November 8, 1979 – A job! Mel’s graduation, a business trip to Everett

November 8, 1979

2) Getting a job – Getting a job really was no problem at all. I had a job waiting for me in the accounting department of the Makah Tribal Council.download (4) I reported for work on Tuesday morning, May 29th, 1979. I filled out all the required forms with the personnel department. I then went upstairs to the accounting offices. I cleared off the old green desk and made myself at home. It took me two weeks to get a status form; otherwise, I had no problems at all. I became second in line of authority in our staff of six.

3) The week after I graduated, Melonee graduated. Melonee was Valedictorian of her class, so she had a speech to deliver. She graduated in a class of eight, 4 boys, 4 girls. Besides Mel, there was Lawanda Johnson, Debbie Cooke, download (5)Trish Meadows, Lester Moore, Mark Ray, Russell Martilla and Bill Roche. Russell opened the evening with the flag salute. Trish followed with a poem. She started the tears rolling. Lawanda followed with the class history and kept the tears running. There was a break when Salutatorian Bill Roche gave his speech. It was well done. Melonee followed with a nicely delivered speech, which also helped tears flow. I was so proud of her. She did so much a better job than I. Len Zenonian, and Deloris Rice were the guest speakers, Mr. Z ended his speech reciting Desirata.

Mr. Loveland gave honorary degrees to Ruth Claplanhoo and Helen Peterson. This was a nice gesture on his part. Finally, the diplomas were handed out. Lester Moore introduced each graduate, while Russ introduced Les when it came to Les’s turn. We then retired to the Multi-purpose images (3)room where we got the chance to shake hands with each graduate.
When we finished the reception, it was off to the Senior Party. Usually, this wouldn’t affect me, but this time the party was in our house. The hard stuff was broken out right away. The beer came out later, but there was a problem with this. They had two kegs, but no spigot to get the beer out. After an hour one finally showed up, only to have a wait of almost another hour to get it working. The juices did flow that evening. One of the first to go out, to get snockered was one of Mel’s classmates younger brother. He was one of the few really young students who arrived in who shouldn’t have.

Dale and I were the only ones who were over 21 in the house. All fingers would have pointed at us had there been any raids. There was a dance at the Hall also, so about 12 midnight the house cleared for nearly an hour. It didn’t take long for the party to get back in full swing once everyone returned. This time we kept out all of those who were too young. We also had to turn away some who were too old. We tried to keep it to Seniors and their closest friends. The poor younger brother of a classmate tried to get in 6 times before Alan Greene finally talked him into leaving.

We didn’t have very many problems at all. Russell Scott was almost fighting with someone about the Hell Raisers. That didn’t last long, and the participants cooled off right away. The only other worry we had was to get the people out the door before they passed out. Only Debbie Cooke and Yak Parker spent the night. At 5 AM only Barry Mack, Darrell Markishtum and I were left awake. We played blackjack for about a half an hour when I saw Darrell’s parent’s car drive by. I figured they were looking for him, so I sent him home. Barry left soon after that.

Mel and  got pretty cozy with someone who she says is “just friends.” They were sound asleep when we tried to find a camera to get a picture of our “just friends.” They woke up before we got a chance. Mel had to do an ugly thing out the glass doors. When she finished, she went back to sleep.

The only exciting thing that happened to me was that one of Mel’s classmates practically proposed to me. She was well out of it when she called me over. I was told about her having a crush on me. From there she went on and on until she practically asked me to marry her. She passed out soon after. I don’t know if it was from drinking or me. I was in bed by 6:00 AM, up by 7:30 AM and at work by 8:10 AM, looking like I was hung over.

4) A week in Everett seemed like at least a month. We were there for a workshop in central accounting for Tribal organizations. The Social Development Corporation Indian Management Institute sponsored the seminar. The instructors were Paul Moore on Level I and Dennis Overby in Level II. That’s why we were there.

