Sunday, October 10, 2010

Walking Down Memory Lane @January-1970

I remember sitting in class one January morning. the year was 1970, we were still newcomers to Manly Iowa. since we were coming from 10 miles away, it didn't seem to be a 'newcomer' paradise, but rather an 'out in the country' experience. i still had to make new friends, and new study buddies. that in itself, was rather fun. the eye candy in manly was certainly desireable and quite obtainable. maybe it was my youth that got me through the zippers. whatever it was, i don't have it now.

anyway, um, back to january 1970. we've been in town for 6 months, and i made a few friends, or so i t hought they were my friends. they were countable on one hand. but january 1970 was the time i was sent away by the court in worth county. why? because i 'stole' 35 cars. it wasn't really stealing, it was more like borrowing, because i always returned the vehicles with more gas in them than when i borrowed them. it even made the town's weekly newspaper, the signal. i was dubbed 'the gas bandit' and for a couple of weeks, i was famous (your name in the paper made you 'famous'). but it all came to a screeching halt when i had a flat tire one night out on highway 9. see, the problem wasn't that i had a flat tire, no. the problem was that i was driving the town cop's car.

it was like an addiction. taking my parents' 59 buick special out for a 2hr ride around north iowa @ 2am was simply just good ol' country boy fun.

that car made it through two worth county fair demolition races. the first time earning a big friggin trophy. i had nothing to do with this event, but it brought smiles to my face when i heard about it. i KNEW ol' betty, so named after my aunt in northwood,

no, i was sittin behind locked doors,from jan-aug of '70, i spent that time in durand illinois. the boys farm school. i don't know what it is now. i think it's still a school. i think the BFS was a private concern, not run by the state. i know when they transferred me out of BFS to a place in eldora iowa, only this was the state run vocational school for 'wayward' boys. 99% of the kids in eldora were court ordered. i'm not sure what role the court played in all of my commitment. certainly they had the last say.

but ol' betty served me many a good times. both in manly, and in surrounding towns, mainly mason city. i'm real surprised that no cop ever thought of stopping me. i was big for my age, i know that. but still. a kid no older than 13.5, out at 3am? c'mON. even in 1970, that had to raise a few eyebrows, no? i'm afraid the only ones that can answer that are in the ground, god bless their souls. ayup, betty got me a lot of dick too.

 that was when i started my affair with the town cop. i would sneak out, and when i got done driving, i would park the car, and walk back into the yonder in this little house alongside the lumber yard. can't remember his name right off hand, but i ended up getting sent away after i got caught with his car out on hwy 9 with a flat tire. the guy who stopped me turned me in, i jus know it. from that day on, i knew two things in manly iowa: one - they's a decent bunch of horndogs in manly iowa. and two - they never got the best if they aint had me. i was a out and proud even back in 70, the first year of gay liberation. stonewall happened on my 13th birthday, 6/27/69.  those numbers are golden.  6(2+7) 69.  like gaga sings, i was born this way.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was in BFS from Aug 1969 to about Oct 1970.

Anonymous said...

Your name isn't Schmidt, is it?

leQ said...

how did you know? that's too weird. you're not zack, are you?

Anonymous said...

My name is Lou. I lived in Garner Hall. The key things that led me to guess Schmidt were Mason City IA, priest, stealing cars.

BFS kind of messed me up and it took me about a year or two to adjust to a normal environment (had to shake the influence of the residents). I did not belong there to begin with but 12 year olds were not easy to place then.

I joined the Navy right after HS. Put in 23 years active duty and 2yrs reserve. I got an Engineering degree before retiring and got my Masters in 2005.

I've been married 32 years now with two grandchildren (9 and 2). Oh yeah...my stepson is gay. He came out in 2004. Because of this, I belong to the GLBT Alliance at work.

The experience at BFS, along with my adolescence, has given me a "nothing is impossible" attitude. In other words, I am a bit of an overachiever and "can't" is no excuse.

Anonymous said...

