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Tuesday, 17 March 2015 03:43

1972-2. Back to WA-Then Upland, CA

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After Jim's suicide notes, I went to Spokane and stayed at my aunt Ole's. I remember being at Ole's and telling them of the last few months in San Francisco, with Kenny overdosing and drinking the drano and Jim disappearing. I also told my mom about the flyer I had seen at the employment office about the training program for Psychiatric Technicians and told her that it sounded interesting. She and George were heading back to Southern California.

I think I wound up going over to Toppenish and bar tending for my dad which I really hated. Dad was hard to work for because he expected more from his kids than his employees, yet wanted to pay them less. The bar was a pretty rough place with derelicts, winos and Yakima Indians always wanting to fight with Mexicans for some sociological reasons. It was bitter cold there in the winter which would make it hard to breathe for me in the mornings because it felt like it was freezing your lungs. There was absolutely nothing to do in Toppenish for entertainment and even less to do there if you were gay. Occasionally on the weekends I would drive over to Seattle. 

After one of the trips to Seattle, I was giving my father a ride. I'm not sure who's car it was since I don't remember having one of my own so it must have been his car or a car he let me drive while I was visiting there. He was drunk in the back seat. It seems like David might have been with us. He started rambling on about knowing what I had done in Seattle and that he had a private detective follow me there since I was his employee and he had to check out all his employees. In his drunkeness, he told me that he knew all about me and that he loved me. He rambled on about his being the best "actor" in the world. It was all pretty incoherent but apparently he had someone discovered that I was gay and knew where I had been going in Seattle. 

There were several times that I worked for my dad at the Brunswick and it is all pretty sketchy in my mind. Before I was twenty-one, I could only work in the restaurant side of the establishment as a waiter and dishwasher. After I was twenty-one, he had me working behind the bar. It was a pretty awful place and at one time, I think it was open twentyfour hours a day. I was fired from the place one time because I left for California without my dad's permission but there was no way I could live happily in this dying small town.

By 1973, mom and George had moved from Washington to Upland, California, which is outside of Los Angeles. Mom had looked into training programs for Psychiatric Technicians and had found on in La Puente, not far from Upland. She must have called me about the program and offered to let me come and stay with her and George in Upland. I was eager to get out of Toppenish. I am not sure if she bought the ticket or if dad did. I doubt that I would have had any money saved but I guess that is a possibility as I was living in dad's house and probably didn't have many expenses. Regardless, I got the money together from somewhere and got out of that hell hole and made my way to Upland, where I would get enrolled in the Psych. Tech. program at Valley Vocational. 

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