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"Santa Barbara"


I went to a clinic in Los Angeles and had the staff infection treated. Then I started to hitch-hike up the coast with San Francisco as my destination.
A car stopped, I got in and started a conversation with two other hitch-hikers who were headed for Santa Barbara. They talked me into stopping off there with them and we toured the beach and pier area. I immediately felt at home and decided to stay. I really felt that I'd found a spot where I could place some roots.


The welfare Dept. in Santa Barbara put me up in the Schooner Inn on State St. and I started to look for a job.
One full days work picking lemons only got me a few dollars and lots of scratches on my arms and hands.
Next, I found a job as a bus-boy at the Copper Coffee Pot where I was required to wear a white shirt, black pants, and black shoes which I bought at the Alpha Thrift Store. By the end of the first day I couldn't walk. I blamed the job and quit, only to find that the fault was with the second hand shoes which I was wearing.


Ironically, the next job I got was at Pennys Department Store selling shoes. I held this job for quite a long time and met a lady who became my girl friend after buying shoes for her two sons.
She was a tall, dark, slim, Hispanic woman with lovely, smooth, tight skin, which was remarkable for a woman her age, having had two children.
Our most exciting time together was a trip to Ventura to see the porno flick "Deep Throat", when it was first released. Afterward, she practiced the "technique" on me as I drove all the way back to Santa Barbara, which was a thirty or forty minute ride. To me, though, it seemed only a few minutes. She was hot!


While working at Pennys, I often went up to the Arlington Theater and would ask for a job. I wanted to work there more than anywhere else. The theater was, and still is, a true classic. It had been designed by an architect of renown for Fox Pictures, in the thirties, when movie studios had their own theaters for premiering their new releases. The Arlington was the jewel of the system, massive, with Spanish architecture, and an interior like no other theater in the world.
The first time I was ever in the theater, it was late afternoon. I walked around in the lobby waiting for the matinee to end. When the show was over and the veiwers had exited, I walked into the auditorium and sat down, looking around in amazement. I was sitting in a Spanish courtyard with lovely stucco houses on both sides, a huge balcony high in the back, and the stage, with curtains drawn, in front. I looked up to see twinkling stars in the evening sky and was sure that this was an open air theater, like a drive-in, except you weren't in your car. The interior of the Arlington Theater gives you the impression of being outside. It finally dawned on me that it had been daylight when I came into the Arlington and was still daylight outside. Upon looking at the starlit sky for awhile I could see that the stars were twinkling much too regularly. I was looking up at a huge domed ceiling with little blinking lights for stars. The sensation was remarkable and I knew, right then and there, that I had to be a part of this fabulous place.
I'd walk up from Penneys at every chance I could and ask, "Please do you have a job for me?"
One day I got a chance to talk with the manager, Mr. Joseph Proulx, who turned out to be the best boss I, or anyone else, could ever hope for. He hired me as a part-time door man.
I worked for Joe at the Arlington Theater, off and on, for over five years.


It wasn't long before I quit the job at Pennys and began to work at the Arlington Theater full time, as door man, and often, I would be behind the concession stand selling hot dogs, popcorn, candy, and sodas. Everyone on the crew got along very well. The work was easy and I loved all the movies that I could watch, free of charge.
I started to date some of the girls who worked at the Arlington.
Kathy was an eighteen year old buxom blond and was affectionately referred to, by the men at the theater, as "Kathy Cleavage". I was in my thirties and she told me that I reminded her of her father.
We would neck heavily, and got to the point where we would get into my bed and pet in the nude. After several dates though, she couldn't resist any longer and had sex with me. I was careful, but hadn't used a condom.
Then, she dropped the bomb.
"Ron, I missed my period. I think I'm pregnant."
I knew it was a possibility. I was scared stiff.
"I told my uncle," she said one day. I was scared to death, now. I'd never had a girl in my life tell me that I'd gotten her pregnant before, except for a couple of girlfriends in the Philippines.


