remember that one time in band camp?… jus kiddin. I really do have a true story for ya. when I first married in 1973, David (hubby) was still in the navy. when he got out, we lived on the farm he used to work on, as a teen. after nearly 2 years of struggling we decided to move away from our tiny hometown in upstate, NY. I had a friend named Susie who lived in Tampa, Flo-rida at the time and she had been encouraging us to move there because “Dave would have NO problemo” finding a job. we sold our furniture, packed the rest in our mustang, and headed on down the highway. eleven miles from Canada down to Tampa. it took us 3 days to drive on down I-95. of course road construction was going on (isn't it always when one travels?) and we had to go through detours through lil towns in the middle of the night.
let me say just one thing about that. never EVER stop at a red light in the middle of the night when all you can see around you are old rundown buildings with bars on all the windows. it never leads to anything good. we saw some guys come out of the corner pub and open fired on each other, with one of ‘em fallin to the ground. after I popped my eye balls back into their sockets, I yelled for David to get us outta here NOW. so he put da peddle to da meddle and we went through the red light and didn’t look back. what a nice lil trip we had going south.
eventually we were back on I-95 and luckily we didn’t have to go through any other deep south lil redneck towns where people get shot right in front of two new Yorkers with everything they owned packed to the ceiling in their lil mustang. well, at least our car was new. earlier that year we’d had the misfortune of totaling 3 cars in accidents which weren't our fault but that there’s a whole other post.
my dad lived in Daytona beach, so we stopped to see him first. let’s just say we weren't there long and it felt like we were not really welcomed. I don’t care how good those ribs were that had been cooked on the grill in his flo-rida lanai in the back of the house. and I really couldn’t care less that it was decorated all chee chee hoo hoo with netting on the ceiling filled with shells and starfish and other beach paraphernalia. all I knew was, we grew up with nothing and lived on welfare barely making ends meet whilst he and his new famalamadingdongs were living the high life. (but that’s another post I must say).
they had a freekin gas grill! when I was growing up and we wanted a cook out, we’d burn our trash and cook our doggies over the flames of it! that was our grill. yeah, and our lanai was a weed filled field behind our house full of skeeto’s and snakes. I sure as hell didn’t see any sea shells and netting there. the only netting we had was to catch the snakes.
nevertheless, we left good ole daddio’s and went on our merry way to Zephyrhills, where Susie lived. it was fun for about 2 weeks and then it all went to hell in a hand basket. David got hired immediately as she said he would, grading oranges in a packing house. he would come home smelling like oranges and I lerve them so I enjoyed it. he’d bring me mercotts? I think that’s what they were called. they were the best freekin oranges I ever had in my life and still are. he said they were so sweet they used them to sweeten the sour oranges when making natural OJ (the juice you drink, not the killer).
as we entered the third week, we knew it wasn’t going to work out. because you see, Susie wasn’t the same girl she was in high school growing up. back then we were so innocent and naïve. but living with her opened our eyes to many things. she was a dirty whore. she had a boyfriend and cheated on him with other guys whilst hers was at work. and she wanted us to be her alibies. SAY WHAAAAAAAAAT? yeah. whore. slut. tramp. what have you. she was all of ‘em.
by the time we decided to leave there, we had been there nearly 3 weeks. she said if we weren't going to lie for her, then we needed to leave. we only had a tiny bit of money left by now, and no place to go. we drove around and around trying to figure out what to do. we got free ketchup and mustard packets from the drive-thru’s and ate those on crackers. if we could get hot water, we’d have us some tomater soup. it didn’t kill us. it just gave us the shits.
one of David's brothers lived in Pensacola, so we decided to go there, stay with them and David would try to find work there. oh yeah, was THAT a hoot! his brother was married to an older woman who made the wicked witch in the wizard of Oz look like a purrin kitty kat. let me just say that rather than take her inventory, I can sum her up in just one word. psycho bitch. I thought I was going to lose my mind. all they did was smoke weed and drink a lot. I mean A LOT. I’ve never been a smoker so one night she gave me a full bottle of robotussin cough syrup. she said to take a few swigs, it’ll gimme a nice buzz. cough syrup, I thought? what good would that do, I asked out loud. before too long, I looked down at my hand which was holding the bottle and realized it was empty.
