What happened to Chapter 21?
“Huh? What happened to Chapter 21,” you’re probably thinking. Well, the fact of the matter is that:
There wasn’t anything that really applies to this biography that happened in that chapter
I didn’t feel like writing about it
I thought I would just go directly to Chapter 22 to skip having to write chapter 21 and still feel like I have been keeping relatively current when I look at the list of Chapters on the page (meaning Chapter 21 makes a good place holder for the nothing I have written lately, and I don’t feel so negligent about the vast spaces of time that have been passing between chapters)
OK, if I must, here it is…
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Early the morning after the last day of school, I woke up on a Greyhound bus bound for Stockton, CA. I had all of my worldly possessions with me, except for the two most important ones – my guitar and my amplifier… I had left them at Scott’s house because I couldn’t fit them into my suitcase… or my other suitcase… or my pocket.
It was bad enough that I was leaving the band, but not to have my pride and joy was nearly intolerable… More on that later…
That summer was somewhat, though not a lot, interesting… The “highlight” was a hitch-hiking trip to Lake Tahoe. My sister’s boyfriend, Danny Johnson, and I took off one day to get jobs at Lake Tahoe. We brought everything I owned (somehow Danny didn’t actually own anything himself except a car that had a great 8 track sound system, but not a working transmission – which explains why we were hitch-hiking in the first place. But it was awesome for “cruising” the curb in front of my parents’ house – which was where it was stuck – and listening to really good music, well presented).
List of what we had with us:
Five suit cases
One suit bag
Two sleeping bags
One duffel bag
One $15.00 Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar that my brother, Bob, owned.
Seriously, that’s what we were dragging along with us. We must have looked honest (or pathetic) because we actually got a ride all the way to the lake within thirty minutes of the time we stationed ourselves on the Hammer Lane onramp to Highway 99 North…
The unfortunate part of “everything I owned” was the cash part… We had exactly $11.00. And with nothing more than that $11.00, a dream and everything I owned, we headed out.
We weren’t complete morons, though. We had a plan… A plan of action… A financial plan… And as a public service to those of you who need to know how to develop a financial plan, I would like to divulge, in sub-atomic detail, our plan for financial solvency for the rest of the summer…
It was simple, really – a two step approach:
Step One – Make my $11.00 last as long as humanly possible.
Step Two – Get jobs as quickly as humanly possible.
In order to get to Chapter 22 sooner rather than later, I will now summarize what would have been the rest of Chapter 21, had I decided to write it:
Got to Tahoe
Found a place to “camp” on the beach
Found (literally) something to eat
Went looking for jobs
Didn’t find jobs
Kept our (my) belongings in an old beached boat
Slept on the beach
Put on some slacks, ties and sport coats
Went looking for jobs
Didn’t find jobs, but got complimented on the improvement in our appearance (if not our smell) since the last time we went into the same places looking for jobs
Ran out of money
Drank the lake water – reputed to be 99% pure – I must have found the impure 1% because I –
Ended up in the hospital
Got “adopted” by two families with cute daughters who felt sorry for us
Hitch-Hiked home after three weeks of basic starvation and scuziness
Got home, expecting to find a refrigerator full of food
Had to break into my own house because nobody was home when we got there
(How can a house with 13 people plus dozens of neighborhood kids living in it be devoid of all life except the dog?)
Figured out where everybody was when we opened the refrigerator – they were grocery shopping
(I’m not kidding – there was literally nothing in the fridge or the cupboards)
Almost got into a fist-fight with my dad when they got home because I was starving and wanted to eat something and he made me wait for dinner!!
Danny’s Powerglide Transmission fell on my face when I was under his car helping him work on it
End of the summer… On to Chapter 22
I wasn’t too worried about never seeing my guitar and apmplifier again because my sister, Pat, was spending the end of the summer with the family of her friend Shanne Dickfos**, and my dad was going to be driving down to pick her up and bring her home. I would come along and pick up my gear.
Well, the day finally came and my dad and I hopped into the family station wagon (I left out the part about the dent we put into the front of the car… It’s better that way…) to go fetch my stuff… Oh yeah, and Pat…
We pulled out of th- Whoa… Look at the time! I guess I’ll have to pick this up later…
** Shanne’s is an interesting name, if for no other reason than the fact that she had four siblings, all of who’s names rhymed with “an” – Dan, Fran, Nan and Jan. Collectively they were the Dickfi (plural of “Dickfos”).
To hear actual songs by Bill Kammerer with a spiritual emphasis, click here
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