Pressy, my best girl in the Philippines
Pressy Paglinawan was a talented singer and an imitator of Timi Yuro. She did a great rendition of "I'm So Hurt". Filipinos loved American music, and although they never played original rock and roll, they could sing and play fabulous imitations. Although Pressy was a good singer, she couldn't make a living at it, and was a prostitute of sorts. She worked at "Moms' Friendly Grill", a bar just outside of the San Miguel Naval Communications Station where I was stationed in Zambales Province on the island of Luzon in 1961.
"Moms'" was my favorite hang-out and "Mom" got to like me more than any of the other Navy guys who came in to drink and pick up on the ladies who served up the San Miguel beer.
Most of the men who frequented "Moms" would drink too much and then treat the girls like animals. I didn't get drunk and treated the girls, and Mom, with respect. I realized, that this was a different culture, adjusted well, even learning some of the language, Tagalog.
Mom would often invite me to eat with her and the girls. She would cook up "pork adobo" and "spring rolls" for us.
The girls lived in apartments in a building behind the bar where they could also entertain the men.
Occasionally families in debt would send their very young daughters to work in the bar and have her send money home to them. Some of these young girls were virgins and would just serve beer for the small commissions they would get, also, they would coax the sailors into buying them a shot, which was high priced, colored, sugar-water. Mom's Friendly Grill, my favorite hang-out in the PI
Mom would introduce me to these new virgin employees and ask me to take their virginity. She knew that I would be gentle and understanding with them.
"As long as they are virgins," she said, "they can't make very much money."
I had a good, non-paying position at "Moms". I almost never paid for sex during the year and a half that I was stationed at San Miguel.
Pressy wasn't terribly jealous of my activities with other girls. She couldn't, because she was actually married to a marine who she claimed forced her to marry him at the point of a gun. He was locked up in the brig for the entire time I was stationed there.
For awhile, Pressy was my "steady girl", meaning we lived together. I paid all of the expenses of our bamboo house, food, and her clothes and cosmetics. All the girls wanted to "go steady" and get out of the bars.


When I first got to the Philippines, I was basically a virgin, myself.
My very first sexual experience, if you will, was while I was living in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, where I was born. My mother, father, sister, and I were living in the maids quarters above the garage behind my grandfathers' house. My grandfather had been struck dead by lightning just before I was born and my grandmother lived alone in the main house, a veritable mansion on High St. My father was a not-too-successful salesman, and partner with his brother in my grandfathers' hardware store.
I was about five years old when a neighbor girl, who was about a year older than I, went behind the garage with me. There was a hiding place between the garage and the fence. She let me look at her "privates". Seeing my little girlfriend up close like that was very exciting to me. I found a popcycle stick on the ground and inserted it up into her.


A year later we were living in the Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia after my father and his brother split up their association in the hardware business. My dad was now an appliance salesman at Strawbridge and Clothier Department Store.
There was a little girl who loved to play doctor with me at a construction site near the Fern Rock Station. We would hide in a tool shed where she would take off all her clothes and let me examine and touch any part of her body. We were about six years old.


