Angeleno was ours! Our meeting place, common ground where we all felt welcomed, our sanctuary. It was the first place I wanted to drive to when I got my license, the place I’d always go to after taking my girlfriend home for the night. We were always there! We couldn’t get enough of the place.
When Nosey began dating Jeff’s sister Cathy he was really there all the time. His Blue 55 chevy two door appeared to be anchored in front of her house. Later the 55 was replaced by a beautiful, yellow, 64 Malibu Super Sport. Later still, Nosey and Cathy married. Most summer nights our cars lined the street, Nosey’s Malibu, Art’s 57 Chevy wagon, affectionately and forever known as the ‘Burnt Tortilla’, because of its white color with various dark grey primer spots, Bob’s Blue 67 VW, Pete’s 54 Chevy, Paul’s 58 Ford panel, Dave’s old Plymouth, and my 61 root beer brown V Dub. Classic. Angeleno was our “American Graffiti” Azusa style.
The summer of 1969 was probably the last, best summer we spent together on Angeleno. Fresh from high school graduation we were free to hang out together with reckless abandon. We did some crazy shit that summer and had a hell of a time! Parties, concerts, Disneyland, Huntington Beach and countless days and nights on Angeleno! It was almost as though we knew that this was to be our last hurrah before dreaded adulthood finally took control of our lives. We enjoyed that summer like no other, basking in the warmth of friendship and camaraderie, going for it all, staying together until the early AM, night after night, digging our time together. Then, just like that, summer was over.
The summer of 69 was also memorable for another reason. That was the summer that my cousin Dave tried to run me down. If it hadn’t been for the quick action of Art V, I could have been seriously injured or even killed! And what, you might ask, would make my very best friend and relative attack me? A girl of course! Yep, it was classic. Since grade school we both shared the same taste in girls. We were always falling for the same girl.
The previous summer Dave had caught me making out with Cheryl, his “girlfriend” at Memorial Park! They weren’t going steady or anything, it was just kinda of an understood thing. Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I wasn’t scheming on her or anything, it just kind of happened. One minute Cheryl and I were sitting together in my 59 Ford wagon, talking and listening to music, and the next thing you know, we were lip locked! We were so into it that we never saw Dave walking across the park right towards us. Had we been paying attention we would have seen him approaching from over a block away!
Suddenly there was a knock on the passenger window, I opened my eyes and there was Dave looking mad as hell staring in at me. He didn’t say a single word to me, he simply asked Cheryl to come out so they could talk. The moment she was out of the car I started the engine and got the hell out of there. Dave remained pissed for awhile, but he got over it, eventually.
The summer of 69 found Dave falling head over heels for a girl a year older than him. Her name was Janice and she was Art’s girlfriend, Geri’s best friend. Dave was with Art when he met her and it was love at first sight. For days all we heard on Angeleno was Janice this and Janice that, it was sickening. Then on Thursday evening Art and Geri came by my house and dropped a bomb. Apparantly Janice had no interest in Dave, but liked me! They wanted to know if I wanted to go out with her on Friday. God I couldn’t believe it. Janice was a cutie and if it wasn’t for Dave I would have said yes immediately, but I remembered the Cheryl incident and told them no.
The following night a few of us got together for an after hours party at a restaurant in Glendora. There were about nine of us, Art & Geri, Janice, Paul, Bob, myself, and a few others. Dave had to work but was coming by as soon as he got off. Long story short, when Dave walked in I was sitting on a high counter top drinking a beer and talking to Janice. She was standing next to me and had her hand on my knee. Dave glared death daggers at me and stormed out of the restaurant. I couldn’t believe it. They say timing is everything and in this case they were right…
To be continued September 7th