This post was originally posted in a blog of mine on August 10, 2010. This is an edited version of the post and the original post has been taken down.
A Youthful Story (circa late 1960’s to early 1970’s)
Have you ever done things during your life that were not as honest as they should have been? It was many years ago, when I was 17 or 18 years old. I worked as a messenger for a children’s hospital. The hospital was built at the top of the Avenues in Salt Lake City, Utah. The hospital was built on 12th Avenue; that was as high as the Avenues went in those days. Anyway my job was to transport patients and supplies from one building to another, I would haul patients to whatever other hospital they needed to go to get the treatment they were in need of. I would also take samples that needed testing to the appropriate lab, and pick up any reports that were ready to be returned to the appropriate doctor. When the patients were done with their procedure I would take them back to their point of origin. I had other duties that included taking the food trays to the floors so the kids could eat, when the eating was done I would haul the food carts back down to the kitchen. My job kept me busy all day. I didn’t get paid very much, but it was enough to get by on. There was no health insurance in those days so if you became ill you could usually find a sympathetic doctor nurse to get you through your illness.
I was a really rambunctious guy in those days, I did what I did for work because I liked to eat and have a place to live. Living on my own was not completely my own idea, I was asked to leave my family home on my 18th birthday. I was told that I had 24 hours to get my stuff out of the house or it would be sent to the trash or given to charity or something, During that time period I didn’t have a lot of trusted friends so I made some decisions, found a place to live, and moved my belongings out of my parents’ house. I did the move in the 24 hour time frame that has been dictated to me.
The first place I lived on my own was a boarding house on the corner of 1100 east and Second South. I get away from the facts of my employment in my previous paragraph; I did work for a children’s hospital but not until a little later. During the time I lived at the boarding house I worked for a hamburger stand on the corner of 1300 East and Simpson Avenue. The place was called “MR” S. I think it was a prototype for Burger King, but I’m not sure about that. During the following year I made many friends, and lived in many places and situations, and tried my hand at many jobs. Making the ends meet occasionally was not a high priority for me at that time. I lived with different people for a time, and took advantage of their hospitality. Then something better would come along and away I would go to a new adventure.
By the time I was employed full time at a children’s hospital I lived in the Hawthorn House apartments on the corner of First Ave and C Street. MY apartment number was “3G” it was a one room studio on the third floor that had a big bay window that look out onto the roof of a church. I started meeting new and interesting people while I lived there. I would meet them at work and we would become friends; remember the time frame for all of this was the late sixties and early seventies. Hippies and disco were the trends of the day. I started hanging out at a bar call Radio City on Main street between First and Second south. I think the bar is still there. The music is what attracted me to the bar. They had a juke box with very large speakers that would make the walls rattle, and they played the best dance music in town. The Radio City was the only dace bar in town at that time. Others came on the scene rapidly but Radio City was home to many of Salt Lake Cities wilder young adults.
Many good times were had in that bar. I made a lot of friends in that bar and that’s where things start to get difficult. I’m getting off subject. Going back to the apartment where I lived in 3G some rather interesting situations developed. There were two girls, sisters if I remember correctly that lived down the hall. We became friends, I would spend time at their place drinking and maybe smoking a little pot and having a good time all-around. These little parties became quite regular as everyone wanted to show off their newest album. One night I was invited over to a small party to preview some new music. The girls were there, but they had also invited a young man that was into body building. He wasn’t particularly good looking, but he was well developed muscularly. Not knowing it at the time, I was being set up. The drinks and joints flowed freely and everyone was having a good time. During a particular energetic tune the muscle builder began doing poses to expose his well-developed muscles. He took off his shirt and trousers leaving only a jock strap to cover his nakedness, He started doing his routine, posing exposing large biceps triceps gluteus maximus all of the muscleman show. Everyone was watching me to see if I was having a good time. I was, but I wasn’t sure were this show was going to take me and I was a little nervous. I soon found out, Celia, I call the girl Celia because that is the name of a Paul Simon recording we used to listen to a lot, invited me down to my room to smoke a joint in private. The joint was not what she had on her mind. She wanted to have sex with me. She didn’t care about smoking pot or doing anymore drinking she wanted to have sex. She was a big girl with big bosoms and she wanted to get started rite away. The end result, I found out later, was she got pregnant. I never really saw here again to party with, and I think she and her sister moved out of the building. Later on, about ten months, Celia looked me up and introduced me to my daughter. Celia didn’t want me to marry her or anything like that she just wanted to let me know I was a father.