Living in Philadelphia was awful, especially having to go to Catholic School where I was tortured by the frustrated sisters.
The school had no lunch room, so we brought sack lunches from home and would file into a classroom to eat. I was always a prompt little fellow and was one of the first students to arrive. One day, I sat down in one of the first seats in the front of the room. I was always a slow eater, chewing everthing very well, and all together enjoying my food. I was one of the last in the room, as most of the other students had left. The sister in charge of this lunch class was walking around the room like a trooper. From the back of the room she said in a booming voice, "Who's got a baloney sandwich?"
After a room full of kids had eaten and left, there were only a couple of kids there. I raised my hand and said, "I do, sister".
She told me to come to the back of the room to look at a piece of baloney that was on the floor.
"Get down and lick it up," she demanded.
The little piece of baloney and mayonnaise had been stepped on. I was disgusted. I knew that I'd not been in the back of the room. This was not anything I'd done.
I said, "No, I won't."
The sister pointed to the ceiling light fixture. "Do you see that light with the string hanging from it? I want you to report to me after school and I'm going to hang you to death from that string."
I went through that whole afternoon thinking that it was my last. I reported to her with the belief that I was going to be hung.
"I'll let you go this time, but if you ever drop food again, I'll do it. Do you understand me?"
I cried all the way home that night.
I went to first grade, twice, while at that Catholic School, so, I may have been six or seven years old, and of course, very impressionable.
Another experience I had while in the care of the sisters of Saint Helinas' School is etched deeply in my mind. Several of us students were talking while the teacher was out of the class. When my teacher, Sister Florence Teresa, returned, she apprehended us. We'd actually been communicating. We were lined up against the wall where Sister Florence Teresa explained, "I want all of you to report to me after school. I'm going to take you to the basement, throw you into the funrnace, and burn you to death!"
I was so traumatized, that from that time forward, I don't remember ever talking to anyone at school, even in the playground during recess. I again went through the day thinking I was going to die, never to see my mother or family again.
Is it any wonder, that now that I can think for myself, I'm an atheist, and have no tolerance for organized religion.


Finally, my folks bought a house on the Rancocas Creek in Birmingham, New Jersey, and we left Philadelphia, for good.
In Birmingham, a girl who was from a very low class, local family, met me while bicycling and coaxed me, at the age of thirteen, into the woods of my grandfathers' farm. She pulled up her dress to show me her vigina. She was just starting to get a little pubic hair. I was excited, but, got on my bike and rode straight home, afraid. My mother had taught me well, to be afraid of girls who were interested in me that way.
Later that night, as I was in my room doing my homework, the hot little neighbor girl called my name from across the railroad tracks that ran between our house and the road.
"Ron....Rooooon", she sang, over and over.
My mother was upset as though I'd done something wrong.
"Do your homework and don't go outside," she said.
"Rooooon.......Ron," the girl called. I wanted to go out. To hell with homework, I thought, I hate it anyway. I really was interested in what this girl wanted of me.
My mother explained to me that this girl wanted to get pregnant by me, and then, I would have to marry her. She was from a poor family and thought that we were rich.
"She will get you into trouble," my mother explained.
She was probably right. So, I never spoke to Sara again.


I'd tried having sex with two different girls while in my senior year of high school, with very poor, if not drastic results.
I'd attempted it, using a condom, with my girlfriend Sandy, in the back seat of my first car, a 1955 Plymouth. The best I could do was get only half-way in, which wasn't enough for us to enjoy ourselves.
Later, Sandy and I got caught by my parents. They said that they were going to the store, so, we thought that they had left the house. We dropped our clothes on the floor as we hurried to my bedroom, only to find, as we jumped onto my bed, that my mom and dad had come right back into the house. They kicked Sandy out of the house while my mother, who was in hysterics, yelled that Sandy was a whore. My father told me that his house was no longer my home.
The only other experience was in the back seat of my Plymouth, just after graduation from high school. I had just met this girl on the last day of school and we were both virgins. She was visiting her uncle in New Jersey from Andalusia, Alabama, was as green as I, and as hard as we tried, I couldn't penetrate.


My first experience in the Philippines was with a prostitute from one of the "barrio bars". She was annoyed that I would even consider using a condom, was insulted, and when I couldn't "get off" in the "damn thing", pulled it off of me and threw it at the wall in a rage.
A few days later, I was in the enlisted mens' club on base, talking to another sailor who'd been stationed in the Philippines for some time. After hearing my story he said he knew a girl in Olongapo who would show me a good time.
We took the Navy shuttle bus into town and he introduced me to Sabrina, who was quite a bit older than I. I was eighteen and I'd guess Sabrina was thirty or so, which seemed quite old to me. We went into the bedroom and proceeded to make love. Sabrina was a true master at the game.
I had "Cinderella liberty". I had to be back on the shuttle bus to the base by midnight. We had a clock by the bed so that I wouldn't be AWOL. We had sex for three hours and forty-five minutes. I had seven orgasms and never lost my erection! I was never to experience anything like that again.
Sabrina wanted to be my "steady" girlfriend and took me home to meet her mother, father, and little baby, who had a badly deformed head. I was dumbfounded by the tiny room that they all lived in together. I'd never seen such poverty before and was so turned-off by it all that I never went back.


