THE WINSLOW SAGA: 1981-1996


PART TWO

Names of Winslow residents have been changed.


1984 1985

1983

 

It was raining cats and dogs the morning of January 24, and Carl was almost late for class. He cut through the west wing of Mount Clef Inn. As he approached the exit, the door to room 401 opened and out came Nicole D'Amato -- whom Carl has admired from afar. Carl held the hallway door open for her and she thanked him and asked, "Wanna share an umbrella?" The two walked down Memorial Parkway, chatting away. It was the year's best moment.

At this point, Carl began to notice something out of place about this whole year. Why, if he were only living in room 431 as originally planned, he probably would have noticed in time just what a gem Nicole really was. Now, thanks to Hercules having changed the room assignment, it was too late. She was spoken for. The room assignment change sent things clear off in another direction, and he spent the rest of the year pining away for the lost opportunity of winning Nicole's heart. However, he kept Winslow in the back of his mind.

One day in April, Hercules asked him if he wanted to work for TOP theater during the summer. Before the initial shock had worn off, Dr. George Richter passed by. He was in charge of TOP Theater and Hercules introduced him to Carl. They shook hands but Carl said very little, although he agreed to an interview.

At first, Carl didn't know how he’d get out of this one. If he got stuck working at TOP, he'd be living with Hercules for practically the whole summer -- a situation he'd rather avoid. Then his brain kicked into action and he came up with a plan to squeak his way out of it.

Several nights later they went to a building in downtown Thousand Oaks for the interview. Dr. Richter interviewed Hercules first. Then came Carl's turn. Come on dude, put on a good timid act, Carl thought, as he faced Dr. Richter and Dr. Michael Arndt, the Drama Department Head, who was also a co-interviewer. Carl answered the questions with only the most basic replies, quite often using only three- or four-word answers and talking in a soft, unsure voice.

On the way home, Hercules told Carl that he listened in on the interview and thought that Carl probably wouldn't get the job. Carl outwardly looked concerned, but inwardly he was glad that Hercules thought this way, because it gave him hope that his plan had worked.

Sure enough, it had. A couple of weeks later Hercules got the notice that he was hired, but that they didn't think Carl was ready for the job. As Hercules left the room to go to class, Carl heaved a sigh of relief. Safe for the summer. [editor’s note: ha ha.]

The last week in June, Carl's parents were on a business trip to Arizona. He had the house to himself. On June 27, the phone in the living room rang. Instead of answering it, he went to the phone in the den which was on another line. As the living room phone kept ringing, he dialed Herc's number to see if this was him trying to call. Sure enough, the number was busy. He didn't answer the phone.

The phone rang again about an hour later, and he repeated the same trick, which he calls the "back-door technique." (Caller ID was still a decade away.) This time, Hercules's line started to ring and Carl slammed down the den phone and ran to the living room. His parents were on the other line.

The next day, he drove to the Gorilla Fireworks stand at Woodruff & Del Amo. He saw Mike Maricle there, and John Penman in a promotional gorilla suit, and started planning for another trip to Catalina.

Craig came over the next day. He told Carl about a telemarketing job open at Time-Life books. It was less than a mile from Carl's house so he could walk there. Carl called and made an appointment for an interview. They could see him on July 7 at 5 p.m.

Less than twenty minutes later, the phone rang. Carl, not wanting to push his luck with the back-door technique, soon wished he had. It was Hercules, and Carl had to drive to Thousand Oaks to see a movie.

They wound up spending the whole holiday weekend at Carl’s house.

On the Fourth of July, they drove back to Thousand Oaks. As they pulled up to the house, Hercules noticed a piece of paper taped to the front door. He got out of the car and told Carl to wait.

He went to the door, read the note, took it and hustled back to the car, visibly upset.

The sky had fallen in.

The note was for Hercules. Due to his apparent lack of concern about TOP Theater, and partially because Dr. Richter had difficulty getting hold of him, he was fired. The note further instructed Hercules to turn in his Cyrano script and his key to the house.

