Vineyard Christian Fellowship Jr. High Camp
School was out and my mom signed my sister and I up for camp. My sister went first to the high school cam and then it was my turn. I loved it there even though my mom was a councilor. She mostly left me alone and minded the kids she was giving charge over. I did get in trouble with her once when another councilor say be and some other kids break dancing and I spun on my head. It was the first time I did that move successfully and it was thrilling. It felt amazing. It was also the last time I did that move cause the councilor had a fit and told my mom who forbid me from ever doing it again. My mom also later told my chiropractor who also lectured me about the dangers of breaking ones neck. Sigh!
I met a lot of great kids there at camp. I sadly insulted the most popular boy there as well. He was actually very nice and didn’t deserve it. My sudden “get in you face” attitude popped out when he introduced himself to me on the volley ball court in from of everyone. He reached out his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Sloan”. I shook his hand and replied, “Hi Slum, I’m Lori”, Every one laughed. Oh my goodness, I feel so bad about that, I was not normally mean but that was mean. He recovered well, it probably helped that most the girls there were in love with him and most the boys wanted to hang out around him. He was cute, naturally I had a secret crush within a short time. He was tall, stalky, well dressed, carried him self confidently and walked with his arms bent at the elbows and hands flapped down. His girlfriend was the cutest thing up there, she was just baby doll adorable. Though she seemed a bit self absorbed, she didn’t come off as a snob either. This puzzled me, I wasn’t used to popular, rich, good looking kids being nice. When he broke up with her and she was constantly crying I actual felt a tinge sorry for her. It didn’t seem cool that he next choice was the girl who really was a snob.
I didn’t entertain my crush on that boy though, it wasn’t even close to realistic so I picked another cute, but shy boy and made sure to never let him know. I couldn’t believe it when his dad offered my mom a ride home and he and I had to sit together in the back of his dads pick up truck. As fun as sitting next to ones crush sounds, having your hair whip you with constant stinging pain in the face as the vehicle your in is speeding down the Las Angeles freeway isn’t my any means romantic or thrilling. It did add to the fun that the boy would speak a word to me. It was a long miserable trip. But then again, now that we kind of knew each other I’d see him again, or so I thought.
A bit of this and that about New Port peninsula.
Picture found at http://edbrophy.com/homes-for-sale-newport-beach/.
Summer my sister and I spent a lot of time roller skating near the pier and the board walk while my folks hung out at Charlies Chili. Often times we’d all walk down the peer together and watch the fishermen and interesting people. New Port Beach peninsula was never boring. There is every kind of all kinds of people there. We made friends with a real sweet old man and his wife. He was in a wheel chair and they would sit off to the side and he would play his harpsichord. People would gather around him and listen and when he was done with his song he would tell them about Jesus.
We hung out at Charlies Chili a lot. They had a jukebox there that people would mistakenly put money in and press the button for the then popular song Heart Attack. It would get stuck on either the part that said, “you’re givin me” or the actually word “heart attack” and play it over and over again. It was partly annoying and partly funny. Of course a good kick would make it go to the next line.
Photo found at http://www.mynewportplace.com/guide_gallery.shtml.
The laundry mat was always had at least one naked person wrapped up in a sheet doing their wash there. Run always from all over the country would stay on the peninsula. There were homes rented or owned by rich kids who would house all their “friend” so often the run always would find a temporary shelter and I’m sure drug house as well. Further down the peninsula was Balboa. It was very carnival like and the tour ship docked and worked from that there. We would go there once in a while and when we did we usually spent time at the Orange Julius. I remember this one time I was reading my history book while in home-school and there was a picture of the young Abraham Lincoln. It gave me strange biting metal type feel or vibe. I didn’t like it. Later at Orange Julius there was a young man there who reminded me of the picture and I got the same odd ”vibe”. I tried to talk the family into going elsewhere but my mom insistent we go there. I saw him several times and just had to suppress the strange feeling. I don’t know what that was about but I obviously never forgot.
Photo found at http://openplac.es/trips/balboa-island-ferry-co-in-newport-beach-california.
New Port peninsula didn’t go to bed till at least 3am. People were still up walking around well into the late night. We were quite used to it. Often my dad worked late but there was really no late in New Port.