I drove there with Kathy Ward and Pat Greene. We drove via thedownload (6) Pt. Townsend to Keystone and Clinton to Mulkiteo ferries. When you get off the Mulkiteo ferry, you are almost in Everett. We were staying at the Everett Holiday Inn. We figured the Everett Holiday Inn would be in Everett. That was our first mistake. The second mistake was letting me help guide the way. We had a tour of Everett for about 90 minutes. At one point in downtown Everett, I was in a phone booth looking for an address, when I returned to my car, I told Pat to start memorizing the streets as we drove by. She said okay when we got back on the road I found that the streets were numbered. Fig29
We finally found our hotel and got checked in. I told Kathy and Pat to call when they went to dinner. Even though they wanted to eat Chinese food I had to eat somewhere. After about two hours of waiting, I finally called their room. They were not in, so I decided to take a walk through the place to see if they were doing the same. Finally, I checked the parking lot to find Kathy’s car missing. They left without me not even having the courtesy to call me.

On the way back to the room I ran into Kibby. She had been waiting for Mary Ann Martin to show. They were supposed to go to dinner together. She was hungry enough not to wait anymore so she asked me if I’d go with her to the Black Angus. images (4)We took a roundabout route to get there. While we anticipated being seated Joe and Mary Ann walked out to leave. We had a lovely dinner, and afterward, we went back to the motel where we retired to our own rooms. I read a little and went to sleep.

The next morning, class started at nine. Kib and I were in Level II, Kathy and Pat in Level I. We took a test that I scored a perfect 100% on. After introducing ourselves to each other Dennis had us each read out loud a part of the introduction. He told us it was to kill time.

At lunchtime, I found out Kathy had spent 30 minutes calling the wrong room #. She figured I was either on the toilet or was out wandering around. After 30 minutes, they felt I couldn’t still be in the bathroom, so they took off. I took them to the Black Angus Monday night. Wednesday night we went to see The In-Laws, download (7) a movie with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin that was genuinely funny. This was just about the only highlight of the week.

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November 5, 1979 – Graduation for the University of Puget Sound

November 5, 1979 –

Three more months have passed since I wrote the last sentence. (So, much for keeping up with the football team.) The football team is 3 –4, with the homecoming game against Clallam Bay coming up this Friday. The Warriors finished a very successful season. But, more on this later, let me attempt to tackle my list.

1) My graduation –
As I stated above, commencement was on Saturday, May 26, 1979. Mom, Dad, Lynn, Dale & Mel were due in Tacoma on the 25th, but they didn’t specify a time. So, all day Friday I worried about them getting into town. I was worried about my grade in governmental accounting.download (5) I had taken this course in Winterim and took an incomplete when it came time for grades. I attended class on the first day and expected to be able to go to the bookstore afterward to buy a textbook. Unfortunately, the course was overbooked, and they did not have any more books to sell. Because of time, we were going on a chapter a day schedule. After a week without text, I was 4 chapters behind after a week. The following week I came home to attend Donny Parker’s funeral. I talked to my Prof. about this, and he told me there would be no problem. When I returned for my third week of classes, I was 8 chapters behind. My Prof. told me to come to class and listen to the discussions. They would go through problems, and I’d sit and write down answers. On that Friday I took the two quizzes that I had missed earlier. I did very poorly on both. Finally, I decided that the only way I’d catch up was to stay at home and read and do the problems.

After 4 days of working 12 — 16 hours of accounting, I was still 5 chapters behind. I went to see my professor on Thursday, the day before the final. When I walked in his office, he said, “What’d you do? Give up the ghost?” I laid out my work and said no, but that I still didn’t complete all the work. We then set up a schedule in spring. It was his idea I take an incomplete, I didn’t even have to ask for it.

We had a hard time matching schedules, but I finally finished the course a week before the Spring term ended. He told me to come in and find out what my grade was. I never did get to see him, so on Friday, I was worried about passing the class with better than a C grade. If I didn’t, I could not graduategrad images. I wouldn’t really find out until Saturday when I checked in and got my number for my place in line. That was my worry when I showed up at Geinrich’s office to try to find out my grade for the last time. He wasn’t in, so I walked to the Biology department in hopes of seeing Mrs. Solie. She was in so I talked with her for about an hour. I then went to rehearsal.

At rehearsal, I saw many people I’d seen over the past 4 years. I really had not made good friends with anyone, so I was just about alone in that crowd. This ended in 20 minutes, and I went to my trailer nomad trailerand waited.

