Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh-oh, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-al-BUH-kerkee

When we came here, weren't nothin' but a bunch o' Indians a runnin' around, a whoopin' and a hollerin'. Buffalo shit ever'where. We made this country what it is.
~Richard Pryor
I came to Albuquerque* in nineteen and seventy-three. We'd been living in Rochester, NY since November of 1963 — the 22nd, in fact, the day of the Kennedy assassination. (Of which I had a vision, of which I'll relate more later.)

We had lived in three different houses in the Rochester area and it seemed we always moved just as I was starting to make friends and fit in. As it happened, in 1972 two things happened. The first was that my best friend, Dave Militello moved away. The next was that I started 9th grade. While Dave and I had had one of those “coming of age” friendships, we really didn’t get to complete it, and so I found myself alone. I didn’t know many of the kids in my classes (except that dick, Greg Stone. Yeah, you, Stone. Bite me, you prick!)

But after a month or so on my own, things were sorting themselves out. I was getting cool. My hair was getting long.

And then, one day in the library, I ran into an old face from middle-school. It was Bonnie Abrams, a girl I’d had a minor crush on and had danced with on many occasions. She was really happy to see me and said I should come over to her house sometime and get high. She was so cool and so hot. I was smitten. I swear it was that very day that I came home from school and my dad asked how things were going at school and I said “great” and he said, “well, don’t get to used to it because we’re moving.”

And a few months later, in February of 1973, we moved off to this city called “Albuquerque.”

And oh, what a city she is. A diamond in the desert. A beacon in the night. Albuquerque – where Bugs Bunny felt he should have taken a left turn. Albuquerque, New Mexico, celebrated in song, cartoon and… well that’s about it—songs and cartoons. Jeeze. Albuquerque – hometown of Ethel Mertz. Albuquerque. We didn’t make the song Route 66, but we’re right there between Amarillo and Gallup. Neil Young would still find it a good place to eat fried eggs and country ham, but it wasn’t long before he’d twisted that last number for the road and split for Santa Fe. The Sons of the Desert and Jim Glaser kept trying to get back here in their songs, though aside from the possibility of a little nookie, no one knew quite why.

Before I started school, my mom made me get a haircut, “so I’d look nice and fresh.”

The haircut was just another of several strikes against me:
New kid.
Goofy name.
Geeky haircut.

The worst, though, in the eyes of the kids who lived here already was that I was from “back east.” Easterners were despised in those days, especially those from New York. Rio Rancho was a tiny little development that was packed full of New Yorkers.

I enjoyed it here, when I wasn’t having to interact with others. I loved to hike out on the mesas and foothills. But, I was really lonely. I made a few friends by the end of that year. Robbie Bicenti, a Navajo, and David Bailey; geeks like me, but they taught me I could ditch class with impugnity.
From them I met Gifford Hahn, who introduced me to Mike Clark and his cousins, Buddy and Miltie. We were bigger dorks then, and we ditched class to go four-wheeling and we got harassed by Tim Foster and the greasers. Which was how I met Jim Jones and Brent Crowder and Martin Maskill. It was Jones that got me high the first time. From there I also met Alan Schactner and his brother, Dean, and David Lewis. And then Vance and Blane came along.

I was suddenly part of this cool group of people. Other kids wanted to hang out with US. We hatched the Moonpie plan.

And then, I, for some reason I’ve just yet begun to figure out, joined the Army, opting for as far away from home, family, and friends, as I could get without it being considered an overseas assignment. I’ll go into the reasons more later, but suffice it to say it has a lot to do with why I have such a problem maintaining relationships.

*Officially, the name is pronounced Al, (as in Roker, the weatherman,) BOO, as in Boo Radley from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” kirk, as in Kirk Cameron, Award-winning American actor, key, as in what will happen to your car if you park it too close to another car in the DubyaMart parking lot. (Source:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scarvy Dawg

This is one shot of a series. I was home on leave one time and Vance and I shot a good four rolls of 36 exp film in something like 3 days. (That was a lot back in those days.)

This was up at UTK. Me, Vance and Richard Cleary were up there goofing around. I'm thinking that this was in 77, shortly before going to Germany.

A few things to note here. One was the Oly Beer patch on the jacket. We were big into Olympia Beer back then. "It's the water" was their slogan, though it should have ready, simply, "It's water." But it was cheap. We bought it at a drive-thru off of Edith that, I believe, was called "The Olympia Bar."

