My last little bit of time in Newfoundland, my mother asked if I would like to go to convention in St. John's, one of the large towns on the east coast of the island. This required a drive of 8 hours on mostly gravel roads. I wanted Anita to go with us, but for some reason, she didn't, and her sister Grace ended up going. My hormones are raging, and Grace is a beautiful, budding young lady. I end up face to face with Grace, lying down on the seat of the '59 Ply. Station-wagon. We swap tongue for 6 hours, and I know when I get back, there's going to be trouble. Dad has orders for Paine Field, in Washington. I told my folks I didn't want to miss any school. I was a poor student, and I always had low grades, and I convinced them to send me back before the school year started. I really needed to get away from my "girl" problems.
I got on a commercial flight at the very terminal I had bussed dishes, and short order cooked. The flight went straight through to British Columbia, where we laid over, and continued on to Seattle, where I was greeted by the Larsons, "friends" of my mom. They took me to the Ploegsma's house, where I was to stay until my folks came home. The Ploegsmas were also mom's "friends", meaning, they all belong to the same church. I was close to Cascade High School so the folks signed me up to attend. There was trouble the very first day. I was a smoker (I tried to quit on the plane), I was wearing a Harmon High School letter jacket, and I was called "Pete Peterson", the same name as the star Q.B. of the football team. I don't want to re-live that time. Suffice to say, it seemed like forever before my parents got back. I liked the girl next door (I can't rem. her name), and I really liked the Ploegsmas, but we are so different, that I was uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, my folks had returned, and they rented a place in Lynwood, and I had to change schools already. (Thank God!) The house is a little less than a mile from the school, so I am able to walk every day. Right behind the house is an abandoned house that had been moved there from who knows where. It sits in the woods, and I had fun exploring. The new house the folks had rented, had a fireplace, and I enjoyed keeping it stocked with wood, a skill I had learned well in Newfoundland. Just past the school was a shopping center, and I would hang out there a lot. One of the songs that brings me back to that time is "Telstar".
Mt. Lake Terrace
No one on this planet hates school more than I did. By attending military schools, I had gained extra credits, and my records showed that I had enough credits to start as a senior. The counselor at Cascade suggested that, so I was overjoyed that I had skipped a grade.
When I started Mt. Lake Terrace, I started as a senior, and I had advanced algebra, which I was unable to grasp, and chemistry, which I was unable to grasp, and all in all, I had a really terrible time at Mountlake Terrace, so I was glad when dad bought the farm.
The folks had been real estate shopping, and the farming bug had bitten dad. There was a fifteen acre ranch, with five acres of raspberries, and it was just what the folks wanted, so they took it.
Snohomish was a small town in the '60s, about 2,500 souls. The streets are crisscrossed, and unorganized, and hilly. The closest big town was Everett, where there was a Boeing aircraft factory, and stinky paper mills.
Coming from the ranch, the first building in town was the Safeway Store. Next came the Hub, a drive thru burger joint,
and the Triangle store.
The town was built on the river, and most of the town is north of the river.
This is First Street, right on the river.
To the north is higher ground,
and almost at the top of the hill is the school.
Across the street from the school is The Spudnut, a hangout, and snack shop for students.
The school year was over, and I had done terribly at Mountlake Terrace, and summer was berry season. The previous owner had pruned the canes and tied them off, so all we had to do was pick berries. Dad went to the cannery in town, and picked up flats, and little baskets, 12 to a flat. He brought home a pile of flats, and, little did I know, but I had to fill those flats. That's right folks. That was one of my summer jobs, and I also worked at the cannery when the corn harvest came in. We went to the movies in town, and the first time I went, these gorgeous girls sat behind us in the theater. The only one I really remember was one beautiful girl, with a cleft palate. The friends she was with said she got hit with a baseball bat, but we found out the truth later. If this was a sample of the girls at school, then I was anxious to get started. I had done so miserably at Mountlake Terrace, but I passed everything. I lacked one credit. I had to attend school for one more year to take Washington State History, a requirement to graduate.
When I signed up for classes, I was free to take anything I wanted, as long as I took Washington State History. I signed up for, wood shop, metal shop,auto shop, and study hall. Tough schedule, huh? I had started a band with some of the people I met at Mountlake Terrace, and three brothers from Snohomish, two of them, twins. We would practice at the farm, in the basement, or at Schwartzmillers house, right behind where Gilpin realty's new office is. The house was destroyed, to accommodate the new building.
The oldest brother, Dean, was around 21 years old, and he had a driver’s license, and a car, a '49 Packard, 3 tons of heavy metal. He played the guitar, and owned a Gretsch. The twins were four years younger than me. I was 18, and a senior. Brad, aka Hub, the piano player had an electric piano. When I hear "Supertramp", it reminds me of his piano. Brent, aka Squeak, was an incredibly talented saxophone player. He owned a tenor, and an alto sax, ant he had one tune where he played them both at once, the one harmonizing with the other. I have never seen anyone do that, since.
Brent Schwartzmiller a.k.a. Squeek
The Twins, Brad (Hub) in background
The Twins in 2005 (Aug.)
I graduated from high school, and immediately signed up for the military.