Sunday, March 1, 2009

Road To Nowhere/June 1975 Florida Trip part #2

March 2009 has entered like a "Lion", but a tame one at that....30 degrees on tap for today with plenty of sun. At Noon, Sam and I will head to Schumm, some 20 miles north of here near the Indiana Line. We and our Dartball Team will take on Mount Tabor in the Tournament Semi-Finals, if we win, we will stick around and play the Championship games...both series are the best 2 of 3...if we play like last week when we knocked off perennial power Mount Carmel, we will win, if we play like we have most of the season...we will be done in 2 games. During the regular season we split with Tabor, the North Division first half champs, 3 of 6.

On Friday night Nick stopped by and we headed up to Smedley's Irish Pub...The music supplied by Razz was great, to bad I had a few more Blue Moon drafts than I should have...Sam walked up and drove Nick's truck to our and Nick closed the place down and walked or staggered the 8 blocks home...he passed out on the couch, and I made the bedroom before the lights went out on my night. When I woke up yesterday morning, Patricia was fixing us breakfast...Nick headed home about noon, and I spent the rest of the day trying to get rid of the hangover...first one I've had in awhile, and I can tell you, nearing 60 they are just as bad now as when we were younger, maybe worse....but at least these days we are smart enough to not drink and drive.On the plus side I got to see and talk to some folks I have not seen in months or years in some after an early bed last night and early rise this morning, the world is somewhat back to "normal".

Florida 1975 part 2_______

After 3 or 4 days in Venice, Florida, my old hometown, Schilling, Olson, and I packed up our camp gear and headed north...the plans were to stop at Busch Gardens near Tampa on the first day, then on to Disney World, and then spend some days at Daytona Beach before heading north towards Myrtle Beach and then home.

At the Tampa Busch Gardens, the day was pretty uneventful...we took the usual rides that were offered back then, including the wild life tour train...hit the brewery where we downed a couple of drafts each. Like I said, not much happened that I recall...that evening we headed east to Orlando, ending up with our first and last motel of the trip...The Quality Inn at Disney World...I still have the key from that room some 34 years later, a souvenir packed somewhere down in the basement. Disney World was quite young at that time...I believe it had opened in 1971...and I know Dad, Mom, and youngest sister Kelly had visited there around the time it opened...the highlight of our visit was Schilling and the "Space Mountain" ride...I don't think Mike was aware at the time we climbed on board that SM was nothing more than an indoor Roller Coaster, riding blind so to speak....that was the end of the big rides for him. I have been back to Disney World just once since then, and that was October of 1977 on Patricia and my "honeymoon" trip, some 10 months after we were married. The Disney and Busch portions of the vacation were our "sober" parts of Florida 1975....we headed to Daytona to return things to what the trip was all about...beach and beer!

The Daytona Beach Campground{actual name} still exists today but in a more refined, newer the time, 1975, the campground was located not far from highway A1A and had quite a few "campers" who parked their RVs there and lived for the year or the season, well I guess that not much different than these days....we spent the next 5 days camped out there, and during the days we would haul ourselves complete with "bikes' down to the beach, and drive/park just off the pier. I would get my Kawasaki out and we would take turns riding that up and down the traffic allowed beach...traffic allowed that is, except for Schilling's bike..."not street legal" they told Mike, and "you aren't riding that thing on the beach"....while we spent the next few days on the Daytona sands, Schilling and I worked on our tans, while Olson was on the disabled list...seems his Edgar Winter type northern Euro skin couldn't handle the June sun in Florida, and he had one Hell of a cluster of 2nd and 3rd degree sunburns on various parts of back and shoulder. By this time the 25 cases of Pabst and Red, White, and Blue, were long we were reduced to drinking the coldest, cheapest, locally sold brews we could find...and I believe that Old Milwaukee topped the list.

Pretty much reduced to gas and beer money we headed north towards the Georgia State Line via I-95...with a stop planned for Myrtle Beach. We had decided, due to our financial situation, to make just a quick stop in MB for a day and night, then head back to Ohio. About 10 miles or so inside the Georgia border, with Schilling driving, me in the passenger seat and Olson passed out on the bed in back...we see the red lights in our rear view mirror. Seems a young Georgia HP Trooper had spotted our green van with various bumper and window stickers on he pulls us over. He asks Mike for his license and registration for the I'm digging out the registration in the glove box, the patrolman looks in the back and sees the bikes and a few dozen beer cans rolling around on the floor. "You guys heading home?" he asks..."yep" was the reply. He checks out the license and my registration, and comes back..."guys, you have a nice day. The reason I stopped you was we had a report of a bank robbery in __________, and the job was done by 2 black dudes driving a van like this, with a couple of white women with them...I don't think that's you. But I do suggest you keep on the Interstate and don't stop until you reach South Carolina". Well that piece of advice worked for us....we were in the Carolina's within 2 hours and never stopped in Georgia again on the trip.

It seems pretty funny as I look back, here Schiling and I were both Military Police, him in the Army and me in the Air Force, and a few years later Mike would make a career out of Law Enforcement with the Celina PD...but at the time, in 1975, we were about as far away from being legal or Law Enforcement as ones could get.

We spent a day in Myrtle Beach, but for the most part, broke, tired and dirty, we were spent....and headed, the next morning, towards western Ohio. When we got back, I went back to work at the Red Door....and we had a coming home party, inviting the regulars from the Red Door to my place for an after closing party the following morning. The Party which lasted until 5AM....much to the chagrin of my neighbors, who called the Celina cops on us....Too bad for the neighbors, the 2 cops they sent down were buddies of ours, and gave us an hour to clear the corner of Brandon and Fulton Streets of cars and party goers...we slowly complied, and an almost 2 week Odyssey came to and end. The party was another story, but basically it was to get even for the harassment those old farts gave Patricia and my dogs while we were in Florida, guess they thought with me away they would be brave{big mistake} they say, pay backs are Hell...some of those folks never talked to me again, after that, and I was more than happy to receive their silence until we moved away a couple of years later. Best part is, they are long gone, and I returned to the neighborhood 20 years later and am still here. The ultimate payback.

More "Road Trips to Nowhere" coming up.....

back later>>>>>

Photos--Schilling and Olson at Disney and the Van on the beach at Daytona...Dad, Stan Houseworth and his brother, Uncle John's gas station in South Venice, Florida, as it looked in 1961...The old man{Stan Houseworth} with his 100 pound "Jewfish" he caught off the North Jetties in the fall of 1956...and the sun setting on the Gulf and South Jetties as it looks these days.


Sarge Charlie said...

that song will be in my head all day, I did not know you could get a 100 pounder of the jetties.

Pat Houseworth said...

actually Sarge...the Old Man caught a 320 pound Blue Shark right off the end of the South to be honest, the fishing down there and in the Gulf in general, ain't what it used to be.

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

interesting bliog!
greetings from scandinavia, Sarah sofia

Pat Houseworth said...

Scandinavia? Now that's a long distance vist...thanks for stopping by Sarah.

Hoot Gibson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah Wilson said...

Back in 1975, I was only 14. But it sounds like the Florida trip was a good time and a good memory.

But Old Milwaukee beer? I couldn't help but to laugh - a few memories of my own. Pop use to drink it every now and then and every time he'd get 'the runs'. On a few occasions, he didn't run fast enough.


Pat Houseworth said...

Deb: Old Mil was/is bad beer...but like the story goes, we were about getting it, drinking it, and the effects...and it had to be on the cheap...Ol' Milwaukee, PBR, and a few others fill the bill.

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FHB said...

That's been a great story! I love readin' about these kinds of adventures. Good times.