My family finally showed up, and we all went to dinner at the download (7)Spaghetti Factory. It was a silly dinner, especially with the girls picking on each other. It was the first time in a long time that we had all been together like that.

After dinner, we went to thedownload (9) to the Kilworth Chapel to listen to Antonia Handler Chayesdownload (8) give the commencement address. We arrived early and could not tell whether or not people were coming or going. Dale was worried that we had missed it entirely. To kill time we took a tour of the campus. By the time we got back we still had fifteen minutes. This time though other people had been seated, so no one felt funny about going in and sitting down. Lynn made an interesting comment on peoples attire. The students were casually dressed, while their guest, usually their family were all dressed up.

At the time Ms. Chayes was the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. She had also served in some capacity with the Kennedy Administration. Most of her talk was along the theme of the Days of Camelot, with hardly mention at all of the present Administration. I, being the Kennedy fan that I have really enjoyed the talk. I don’t think I can say the same for the rest of the family. She even quoted some lines from the song “Eve of Destruction.”

After she finished, we walked outside to find that the rear driver’s side tire was flat. We all went back to the Motel after the slight delay. Dale and Lynn went next door for a couple of drinks. Mel and I went to see Walk Proud with Robby Benson. walk-proud-us-lobbycard-from-left-sarah-holcomb-robby-benson-1979-e5nx3gMom and Dad stayed at the Motel.

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning. We trooped off across the street and ate breakfast at Denny’s. Everyone then took off shopping, Dad taking his flat to Firestone to be fixed. I opened my presents before everyone took off. I got a really nice camera, a Fujica, while everyone left I read about and played with my camera.

It was raining outside when I first woke. This was unfortunate since the Commencement was to take place outdoors. It was also blowing to beat the dickens. It stopped raining before the festivities began, but the download (10)wind continued at a steady pace all day long, requiring graduates to hold on to their caps or lose them.

I started heading for the University at 12 noon. I wanted to get my number for my position in line, but indeed to find out if I was going to graduate at all. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when my name was on the list and I had a number. When my grades finally came in the mail, I almost laughed out loud. The mark I received in Governmental Accounting was a B-. This was the last grade that I ever received in an accounting class. I was worried about just passing the course. (As I type this almost 19 years later, I can tell you that I still have a recurring dream, a nightmare about this situation.)

After getting my number, I still had an hour before the ceremonies began. Lots of people were walking around with wine glasses andimages (3) were toasting each other. More beer flowed than any other beverage, though no one had any problems making the long walk between Jones and Thompson Hall to the football field. While making this trek, many, many caps were blown away. It must have been a comical sight to see 600 graduated trying to hold their caps on and their gowns down. Finally, those who were smart just took their caps off and held them.

As we walked by the grandstand, all eyes were looking up searching for family and friends. It didn’t take long for me to find my family, especially after hearing Uncle Gene yelling my name at me. I waved at everybody as I went to sit down.

The first part of the program was reserved for those receiving honorary degrees. There were 3 or 4 of these, and each was accompanied by a speech of introduction and one of thank you. Those receiving Master degrees came next, and us BA, BS peons, brought up the rear. There were more of us than anyone else, and we were the most enthusiastic.

The whole program lasted about 2 hours. The reading of name after name became monotonous, but when my name was finally read off, the wait indeed seemed to be worthwhile. It did seem to be such a little award after a long 4 years of work and study. My roommate ended up receiving a dual degree, so much for him not being serious. He also yelled and applauded loudly when my name was called. After it was all over it was hugs all around. I had on the most prominent, silliest grin painted on my face. It just didn’t seem possible that I had finished my college years and had earned my degree, a BA in Business Administration. download (11) I was glad it was over, but I know I missed a lot of what college was all about. It should have been a lot more fun, I should have made a lot more friends. I kept to myself instead and talked myself into being alone and ultimately into being lonely. (It had a lot to do with the four year time period, and all the deaths that had occurred during those four years. I justified not having any friend in order not to have to say goodbye to them when it ended. Looking back at it now, that was just plain dumb.)