Carl knew right then that the summer of 1983 was finished. If Hercules couldn't get the job back, he'd have to live with Carl the whole summer. It would be a long, hot two months in hell.

Hercules talked to Dr. Richter but failed to persuade him to reconsider. Two of the reasons Dr. Richter gave were that Hercules was "more concerned with hanging around with Carl," and complaints about Carl staying at the house on Marian Avenue.

The two drove back to Santa Monica. Carl told his parents of the situation and they unfortunately agreed to let Hercules stay at the home until the start of the fall semester.

The afternoon of July 29 Carl, his mother and Hercules went to a supermarket in Venice. Thumbing through the August 2 issue of the Enquirer, he happened on something on the next-to-last page that would give him renewed desire to get away:

Graduation Dream Comes True For America's Little Princess

Right in the middle of the 1983 tribulation, a new article on Denise Gottlieb had hit the stands.

According to the article, she had graduated on May 25 -- at age 19 -- from Winslow Junior High School. She was two inches taller and had gained 3½ lbs. since she was 17. This time, there were only two photos of her; one in a dress standing with four other girls, and a flashback photo from the 1967 article showing her dwarfed by a doll.

The article gave no indication of a boyfriend, so there was still hope -- and that's just what Carl needed in the middle of this, the worst period in his life -- a reason to go on.

Nice of you to drop in like that, Denise. Come back anytime.

Hercules went back to Cal Lutheran on schedule despite almost getting kicked out of the house when Carl let his parents in on the way Herc was treating him. Things started to return to normal.

Carl had already let Hercules know of plans for Mid-September, including the upcoming wedding of his cousin Noreen*. The following Wednesday night, Carl and Craig drove to CLC in separate cars (dropping off the Berlin photos at Sav-On on the way) and drove home together in Craig's car. Carl's dad was not too happy about this; he was sure the car would not be in such great shape when Hercules returned it.

The next day, the family flew to JFK airport and stayed with various relatives in preparation for the big day. They bought Carl some new clothes and shoes just for the wedding.

Saturday, September 17: Hundreds of onlookers filed into the cathedral to see Thomas Scarlatti take Noreen Knudsen in holy matrimony. In the middle of the ceremony, something got stuck in Carl's throat and he developed a loud, unstoppable cough. He was a little embarrassed and ashamed to face his cousin for a few moments, but she understood.

During his one-week stay in New York, he got the love and support he needed to end the disastrous “friendship” with Hercules once and for all. His mother told a few of his relatives about what went on during the summer. Later, talking with his cousin Anne, she revealed that she too had had a problem with a domineering friend, although not nearly as severe as Carl's. Anne is to be credited the most for giving Carl the encouragement needed to break it off.

After they boarded a plane for Los Angeles, Carl shed a few tears as the plane left the ground. He didn't want to leave New York with all the love and support, but he had to. He had a demon to face.

The plane touched down at LAX early that evening, September 21. Although it was the second anniversary of the best day of Carl's life, he barely stopped to reflect on how far he'd fallen since then. Jennifer was long gone. Denise had been pushed into the background, in light of recent events. Nicole remained an impossible dream.

Hercules mentioned that the best way for Carl to give him screwup pay was to forfeit to him 25 percent of everything he made at Road Runners. Carl just said okay, but the incentive to leave the place was kindled. He'd leave tomorrow.

He spent the night at Kramer 1 and the next morning the two of them went out for breakfast. On the way back, Hercules mentioned that there was a dance the next night, and to bring up some more of his stuff on Monday. When they got back Carl tried to call Road Runners and bill the call to his parents' phone. His mother refused to accept the charges.

By all practical standards, there wasn't really anything keeping Carl chained to Hercules at this point. Thanks to the emotional support from his family back east, and faced with the possibility of losing 25% of his pay, he was pretty sure that today, September 23, would be the day he’d finally break away from Hercules Simpson –- the long hoped-for Liberation Day. And what better date than this -- it would cancel out that dark September 23 of two years earlier. Poetic justice of a sort.

