Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tridents Hole

View Larger Map This is the former location of Tridents Hole. Prior to the water tank and the coulee, there was a pretty deep arroyo running through this space. Just east of here the whole shebang turns into the Cibola National Forest. The hike up through that canyon is pretty nice as I recall. (It's been over 20 years.)

Anyway, Tridents Hole, like UTK (U Tappa Keg - on the other side of the hill seen below) was a big party spot, though it tended to be one we used more during the day. This was more of a hangout for the four-wheeler crowd.

View Larger Map
I remember one day when one of our crowd, who worked as a lot-boy at Galles Chev (I'm forgetting who) showed up at school with a new pick-up, possibly a LUV. He said he'd gotten it at work and led us to believe he'd purchased it. We all went out to Tridents Hole and he dogged the hell out of it -- including losing two of the hubcaps. After a couple of hours, he fessed up that he'd just "borrowed" it, and left to return it to the lot. As I recall, he washed it and hid it in the back.

I can't show exact satellite shots because I don't have the coordinates. I need to get a topo map or, better yet!, a gps unit.


My sister, Jennifer, sent me this photo of her friend. We'll call him "Billy," since that's his name. This was taking at Manzano High School about 1980 or 81-ish (I think. Jenn?)
Jennifer writes:
"At Manzano the various cliques were divided up by halls. Here's Billy in "E" hall which was the freak hall, wearing the standard black concert t-shirt, bell bottoms, and waffle stompers that you can't see. Had to have a red or blue bandana, too. Dunno what those stomps are doing in our hall, but they really couldn't look any stupider. You're making me miss all that with your blog! We had so much fun in high school. Sex, drugs and rock and roll hahahah."
Aside from the fact that she's my sister, I include this because, although the "Gang of Four" involved in Moonpie were from Eldorado, other important characters to connect with us came from other schools. David Lewis went to Sandia,IIRC. Mike and Jim Eskew went to Manzano and we used to crash their parties when they were still in middle school. I think Jeff Lampson and Randy Kirk also went there.

From Eldorado were me, Vance, Martin, Jones, Alan, Alan's brother Dean (or "Rollo" as Jones called him.) Blane. Who else?

The Star of David (Roach Clip)

When I was a teenager, I thought--for reasons I can't explain--that Jewishness was the hippest, funniest thing ever. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with Woody Allen. And of course I had grown up in upstate New York, where there is a much heavier Jewish influence than here in New Mexico.

Anyway, at one point I had Vance cut me a tiny brass Star of David to hang from my hiking staff. Later, as a gift, he bought me this Star of David Roach clip from The General Store head shop. This was like my prize possession. Apparently--though I don't remember the incident specifically--it got left somewhere when I was in basic training and I went AWOL to get it. Martin's mom found out and that was one more thing she had against me.

Recently, while researching doing research for this site (Yes, we do research!) I came across the actual patent application for this device. It was invented by a Jerry L. Samuels of Philadelphia, PA.

For those of you who don't know what a roach clip is for, it was used when you were smoking a joint and got down to that last little nub that you couldn't hold in your fingers without burning them. Mostly these were just adapted alligator clips, but every now and then, someone came up with this clever idea. I wore mine all through basic training and beyond, never getting popped for possession of paraphernalia.

Moonpie One: Pages 7 & 8

Here is the next installment of the real McCoy; pages 7 and 8.

On the left we see more signatures from people who helped support the cause. The first signature belongs to Timothy Royer, who I do not remember in the least little bit. As the text notes:
"Tim here (where; there)[with an arrow pointing to his signature] gave 13¢ to the Moonpie expedition. Thanks, Tim, you fool!"
Below that is the enormous signature of Don Snowberger, who I do remember, even though he wasn't part of our group. Vance remarked that
"This total ass gave us 1 stinken (sic) cent. Shit!!!"
Snowberger did draw a pot leaf though.

