The Outline of my Life

1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974

1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

 

1984

25 years old. My first trip overseas.

Flew to London. We stayed with a friend of Jimmy's out in a small town just outside of London for a week or so, then found a cool apartment to share with three beautiful british girls on Inverness Terrace just North of Kensington Gardens off Brompton Road.

I called up a friend of Rose Denness', Raymond Tissier, and he asked me to work for him at the Top Man shop at Oxford & Bond. At first I was hesitant, but after a week or so I figured I could use the money and I had a great time making friends and hanging around the pubs with them after work.

The British girls I met were kind of puzzled by my devotion to my older girlfriend. I never felt like dating any of them. The cockney kid who ran the canteen in the basement of the shop, selling tea and buns and such, took me out on the town and got me the drunkest I've ever been. I remember one of the American students who lived underneath us trying to tell me that they had put gin in my beer as the night whirled into a blackout and I woke to a trail of vomit from my bed to the bathroom. Terrible pains in my liver convinced me I'd nearly had alcohol poisoning.

My older girlfriend came to visit me on the last few weeks of my trip and she decided to go into business for herself importing hand-knit sweaters from England. We decided that I would move in with her and her teenaged daughter and son in Monterey when I came back, but I wanted to stop off in St. Louis for a couple of weeks on my way back to Monterey.

I was conflicted about my relationship with my older girlfriend at every stage. On one hand, I had at last found a woman who treated me nicely and took me seriously and who really loved me. But on the other hand, she was 15 years older than me and had three kids that were closer to my age than I was to her. I had a hard time imagining a future with her, no matter how much I loved her.

Temptation finally reared its ugly head, and I left her for a St. Louis girl. Now I was truly a grown man: My life had turned into a soap opera.

This girl came out to meet me in Hayward and we hopped in my car with my stuff to drive back to St. Louis together.

On the way back to St. Louis, driving my 1962 Rambler, I met one of my dearest friends, Walt Jaschek, who was living in Colorado Springs at the time with his wife Jackie and her daughter Amy and their baby boy Adam.

I stayed with her for a while in her place on Forest Avenue in Dogtown, but we quarreled a lot, so I moved in yet another of George's Basements.

Now the real turning point in my professional career came: My old friend Ed Mantels from grade school, who had changed his name to Ed Mantels-Seeker for his stepfather, helped me get a job as a production assistant at a local ad shop, Eisenkramer & Associates. The Senior Art Director was Eric Thoelke, an incredibly talented and driven designer. And the head of our department was Norty Cohen, who had played congas in Riot Act with Jeff Roth.

 

So long, St. Louis

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