valleyvocationalMe and Cheryl from L.P.T. Program in my VWMy first psychiatric aid job was at Pacific State Hospital on a developmentally disabled childrens ward. Pacific State Hospital was a pretty big place with over a thousand patients. I think they even had their own dairy at Pacific State or horses or farm animals. On the unit where I worked, the children were between the ages of about six to ten years old. The day that I was given an interview, while the supervisor was giving me a tour, children started climbing on me. One boy proceeded to take off my belt. The Supervisor acted as if there was nothing wrong, maybe watching for my reaction. 

I was resposible for maybe twelve to fifteen kids and followed a regimented routine. I would supervise them while they played in a playroom, some screaming and drooling and others banging their heads on the walls or on the floor. Then at a certain time I was to bring all of them to a dining area and get them seated in their chairs and then bring them their trays. Some would need to be fed. 

After we left the dining room, I brought them to the bathroom where there was a row of low, childrens toilets. I would put them on the toilets and there was a platform that I was taught was a place I could put a child to hose them off if they were filthy. I don't think I would ever use it, though, as I think the water than came out of the hose was usually cold and it just seemed like torture. 

After toileting, they were all brought to the sinks to wash their hands. I think they were allowed to play for a little while longer and then I would bring them to where they got their medications and then to where they slept and get them all into bed. Once they were all settled into bed, I was responsible for mopping and polishing the floors with a huge floor polisher. It was hard, exhausting work. I lasted only a month or so before I found a job at Doctors Hospital in Montclair.

Doctors hospital was a brand new faciliity and their psychiatric unit mostly catered to depressed, menopausal women or others that had private insurance. It was an open unit and only rarely were there any actual psychotic patients. I worked the evening shift with another psychiatric aid, who's name was Booker and it turned out he was gay also and we became close friends. We were both in the closet at that time but both had the "gaydar" even then and we had gravitated to one another and became close friends. Booker was black and had not really reconciled being gay as much as I had. He also had a daughter. The charge nurse on the unit that I was working on and the licensed psychiatric technician were both very religious. It was the year that the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar" had come out and they discussed it being blasphemy. They also discussed homosexuality being an "abomination in the eyes of God." There was no way to be out of the closet in those circustances. 

dec73You can't go anywhere in Southern California without driving and I really utlized my little red Volkswagon stationwagon. It was really my first car that I actually drove and I loved having the mobility but I knew nothing about cars. I didn't know anything about having to change the oil. Eventually, one day while driving on the freeway, the engine would freeze up and I would learn about why it's necessary to change to oil. By that time, the mechanic told me that the oil was thick and clumpy. I couldn't afford to have a mechanic fix the engine though and so I had the car towed to my apartment complex and somehow got the engine out of the car and into the living room of my apartment where I thought that I could follow directions in a book and could take the engine apart, fix it and then put it back together. 

I had never worked on cars or had any interest in cars in my entire life but there were books about the Zen of Volkswagon Repair or something like that and I thought that it wouldn't be so difficult. I was actually able to take the engine apart with the pieces spread out on my floor. I had a friend from school come over to help me try to put it back together but eventually I had to hire someone to actually put it together.

The year at Valley Vocational was intense. I was constantly on the go when my car was running and then when it was broke down for a while, I carpooled with friends from school. On the weekends I would often go to West Hollywood by myself or with Booker to go clubbing or go to the baths. 

I had a serious crush on a hispanic guy in my class named David and we spent a lot of time together. Even though he was straight, he seemed to like having me for a friend and he was one of the funniest people I ever knew. He could always make me laugh. He was a big Alice Cooper fan. 

David had a big crush on a girl in the class named Cheryl but Cheryl had a crush on me. It was a triangle of unrequieted love. I would never have David and he would never have Cheryl. She was able to get me into bed after plying me with wine and pot but that was another dismal, miserable experience for me. She had a daughter who was about five or so and would call me daddy and that was a little disturbing too. 

I was desperate to have a maketable skill and I stuck with the Psych. Tech. program through a lot of unpleasantriess. Some days we were in the classroom and others were spent in facilities, getting real world experience. We went to medical facilities, private psychiatric facilities, a Montessori school, various units at Pacific State Hospital with various types of developmental disabilities and then various Metropolitan State Hospital units with the mentally ill. We spent a week or two at California Rehabilitatio Center in Norco. It was a good program with a wide variety of experiences. Doing bed baths and cleaning up urine and feces and taking care of the basic needs of others can be a humbling growth experience.

 

LaPuenteValleyVocational

 

ValleyVocational2

 

ValleyVocational3

Published in Twenties
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 03:43

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

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. 