On the right hand side of this spread we see photos of Vance. According to the green scrawl, the top photo is of Vance skiing at Breckenridge, Colorado.

Further down we read the legend
"Vance Deniston, Leader of the expedition."
Apparently we learned how to spell "expedition" by this point. This photo shows Vance eating a plastic rose. Note the de rigeur Rossignol sunglasses. This happened to my biggest style downfall -- a lack of truly cool ski shades. These glasses were a plastic laminate - three colors in layers. I think Vance's were the red, white, and blue that were Rossignol's official colors or something. I don't think they were mirrored, though it is possible.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vance's LUV east of Tramway

UPDATE: Better scan of this photo.
This is it. The real life Chevy LUV getting some air. I'll let Vance tell this story.

Daves Camero, the "Mangy Moose."

Here is Daves camero in it's heyday with the new paintjob. His son Kyle now has the car and still drag races (on the track) in Albuquerque. Today the car sports slicks and a severe motor and trans. Go cat go!

MIXTAPE #1: Late 70's Roadtrip to Amarillo

Here's a great road trip playlist for you. Most of these are songs we sang drunkenly at the top of our lungs late one night when Vance, Ginny and I decided to drive to Amarillo in 1977 in his Chevy LUV. There was no radio reception East or Moriarty, NM, so we had to entertain ourselves. Ginny fell asleep, though I can't imagine how with that caterwauling racket. As with our trip to Memphis, we never made it to our destination.We've discussed this trip elsewhere.

I'm old now, memory fails at time (or just makes life sweeter) and it's possible some of these songs were not sung, but I'm pretty sure at least three quarters of them were. London Homesick Blues was the themesong from Austin City Limits, so I'm pretty sure that was in the mix. Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother, Willin, and Cosmic Cowboy were also pretty surely on our set list. Note that the names in parentheses after the artist's names indicate the original artist who wrote/performed the song. Jerry Jeff Walker was a great proponent of his fellow Texas Singer-Songwriters.

Late 70's Roadtrip to Amarillo____________________
London Homesick Blues - Jerry Jeff Walker (Gary P. Nunn)
Drop Kick Me Jesus - Bobby Bare
Third Rate Romance - Amazing Rhythm Aces
Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother - Jerry Jeff Walker (Ray Wylie Hubbard)
Lyin' Eyes - Eagles
Coming into Los Angeles - Arlo Guthrie
Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett
Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw? - Jimmy Buffett
Can't You See - Marshall Tucker
Cosmic Cowboy - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Michael Martin Murphy)
L.A. Freeway - Jerry Jeff Walker (Guy Clark)
Willin' - Little Feet
Panama Red - New Riders of the Purple Sage
Rocky Top - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Luckenbach Texas (Back to the Basics)- Waylon Jennings

I'm going to see if I can't get all these set up as links to Grooveshark at some point so you can get the true experience.

There were giants also in those days, and they blew the doors off the competition.

In the 70's a 10 year old car was cool. Now it's like... I don't know what. Camaro's and Mustangs were the ultimate street machines in Albuquerque. (Sorry my MoPar brothers, but it's true and you know it.)

David Lewis had a Camaro -- still has it, actually, I beleive. Vance? Can we get a ruling on this one? Alan Schactner had a Mustang. I'm pretty sure they were the same year.

People who weren't here in those days might not realize that South Eubank (south of Central,) which is now an entrance for Sandia Labs, used to be 1.) The road to the dump, 2.) The road to Albuquerque Speedway dirt racing track, and most important culturally, where all the kids went for illegal street racing. It was called "South Eu" and it was a great place to be. Poorly lit. a hundred or so cars and trucks lined either side of the road along the quarter mile that was the track. "Barefoot girl's sitting on the hood of a car drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain," as Bruce Springsteen put it. You'd see plenty of kids racing Mom's station wagons.

And there were the gearheads who could barely string together two-syllables when talking to a girl, but could rebuild a carburetor blind-folded and tell you every spec on any car ever made. They'd be out there in the cars they'd worked on in auto shop all semester ready to show their stuff.

