Don Snyder and I had learned to surf the previous summer. During the following Christmas vacation we decided to bleach our hair blonde. Don was already blonde, but I had dark brown hair. Without proper instructions we went to the local Sav-On drug store and bought massive quantities of peroxide. During the following two weeks we must have used the stuff twice a day. Don turned out looking like Tab Hunter, while I ended up looking like a leftover from WWF and Orange hair. I had also purchased a new pair of huaraches and they squeaked badly.
Wouldn't you know on the first day back I was late to homeroom, and had to walk to the far wall to take my seat. The class was totally quiet with the exception of my heart which was playing the samba.
After graduation which I barely made because of so many days at the beach instead of in school learning the three R's I surfed. That lasted all of a couple weeks. That's when I found out I had to eat, and in order to do that I needed a job. Thanks to my parents I was fed, and the following year hired on at GTE. In December 1965 I got a call from Mom telling me she had a letter from the selective service board, and I was considered AWOL. I had been trying to enlist in the Air Force, but the waiting line wasn't helping. The SSB didn't believe my story that I had turned in changes of address and didn't get their marching orders (I actually did, but the post office was and is as efficient as the military). Someone told me that Phoenix AZ was taking people that were about to be drafted. To make a long story short I enlisted in the U.S.A.F. on December 12, 1965 beating the Army's deadline at Union Station by a couple weeks.
Anyone that's been through basic training will tell you that where ever you go the first two questions are "Is anyone here from New York", "Is anyone here from California". I would always raise my hand, the have to be educated on how California is the land of Fruits & Nuts. Near the end of Basic Training I had to pull guard duty...at midnight. I was an old man at 21 and needed my beauty sleep, but managed to get to the guard post by mid-night on a +10° night only to have someone ask if anyone was from California? Shit...double shit. I almost didn't answer, but finally raised my hand. I was told to go back to bed; wow another Californian.
I served 14 months is balmy Homestead AFB, just south of Miami, and then 3 years in London, when London was the place to be.
I returned home in April 1970, and went back to work at GTE (now Verizon), and am working on year 38. My first marriage lasted 4 years, but I've been married to my second wife for almost 27 years now. We bought a house in Lakewood, where we still live. If my health holds up I plan on working another 5 years then semi-retiring to Las Vegas.
On April 8, 2001 my daughter presented me with my first grandchild, Logan James who weighed in at a hefty 8 pounds 5 ounces. I plan on spending lots of time with him in the future.