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Sunday, December 10, 2017

An Unremarkable Sunday, and Reflecting Back to This Date in 1976


This post will be short ─ it is almost 5:00 p.m. as I commence it, so I am far behind today.

I have just returned from the four-mile round-trip beer hike to the government liquor store at 108th Avenue & King George Boulevard in Whalley.

There was absolutely nothing remarkable to report, except that maybe it is worth noting that the weather was unusually mild out for this date after a rather sunny day.

I never got my trip begun until 3:10 p.m.

It may have taken me just a dab over 1½ hours in all by the time I was back home. All I bought were a dozen cans of strong (8% alcohol) beer and a 1.14-litre bottle of Whyte & Mackay blended Scotch whisky ─ the bottle will be a Christmas gift for my younger brother Mark. 

In lieu of commencing my post here early in the afternoon, I became involved in trying to locate a Kodi add-on for our Android TV Box ─ specifically, an add-on that has a specialization for Christmas movies.

We have BoB Unleashed, but for some reason the categories are practically always blanks when I attempt to access their contents.

I expect that it is because we only have an Android 4 TV Box loaded with Kodi 6.

Anyway, I eventually settled upon an add-on called Not Sure, and it appears to be able to serve the need I was feeling.

I had watched two Christmas movies last evening that I had searched out, but I was unhappy with the first selection ─ there was never a Christmas feel to it. I think that the idea of it taking place around the approach of Christmas was merely for the characters' dramatic effect, and had nothing to do with bringing out the viewer's sentimentality.

The movie was El Camino Christmas. Wikipedia is quite wrong to call it a comedy. There was considerable brutality, including the death-by-gunfire of a main character toward the end.

The second movie was precisely the short of show I was after ─ deliciously emotion-tugging and wholesome: Miss Christmas.

I would watch the latter movie again anytime, but I don't feel a need to ever again see the first movie.

It was around 12:17 a.m. before I made it to bed last night, and an inadequate night's sleep followed. Heck, as I was dressing after getting up this morning around 6:49 a.m. (I think), I was already thinking how sweet it would be to be going back to bed for further sleep.

I spent most of my morning setting up a new post at my Siam-Longings website, one of my six hosted websites. I definitely did not expect it to take so long ─ it was after 11:00 a.m. ere I was done.

My younger brother Mark had by then come home from his girlfriend Bev's residence where he had spent the night.

I needed a nap or I would never be making that beer hike. I was down for over an hour, I am sure. Mark was gone, but it was clear by the appliance repair job spread out on the dining table that he would be returning.

And he did. But he never did seek a nap before taking off for the afternoon. That bodes most unwell for the evening where his T.V. viewing is concerned. 

I promised that this post would be shorter than I like, so here is its conclusion ─ an old journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 27 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street, and not more than two houses up from Third Avenue.

The previous day was a Thursday, and my last writings for that day claimed that I was leaving home around 5:00 a.m. to hike out to Surrey to visit my mother ─ she and her husband Alex had been away for a couple of weeks on a holiday, and I had not yet seen her since their return.

I had risen that morning before 3:00 a.m. after finding myself sleeping very poorly.

Normally a direct hike to my mother's home would take 1½ hours at a fast pace, but I was planning a longer route.

Her little home no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey. I wrote that it was my intention to hike as far along the King George Highway as 88th Avenue, and then work my way over to her home.

I have no idea what befell me after I left my room early Thursday morning, so I am about to find out now as I type out the record for Friday.

First, though, I will explain that I was adjusting to the break-up with my 20-year-old girlfriend Melody St. Jean who had taken up with Chris, a young co-worker of my brother Mark at the mill they were employed at.

Melody was actually staying in the bachelor suite of my old friend William Alan Gill, who was renting an apartment roughly four or so blocks from my room.

My room had no place for her, so she and her furniture had moved into Bill's abode with the intention that the two of them would find somewhere in which the three of us could live.  

But that ended when she got involved with Chris.

Mark and Chris had an afternoon / evening shift at the mill this week, and I had been dropping in at Mark's duplex unit quite a lot in the past couple of weeks, even spending the night there.

He was living just a short distance down Semiahmoo Road from Old Yale Road in Surrey ─ and less than three miles from our mother's home. 

Also I might mention that my maternal cousin Bruce Halverson was to be married in eight days ─ he and his brother Randy were sharing a rented house in the Whalley area. I was to be Bruce's best man. 
FRIDAY, December 10, 1976

Forgive me, but I'm lost.

I arose 8:30 a.m. this morn with a sore palate (I recall buying a large mixed pizza at Golphis during the night, being short of coin ─ I paid with my laundry money, so I must have come home ─ and eating the damn thing somewhere unrecollected), the white cords Gilles gave me which I asked Melody about and thus had them returned, and, fortunately, all the vade mecum or whatever that I went to mom's with. 

Too, somehow, I have a case of beer.

I believe I remember being ditched at the King Edward, and having to hike home after Chris showed up and my partners, Melody and Chris, plus Bill, departed.

I know I bought nothing there, for I was broke.

*****

I went to mom's yesterday, and glutted, feeling worn right out.

Mark came over by 11:30 a.m. or earlier, and spent several hours rebuilding the dog house Daboda demolished.

Mom paid me $2.50 (I let her retain $2 more for a new Golden Sweepstakes ticket on curling) which I passed on to Mark; now I owe him but $5 for Sunday's madness.

I wrote a letter there to Terri.