yep. I drank the whole freekin thing. grape flavored so me teeth were purple. (as I write this, I am throwing up in my mouth, a little). we all went roaming in the neighborhood (dark out now) and they lived near a train track. I was just tellin everyone that the ROBO just wasn’t doin a thing for me- when I started hearing tornados all around us. I was freekin, baby! I was SO askeeeered I peed my pants. to this day I don’t know what else happened that night but I woke up in the bath tub nekked. how did I get home? how did I get in the tub, I asked meself? who took off me clothings? I was still a lil freeked out the next afternoon whenst I finally woke up, or came to… you pick. I told them what I remembered and they just laughed. there were no tornados, it was the train. which happened to come through a few more times that night to which I’m told I howled like a wolf in heat in fear that it was gonna get us. how darn silly I felt. and my head hurt. then I had the shits. and I threw up. twice. kids, don’t ever do this at home..
we had been with them for about two weeks, but David had been looking for a job from day one. by this time and no job offerings, we knew we had to leave, plus there was tension with the psycho bitch… and we were tired of it. but we had NO money, just a small handful of change. we decided to go to a pay phone (cuz they didn’t have one) and call his mom and beg for enough money to go home and Dave would go back to his farm job, making $74.00 a week working 6 out of 7 days, 12 hour shifts. farming is hard. it really is. we spotted a gas station with a phone booth, so we went there and he called his mom. no answer.
discouraged beyond belief, (me crying) we pulled outta the gas station when suddenly Dave remembered that he had left the rest of the change on the ledge of the phone booth. so we went back, but it was gone. we figured the attendant took it, no one else was around. sadly trying to think of 12 ways to die, we pulled out again to go back to his bro’s, angry, upset, and asking God why… when BOOM a car hit us broad sided and pushed us up the road a bit. we thought, what more could go wrong? an accident, no money, livin with a psycho bitch…
we exchanged info and all that jazz, and discovered the driver of the car who hit us was a veteran and had a prosthesis on one leg as he got wounded and needed an amputation. he said his leg locked up when he went to brake and he accidently pushed on the gas rather than the brakes. I guess if you cant feel your foot like that, it’s understandable that it would go right rather than left in a moment of a crisis situation. you can laugh guilt free- we sure did, years later… he was a nice fella. we felt bad, his car was all smashed up.
ours was still drivable. so we looked up our insurance company which was Nationwide is on your side… apparently1975 in Pensacola there were little shops where you drove your wounded car into, they’d examine it, and write you a check right then and there. we couldn’t believe it. within an hour’s time, we had over $800.00 in damages. afterwards, I told Dave we shoulda took a hammer to it.. mo money.. it felt like we’d won the lottery! who’d a thunk it when we were at our lowest, poorest point, that a peg-legged veteran would hit our car and we’d be handed 800 bucks! t’was a miracle, just a miracle. God works in mysterious ways.
needless to say, the next morning we hugged his bro and thanked him for letting us stay. as for the psycho bitch, we- nay, I cant lie, we were nice and said a proper goodbye (and good riddance in my head) then I shanked her... David had another brother in Ozark, Alabama… so we wanted to see them before we headed home. it was sort of on the way. kinda.. after we arrived and explained everything we’d been through, his brother said we can’t go back to a crappie farm job, and that he knew some people Dave could interview with. the next day, he went to the place his brother suggested, got hired on the spot, and that’s how we ended up living in Alabama for 5 years.
there’s more…. like the time when ROOTS came out and the south went into an uproar, or the time I was on the throne, happened to look up and saw a man jumping up & down watching me thru the lil window… erm, the time Dave drove a bunch of us around whilst we sat in the back part of his clampet mobile and we all took off our bra’s and threw them at people.. I already told you guys about the paper route I had and me and my ma nearly died.. yep. there’s so much more but I will save it for another time. now boys and girls, it’s time to go nighty night… sleep tight, don’t let the hotel bed bugs bite..