I was happy just hanging out at "Moms' Place" and occasionally having girls ask me to have sex with them. I was probably one of the only guys who rarely paid for sex, and definately one of the only guys who never once got the "clap", for which the Philippines is famous. In our Navy indoctrination for the Philippines, we were told that if we washed off and urinated just after sex, we stood a good chance of not picking up the painful disease. I went one step further and often carried a small vile of alcohol with me, which I'd pour over myself in addition to the prescribed procedure.


But, back to the subject of pregnancy. My "steady" girl, Pressy, was, she said, pregnant with my baby, and was trying to get me to marry her. I insisted I wouldn't. Besides, she was already married. I knew I'd never take her back with me to the United States. She told me that one day she was running to catch a bus and "dropped" the unborn baby. Many of the girls had trouble with their pregnancies beause they had had so many abortions. I was relieved, even though I was sort of interested to know what being a father would feel like. My girlfriend Marissa and me
just after she lost her virginity to me
Another girl, "Marissa", who was just a teenaged kid, said that I'd gotten her pregnant. I'd taken her virginity at the request of "Mom" and felt I might be the father. She was the daughter of a service man and a prostitute, so was "looked down upon" by other Filipinos. She had lighter skin and dark brown hair from her Caucasion father. Just before I "shipped out", I had sex with her again. She was eight months pregnant. It was my first experience with a pregnant woman. She was just a kid actually, maybe sixteen, and was as big as a watermelon. She too, wanted me to marry her and take her to America. I wasn't sure that the baby was mine, because after our love affair, she had continued having sex as a prostitute in another bar.
After I got back to the States, "Mom" wrote to me in New Jersey and told me that the baby had been born and obviously had had a Filipino father.


At the Arlington Theater, Kathy told me she was pregnant and wanted to get married. I was all but ready to run for the hills. I was thirty, felt I was still young, and didn't want any part of marriage, and told her so. I even suggested that she get an abortion. She gave up the idea of our "tying the knot" and one day about six weeks after our possible mistake, told me she had started her period. I was very relieved, but, decided to get a vasectomy so as not to ever have to worry again.


I went to Planned Parenthood and made an appointment. On the fateful day, I took the bus to the clinic in Goleta and was laid out on an operating table, given a local anesthetic, and watched, as the doctor, assisted by a very effeminate assistant, cut two little incisions in my scrotum, pulled out my vas, removed a piece of each, tied me off, and sewed me back together.
I went out to the waiting room expecting my promised ride to be there, but had to hitch a ride home!
Later that night, I went over to visit my Hispanic girl friend to find out why she had abandoned me at the clinic. She apologized, and then, I had sex with her, to see if I was still working properly. I'd been instructed not to do anything for a couple of weeks, but I wanted to be sure that I was still a man. Everything worked fine, but then, for a week, I had to deal with a lot of swelling.
I was walking around the Arlington Theater like I was a bow legged saddle tramp just off a long, hard cattle drive. Joe, my boss, saw that I was walking strangely and asked me, "Oh, did you hurt your little wee-wee?" I was mortified.


Kathy lost her job at the Arlington Theater after leaving the ticket booth unattended. We hadn't had sex after our little scare, anyway.
I started to date another employee, Meg. I'd often walk her home after dark but she wouldn't let me have sex with her.
I met a girl on the street and invited her to come over to my apartment later in the evening. My apartment was just across the street from the Arlington. That evening, I asked Meg over and proceeded to seduce her. For the first time I was going to score with her. Then, there was a knock at the door. It was the girl I'd met earlier and she was definitely a "sure thing", so, I dismissed Meg and had sex with the stranger. Meg was angry with me and our relationship was over.
Since there was little action for me in Santa Barbara and the Arlington only paid minimum wage, I decided to leave for the summer and look for greener pastures.


