Tuesday, January 22, 2008


After leaving the Air Force in May of 1972, I had many decisions to make in my personal life....some I will cover, some better left behind like those years.

I went to work back at the Huffy Bike plant in Celina for awhile...I had time served in the AF plus a little over a year, so I could pretty much slot into whatever job(s) I wanted...what I wanted was to be the Hell out of Huffys and Celina...college is where I wanted to be, but being the procrastinating person I am...that would have to wait....I choose to sew some oats for awhile....moving back to upstate New York....before realizing you can't live those times again...once you are gone, you're gone...and I was...back to Celina in November of 1973.

I had taken leave of my senses and quit Huffy, so with no where to go I moved in with mom for awhile...dad had passed away the previous Christmas Eve, and mom and Kelly(who was 11 at the time) had the house...Hell I could stay there until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. First off I enrolled in night classes at Wright State Lake Campus in Celina, and after dumping a couple of factory jobs, I took a custodian job in the local school district...that lasted exactly 6 months, bar hopping at night then getting up to clean floors, classrooms, toilets, and shovel coal(yep the school still had a coal fired big ass furnace in 73) was not in my future(are we getting a pattern here?)...the workout was great, kept me in shape, so much so, that my buddy Mike and I kicked the Hell out of this clown from Chicago for punching out the owner of our favorite night club...the infamous Red Door in downtown Celina....this classic rock bar of the 70s was a fire trap in waiting...1000 people or more going through the doors every weekend and more during the holidays....fights and more fights just about every night....well Wayne Hollman, the owner, impressed with my ability to handle myself offered me the managers position, meaning working 6 nights a week, all the beer and all the fights I could handle, and any side benefits I might be able to latch on to.

I worked the Red Door for over 2 1/2 years...and it would take a book to cover all the adventures I had running that place...by this time my cousin Gary had moved back from Florida and that gave me a chance to move out of mom's...thus saving her sleep and me the usual nightly butt chewings she was giving this guy approaching 25...we rented a trailer and set up shop until I scraped up enough money to buy my first house.

By this time I had met Patricia, and to this day it still amazes me why she put up with me....I was still sewing my wild oats..she was just 21 had finished her first college degree(with 2 more to come later) had moved from the safe, frozen, confines of southern Wisconsin and moved to Celina, because a college roommate had a teaching job secured here.....we saw each other for about a year before anything serious came up....I was raising cane and would continue to do so for the next couple of years, up to and including my college years in Athens and Nelsonville, while she lived in Celina taking care of the house I had purchased with my GI Bill, and my gaggle of coon hounds who lived in the Kennel, driving my neighbors nuts....I've got to tell you, all were older, we are talking senior citizens here, and here comes this crazy Vietnam Veteran, running a bar, and boarding a pack of Red and Blue tick Coonhounds...talk about mixing oil and gas....all we needed was a match, and that came close a couple of times.

Patricia and I finally married on December 18, 1976, 3 years to the day(so she says) after we first met....got to tell you, I really don't remember the exact date...but smarter than me she is, so I always take her word for it.

Other "highlights" of this 5 year period include living off campus of Ohio University in Athens, with Nick Hromish, and Rick Pearson as quad mates...Rick and I met in 1966 when we went to work at Marsh Supermarket in Celina....he was a year behind me in school and a year or so younger...we both ended up Military Cops, Rick in the Army, me in the Air Force, he was best man in our Wedding in Wisconsin, when he married about 5 years later, I returned the favor in Auburn, Indiana....we get together a couple of times or more per year...our football New Years Day feast, and in May the mushroom hunt and beer drinking contest in the Michigan woods....another Highlights was Mike Schilling(who went on to become a cop for 25 years in Celina) another Army MP, Jim Olson, a radio DJ, who did the same at the Red Door spinning records, and me, heading for Florida in June of 75....I remember it well...we took my old Ford Van, two dirt bikes that Mike and I owned, and 35 cases of beer in the back, and headed south....10 days, one flat tire, 40 or more cases of beer(the 35 were not enough) consumed, and Olson the fair skinned Nordic descendant with a massive case of sunburn, we returned home with maybe $25 dollars between us...I know it wasn't much because I was broke....totally broke.

Those 5 years were fun, made so because somehow, me and all the guys I hung around with survive today, as does my marriage of 31 years...

It was off to Wisconsin, Indiana, and Dodge City, Kansas, Radio, and kids, over the next few years....settling back in Celina in 1980...and eventually buying the house that Patricia had always liked....the church parsonage located just a block and 2 doors down from the first house I purchased in 1974...we bought this one in 1995, 21 years, a lot of water under the bridge, but only a few hundred feet away....what a ride!
{photos}Top Left to Right(1) The Coonhounds...Drum and Belle the Blueticks, and Jake and Sue the Red Ticks....never many coons, but we had fun running them and sitting around the campfire drinking beer...back in our Redneck Wannabee Days(2)Me on the left and Jim Olson on the right in our June 75 Florida Disney, Daytona, and Beerfest(3) Max(1975-1987) the 120 pound Airedale relaxing with a PBR on my couch in 1976(4)Rags(1974-1985) at Higgins Lake, Michigan(5)Me and Rick Pearson right before I took the plunge....(6) Patricia on our wedding day at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, 12/18/1976(7)Me, sometime in 1977(8)The first house on Brandon Ave...as it looked in 1975...20 years later and 4 states, we bought the church parsonage we always liked, 2 doors and a block away.


BRUNO said...

And you ended up in a former church parsonage after all that---now THAT'S ironic!

(I ain't got room to talk---my house used to be a church meeting hall, and then later a school house. Talk about ironic! ME, and living in a SCHOOL???)

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Love readin' this stuff dude. The '70s sound really fun. And congrats on the 31 years. That's cool as hell too.

Buck said...

Love the pics...especially Patricia, who is positively radiant.

Your 31-year marriage is quite the accomplishment in this day, Pat. You have every right to be proud as Hell about that. I would be.

pat houseworth said...

Thank you Buck, and I am...how she has put up with me all these years is still amazing....59 in March, and I still haven't grown up....probably never will, I've slowed down somewhat, but have not grown up.

As far as the Church Parsonage Bruno....the church which is located across the street is now rental apartments(they built a new church on the other side of town), the old pastor back in the 1940s and 50s was Tennison Guyer, he went on to become a US Congressman R-Ohio from this District...I'm still waiting for one of the Ghosts of pastors past to pop out one of these nights, when I'm having a beer and smoke....the place was built in 1923 and inbetween a basement catch I found a November 1923 Lima(Ohio)Daily Republican Newspaper...the place has history.

FHB: The 70s, especially from 73-77, if I could go back in time would be a time I would relive, that and the early days down on the Florida Coast in the late 50s and early 60s.

Mushy said...

Man, to me it takes guts to be a coon hunter! I have walked into the woods in total darkness to get to a deer stand many times, but to run through them chasing coons, with logs, holes, hornet nests, spider webs, briers, limbs, and snakes, just to name a few things, I just couldn't do it beyond a slow deliberate pace.