The most fitting thing he could do now would be to go home and yell out the last lines from that famous 1963 civil rights speech: "Free at last, Free at last." He didn't think of it though. Besides, King had a dream. Carl was just awakening from a long nightmare.

Around 9:30 he got in the car and drove away. As he turned the corner by Regent's Building to go toward Faculty Street, a beautiful sight caught his eye: walking up the grass hill by the teachers' offices at Regent's, there was Nicole -- all decked out in a dress. Her eyes never looked so pretty.

Meanwhile, Carl's parents were making arrangements for him to go to New York and live with his aunt and uncle. At first, his mother suggested they have his car shipped back east but he protested, insisting on driving there himself.

Wednesday, Carl didn't go to work. The plan for New York was being finalized. His uncle Ron knew someone who worked at UPS in Manhattan. There might be a job for Carl there. He'd be leaving on Friday, September 30.

In two days.

He took a little time off from work and his parents took him and Greg to the Auto Club, where a route was mapped out from Santa Monica almost to White Plains. Part of the route took him down Interstate 40 -- right through Winslow, Arizona! (remember that place?)

Later, Carl's parents took him and Greg out for lunch. Carl's dad even financed the trip out of love and concern, loaning him a whopping $800 in traveler's checks. Carl went back to Road Runners and explained the present situation. He was well-liked there, so they were pretty cool about his giving only two days' notice. Greg and Craig were a little disappointed.

* (Names of relatives have been changed.)

Friday finally arrived. It seemed that it was too soon. He had not packed very much; everything was happening so fast. Around 10 that morning his dad called from work. Carl told him that he was first going to Thousand Oaks to pick up some pictures. His father told him to hurry up, because "it's not just your life that's at stake here. It's your soul." He drove to Thousand Oaks to pick up the new prints of the Berlin photos. After he got the pictures he decided to take a chance on getting one final copy of the Echo. He drove to the CLC campus, parked near the Nelson Room, jumped out, ran to the newsrack by the cafeteria, grabbed a paper and raced back to the car. He drove off without anyone ever suspecting a thing. The phone didn't ring again all day. Carl was finally ready to go by mid-afternoon. After a few hugs and kisses, his mother said, "The great adventure begins!" and at 4:30, he was off -- but first, he had two items of unfinished business to attend to. On the way to New York, he stopped by Road Runners and picked up his paycheck -- all of $140 because of all the time off. He had one more check coming; he told the boss to send it to his Aunt Rose in Peekskill. Then he went to the pawn shop on Second Street to try and buy back the gold rings. It was too late. They'd been sold to another pawn shop across town, which by this hour must have been closed. But Carl was in a hurry to get out of there, so he headed east as it got dark.

After as stay at a friend's house in Yorba Linda, Carl strayed from the Auto Club route a bit and stopped in Las Vegas. Heading into Arizona, he stopped at Hoover Dam and took a few pictures, then ate dinner in Kingman.

THE SECOND TRIP: OCTOBER 1-2, 1983

He bedded down at the Winslow TraveLodge. The next morning, he called Craig. No, Carl hadn't met Denise yet, but he'd look for her. He also told Craig that he was sending postcards to everybody. He also took a short trip to Meteor Crater.

He hung around Winslow until mid-afternoon. He knew where Denise lived; he'd seen her address in the phone book. Knocking on her door was still out of the question, but simply driving by her house was not. And that's just what he did.

He drove up the street, slowing for a small white poodle that was standing in the road. Sure enough, the front of the house looked like it did in a photo from the 1981 Inquisitor article.

He drove a few houses past it and then whipped around and came back, trying to get the best picture he could through a cracked windshield. He pulled to the edge of the road in front of her house and snapped the photo just as the song What I Like About You came blaring over the tape deck. Then it was off to Albuquerque.

He reached the city limits just as nighttime came. The Mighty 690 popped back in for a bit and played It Must Be Love by Madness. He stayed at the Regal 8 Inn on Coors Road, and called his parents to let them know where he was. Hercules had called again, but they didn't give him any information.