I'd purchased a Binelli 125 motorcycle and took off for Las Vegas through Death Valley and across the Panamint Mountains. I had to walk at the side of the bike up the sides of the steep mountains because the little motors' pulling power just wasn't enough to handle me and my heavy luggage.
In Las Vegas I slept in my tent and ate free food from the casinos until I got a job at a new porno theater where I sold tickets and operated the projector. It was a shoe string operation that had just opened. I had a few very unusual experiences while working there.
A man came in with his wife and asked me to come into the theater for a moment and sit with them. I sat next to his wife who put her hand down between my legs and asked me if I would like to have fun with her after work. I met them later and had sex with the lady on the reclining passenger seat while her husband just drove around town.
Another night, a mother and daughter watched the movie and when they came out, the mother asked me if I'd like to go out with her daughter. I went to their home and had sex with the girl.
Late one night, a drug addict robbed me at gun point. I initially gave him the silver dollars from the register. I had earlier taken all the paper money and stashed it, so that it wouldn't get stolen. The thief was angry and asked for my wallet. I explained to the boss that I'd lost my wallet, money, and ID, by protecting his money, but he wouldn't reimburse me for my losses.
The boss brought a prostitute into the theater and said that he was going to make her available to customers. He sent me into the projection booth with her, to have me "try her out", but we both seemed to be too shy at the time to get anything started.
The police came into the theater a couple of days later and arrested the boss for soliciting. He tried to put the rap on me. I wouldn't "take the fall" for him, so he closed the theater without paying me and then reopened with a new employee.
Suspecting more "foul play", I had earlier made copies of the business logs and took them to the Department of Labor. When I returned to Santa Barbara there was a nice check for "back pay" waiting for me from Nevada.


I went back to work for Joe at the Arlington which was the place where kids from Santa Barbara High School would hang out on weekends. I got to know a few of them. I'd go down to the schools' "lower field" at lunch time and hang out with some of the students.
I met a sophomore girl who would "ditch" classes and come home with me for sex. We soon tired of one another, so, she introduced me to her Jewish girlfriend who had the biggest and softest breasts I've ever seen. They were like enormous marshmallows. We had sex a couple of times and then lost interenst in one another, too.
I once again got the wanderlust. I'd heard Frank Zappa, in an interview, mention a place called Winnemucca in northern Nevada. I asked for a leave of absence and headed there.


When I arrived I got a room at the Winnemucca Hotel and a job at the "Star Casino" as a prep-cook. The short-order cook quit during lunch and I was forced to take his position. After cutting my finger badly I quit and got a job working at the old "Dirty Bird Casino".
Carlos Morales had bought the casino and was in the process of cleaning it out prior to reopening. I worked with a Piute Indian for a few weeks and we got the old casino cleaned out. Carlos was going to name the new casino the "Sundance".
I took another job with Apco Oil Co. prospecting for gold in Pumpernickel Valley with the same Indian friend. We were supervised by a geologist, surveying and sampling an area where there were some old abandoned mines. Apco was looking for enough gold dust in the soil to set up a factory and extract the gold using a process involving "cyanide leeching". The soil is piled up in huge rubber lined ponds and soaked down with a neutral solution of cyanide. The gold dissolves and is leached out in the solution to be extracted later from the run-off liquid. Then, it was a fairly new process, and since the price of gold was almost at nine hundred dollars an ounce, it could be pofitable.
We were exploring some of the old placer mines too, going down into them and taking samples. The geologist in charge said that going down into these fifty year old mines was very dangerous and that we could go with him, at our own risk. Four of us went down into a really deep mine that had a few places where the timbers had failed and the roof had caved in. We had to climb over the collapsed material and crawl through some small spaces, but we finally came to the end, a couple of hundred feet into the mountain where there was a large "room" with lots of things lying around that the miners had left behind.
The geologist, my Indian friend and I were shocked when the inexperienced helper walked up to a cardboard box, and while saying, "I wonder what's in this?", kicked the box. We told the guy not to be so stupid and opened the box to expose some old dynamite, glistening with nitro glyserine. All you had to do was breath on this unstable stuff to set it off. Nobody would have ever found us down there if it had exploded.


