I made a lot of friends (actually, “drinking buddies”) working at the American Legion. We had parties after work and went to breakfast after that sometimes at 4AM. I lived in a studio apartment with a swimming pool right in front of my apartment. There was a fence around it and was locked at night. That didn’t stop us. We would strip down to our undies and go swimming! Life was one huge party!! (still is)
I’m not going to go into all the sordid details of the men I dated (or passed out with) (or “came to” next to). But once in awhile I would wake up in some strange place and think “OH SHIT!!“ Who? Where??? I would be afraid to turn over to see who I was with. Or I would go to work and face the music of what happened the night before. I just hated it that I allowed myself to get that drunk again and out of control! Dang, I’d say!! Never again!! HA!!
I joined a woman’s pool league. I learned how to shoot pool in Virginia Beach by a pool hustler. He spent a lot of time teaching me “English” on the cue stick and the cue ball, and made me practice just shooting the cue ball up and down the table. He was good, and so was I after awhile. He taught me to aim right and shoot easy and not hard. I wasn’t very good on the women’s pool league because I was usually drunk by the time we started at 7PM. I also joined a woman’s softball team. I wasn’t good at that either because I usually was either hung over or getting drunk. I wasn’t even good at drinking because I would drink way too much! Some people pass out at a certain stage or get sick, I would just keep on going in a black out!
I hung around a group of sailors that smoked pot. I wasn’t really into that because it made my heart race when I got my “rush”, and I would get all scared that I was gonna have a heart attack!! I’d reach over and grab my wrist and take my pulse and I’d act all creepy then everyone would giggle and say “Look, Phyllis is getting her rush”!! HAHAHAHA nothing like a hypochondriac on dope!! I would usually just drink beer and roll the joints for the others and let them smoke the dope. I was the juicer, and they were the heads! I learned how to roll the joints using a dollar bill to cradle the tobacco then roll it into the paper. I can still do that, but of course I don’t go near drugs now. REALLY!!
I got a phone call at work in August and it was Jacque from Virginia Beach. Ed Free was killed in a car wreck on a bridge by Lori’s house. The band “The new Legend” (I just remembered the name of the band!!) was in the car going to a gig in Florida. They never made it out of Virginia Beach. I can’t remember if the entire band was killed or not, but I remember at least two were killed, one being Ed. That devastated me! I loved him and thought the world of him. He was a talented, kind and well liked person. How tragic!!
A guy named Mike was bartending at the Legion, and he was single too. We both drank a lot and were good friends. I met him when he came out of a treatment center. He said he was an alcoholic and cannot drink hard liquor but he can drink beer. I believed him, and would watch him and make sure he didn’t get into the hard stuff. I had no idea what an alcoholic was and the AA concept in those days, but I was to find out a few years later, hehehehe.
Mike and I moved in together at his shack (dump) in the country. We figured it was stupid to pay two rents when we spent so much time together. That was about September 1974.
I met a guy (Larry) that would come into the Legion and sit quietly at the bar by himself and drink Millers beer. I would work the day shift once in awhile and when I got off work I would ask him if he wanted to join a bunch of us to go bar hopping. Larry was a quiet loner type of guy that didn’t say a whole lot, but giggled at us having fun. We sort of adopted Larry into our group of crazies. Larry asked me out on a date around the first of October, and I went. When Larry brought me home Mike was sitting in the middle of the floor in the dark living room with a bottle of rum. He was drunk on his ass!! That scared me. October 15th Larry asked me out again and we went to dinner. He ordered drinks and we had plastic giraffes as picks that held the fruit in the drinks. He placed the two giraffes together like they were kissing, and asked me to marry him. I was rather shocked, as that was only our second date. But I didn’t like where I was at the moment in my life. I lost a dear friend, my roommate was a drunk alcoholic, I was a drunk and didn’t know what my future held. Larry was a first class in the Navy and planned on retiring. I thought about it for about 10 minutes then said yes. Larry moved me in to his apartment the next day. He talked with mom and dad and got their blessings, then we went to the courthouse to get a license. I asked what the rush was, and he said we are getting married, might as well do it now. So the date was set. Thursday October 31, 1974. Yep Halloween!! Go figure!!