Or there were the "Sleeper" cars. The car that looked like it barely ran -- until the bets were laid, and the driver would open the hood, and with a little tweak, the engine that sounded like the lifters were sticking suddenly had that throaty rumble that made grown men pee their pant. Doors were blown off in those days.

One too many accidents, fatalities included, shut the place down for good. As a result, we've got kids cruising up an down Montgomery Blvd. Or riding wheelies on crotch-rockets down the freeway. Ahh, screw it. These pussies can't race anyway. Unless maybe they want to put up some money and prove it.

We'll meet you out on South Eu.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where are they now?

Henrietta and Merna were two of the hottest Freak chix at Eldorado in 1976. But where are they today? Engaging in a lucrative music career.

Ai Dios Mio...

We've got a little Google Ad-Sense block on our page. It runs ads at random. It supposedly scans the information on your page and finds related ads. Our very first one was for Moonpies. I've also seen ads for Taos Ski Valley and a local church.

Right now it's for a "Gay-Friendly Drug Rehab" center.

What does that say about the content of this blog?

As Vance would say, "Oh, for Jesus."

My Strange New Mexico

I just wanted to put in a plug for my friend Mike Smith's website, My Strange New Mexico. This is a great, fun place to explore if you're a New Mexican Ex-Pat, or if you've always wanted to come here but were unsure what to see.

And, as a person, Mike's an interesting cat in his own right. Read about him here.

Mike and I took a couple of screenwriting classes together at UNM a while back. Last spring he discussed his plan to break (or repeat?) the world's free-fall record. He's just the man for the job.

Fashions: Waffle Stompers

(Photo borrowed from Willi at the boats-to-build blog*.)
Before the term Vibram Lug Sole was known, we wore boots called "Waffle Stompers." A true waffle stomper was a budget hiking boot. It was a rounded, suede, ankle-high sort of thing with a lug sole (a waffle pattern)and red laces. These were the ideal fashion accessory to complement your puffy down-filled ski vest.

What we really wanted were a pair of alpine hiking boots with a steel shank, true vibram sole, and scree collar. The laces for these were of the same construction as climbing rope. These thing had to be broken in well, if you wanted to avoid blisters. Also, they weighed about 20lbs. Each.

In Albuquerque, in all honesty, we (by which I mean people I hung out with before Vance or Jones) were inspired by the ultra hip nature boy, John Denver. If you remember the cover of his Rocky Mountain High album, that was the look we aspired to. (Check out this photo of John here. I'd almost forgotten those quilted yoke-pattern shirts we wore. Damn we were cool.) Despite what was going on in the rest of the country (and maybe even the rest of the city) we were Rocky Mountain kids. We wanted nothing more than to hang out in Colorado and ski/hike/climb plus get high/laid.

In retrospect, I wish that was the route we'd chosen. Rather than trying to hitch-hike to Memphis, what if we'd headed one state north, to Colorado, back before Denver was a megalopolis? How would life have been different?

I guess it's a question I keep coming back to. Was there really any escape for me from joining the Army? Maybe it was something I needed.

(For old-time grins, I'm listening to John right now.)

*boats-to-build is a great little blog that's been unattended for a couple years.

Phrases I wish we HAD had then

I really wish we'd had the expressions "Ass Munch," "Ass Hat," and Ass Clown" back in the 70s. We could have put them to good use.

I don't remember if we used "Douche" or not, as in "What a douche." or "Don't be such a douche." I think we may have. Either way, it's a term that I've reclaimed in middle-age.

Moonpie 1: Pages 5 and 6

Here are pages 5 and 6 from the book. This is another one that will need to be rescanned -- bits of it were cut off.

On the left side, we see a photo of Vance holding several Cokes. I believe this was taken outside the Circle K that used to be next to Eldorado (Now a pet supply store.) He's wearing his Mangy Moose Saloon T-shirt from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Also note the rodeo-style belt buckle, which was from Philmont Boy Scout Camp in New Mexico. Vance drew in the Green antennae.