Next two stops were Amarillo and then Tulsa. He bought dinner and some Garfield glasses at a McDonald's there, then found a fireworks store and bought stuff he couldn't get in California. He didn't do too much in Tulsa; just stayed in the room looking at both Inquisitor articles and wishing that Denise Gottlieb was there with him.

 

Saturday, October 8, found pleasant weather on the east coast. Two of Carl's cousins, Anne and Ronnie, were having a get-together that evening at his aunt & uncle's house when he drove up. He recognized most of their friends because he'd been here in '78 and '79. The place hadn't changed a bit.

His aunt Jane greeted him inside as his uncle Ron was on the phone with Mr. Ruby in California, telling him that Carl had just arrived. Carl talked with his dad a bit, unpacked everything out of the car, shot the bull until all hours and then went to sleep by the downstairs tv. In all, he'd spent just around half the money his dad had given him for the trip. Pretty thrifty guy.

For the time being, all the recent tragic events were filed away in Carl's memory, currently not given top priority. A job interview lay just ahead, not only for Carl but for his cousin Trisha's husband Christopher. There was the prospect of staying here for quite a long time. The $400 or so Carl had left was quickly spent on a new sofa bed for him to sleep on. He bought a new corduroy jacket for the upcoming UPS interview, and also got a New York drivers' license. Everything was going to be alright now.

October 18, the big day came. Carl met Christopher at a restaurant in a nearby town, and the two of them drove to Manhattan in Christopher's car.

The office was dingy and carpetless; it looked like a cross between a warehouse and an old court building. One dark-haired guy in a shirt and tie handed out the applications. Carl and Christopher each filled one out. If your driving record wasn't spotless, you didn't have a chance. Christopher opted for office work; he had a DUI on his driving record so he didn't bother to fill out the driving part. He didn't get the office job. Carl, on the other hand, still had the two tickets from April and June, and the 1980 "firecracker fender-bender" in Playa Del Rey with Craig and David, on his record. He didn't get the UPS job even though neither accident was his fault.

For about a week Carl floated in career limbo. Finally Anne's boyfriend Jack got him a job as a security guard at Nyack Hospital for $4.25 an hour.

In late December, Bob Neiser offered Carl a chance to get out of the daily routine at the hospital. He had another security job at a food processing plant in Mamaroneck.

1984

Carl finally convinced Bob Neiser to give him the evening shift instead of the graveyard one. This eased the confusion at the house. But just a few weeks later, on January 26, Aunt Jane announced that the family would be taking a trip to Georgia in February to visit Uncle Ron's family. Carl asked if he could house sit while they were gone, but he was turned down. He wasn't making quite enough to keep an apartment, so pretty soon he'd be going back to California.

He arrived home on February 29. The first person he visited was David Henry. In early March he returned to work at Road Runners.

On May 17, Carl had just left Beverly Hills from a messenger run and was heading west on Pico Blvd. A large delivery truck was backing out of a driveway very slowly. Carl started to pass him, reasoning that the truck wouldn't be close enough to be in his way.

It was a stupid miscalculation. The back of the truck met the right rear passenger's side of the SR5, causing practically no damage to the truck. The driver, Gustavo Luna, immediately called his supervisor, but the conversation was in Spanish and Carl couldn't make out what he said.

This was the beginning of the end of the SR5. During the next week, both Craig and Greg urged Carl to get rid of the car, even though it was still quite driveable. There was a large tear in the right rear of the roof, near the window. It would cost mountains of money to replace. Nevertheless, Carl and Greg just took a trip to CLC the week before the graduation. Carl wasn't going to miss any more graduations. In spite of the blackout, he decided to go up there just to spite Hercules for not letting him go to the '83 graduation. It was still a week away so Carl and Greg spent a few hours in the computer room.

The week continued uneventfully until the next Friday morning.

Around 3:15 a.m. the phone rang, jarring him awake. Figuring it was a wrong number, he went over to answer it. “Hello?”

He heard the sound of two or three people talking and joking in the background. He repeated, “Hello?” No response; just the background conversation. He said “Hello?” a third time.