I was doing a Google search on Boys' Farm School. It is now coed. There was a motivational writer whose influence was BFS. http://mit-aa.com/index.php/from-adversity-to-success

Quasar said...

well, lou, it sounds like you turned out pretty well. like you i went into the navy, but at the ripe old age of 24. went in on halloween, and was discharged exactly 1 year later - reagan's push of no gays in the military was well under way by then.

served aboard a sub as a personnelman, hence went to A school in meridian MS. homeport was groton, CT. & charleston,SC. i had the time of my life on that sub.

i remember there were two 'halls' or cottages, and a huge main house on the top of the hill. i remember the couple that supervised us in the eastern cottage. mr & mrs penga.

but ya, you're the first person i've met outside of BFS that even knows what it is, much less has been there like me. remember satterfield? i wonder what they're all doing now.

i'm glad you passed by. how DID you pass by anyway? i don't advertise the blog at all. it's like my hidden room on the planet. i guess it's not so hidden any more. :)

again, thanks for dropping by. hope to keep in touch with you.
-dave schmidt

Axeist said...

Did a random search of Boys Farm School and Durand.

I heard Satterfield and Sandy Rogers got married.

I remember the Pengras.

I retired as an FCC in the Nav and spent 13 1/2 years in Pearl Harbor.

Unknown said...

I retired as an FCC in 2000. Got out in 1981 and drilled in the Reserves for 2 yrs. Came back on active duty in 1984. Used my reserve time in grade as an FTG1 to go up for Chief in 1985.

Some things that gave me a good kick in the ass.... 1. The wife (she is a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo - Church of Christ) - gave me an ultimatum: her or the weed and booze. 2. FTCS Jimmy Leroy - gave me a pep talk about being a little bit more of an asshole (have to sometimes - otherwise you get walked on); got my butt in gear and got recommended for Chief. Quit smoking in 1983. 3. 2005- blood test results: hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity), very high triglycerides (900); been taking Synthroid and Tricor/TriGlide ever since. With diet and meds, my overall cholesterol has been 175 or so for the past 3 years (154 at its lowest). This ole boy doesn't intend on being the guest of honor at a funeral in the near future.

Quasar said...

lou - would there be a picture of you on the web? i'm trying to put a face to your name, but can't seem to bring it into focus.

Unknown said...

http://www.youtube.com/axeist92126#p/u/3/c_UpDfuwY3c

I'm the one in the guitar shirt.

Quasar said...

hm, can't say i remember the face, but then i didn't always look at faces. heh. but you were definitely there when i was. about the only name i can remember is zack. from chicago. were you there when the bus trip to chicago's old town happened?

well, i'm glad another kid turned out good.

Unknown said...

I was in the room across from yours. I had Guidry, Watson and Roberts as roommates(Roberts was freckled and the others were black). Your roommmates, I believe were Bolden and Haycraft. I was the one the put a giant knot on Charlie Haycraft's forehead with a ping pong paddle. I used to also assist as altar boy or commentator when Fr. Shanahan said mass on Sat nite.

Quasar said...

my, you've got a memory like an elephant. if you were across from me, then you knew the short kid, sassy kid, but short. he came and tried to rape me one night with his 2 roommates who were black.

the only one i wantd was zack. cant remember his last name, but he was kinda big for his age. names and locations are but a distant memory, and hard to recall. where are you living these days?

Unknown said...

CA. San Diego.

A couple of my other roommates were Dougherty and Madonia.

I do remember a black guy named Eddy Anderson. I think he had a rather light skinned companion. Don't remember if Anderson was in my room or not.

I do remember a guy from Rockford named Billy Rowland. Short and a bit of a smart ass.

IRT to my memory, I have been told basically since grade school that it is photographic. If I could only remember what I did 5 minutes ago....... (easy to remember what I did 40+ years ago).

Unknown said...

There was also a guy from BFS that I ran into around 1973 or so. Jim Briggs (he was a bit of a pudgy person during our time and just about everybody picked on him). He was painting my best friend's house in St Charles. John and I agreed he was a bit of a dork.

Quasar said...

i'm not good with names. unless there's been a speshal relationship. there were about 6 of 'em that i got along with. sorta speak. it was the first time i spent away from home. but the kids from chicago, taught me a lot about being on yer own. i do remember the music on the intercom system at night. some of the best music came from that era. it really doesn't feel like it's been 40 years since BFS. have you run into anybody else?

Unknown said...

I later on ended up going to the same jr high school with David Corn in 9th grade.

He and Briggs were the only ones I ran into after BFS.

I believe there may have been a staff member (possibly Sandy Rogers) that I could have wrote letters to after BFS (and that was how I found out she and Satterfield were getting married).

As far as music, the sixties and early seventies was the S--T, period!