When all the festivities ended, we went back to the trailer. We ate at Arby’s,download (1) and when we finished, Mom, Mel, Lynn, and Dale took off in the Maverick for home, while Dad and I hooked up the trailer and headed for the Edmonds – Pt. Townsend ferry. (Note, the Hood’s Canal bridge was still out of use at this time.) In Edmonds, we met all the track teams on their way back from the State track meet. We talked to Moose a bit and the coach from Clallam. We found out that Dawn Waggoner had set a State record in a preliminary heat, but had hit a hurdle and fell in the finals. What a disappointment. We talked with Jo Anne Willard on the ferry, Kevin Kozak, her son, took eighth place in the hurdles. We pulled in at home at about 5:30 AM in the morning, Sunday, May 27th. College was finally behind me forever.

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Wednesday, August 22, 1979 – At Football Practice

Wednesday, August 22, 1979

 

          Before I begin to tackle my list of 11), let me say a few words about today’s practice.  It was about 8:30 PM and I had just awakened from dozing on my bed while watching baseball.  I decided that I had better feed the dogs.  When I got up, I noticed that the lights at the field were still on.  I thought that I might wander over there.  Dad wanted to check the lights, so I rode over with him.  Football practice was just winding up while Dad, and I walked across the parking lot.  The team was running its’ last 100-yard sprint.  I didn’t get too much of a chance to count the number of players present, but a quick try brought forward the fact that attendance had a least doubled from yesterdays turnout.

I was quite obvious that Dan Green was present.  His “Starsky & Hutch” car was quickly spotted as we turned the corner to the school.  As they ran by, Dan led the group.  Other new faces included Jeff Hall, JR Johnson, Joe Ware, and Peter Chartraw among others I didn’t get a chance to identify.

Dad and I came upon a discussion between Alan Bigelow, Jerry Lucas, and Coach Ron Johnson.  After pleasantries were exchanged topics bounced around included running over dogs, climbing towers and straightening out goal posts.  The lights apparently need no work.  Al mentioned that it looked like Ron had an exceptional group of kids out, Jerry said, “Yeah, but only 7 – 8  are working at it, the rest is just dogging it.”  We’ll see, we’ll see.

What was a little unusual was that as I mowed the lawn, Russell, while riding on the back of a bike spotted me, put a fist in the air with his index finger, pointed skyward and yelled, “We’re #1!”  We’ll see.

Let me now start on my list.  It is most appropriate, to begin with, 1) my graduation from the University of Puget Sound.

Graduation was May 26, 1979, at the UPS football field.

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Tuesday, August 21, 1979 – The list

Tuesday, August 21, 1979

 

          I stayed away from this book for only 4 months this time.  What brings me to this book on this day?  It is the first day of high school football practice.  This year I intend to try to keep closer tabs on the team in this book.  Of 25 players who signed up for jerseys, only eleven young souls showed up for this initial hour of hell.  Steve Cunningham, my personal favorite, who is coming off of surgery was there, other seniors included Dwayne Johnson, Paul “Yak” Parker, Ron Markishtum, Russell Scott, also present were Barry Mack, Theron Parker, Brian Scott, Darrell Markishtum, Bill Martin and Leo Charles, Jr.  Notable now shows include Dan Greene (fishing), Brian Gagnon (grades), Matt Kallappa (?), Cub Jimmicum (grades).  The other no-shows will be revealed later.  This team is primed for its first game.  That game is Quilcene at Quilcene.  This is due to an incident that happened in Quilcene after the final basketball game last year, described earlier in this journal.  I shall talk a lot of football later.  Before doing this, let me jot down a few things that have happened since I last wrote, that should be mentioned at length.

  • My graduation √2) Getting a job  √3) Mel’s graduation and party √ 4) A week in Everett √ 5) A week in Hawaii √6) World Champ’s Sonics √ 7) Clallam County Queen, Valerie Scott √ 8) Riding home with Russell √ 9) Dallas and Steve √ 10) Tennis and Steve √ 11) Mel, the next Makah Day’s Queen? With list in hand,  I can happily retire for the evening and tackle the list starting tomorrow.
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Saturday, April 21, 1979 – Journal 2

Saturday, April 21, 1979

          Not only have I skipped almost a year, but I also begin writing in a new notebook.  What has happened since the last entry dated July 9, 1978, in the previous book? So much, it will be hard to remember it all. Grandpa Tom Parker died last fall.  In January we lost Donnie Parker in a car accident and early this spring we lost Nora Barker.  As death can strike at any time, I would like to talk about mine a little.  There are a few things I’d want to repeat and to change a few things about my funeral.  I am going to write some things that maybe I shouldn’t, they are going to sound petty, but that’s life, I guess.