At the top of the page, the complete text reads
"The ever Alert AND intellegante (sic) Vance Deniston"
At the bottom, it reads
"Vance here is co-author of the book and also provided most of the photo graphs.”
To the right side, we see the first actual journal entry which is dated May 26 (1976). If the day is accurate, the number one song in the country was the dorktastic "Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney and Wings. Peter Frampton was on the cover of Rolling Stone (this was when both Frampton and Rolling Stone were still cool*. Also, Frampton and I both still had hair. Martin too.
But, I don't think the date is accurate in the least remotest possible way. I say this because I think we'd have about graduated by this date -- and we hadn’t. Back then, School didn't let out until June. Also, there is a later entry dated May 6th. Perhaps this was April 26th? Plus I think my cast was off by this point. More on that later.)
The text reads
"The debate has come up on wether (sic) or not to hitch hike to Memphis or take a bus. Rick and I are for hitching and Martin would prefer to take a bus. Shit. Decisions, decisions.” **
Below that is the large, John Hancock-like signature of Jeff Speck. We believe this is Jeff Speck today. Click Here and call Jeff if you need any remodeling in Albuquerque.
Below Jeff's signature, Vance has written
"The above signature belongs to a kind-hearted fool who bought some climbing equipment from Vance to help Vance have enough money to live in Memphis for a while.”
You know, it wasn't until I started scanning this book that I realized that Vance wrote and assembled nearly the entire thing. Good on ya, mate! My real contributions to the entire collection came in the form of letters -- which were like mini books in themselves. Unfortunately the remaining copies of these have dwindled over the years. There's really only one letter left, which appears in the companion book to this volume.

I was thinking about it the other day. If I had all the stuff I've written over the years, along with all the photos I've taken, I think it would fill a small warehouse. Even just the photos. I've probably got less than 1% of all the photos I've taken over the years. Kind of sucks.

Ah well. As usual, if this image is hard to read, click on it. OK? I'm kind of tire of having to tell you that.

*Oddly enough, this week, Bruce Springsteen is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and I think Bruce is one of the coolest dudes ever. We never even heard of Bruce in NM during High School in Albuquerque!
**Fucking Martin, eh? This first entry was probably the beginning of the end of the whole thing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

What we've done for work

Rick spent his off hours from cooking in the Army while stationed in Germany doing eye makeup for enlisted women. He didn't make much money doing this but said he enjoyed the time out of the kitchen. Note Ricks steady hand.

Freak Wall revisited

Here's a link to a great piece about the Freak Wall. A Visit to the Freak Wall. I'm not sure when this guy, Rudolfo Carrillo, attended Eldo, but I'm going to contact him and see.

He's got this other article, the unlit furnace or stories you hear at the freak wall, about exploring the storm sewers. Good stuff!

The Freak Wall

Here we see the infamous "Freak Wall" at Eldorado High School circa 1976. This was in front of the Vocational building on the north end of campus. About a hundred or so yards south, in front of the media center, was the "Jock Wall." The "Stomps" (cowboys) hung out in the parking lot. At either end of the Freak wall was a set of steps, and beyond that, a shorter wall. On the west end, was the "Greaser" wall. These were the hoodlums. On the east end, was what was, for lack of a better term, the "Skier Wall," even though only a couple of us actually skied -- primarily Vance and Blane. We were a sub-group of the Freaks, though we clearly identified ourselves as Freaks. At the time, the neighborhood around Eldorado was a fairly well-to-do one. I think that people at our end of the wall were not quite in that range, and our separation may have come from that. Despite the identification by the various cultures of Jock, Freak, Stomp, Straight, etc., overall it was a classist society.