Anyway, I finally decided I should go home with Mark so I could exercise at his place when he went to work; I doubted I'd have the energy if I ever made it home.

Too, I wanted to phone Bill re my driving lesson this morning to see if he got a call from the school.

Mark said Melody bought Chris an 8 week old Doberman, and that his folks are leaving mid-month for California, so she'll be staying at his home with him for 3 weeks.

Well, I tried Bill at 7:00 p.m., got a busy signal, then nothing but rings until I was about ready to head home at 9:00 p.m. 

Melody invited me over for a couple drinks of dark rum, which I learned Bill bought. She sent him for me.

I called again to get out of the arrangement, but he'd already left.

I had to listen to a Monty Python tape before we went up to his suite. 

I had 4 good shots (Melody was very sociable; she will go to Bruce's wedding, even if she missed Donna's shower last night. Mom will leave Sunday for Nevada with a lady friend, returning a week later, the day after the wedding), then cause Melody wanted to go out, he offered to buy the beer for me at the King Edward.

It was his pressure that got me into the rum.

I went.

I recall conversing with a punk who wanted to dance with Mel, chumming so well he joined us.

I even had a dance with her; the last one, I think.

My only other memory is Chris suddenly showing up (he'd phoned Melody at Bill's earlier, learning where she'd be).

How and why I was finally ditched, I don't know. Nor how I got the beer, being broke.

I must have buzzed them.

Why didn't I stay home and sleep 'stead of wandering off with my laundry cash for a pizza? I am drunk right now!

And I must drive for 2 hours, beginning 9:30 a.m. ─ a half hour away ─ and get tested at it! 

At least I won't be too nervous, heh, heh!

I wonder how long my teeth will last, abusing them without brushing for so long!

It seems to be wet out.

I haven't slept too long, I am sure.

At mom's in the Christmas name draw, I drew Mark; he got Phyllis' Bruce.

I wish I could live the life of a Walton (saw them ─ their Christmas show ─ last night at Mark's).

*****

Okay, I finished my 5th & 6th of my allotted 8 hours road training; I am now very average.


Next and final, I have Tuesday the 14th at 9:30 a.m.; this will include freeway driving, and if I'm good enough, my actual license tryout.

I recall last night wandering Columbia St. with Bill for some reason, and I think phoning was involved; I also remember him walking off on me, possibly pissed off. What occurred?

Melody said Art wanted to find me Monday cause he and Angelina broke up or something. 

*****

I laid [sic] down after noon, arising past 2:00 p.m. Then I filled my shaky stomach.


I shall hike over to Mark's to exercise, clean up, and watch TV; I shall mail Terri's letter on the way, leaving just past 3:15 p.m.



My unemployment cheque failed to come today, so tonight will have to be quiet for me.

Well, this was true until I made a final trip to the bathroom and saw it sitting in my mail box; I shall cash it for my precious $140 and then head for Mark's.

*****

Took hailed me after I left the bank; he said he was bound for the Dunsmuir.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Melody phoned, wondering on my plans. I alternated 'tween her and Bill.

Chris skipped work this evening.

Seems the case of beer I have is Bill's.

Anyway, it was he who broke off the conversation, saying he'd likely call later.

He hadn't by the time I left Mark's soon past 11:00 p.m.; I left the $5 I owed him on Sunday's loan.

*****

I couldn't see Chris' truck nor Bill's car when I  passed by; but a light was on.

Bed at 12:30 a.m.
The King Edward Hotel had a beer parlour that catered to an older crowd, and was located downtown in New Westminster on Columbia Street.

I apparently had three road practice drives while enrolled at John's Driving School in New Westminster. I was still drunk on beer ─ and poorly slept ─ for the first practice. And now on the third, I was even worse off.

I possessed my learner's permit at this point, but I was never to try for my final driving licence. Perhaps I might have been better motivated had I been sober and able to perform proficiently, but I suppose my questionable results derailed my confidence. 

I never did try for a driver's licence.

As for the family Christmas draw I mentioned, Mark drew our older maternal half-sister Phyllis's boyfriend's name ─ someone named Bruce, whose identity today I am now unsure of.

It was Art Smith ─ an older gent who may have been 45 years old at this point ─ who had tried to locate me on the Monday past. He and I had been co-workers and become quite good friends. He was married to Angelina (Angie), and they had thee great kids ─ a boy and two girls.

I don't know it I ever saw him again.

The letter I intended to mail was to American pen-pal Terri Martin.

"Took" was an Indigenous Canadian ─ at least in his 30s, and maybe even his 40s ─ who had also been a co-worker with Art and I. When I bumped into him after I had cashed my Unemployment Insurance (U.I.) cheque, he had revealed that he was on his way to another beer parlour in New Westminster ─ one at the Dunsmuir Hotel.  

I am sure that he meant to tempt me.

The money I owed Mark was for a $10 or something loan that he had given me on Sunday when he, our cousin Bruce, Bruce's fiancée Donna Montroy, and I had gone to Blaine that evening to drink U.S. beer ─ there were no liquor sales in our part of Canada back then on Sundays.   

Okay ─ back to the present. I have had to supply the rushed description above after 10:30 p.m., for my younger brother Mark had arrived home before 6:00 p.m. from the bar.

He surprised me by staying conscious all evening for the four T.V. shows that I tuned in.

I even had two cans of beer.

By the way, I fixed myself a simple enough supper that I dug into just ahead of 7:00 p.m. ─ the first time I ate anything today.

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