I still want the services held at the Presbyterian Church.  (I’ve been attending the Neah Bay Assembly of God 72541_111883698876556_2661747_nwhen I do attend.) It still would be nice to have a cousin sing.  After what I’m going to say, she may not want to, and that would be pettier than I’m going to be.  Last summer Melonee decided to run for Makah Day’s Queen.  She made her intentions known to the family.  Everything was fine until Mel got a call from our cousin.  She too was thinking about running.  Now, Melonee had bowed out twice before when our cousin said she’d run.  Our cousin never ran, so Mel did not run needlessly.  What galls me is that our cousin denied that this ever happened, in effect calling us liars.   Our cousin did not say she was going to run, only that she was once again just thinking about it.  We could only hope for the best.  Mel was more than willing to bow out.

Our cousin did decide to run and called Mel, I repeat CALLED MEL, not even finding the courtesy to tell her in person.  Mel was shattered, we were eating when the call came.  In tears Mel gave us the news and because she lost her appetite left the dinner table to cry in her room.  I was so disappointed with our cousin, and Melonee was ready to quit, right then and there.  I guess I helped make the decision to run anyway.  I was bitter, and the bitterness was to increase once this race wore on.  It was unorthodox to have two girls from the same family run for Queen, these girls were 1st cousins!

We ran and ran hard.  I did not work as hard as I should have, but Mel worked her tail off.  I was so proud of her and so disappointed when she lost.  Dale was so upset that she had to leave the gym in tears. Losing hurt, but it was tainted by the way our cousin won and attempted to win.

First of all, our cousin allegedly accepted a 5 to 7 hundred dollar contribution from her Youth Camp group or some group she deals with her religion.  You’d think they have better ways to spend their money. What really gets me is that she actually accepted it.  This is a girl who once worried that her Mom was going to hell because her Mom went to a different Church from the one she attended. I was told this by her brother during a rather long car ride to Seattle.  A third girl was running as well.  When the rumor of the 5 – 7 hundred dollar contribution came out, I thought that it was the other candidate who took it.  I actually felt our cousin was above this type of thing.  But, oh was I wrong!  The worst was yet to come.

The third candidate dropped out of the race, raising under $100.  She gave this to our cousin, and when our cousin turned in her money, she allegedly included that money with her own.  I lost most of any respect I had for our cousin right then and there.  She beat Mel by a mere $20 — $70. Mel had raised $1,230, Maria just under $1,300, but more than a third of it was donated.  Mel worked for every penny and worked hard.  Mel accepted her loss graciously.  I wanted to hurt our cousin and hurt her bad.  She had no right to receive her crown, no reason whatsoever!  I am glad I never said anything because I would say things that probably would still need more time for healing from the wounds they would have opened.  Until now, no one knew how hurt I was for Mel and how much our cousin disappointed me.  Now it is petty to feel this way, but it’s one that will take years to live down, but still, it would be nice if our cousin would sing at my funeral.  (I bet you didn’t see that coming?)  (Almost 40 years later I had forgotten this story, and in this case, time did the healing.  I love and respect my cousin more now than ever.)

For pallbearers, I would like Rory Vogel, Mike Parker, Jimmy Jarrett, Uncle Gene Parker, Coach Ron Johnson and Stevie Cunningham.  For honorary pallbearers, I list them in the order that I would like them to replace those above who might not make it, Davey Whitener, Leonard Zenonian, Uncle John Parker, Moe Dannel, Danny Greene, Bobby Martin and Kimm Brown.  (Of this list I would still choose Rory and Mike, Stevie, Davey, Bobby, and Kimm are slightly more than acquaintances as of the date I posted this. [05/15/2018]

Rory Vogel was my first real close friend in Neah Bay.  Through high school and especially in sports we were close.  It really began in Little League baseball.  We were teammates in football, bench mates in basketball, worked together in the summer a couple of summers.  I could talk to him and be myself.  I still can.