Suddenly a low voice came on the other end and muttered softly, “You’re dead.”

Click.

Now Carl was wide awake. If he’d gotten a phone call like this at three in the afternoon it wouldn’t have fazed him. But it was 3:15 in the morning. It was dark outside. No lights were on in the house. He was the only one in the room.

His father came out of the bedroom and asked who had been on the phone. Carl told him that a voice sounding a lot like Hercules had said, ’You’re dead’ and hung up.

Carl’s dad advised him to move the car, and also to call Road Runners later in the morning and tell Bryan Herring not to give him any deliveries going to Thousand Oaks.

Carl drove the Toyota up to Doug Craighead’s house, parked it on the street, then walked back home. He was on his guard most of the day. He told Greg about the phone call, and Greg went with him on some of the runs. Around 6:00 they got done. Greg asked if he and Craig could borrow the car. Carl said okay. That was the last he saw of the car until the next day.

Greg came over, minus the car. He told Carl that they’d been up in the hills somewhere near the west valley, and someone ran them off the road. The car was at Craig’s house and Carl went to retrieve it.

His heart sank when he saw what was left of the Tercel. It had been rolled, and all the windows were gone. Its amazing the thing still ran.

Just shy of 43,000 miles on the odometer, Carl took the car on its final voyage to his garage. Stares and laughter occasionally punctuated the air as he drove down 23rd Street.

He let the car sit in the alley as he went to get his father. Some of the people at the Peterson house next door came out.

Carl’s father surveyed the damage. Upon seeing the caved-in roof and non-existent windows, he exclaimed, “The good Lord was just patting them on the shoulder that they weren’t hurt last night.” Everyone agreed that the car was a total loss.

Almost halfway through, 1984 had indeed reached a turning point.

The year was heading south.

Mike Fuchs had a moped that was registered to a friend of his, Eugene Blue Stewart. Carl was in the process of buying the moped. On Sunday, he used it to go to the CLC graduation.

Carl got there just as the ceremony was ending. He didn’t care how much of the graduation he saw; he just wanted to go up there to spite Hercules for not allowing him the pleasure of seeing last year’s commencement.

The moped didn’t run too well on the way home and Carl didn’t get back until nightfall. Craig had a small dirt bike that he let Carl use a few times for Road Runners. Unfortunately, a week or two later, Craig and Greg were riding up near Topanga Canyon when they got into an accident with a guy named Rendell Richards. That was the end of the dirt bike. Later a guy named Ty Ngov smacked into Craig's street bike while David Henry was using it. By July, Carl's options were dwindled to nothing, and trip #3 to Winslow was put off for another summer. The only "trip" he took was with his dad's Buick on August 4 to a Go-Go's concert at Irvine Meadows with Greg.

On August 27, Carl had another one of his brainstorms. He asked his dad if he could use the electric car for local messenger runs. His dad said to give it a try. The next day he used the electric car to go down to Road Runners and try to start working again. He explained to Bryan and Bob that it didn’t have much range but he could make runs to West L.A. or the marina. No downtown or LAX, though. He wasn’t sure he could chance Beverly Hills. The valley? Forget it.

He was able to sell Bryan on the idea of local runs, and because this was a Santa Monica-based company, they had lots of clients in the area. He had his old job back once again.

Carl would occasionally run low on a charge, and he’d stop at a gas station and ask permission to use one of their outlets. He wasn’t denied, but once he was talked to about using an outlet at Nine-Story. About a week into this routine Carl’s dad decided to take the electric car to work and trust him with the Buick. Paychecks started to take off once again.

The mood at Carl's house had begun to shift again. There was talk of helping him finance another car. On September 7, Craig took Carl and Greg to Mike Miller Toyota and they all walked around the lot. There were many choice automobiles there. Carl looked around the lot for several minutes and then found a car he fell in love with -- a brand new, champagne-colored 1984 Toyota Corolla five-door, hatchback diesel.

He drove it home the next day.