Taking a dump…no, not that kind!
We usually rowed or motored out dinghy to a long dinghy dock and tied up there when we went ashore. There was a shorter dock we used on occasion depending on out destination. One such evening we tied up there in at night in the winter while it was rather cold. Since I was used to the longer dock I didn’t think twice about stepping back until I found myself plunging down into the cold bay water. My dad was there immediately and said I was headed back up like a bullet out of the water before he could grab the back of my jacked and help me land back on the dock. The top of my head wasn’t even wet. We had a good laugh about it. He took me home to the boat to get changed while my mom and sister waited on the dock. However, we left the key with my mom. Apparently we weren’t too good about locking up cause the front hatch opened so I slipped in and changed. There were many years on the boat that my sister and I could also fit through this one big port hole but once we got in our teens we couldn’t fit through anymore.
The guys driving down the boulevard loved yelling at the girls. Unless you wanted the attention you wouldn’t even really notice it that much cause there were guys driving by yelling this way and that all day long. My sister and I being teens were often the direction of the hollering. One such time when we were following my parents my dad decided to yell back, “Thank You!” The guys in the convertible were shocked and turned to look while their car ran up on an intersection curb. It was bad, but hilarious at the same time.
Babysitting and jobs
My sister and I also spent a lot of time baby sitting on the bay beach. My mom had made a friend who’s elderly mom was taking care of her children so she could work long hours. The grandma needed help since she couldn’t get out with the kids much. Her condominium overlooked the bay so it was perfect for us to take care of them right where she could check on things if she needed to. The kids names were Christi and Julie. It was mostly fun sitting and playing on the beach with the kids. We’d spend time there then take them back to the Condo for lunch. We hated making PB&J sandwiches there cause the grandma used Weber white bread and refrigerated her peanut butter. The bread would curl up around the peanut butter. We enjoyed getting to watch part of movies there, kids never let you finish a move. Getting a shower was great too. Our water tanks on the boat had long gotten dirty and my dad never had them cleaned out. So we either would heat up water on the propane stove and fill the Sun Shower bag and hope it was enough, or we would use the sink at the beach public restrooms to clean up. So when we could use the shower at Christi and Julie’s grandmas house it was almost a real treat. Almost cause we were always rushed and felt a little odd. Since I didn’t get a shower often I would scratch my head and I ended up with scabs. My sister embarrassed me real good one day when she told Christi about it while she was helping my with my hair after a shower. My mom scolded my sister for letting other people know cause she felt it may look like we were being neglected and then she would get in trouble.
Normally my sister didn’t get in trouble for how she treated me. She was a good sister and she didn’t mind me copying stuff she did and she taught me a lot of stuff my parents didn’t teach me that I needed to know. However, she really liked being the boss. I was still shy and didn’t like attention or a scene so when ever I didn’t want to do what my sister wanted me to do she would threaten do do some thing to make a scene like screaming or what ever. It always worked, I would do what ever she wanted. I rebelled on day and she went to my parents over it. I told them what she had been doing and let them know I just couldn’t obey her any more, it wasn’t right. They scolded her for her past behavior then let me know I still had to do as she told me and that she wouldn’t manipulate me anymore. I cried and tried to reason with them but they insisted she was still in charge. She didn’t change, I just never complained again.
My sister also had what I would now call melt downs, then we called them temper tantrums. My mom would peck at her verbally till she couldn’t take it anymore and would start screaming and kicking. If my dad was around he would calm her and take her out for coffee. I think that was good, he wasn’t nervelessly rewarding her “bad behavior” but more like rescuing her form mom for a moment. He really should have taken me out now and then as well, but that didn’t dawn on him apparently. I didn’t throw fits. I know it’s hard for parents to treat kids fairly and equally. I really try to do so with mine but I’m sure they will have memories that may say otherwise. Well, maybe not, but usually it happens.