The other thing is the Buck knife. This was the old school one that you could run over and blow up and shit and nothing would happen to it. You carried it in a leather puch on your belt and it was a major fashion accessory for years.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cool poster

Sorry. This has nothing to do with Moonpie. I'm just still riding a little high over the Obama thing. Click on this image to see it up close. Or go to. to order.

No you're not!

Moonpie 1: Pages 9 and 10

Here, Vance has commented before I got back to this page, so that's good. Good.

On the left, we have Martin leaning on the door of the Circle K. I think this is the one that is now the pet store next to Eldorado. The legend below it reads,
"This is Martin, the fool who came up with the idea for the expedition."
. On the right, we get an image that is so typical of the sort of Humor Vance and I enjoyed. I'm not sure who the old lady is. I'm thinking maybe a relative of Vance's -- though the processing of the photo looks vaguely like high school photo lab stuff. Anyway, Vance has drawn ventriloquist dummy lines on her mouth -- similar to Terry Gilliam's animation on Monty Python's Flying Circus. But it's the text below that is so classic. "Lady who had nothing what-so-ever in the least, or in the most remotest way, to do with us. She is probably a fool and therefore in this book. We don't even like her." Again, we had no clue who this was.

The Rock House

Another location of many great parties. The infamous Rock House up by Juan Tabo Picnic grounds (so-called because they were off of Tramway.) We didn't use this one so much as a location in high school, but I know many others did.

In later years I was at many parties though. Coming back from one with Jennifer's friends in the mid 80s we encountered a motorcycle accident. Two guys on a bike, the driver had dumped the bike, and the passenger's thigh got pulled up between the rear tire and the fender.

(Photo courtesy of Jennifer.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Rick may have been the wheelie king but I always liked to do things alittle differant.


I have received my first shipment of Moonpie stuff. The "Gang of four" Stein and t-shirt along with the small version coffee cup. Sorry that I was unable to show you the Moonpie thong. All items are of very good quality and I'm pleased with our supplers prompt service. Hey guys, we aren't making bucks on this, we are simply getting the word out about an interesting Blog. Rick and I thank you for coming along on this ride. Thanks for the views and comments.

Rick's transportation

Here's a shot of me riding a wheelie on my 10-speed down Tracy Street. I could ride a long time on a wheelie.

The bike was a Steyr-Puch 10-speed that I bought shortly after moving to Albuquerque. It was about $110 (in 1970s dollars.) I got it at the Cycle Cave on Menaul. It was really a nice bike... until some ass-munch ran me off the road and the front wheel dropped into a storm-drain grate.

For those who don't remember those days, the drain grates on the side of the streets, while having bars only 2-3 inches wide, had spaces at least 18 inches long. Just right for a bicycle wheel.

I was timing my ride to school one day, and coming back down Juan Tabo (this was also before bike lanes)a car forced me over to the side. My wheel dropped in and I went over the bars.

The next thing I remember was laying on the ground with the wind knocked out of me. The bike was about 5 feet away in some tumbleweeds. No one stopped to see if I was injured or anything (but that's just the story of my life.) I got up and examined the bike. The impact of the grate had bent the forks back -- fortunately evenly. I took it down to Cycle Cave. The guy said that to replace the forks would cost almost what the entire bike had been to start with. I asked if it would be OK to ride, and he said yeah, but I should watch for shimmying or looseness.

For the first few months, as I rode down Indian School from Juan Tabo, I'd be petrified that the wheel would fall off. But then, gradually, I started to ride with no hands again. And then I reversed the handlebars. And started riding wheelies.

When I was in the Army and stationed up at Ft. Lewis in Washington state, I had the bike shipped up and got quite a bit more use out of it. When I got ready to go to Germany, I sold it to a friend for about $20.

On a fashion note: The jacket was a vintage suede one I'd inherited from an uncle who'd died 6 or 7 years earlier. Also sporting bell-bottoms with the hem meticulously picked out for total fringe. (Hemmed jeans were lame.) When the knees ripped out, we would sew patches on them (iron-on patches were lame.) Occasionally people would leave the rips open, but that was just silly. On the feet were my Earth Shoes (the originals.) This must have been in Feb/March since I'm wearing gloves.

What is this? #2

I think this is one of those wands that you use to clean your ceiling fan blades.