That night, the official "inaugural cruise" was a trip to campus. Carl went there in the new car; Craig took Greg in his car. There was a dance going on. Carl got up the nerve to walk into the gym. Greg pointed out that he'd noticed Hercules at the dance.

The new school year had just begun. Excitement welled up in Carl's heart at the thought of talking to Nicole again. Where was she living now? Conejo? Rasmussen? New West?

He slipped away from the dance and ran towards the west end of campus. He ran up and down each level and checked every single door of West End and New West dorms. Her name did not appear. He couldn't think of where else she could possibly be. Being a junior, she couldn't be living in Mt. Clef, Pederson or Thompson dorms unless she was an R.A. She didn't seem like the R.A. type, and it was highly unlikely that someone had pulled the same dorm-housing stunt that Hercules had on Carl. Benson, Mattson and McAfee houses had long since been utilized for other purposes. The only other place he could think of was Kramer Court, but they don't list the room occupants on their doors. He never found her name.

Carl came up with a three-phase plan to undo all the damage Hercules had done. Phase One involved restoring his friendship with Rich Scott. Carl considered this phase already accomplished. Phase two would be to restore the friendship between Rich and Brent. Being that Brent was now living a happily married life up north, this would be impractical, so the best Carl could hope for was getting the two to stop feeling ill towards each other.

The third and final phase would indeed be the most difficult of all: winning Angela's love. he'd have to know if she was taken. He'd have to impress her if she wasn't. But first he'd have to find her.

If this three-phase plan were entirely successful, all would be right with the world. History would be on its proper course again. But Carl didn't want to call it the 'three-phase plan'. He had to think of a better name than that.

And so, on September 8, 1984, the Peace Mission was born.

Some damage was done to the car at Portuguese Bend down near Palos Verdes, and the car spent some time in the shop but he kept it running. Still, there was no concrete plan for meeting Denise Gottlieb. David and Greg thought it was a stupid idea, but at least Greg showed some interest in going there.

Carl went on a business trip to Arizona with his parents and he left the car with Craig. Carl and his parents stayed at the Holiday Inn in Mesa. His father worked at Hughes Helicopters, and the company was planning to move his job to Mesa. They toured the plant and looked at various homes. A move to Mesa was highly probable at this point. This would put Carl only 180 miles south of Winslow!

When he got back, there was slightly more damage to the car. The oil pan was busted, and Craig had tried to fix part of the car with a sheet metal screw. Carl got his paycheck when he came back, $392, and $296 of this went to make the car repairs that couldn’t wait. The body damage could.

By mid-November, Carl was wondering where Nicole was. He still had not seen her, and he’d been going up to CLC for two months. In late November he found out the awful truth: she was no longer attending Cal Lutheran. She was going to Santa Clara State University for her junior and senior years.

One day in December, Carl was at a courthouse in downtown L.A. when he ran into a guy named Roger who worked for a competing messenger service called Pronto. Carl heard how much this guy was making, and decided to give these guys a call.

His last day at Road Runners was November 30.

The Pronto office was located out of the way on a small dead-end street in North Hollywood. The owner was a man named Winston with a deep southern voice. He always answered the phone “Pronto, may I he’p you?” Carl’s immediate supervisor was a guy named Lance, who was a dead ringer for rock star Greg Kihn. There were four phone guys taking calls from drivers. Because they employed nearly sixty drivers, there were two phone numbers set aside; one for Drivers 1 thru 30 (Carl was #29), and the other for Drivers 31 through 60. If you called the wrong one, you were talked to about it. Unlike Road Runners, you had to call in every time you picked up an item, not just when you dropped it off. This was because they’d run your ticket through a time-date stamper at both pick-up and delivery time, and also in case they had any new pick-ups near your location.

Pronto was also very strict about living up to its name. When a customer called for a package to be picked up, the driver had to be there in 20 minutes or less. For this reason, Carl was never able to take Greg on runs with him, but income was steady through the remainder of 1984.

1985

On March 8, Carl, Greg and Tony Ortega went to Westwood to see Missing In Action 2: The Beginning. Afterwards, Carl decided to take them to Thousand Oaks to see Rich. While they were there, he’d pick up a quart of oil.