Talk about melt downs, Julie, the kid we baby sat, would have run away melt downs. One such time she ran out of the apartment and down the beach as I chased her. She ran into the water though she couldn’t yet swim and then she continued to go further out into the bay. Thankfully there was a life guard who went in after her and brought her screaming kicking body back to me. I was pretty dang strong and tough then so her scratching the skin off my arms didn’t phase me while I carried her back across the sand, up the stares and to her grandma. Her Grandma was very disturbed and sorry about my scratched up arms. I believe Julie got a dang goodwhooping from her grandma after that.
Spankins vs Whoopins
Talkin about whoopins, I hadn’t had one in a very long time when I said something “smart” to my mom and she told me to go in her room and wait for her to come spank me. We called them spankings. Elder Turner, our future church leader laughed at my mom when she said the word spanking. He’s African American and from the gangs and all and felt a spanking was like a pat on the butt since black mommas whoop or beat their kids. However, after living in the “black” world for years we learned that what my mom called a spankin was more like a whoopin. Who knew there was such politicas to punishment and abuse?
When we lived in the house my mom kept a few orange very flexible hot wheels tracks on the window seal behind the dryer in the laundry room. That was what she used to spank my sister and I with. If we weren’t home she would send us to find a switch from a tree. We would honestly try to find the best one cause if we failed she would look and then it would be much worse cause she was very good at finding the long thin strong ones that stung like crazy. If at a friends house she would often borrow their wooden spoon. There were many times she resorted to her long elegant fingered hands. Long thin fingers make for a better stinging sensation. I hated it when she used her hands. On the boat she used the brush.
So there I was at 13 waiting for a spankin and having time to think. I thought about all the reasons she had no right to spank me. For one I was too old and so on. When she finally came into the room I told her what I had been thinkin about. It took a while because I had a long list to go over. She very nicly and patiently waited for me to finish. When I was done she explained that now I wasn’t just gonna get a spankin but I was gonna get he worst spanking I have ever gotten before. Then she proceeded to whoop my butt what the brush for a rather long period of time. I learned my lesson. I didn’t like being in trouble ever anyway and I didn’t like pain so she had no trouble from me for quite some time.
That ill feeling
I remember one day in New Port when we all had the flu. My mom had gone ahead to her job she had as a maid at a hotel while my sister and I lay miserable on the boat. It was storming that day as well. It was also the day I started my first period. My sister had already taught me a lot about it so I wasn’t surprised, just disappointed it had to be when I had a flu in a storm. I called her and she went over the basics again of wrapping the elastic belt around your waist then attaching the ends of the gigantic pad to the hood and making sue it was properly in place. Like I said, though I wrote complaints earlier she was a pretty awesome sister a lot of the time. We heard my mom call from the dock needing a ride home. Since my sister was vomiting a lot and I wasn’t it was determined by her that I should row out to get mom. I’m the type that may be just as sick as anyone but I don’t vomit. Well I do when sea sick or with food poisoning but not the flu. I used to wish I would vomit just so people would believe I was really sick. Rowing to get mom turned into a huge ordeal. Besides being weak with the flue I was fighting a strong current and wind in choppy water. I thought letting myself drift to the dock bellow the dingy dock then pulling my way back along the dock would be easier but it wasn’t. While trying to get to my mom I came up with a plan to tie the boat up and then take a nap in the car. However when I reached my mom she wouldn’t allow it, she was miserable and really wanted to go home to her bed. She insisted we head back across the water to home. I was most miserable but we did make it which apparently is what matters. It helped that I wasn’t trying to cross alone but had her help.
My sister got a job delivering flayers for Mail Boxes Etc. We had been using the mail boxes there and services and had gotten to know the owners. My folks didn’t want her putting the fliers door to door by her self, they felt it wasn’t safe si either I went with her or all of us did. My dad ended up working with the owner on a multi business flier that my dad put together and then we distributed. It became like a little mini family business for a while. My sister would pay me a few bucks for helping her.
I became the only one in the family who saved money. No matter wither my dad had a good paying job or not we were usually broke. Several occasions they asked me very nicely if they could borrow my money and promised to give it back. I was happy to help. If they had asked if they could actual have the money, not borrow, I would have likely given it to them. But I was taught to keep my word and never lie. It was a biblical principal that they drove into me so I just believed they had it in them as well. But I was wrong. Not only would I never see that money again but when it would come up in the future I would be told by my mom that I owed it to them so they didn’t have to return it. And that’s a story for a later time.