Published in Twenties

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Where I was born- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
Grandview- Click for story
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
Click to read "Introduction."
Women in Oils- Click for story
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Amber- Click to read story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
My Mother- Click for more photos.
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.

Article

01. Introduction

03- Dads Family

03- Photos of my Father and his family

04- My Mother's Family

04- Photos of my Mom

04- Video of my Mom

04- Walling Family Reunions

04-Audio Files of My Mom

04. Billie

04. Ole

04.1. Forbidden Dreams of Love

04.2. Flames of Forbidden Love

04.3 Mom Writing Her Life Story

05- Jim Tarbert

05. Roger

1950's Grandview to Toppenish

1957-1958 1st Grade

1958-1959- Third Grade

1959- Palouse

1961- 4th Grade- Last time I wore a dress

1962- Abilene

1963- Escondido- Early 60's

1964- Darlene Marries Chuck

1964- My Beatle Haircut

1964-The Luv Please

1965 or 1966- Steve Castle

1965- In Foster Care

1966 Living with Darlene & Chuck in Seattle

1967- Juvenile Hall

1976- I Praise Thee (poem to Stanley)

1976- My Second Lover, Stanley Dunne

1976- Paul McCartney and Wings

1976-1330 Bush Street #9J

1977- 1667 Haight Street

1977- Trip to San Diego with Mary Jo

1977-1980- Tumultuous Relationship with John Perry

1978- 525 Haight Street

1979- September- Dad is Murdered

1980's- AIDS- Death and Dying

1980- Winter- First Trip to New York

1980- Word, Sound and Power

1981- Milton- Falling in Love

1982-1993 465 Waller Street

1982-1994 Computers to MacNursing

1984- 33rd Birthday

1985- Graduation from Nursing School

1985- Trip to Hawaii (Oahu)

1988- MIdnight Caller

1989- Earthquake!

1991- Aug 10th- Mom Passes Away

1991- Black Males in Oils

1991- Crack of My Life

1993- Move to Vallejo & Our First Home

1995-1. Road Trip to Washington

1995-2. Surprise Trip to Vegas

1995-3. Grandmother Rogers & Aunts Visit Darlene's

1995-4. Amber

1998- Camping at Russian River

2000 -Thoughts about Progressive Christians

2000- Resignation from John George

2001- April- Trip to Cancun

2001- Peace and Justice

2001- September 11th

2002- April-Puerto Vallarta & Blue Bay Getaway

2002- Nov 12th- My Stepfather, George McHenry Passes Away

2003- Trip to D.C. and N.Y.

2004- Feb- Road Trip to Baha Mexico

2004- Walling Family Reunion in Spokane

2005- Christmas Poem

2005- Darlene Visit for Pride Celebration

2005- Trip to Orlando

2005-1. Europe- London

2005-2. Europe- Paris

2005-3. Europe- Venice

2005-4. Europe- Florence

2005-5. Europe- Rome

2005-6. Europe- Athens

2005-7. Knee Surgery & Tongue Biopsy

2006 Christmas Poem

2006- February 23- Times Herald

2006- Palm Springs White Party

2006- Trip to Seattle

2006-July 8th Solano Peace and Justice Coalition BBQ

2007- Feb- Carnival Destiny- Our First Cruise

2007- Tre and Casey Visit

2008- Aug 15-18 Spokane Visit

2008- Psycho Song

2009- Honored by Vallejo Gay Network

2009- Women in Oils

2010 Christmas Poem

2010- Feb. R.C. Mariner of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruise

2010- June 24- Badlands

2010- Trip to Seattle

2010-1. Europe- Amsterdam

2010-2. Europe- Paris

2010-3. Europe- Barcelona & Sitges

2010-4. Europe- Madrid

2011-1. Feb. My Fabulous 60th Birthday Weekend

2011-2. April- L.A., Palm Springs & "The White Party"

2011-3. Poem- Girl From Medical Lake

2011-4. Old Man Dancing

2011-5. May- Misty and Alex Visit

2011-6. August- Darlene and Sean's Visit

2011-7. Alex 16-18 & Pics

2012- March- Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera with Family

2013- Wedding

2014- Christmas Poem

2014- First Gay Cruise

2014- September Road Trip to San Diego

2015- Seasonal Affective Blues

2015- Second Gay Cruise

2015- War on Christmas poem

2015-"Badlands" and Gay Bar Etiquette

2015-September 8. Political History

2016 Do Not Speak for Gay Males

2016- April- Palm Springs RV Adventure

4/4/2016- Not Going Along to Get Along

9/4/15- Liberals vs Conservatives

My Dad's Family- Click for story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
Click to read "Introduction."
My Mother- Click for more photos.
4th Grade- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
Amber- Click to read story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
Where I was born- Click for story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
Women in Oils- Click for story
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
Grandview- Click for story
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.