A car blocked his way onto the 101, so he wound up taking the long way -- up the 405 to the 118 and back down the 23 -- an act that would have far reaching consequences. You see, there had been a slow oil leak in the car since the days of Portuguese Bend. Tonight would be D-Day for the car.

Sure enough, as they approached the Janss Road offramp, Carl heard a funny sound, then all the “idiot lights” on the dash came on and the car began to slow down. They pulled off the freeway and stopped on Janss Road, just a mile from the gas station.

Carl walked to the gas station. Rich was working there all right, but this wasn’t exactly what Carl had in mind for the greeting. Carl bought a quart of oil. Greg and Tony stayed with the car. They couldn’t get it started either. They wound up calling the Auto Club and having the car towed to a 76 station on Thousand Oaks Blvd. Luckily, Carl had been paid, so he had enough money to cover it.

They had no place to sleep, but Carl knew a secret that would help them. The tow truck driver gave the three of them a ride to the campus and they spent the night in the New Earth. Hopefully this problem would be resolved by Tuesday.

Ha ha.

In any event, the weekend was shot. Carl still had the package at home to be delivered; it didn’t look like that was going to happen.

No one else came into the New Earth the whole time they were there. They left the next morning uneventfully, Greg taking with him three “Magnum 44” markers that were in the New Earth. They got all the way down to the Park Oaks shopping center, and Carl called a cab. The cab took them to the Greyhound bus station and they caught a bus to Hollywood, finally taking an RTD bus home as a transvestite passed them on the street.

Monday came. Carl hadn’t gotten around to calling Pronto about the package. He was talked to very sternly about it when he called them at 8 a.m., and they sent a driver to his house to pick it up. Carl learned later that day that there were major problems with the Toyota. Apparently the engine had seized up and wouldn’t run. Tuesday night, Carl borrowed the Buick and drove to the 76 station with Craig and Greg to pick it up.

They tied the front of the Toyota to the back of the Buick rather crudely, and were on their way; Craig driving the Buick and Carl behind the wheel of the Toyota in tow. On the way back Craig hit the brakes suddenly and Carl slammed into him. Some serious hood damage was done, but Craig got out and stomped the hood back down after fiddling with the hoses. Finally they got the car home.

Carl called his insurance man and eventually the car was taken to a body shop on Lincoln Blvd. A check would be sent, and Carl would have to give it to Edward Beetley, who worked there. Carl used the Buick to go to Pronto and pick up his paycheck. He hid the money in the false ceiling above the bathtub in his house.

The days dragged into weeks. While waiting for his insurance problems to be solved, Carl got a 6 a.m. -to-noon job at American International in downtown Santa Monica.

Unlike the Merchant Sampler phone sales job two years earlier, he would call businesses all over the United States and give them a sales pitch that went something like this: Their company’s name had been “selected” in a drawing at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, and they were guaranteed to be sent a prize. (American International delivered on this; there was one car to be won but most companies wound up with a rabbit fur jacket.) Then the pitch began: he’d try to sell them coffee mugs, pens, keychains, anything with the company’s name, address and phone number embossed on it.

One day in April, he used the American International phone to make an unauthorized call to Pronto and fill them in on the situation with the car. Lance told him, “I was really countin’ on you coming back, but we hired someone else.”

Greg soon quit his job at Domino’s Pizza after two more delivery guys got shot in Oakwood. He kept asking Carl for money.

After the body shop work was done, the car looked like new. Carl gave the $6000 check to Ed Beetley, but couldn’t get any share of the insurance money. Had he been able to, he would have been gone. The car’s next stop was J. E. Automotive, on the other side of Lincoln -- and what a stop it would be.

Carl landed a nighttime job answering phones at Parker Bryant, a Pacific Palisades-based firm that followed up on people interested in oil stock. The job was 5 to 9 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, and paid $5 an hour regardless of how you did on the phone. Unlike American International, it was guaranteed money.