The harbor problems
New Port harbor was very long and winds this way and that so it doesn’t get the fresh water flow from the ocean. It’s not so bad to eliminate in the ocean, the sea creatures will clean it up, but it is bad to dump a holding tank full of human waste and chemicals. There are dumping stations for that. For some reason the yaughties who go out for the weekend often felt is was ok to dump their holding tanks not just in the ocean but in the harbor itself. It was so ignorant and awful. The bay was always murky and from time to time a beige froth would be across the water and you could actually see floating turds in it. It was so gross! We used to swim in that filthy bay a lot. We would get out when the froth came close.
Walking on glass
On the other side of the land strip was the ocean beach. The water was better but the sand was a dark sand color. New Port beach on the “wave” side had very good waves for surfing. I never learned or was ever given the change to try to surf on a board but I did get to body surf and boogie board a lot. I loved hanging out at the beach. The beach on the wavey side was also very crowded. You had so walk in semi circles to get from one place to another in order to get around all the people. It was a bit of a walk across the lose sand to the hard wet sand and then to the water. There was this one day my mom, sister and I settled on a spot right where the dry sand met the wet sand with our towels and such. My mom and sister were sun bathing and I had just got done playing in the water and needed to use the restroom. I let them know where I was gong then headed across the large area of dry sand and people. On my way back I stepped down and heard a crunch. I remember thinking, “oh no”. I lifted my foot to see a bottle with the top busted off and my foot drenched and dripping with blood. I had stepped down on it and it cut into my heal deep. I stated hopping toward my mom and sister. I was negatively amused at all the people around me who didn’t offer a hand. I got within yelling distance and was losing energy too fast. I yelled to my sister a few time. She lifted her head and agitatedly yelled back, “what?” I somehow got her to come to me. She ran back for mom in a panic when she saw my foot. They tried to help me hop back to the bathrooms but I was getting weaker and it was becoming very difficult. Finally two man approached us. One may have been normal size but I couldn’t say for sure cause the other was huge and rippled with muscles. The muscular one offered to carry me. I hadn’t been carried in a very long time and even though it was probably easy for him I felt funny. What really felt odd what when he handed me to the life guard at the restrooms. The life guard was much smaller than him and I was afraid I was going to break the guy. But he was actually fine and helped me wash the wound out at the outside showers then but me in his jeep. My mom didn’t want me to go the ER until my dad looked at the wound so the life guard gave us a ride across the road to the bay side where we got in our dinghy and returned home.
While waiting for my dad my mom and sister decided to go grocery shopping so they left and promised to be home soon. It was hours before they came home. I was painfully board. They felt they made up for the excessive time they were gone by buying Easter candy which was supposed to cheer me up. It was nice having the sweets but I would have rather had the company.
When my dad got home he looked at the very deep ragged slice into my heal and decided he could take care of it. He cleaned it out and bandaged it. I couldn’t walk on that foot and my folk asked around a few places but couldn’t get a hold of any crutches. They decided I could wear one roller skate and my sister could pull me around where ever we went. She would wear out and I would wear out besides being very embarrassed. It was not by any means fun or easy.