Freaks were the long-hairs. They were sort of where the Hippies went in the 70s. We were the pot-heads. We were the ones who weren't good enough for sports. Or rich enough to be doing the cheerleaders. We were too bad to be in ROTC, or to hang out with the "Straights." The Stomps wanted nothing to do with us because we smoked pot. At least for a few more years, when they were all doing it too.

Despite the hotness level of the cheerleaders, you couldn't beat a Freak chick. It was always great when we became well known as party boys to cruise through the Freak wall and hit on the girls. Not that it ever did me any good, but still.

At the time we were going to Eldorado, it was an open-campus. You could come and go at any time. If you didn't show up to class, well then, you didn't show up and it got noted. You could smoke cigarettes as long as it was outside -- which was why we all hung around outside.

An interesting note is that the Freaks were looked down on my the administration because we smoked pot. Yet, that and a little beer or Boone's Farm was all we did. If you wanted to find the kids doing the chemicals; the speed, the Quaaludes, etc., you looked to the Jocks. You wanted the kids who were carrying guns to school? It wasn't the Stomps, it was the Jocks. You wanted the kids doing B&E's? Jocks. You want to know who was not going to jail because their dads got them off? Bingo.


Not that the Freaks were innocent little lambs. We certainly worked up major Karmic debts.


The main thing that identifies this photo as mid-70s (I assume, not having been on campus in 31 years) is the "puffy" coats some of the kids are wearing. These are not George Costanza's "Goah-Tex," this is goose-down and nylon. It made a sound similar to corduroy when you walked. What was cooler was the down-filled vest.

In the distance can be seen the faint outlines of the Tres Hermanas, the row of extinct volcanoes that run along Albuquerque's West side.

What we've done for work

Vance had a brief career as a country singer a few years back under the name Trace Deniston. You may remember this CD and the title track that climbed to number 17 on the country charts. He toured with Trace Adkins, Tracy Lawrence and Tracy Byrd on the "Traces of Love Tour" during this time period.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More fashion tips....

Wow! This photo came from my sister, Jennifer, who is 8 years younger than me. She said this was her "high school uniform."

The New Mexico NORML shirt and the belt were both mine at one point -- the belt earlier in the 70's and the t-shirt later. I think the red plaid shirt was also mine. Jennifer can comment on this.

LEXICON: "Rugged Brute"

"Rugged Brute"
A slightly self-deprecating term used to describe a sense of over-exaggerated excellence. Similar to "Studly" when used self-referentially.

I am really not sure where "rugged brute" came from, but it was typical of the phrases that crept into our speech in those days. This was definitely one of those things were no more than three or four people in a 500 mile radius were using it.

Moonpie 1: Pages 3 and 4

(Click for larger image)

On the left here -- the back of the title page -- we see young Martin Maskill. As the text notes,
Martin Maskill [was] the man who sparked the idea*.
Note that this text has an asterisk added, as anabolic steroids were later found in his system. No, wait. That was Barry Bonds. The asterisk was added because Rick never wanted to give Martin full credit.

Yes, Martin sparked something, but Rick thinks it was more likely a doobie that was sparked by the man Jim Jones called "Pissant."

I'm not sure where this photo was shot, though it appears to be someone's house. Vance shot this photo for, I believe, his photography class.

On the rights side of the image, page 4, we see the previously post photo of Vance and I in it's original context.

The text here reads:
Rugged Brutes in search of the good life by ventureing (sic) to Memphis. The Story Begins
The caption for the photo reads: Two of the rugged Brutes. As with the photo of Martin, this one has arrows pointing to the subjects. Did we think people wouldn't know who we were referring to? Below this photo, Vance and I signed our names. Mine uses all the letters of my name, a practice I gave up a few years later when I had to sign it a lot. Beneath mine, at a later date, I added. Contrary to popular belief, Rick is neither Irish nor Russian. This may have been due to the fact that people often thought my name was Arabic.

See the Lexicon for the use of "Rugged Brute."

This is a bad scan the clips off the bottom of the page. I'll redo it at a later date.