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vintage Kaiser, part 2

well, the last one of these was 6 months ago – I never said I was prolific 🙂

The summer after my folks split up, the summer after 5th grade, I was able to go with my cousin to visit our Aunt Caryl in Montana. Her and Uncle Jess lived near Glacier Nat’l Parkin the Rockies. It is a beautiful place. I don’t know how much truth there is to all the glaciers melting – but i can imagine it is still wondrous regardless and recommend it to someone looking for a place to take in some amazing earth. I still feel a strong bond to my cousin and Aunt & Uncle from that trip.

The trip lasted three weeks, and I came back to a new apartment. Mom sold the house and got something more affordable, which i like to lovingly call Slaughterhouse Manor. Slaughterhouse Manor was in downtown Utica, and was close enough to the slaughterhouse that you could see it. And you could definitely SMELL the slaughterhouse. Every time you vacuumed.. the smell came out of the carpet and choked you. I started 6th grade off at Wiley elementary and had a hard time being the geeky kid at a new school. It was also at this age where I became so introverted that I never paid much attention to anythingelse at home, either. I didn’t play with my sister much, and didn’t notice when Mom finally started dating Gerry. Looking back, I have no idea when I first remember him. We didn’t stay at Slaughterhouse Manor very long… most of my memories are of the $3 bicycle that I had to carry up three flights of stairs every night.

We didn’t stay at Slaughterhouse Manor very long. Sometime after Christmas we moved into with my Grandma Martha on Berry street. This became a trend… moving in with Grandma between other stays. This school is called Bellview (NOT named after the insane asylum). My first day there we took a science test, to which I scored higher than most of the class. unfortunately.. the teacher decided to use the fact that a student could walk in without studying and fair so well as a motivation tool. I think the only thing it motivated them to do was stay away from said new kid. Berry street was a rougher neighborhood than Slaughterhouse Manor was in. East Detroit, as it was still called, has some great areas but it wasn’t Utica either.

On Berry street is were I joined Boy Scouts. I had been in cub scouts before, and did the pinewood derby thing, but this was different. We went camping every month, which was a good distractionfrom everything going on at home. Mom really seemed to struggle living in her Mother’s house, and Dad was already starting to see his next future wife. So getting out without parents was a good getaway for me, and also helped bond with some of the kids at school. By the end of the year I felt I had a few aquaintances. Luckily for me, I was able to continue to stay in scouts, even at this particualr troop, until i eventually gave the whole thing up years later.


One other big interest of my developed during the first stint on Berry Street.. Dungeons and Dragons. When I first opened up that box at Christmas, I couldn’t figure the darn thing out. A game with no board? No playing pieces? But by summer, I was hooked. If I remember right, it was Mike Glover that helped me figure the whole thing out. Good guy. Great game… it turned into an obsession by late high school. It seemed to feed a need for escapism, my budding interest in art, and wasn’t shy about catering to teenage hormones in the fantasy artwork haha



this is already getting long… will continue later…

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