There’s just something about Burger King
At some point my dad was out of work. He had at one time told my moms nephew Ed, that he ought to apply at a fast food place, Ed felt he was above the idea and my dad had a talk with him about it. My mom brought up that conversation to my dad which he found irritating but he went through with it and got a job as a graveyard shift assistant manage at Burger King on the peninsula. AS a person who find people interesting it was hard for him not to end up liking his job. Burger King hired the locals and the local were quite colorful. Many of them had a hard time hiding their mow-hawks under their hats. My dad won the hearts of his workers in time. He had it so they would work very hard and have the place spick and span way before the morning crowd came in. Then he would let them sit around and chat and read till it was time to get things ready again. A manager walked in on them sitting around one day and proceeded to chew my dad out. My dad informed him that he could do it the managers way and make the kids work all night and then in the morning nothing would be done cause they would be doing their usual half ass job or he could continue to do it his way with the “reward: system which worked like wonders. The manager decided to let things be after all and left my dad and his crew alone. My dad, who we still considered “unsaved’ spent a lot of time going over Bible scriptures with his crew on their down time. He didn’t force them too, he just knew how to make things interesting. Many of the kids working there with him straightened their lives out and went on to “witness” to others on different shifts. The afternoon shift had a lady in charge with a big mouth. She would yell and cuss at her workers the whole time. It was awful walking in there and hearing that. Some time went by and we still saw her but didn’t hear her. We found out that one of the young men who would share his faith along side my dad had gotten her to listen to him and she “got saved” The two of them started taking other crew member to Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa) with them on a regular basis. We considered it a revival at Burger King. The young man did go over board at times. One time my dad found him in the freezer with another guy blocking the door and witnessing to the poor intimidated very cold man. My dad let him know he couldn’t do that, it wasn’t right to do at work and it wasn’t right in general.
Of course my dad worked with quite a few druggies. One was so high that when he was cleaning out the deep fryer the nozzle was turned and the scalding hot oil was dumping into his shoe. The man felt nothing. My dad saw it can turned it off, stuck his feet into buckets of ice and called 911.
Ignorant pre-conceived ideas
So. Cal has it’s affects on you. Some are good, like being used to people from all walks of life. Some not so good, like thinking people should look a certain way. Superficial is a good word to use for that. New Port Beach had it’s own ignorant proud effect. For one we thought all military guys were odd and not to smart. But then again we had a reason for that ignorant conclusion. They would try to look like punk rockers but they still waked in step and had big key chains hooked to their belts. Another one was the questions we would get. They always hung out in twos and they would approach us and ask us which way it was to Disneyland. So we would point the only direction off the peninsula. They would ask why they couldn’t go that direction, pointing toward the bay. We would tell them the bay was there, then it was another direction and we’d let them know the ocean was there. Then the last direction and we’d inform then the jetty was that way. The conversation would end with them saying, “oh!”.
My sister and I hung out at the park near the dock often. We also used that park to fill out water jugs. We would have several gallon milk jugs and some 5 gallon old oil jugs we cleaned out. Other than the park there was a boat community bike my sister and I would share a ride on to the library sometimes. My folks didn’t want us in any after school activities or summer stuff other than working so when we weren’t working we were just trying to entertain ourselves till they returned. My sister worked at Burger King a while as well. A co worker friend of hers would meet us at the park and teach me how to break dance.
The animal life there for us was an interesting array and personality of birds. We became friend with a coot we called Paul. We knew a lot of the coots and mallards by the names we gave them. One time while rowing home late at night we spotted a night heron on out mooring can rope. On the can was a seagull white his back to the heron. Night herons have ling sharp beaks they use to slice extremely fast through the water and catch fish with. We stopped rowing and just sat there to watch the show. The heron was sneaking up on the seagull. When he got close enough he stuck his head back and jabbed at the back side of the seagull. The seagull screamed and flew off. It was hilarious. The heron then proceeded to perch on the mooring can, well, until we rowed up.
One of our past times while waiting on our parents was laying face down on the dock head hanging over so we could see the sea life attached to the underwater part of the side of the dock. It was always full of interesting creatures. Mussels and barnacles are like an epidemic in salt water. They attach them selves to the docks, pylons, boats and so on. They will slow a boat down as well as ruin the paint and such on the hull. My dad used to make a few extra buck by being hired to scuba dive and clean them off the bottom of the boats. Barnacles will cut your feet up if you walk or run across them. Their shell is sharp and ragged. We liked holding our head over the dock to look for fish, crabs, sea anemones and other crawly things. It felt so cool to stick your finger in the sea anemones center and have it close up around your finger. It was very velvety soft. It was fun, active and beautiful. The most fun was getting some one to lay down with us and pretend to show them the sea life. What we were really doing was setting them up. We’d get them real interested in what they were seeing then we show them the strange looking sea squirts, point the sea squirt at their face and give it a quick squeeze. Sea squirts are called that for a very good reason. It was great entertainment!