On April 29, it really looked like everything was set for Carl’s escape. The car was almost ready at J. E. Automotive. Then they ran it for awhile and it threw a rod through the block. After Carl pleaded with them to fix it, they refused. Carl thought about suing them, but he was moving to Arizona in a few months, and also wasn’t in the emotional shape to handle a lawsuit. Craig added that it would be weeks before the case even came up. The car was taken back home, and plans for going to Winslow were shelved for yet another summer.

On August 28th, the Buick was ready. Later that night, Carl got this urge to go in his back room. While he was back there, Joe Jacobs had come to the door and asked about tapes. Carl heard about this when he came into the house later. That night, around 11:30, Carl and his mother began the eight-hour drive to Arizona to their new house.

And so began the close of almost twenty-three years of Carl and his family on Hill Street.

1985-86

With the move to Mesa, Carl needs to make a new set of friends. He starts going to skating rinks on Christian Night, and makes several decent friends there.
On October 3 he meets a redhead named Alicia Van Dyke, who takes more than just a passing interest in him. He also makes a new buddy named Barry Fitzgerald who goes to Apollo High School.
Shortly, he starts attending church regularly, turning back to God and straightening out some things in his life. On December 9, 1985, the Corolla Diesel is finally repaired, and he starts work with Hop-To-It Messenger Service on January 20, 1986.


Reflecting on the failures of all his plans, he decides that meeting Denise Gottlieb just wasn't God's Will. He tears both Inquisitor articles in half and throws them away, but Denise is not completely forgotten.

1986-88

For most of 1986, Denise and Nicole are 'set aside' so to speak. He then tries to find out whatever happened to Nicole. Because THAT is a story in itself, it has been moved to another page. He also obtains another copy of the August 2, 1983 Inquisitor.


DECEMBER 1988 TO JANUARY 1989 is a period of indecision. Carl contemplates going to California and selling his car to buy a small truck. He thinks over getting a better job. He writes in his diary that going to Winslow "...is starting to sound like a good idea again." He has enough money to stay in Winslow for a few weeks, but there's still the logistics problem: how to meet Denise.

Donald Winters and Alicia Van Dyke give him a little pep talk about the Air Force. Joining the military has sounded good for some time now, but he's got to give it more thought.

He contacts Erik in Glendale, California, and also learns Pronto Messenger Service is hiring, but he keeps the military option open.

For now, his choices are a job in L.A. or possible romance in Winslow.

Unfortunately, he picks L.A.

1989

JANUARY 13: There is a mild drizzle in Los Angeles. Carl meets Erik at Glendale Community College in the afternoon. That night, Erik introduces him to a friend, Mike Gutierrez, who goes to an Assembly of God church in La Crescenta. Carl spends the night at Mike's house in Sun Valley. The following night, Mike introduces him to a young lady named Kerri Golden, who works part-time at a convalescent center. She takes to him readily. Mike puts Carl up at his house again, where he goes to sleep that night dreaming of Kerri Golden.

* * * JANUARY 26: Nearly out of money and with his car acting up, Carl walks to the Air Force Recruiting Station near Craig Martin's old house. The recruiter tells him he's six months too old for the Air Force, so he steers him next door to the Navy recruiter.

Carl takes the pre-test and agrees to take the ASVAB a few days later. He scores a 97. Five days later, he passes the physical and is given a departuredate of May 22. He continues courting Kerri Golden very slowly. Too slowly, as it turns out, because by February 12, Erik Kellstrom has won her heart.

On February 28, Carl returns to Pronto. He works there until May 12, and goes home on the 16th. He contemplates driving to Winslow before shipping out to boot camp, but his alternator is acting up again. May 30 he leaves for Great Lakes, Illinois, and becomes part of Company 221. The company graduates on July 22, and a week later he's sent to A-School in Atlantic Dam Neck, Virginia.

DECEMBER 8: Carl goes on leave and visits family in New York before returning to Mesa. Car problems, colder weather and the fact that he's never driven up State Route 87 all mean that Trip #3 to Winslow will have to wait for the 1990s.

BACK.....CONTINUED...

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