and of not drinking that evening, her next accusation was that I was on DOPE! I guess her latter accusation was actually valid, insomuch as alcohol is probably the most abused drug in existence, which was unbeknownst to me, the one with the gift of brilliance (smile)!

 

In one respect, that night and the ensuing hangover the following morning, I would never drink hard liquor again, well maybe once, possible twice, or yes, even a third time (smile)! The Lord works in mysterious ways! Can you dig it? I only wish that it had happened with that first bottle of PBR, but then I would not be writing this expose, now would I? In the following chapters I will share the strange and bizarre “shit” that would come to be the norm, that morphed its way into my life. As this is my first attempt at putting my thoughts on paper, I had to learn how to spell, construct a composition; using of all things “grammar” and all the shit, that goes with becoming a budding author (smile). Moving right along to junior high school days, as the tale continues into my early teens.

Will Rogers’ junior high and the three years that I attended classes there were a learning process, (i.e., smoking tobacco, drinking “Lucky Lager” beer and the young ladies; ah, yes, those young ladies). My sexual orientation was never in doubt, as I couldn’t keep my eyes off the legs and hindquarters of these giggling girls! However, my first girlfriend in junior high school, who shall remain anonymous, had the preverbal “Pirates’ Dream” that being: “a sunken chest!” I suppose that was the root reasoning for me not being much of a breast man, per se. Who gives a shit, right?

 

* Huevos: Mexican slang for testicles

 

 

Chapter 3

 

My high school came and went, as I was there physically, but not mentally regarding my education. My biggest problem was getting past the adult supervision at the Friday night dances. Once Mr. Walker and Ms. Sally had my number, I resorted to climbing the wall in the back of the facility and playing a “Humpty Dumpty” stand-in!

 

Fortunately, I was blessed with an above average memory; so without taking home a book or studying, I was able to, without an act of congress, to receive a high school diploma. *Un Mil Gracias, Dios! In the up coming chapters, I will write randomly of incidences that occurred, while I was under the influence of the “magic juice.” These years will encompass the 7th grade (1957-58) through my miraculous graduation from high school in June of 1963; my second “divine intervention.”

 

There was a drive-in called “The Tip-Top” that was the hang out on the weekends. It had a large parking lot, the perfect place to pound down a few beers, make that several! There were kids from neighboring schools that frequented the drive-in. I remember one of them saying to me that he had never seen me sober in the three years he had been going there. I am surprised that this comes to mind. Ah, the wonderment of Alcohol!

 

I would drink this shit called “Bulldog” stout malt liquor and believe me, if you drank 9 of them you left the planet Earth, without NASA’s assistance! I, shit you not! I swear that, if you soak stainless steel billets in “Bulldog” they would disappear! I guess that makes me, next to Superman, the man with a stomach stronger than stainless steel! “Bulldog” was banned back in the early 70’s, due to its toxicity *(una broma). Too bad they didn’t export this brew to North Viet Nam and given free of charge to the Cong, war over, done deal (smile)! Speaking of Viet Nam, my experience with draft board will be mentioned in an upcoming chapter. If, that is the only chapter you read, I guarantee you will get tickled! As, I left the psychiatric community scratching their heads!

 

In my senior year (1963) I was taking a sophomore class that I have failed earlier, with an instructor by the name of Mr. Hoar. Cutting to the chase, I came to class a little hung over and greeted him with: “good morning, Mr. Hoar, how is the misses and all the little Hoars! That one got me a 3-day suspension from classes. And on another occasion, I had another teacher who resembled a rat, so, being the smart-ass that I was, I set a mousetrap baited with cheese under his desk. That little ruse got me a week off. Between scheduled holidays and suspensions my attendance in high school was minimal at best (smile)!

 

My dear late Mother, once asked me why I drank, so much beer and when I replied that I didn’t particularly like the brew, it was the carbonation that I was attracted too! She didn’t buy the reply! I wondered why? She always said the good Lord was saving me for something, however, she just didn’t know what! My Guardian Angel has not been in Heaven for 66 years, having to deal with the likes of me.  My G.A. also could not keep up with my drinking and eventually ended up in rehab *(otra broma).

 

These “tales of yore” are not necessarily in their chronological order, however, they are relatively close to the time frame that I am describing. The bottom line is that these tales/stories are meant to make you laugh and forget your troubles, nothing more. There are so many tales to tell, that these little collaborations will come in many, many chapters and without rhyme, or reason. I can’t wait until 1966 rolls around in these writings, so I can expand on an earlier statement that I made concerning the Los Angeles Army Induction Center. Be patient my friends. You will be rewarded for the wait, I promise you! To be continued.

 

 

*una broma: a joke

*otra broma: another joke

*Un mil gracias, Dios: A thousand thanks, to God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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