I went to the new Sundance Casino often and looked in to see what work was being done. Often I'd tried the door. One day the door opened and I walked in. Carlos, the owner, was sitting at the brand new bar.
"Your my first customer," he said.
"What will you have?" asked the bartender.
I told him, "Chevis Regal", and he broke the seal of a new bottle. My dollar bill went up on the wall behind the bar.
Carlos said he had a kitchen in the casino and a dining room which wasn't open yet. He wasn't familiar with the operation of a restaurant. I told him about my restaurant, The Nifty Noodle in Philadelphia, and said I'd love to help him open his restaurant. He hired a cook and I worked with his girlfriend and daughter, waiting tables.


Occasionally I'd do a little gambling, but, I stayed away from the fast games like blackjack which could "snow" me. I liked "keno" which is a slow game like bingo. I'd played in Vegas and had a system, if you will. I'd bet one dollar on one number; if it hit, I'd get three dollars back. The odds weren't too bad. Sometimes I'd play for several hours on a couple of dollars, which made for a cheap evening. I got a brainstorm; if I doubled my bet each time I lost, I could make a killing when my number finally did hit. So, I gave my new system a try, lost all my cash, ran to the Sundance, got my paycheck and proceeded to loose it, too. Thank goodness, I made tips as a waiter each night, or I'd have gone hungry. I'd lost over $250. That was the last time I ever gambled more than a couple of dollars.


There are five legitimate brothels right in the middle of Winnemucca where I'd go for sex. Many of the women working in the brothels liked to smoke pot, so I'd tip them with joints. Soon I had a couple of ladies who would offer me sex for only five dollars. One lady even paid the house so that I could have sex with her for free. Of course, I tipped her with joints.


One evening at the Sundance bar, Carlos' girlfriend was drunk, kicked off her shoe and started to run her foot up my pant leg. I make a point of not messing with other mens' women, so, I walked away.
Another night, I was playing pool with his, too mature for her own good, sixteen year old daughter, when I got the impression that she was also interested in me sexually. Her brother noticed the attraction and jokingly said, "Don't you two do anything I wouldn't do". Since she was so young, and the daughter of my boss, I said in reply, also jokingly, "I wouldn't want to do her any favors", and winked at her. It was a serious mistake. She didn't take it as a joke and was very insulted that I'd rejected her. I had to work with her, waiting tables in her fathers' casino. She became vindictive, banging into me when I was laden down with orders, and otherwise treated me terribly.
I thanked Carlos, gave him my notice, and headed back to Santa Barbara.


Joe rehired me at the Arlington Theater and I was door man once again. My hair had grown quite long and Joe asked me to cut it. Being a hippie, I was reluctant and said so. He told me to cut my hair or look for another job. I didn't like the ultimatum.
The next day, when I came to work, I wore a watch cap which covered my head. Joe told me I couldn't wear it on the job, so I took it off. Several of the female employees screamed, others just stepped back in amazement, and Joe just laughed. I had, once again, shaved my head!
I wasn't fired though, and in a few days, I had some bristle coming out and didn't look too bad. After a couple of weeks, my hair was downright respectable. I guess that Joe appreciated my tenacity. I had worked at the Arlington long enough that he knew I was a hard worker and very honest. He needed an assistant manager and asked me if I would like to be on the executive payroll. I accepted his offer and went to Los Angeles to get fitted for my tuxedo. I looked pretty good in my custom tailored,"After-six" tux and black Florshime shoes. I was to be the assistant manager to Joe Proulx for a couple of years.

(To be continued)

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Read a later chapter, "Log of the Prim Mermaid".

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