We had a few neighbors that we got to know a little bit. The Seacores helped us out in our first storm. Mike Seacore went to school with my sister. My parents were convinced he had a crush on her and it did seem that way. I had a crush on him but as usual would never tell. He was a really nice guy and even years later when we ran into him again he seemed like someone with very good character. I don’t remember the name of their boat.
Mike hung out with another guy and we got to know him and his dad some. They lived on a power boat and had a big dog. The front of their boat was full of dirt the dog would have a place to eliminate. Sometimes we see one of the guys with a big shovel throwing “dirt” over board. It was a strange sight. In the warm weather the dog would just swim ashore when he needed to. The man and his son were very into computers. We found that odd as well since we really knew nothing about them other then seeing War Games. Not a bad odd, just something curious and something I really couldn’t figure out. It was very foreign to me.
We had really nice neighbors for a while next to us an a small cute power boat. They didn’t live on her, just spend weekends and such on her. They were very Christian, like us pretty much, and became good friends. They also took care of my sister when she had a very bad asthma attack. Kari had chronic asthma. She spent a lot of time through out her life in the ER and critical care area of the hospital. She was use to having needles and tubes stuck into her all over her body. Asthma runs in the family. My mom had a grandma who died of it. Kari being very thin and energetic didn’t fare well with the effects of asthma and my mom would try her best to “fatten” her up. Cause once an attack hit she needed something on her body to burn. But my sister was the type who could eat everything in sight, which she often did, and still be thin as a rail. I just glance sideways at food and I gain. My sister really liked our weekend neighbors and friends son. As a matter of fact my folks and his folks were really into the idea of them hooking up permanently one day. Apparently, he wasn’t on that train.
There were the nice couple and the small family on the boats called the Seeya and the Cricket. I don’t remember which was on which. It doesn’t matter I guess cause they ended up swapping boats anyway. I remember once the family one was getting ready to go ashore when their toddler fell into the bay. We all jumped with worry until we hear him splashing around laughing. He always wore a life jacket when he was out side so he bounced to a float and thought the fall was wonderfully fun. His mom smiled but wasn’t to thrilled about having to rinse him off, dry him and put fresh cloths on him when they were trying to leave for somewhere. She was a really easy going sweet lady. We went to her boat and she to ours with her son a few times to chat and have tea. One time she asked me to read a children’s story she wrote and was about to have published. She wanted my age view point of it. It was about a tug boats adventure in a harbor. I found it very well written but slightly depressing. I tried to be honest but not hurt her feelings when I gave her my review. I thought she was disappointed in me after that but it’s a good chance I was wrong. I was a “people pleaser” so having to say anything remotely negative to anyone was very difficult for me and I usually regretted it for a very long time after. I had let her know I wanted to be an author as well so sometimes she would give me tips about writing. I wish I remembered her name. It wasn’t that unusual for live-aboards to know people more by their boat name then their actual name though.
Though my dad’s old friend Dick Wallis wasn’t a neighbor he did have his boat in a slip in New Port. He’s the guy that originally introduced my dad to sailing in Dana Point. And another of my dad’s friend from the bar (where he worked) had a slip there too. So we would visit them on occasion. My mom got a job for a while working for one of the slip companies near them as well.
Cat Stevens’ Moon Shadow
It was in New Port bay that my sister and I first heard of the song Moon Shadow by Cat Stevens. There was a boat neighbor we had met before when he’d rescued my sisters fav teddy bear from falling in the drink. He was rowing by sing “I’m being followed by a moon shadow, moon shadow, moon shadow.” We told our parents about the song and they said they had always known about it. We didn’t actually hear it till later.
Then the world crashed in.
School had ended, I came back from having a blast and making more friends from camp. While eating at Charlies Chili and talking about the fun, my dad said he needed to talk to me. He took me for a walk and explained that the owners of our mooring can needed their can back. He said he tried to find another one but couldn’t. That meant we would have to move to the public anchorage area and ever one know regardless of the law you can only stay there three days. So, in three days we would be leaving New Port Beach and sailing to San Diego.
To be continued…
I am still working out the kinks so this may be edited and I do plan to add more pictures when I find them.
Added to Creature life and added Neighbors area as well as titles. – 1/6/12.
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