Mike Parker.  What can I say about him?  He had been one of the best friends I have, or will ever have.  As I stated previously, he is my 1st cousin, confidant, and my best friend. Let me amend that by saying he is my 1st cousin, 1st confidant, and 1st best friend.  He is funny, witty and maybe one of few who really understands me.  There is little I wouldn’t tell him.

Jimmy Jarrett may be a surprise choice of mine, to my family.  Jimmy was my boyhood idol, though only 2 years separate us.  Yet, as a sixth grade, and he an 8th grader, he already was starting on Varsity basketball.  I became a manager in the 7th grade and got to see him play every game.  Now 2 years is nothing, then 2 years was an eternity.  This idolization slowly grew away, but because of it, I came to know another of my closest friends, Neah Jarrett.  This alone gives Jimmy a high position on my list. (Jim has died.)

Uncle Gene Parker is a man I respect a great deal.  His love of sports is one I share, though I could never hope to attain his knowledge.  While in High School sports and other activities, but especially in sports, he was always the first to come on the field or floor to offer a pat on the back and warm but loud word of encouragement, win or lose.  It was sweet when we won, but even better to hear those words when we lost.  He cared.  Though it would be nice to have him as an active pallbearer, it may be easier on him to be an honorary one.  This will have to be a decision to be made by my family. (He has died)

Coach Ron Johnson has entered my life in the last couple of years.  These were very difficult years of my life.  Ron has helped steady me, helped give my life direction. He has done this unknowingly, and yet it was there.  I thank him for listening, but even more for talking to me.  He had enough respect in me to invite me to speak at a sports banquet.  He made me very happy when he gave me a plaque, for my services in sports.  It was a gift given form the heart and I loved it.  He and Julie, who I’m sure thought of the plaque have helped me through a very difficult time. (He has died)

Stevie Cunningham is a person who wasn’t even on my previous list at all.  At this writing, we aren’t really close friends, but I hope that will change.  He is a person I have grown to respect a great deal.  Right now I look forward to a growing friendship.  As of now, I feel completely satisfied with Stevie as a choice.  I shall tell more about Stevie later.    (No contact for decades.) (Recently became friends on Facebook.)

Davie Whitener is a long time friend from High School.  We were classmates, teammates, and buddies.    (No contact for decades.)

Len Zenonian, Mr. Z, was my favorite teacher and coach.  He had a big influence n me during my school years. (He has died.)

Uncle John Parker, he is another Uncle I have a lot of respect for. (He has died.)

Moe Dannel and I came through our friendship by our mutual love for Neah and sports.  Though not a real close friend, I could always count on Moe.    (No contact for decades.)

Danny Greene, another friend through sports is another growing friendship.  He is one of few people who show me a little respect.

Bobby Martin became a friend through Mike.  Our friendship has been strained a bit, but not enough to keep him off this list.   (No contact for decades.)

Kimm Brown is more a choice for my Mom than myself.    (No contact for decades.)

 

Loy Bigelow has been another close friend in high school, confidant, rival, competitor, and classmate.  I would like to have her read my obituary if she would.    (No contact for decades.) (I saw her when she attended her fathers funeral dinner.) (Recently became friends on Facebook.)

I have devoted enough time to this subject and though my words may seem cold, I write them in hopes of making my funeral easier for my family.  This list has changed even in a little more than a year and will change more.  I’ll make changes known and note where they are in the space below.

`           Jim Caron is a person I haven’t seen in 8 years, I doubt he would even remember me. (Recently became friends on Facebook.)

Death has taken up too much of my writing to date.  So, let me talk about something else.  As I stated above, I am going to talk about Steve Cunningham and that’s just what I’m going to do.

(It may be obvious by now, that I did a lot of letter writing to people I wanted to become friends with, a lot.  In that day and age, the Post Office was the best outlet for communication.  Only a few ever wrote back, which is okay.  I made only a few friends via letters, and that’s okay too.  I was a quiet, sports nerdy kid through high school and into college.  Neah Bay Sports produced many athletes I would be happy to call my friend. Following Neah Bay Sports led me to meet my future wife. The best thing to ever happen to me.)

As I write this Steve is laying in a hospital in Port Angeles, th(12)he is recovering from surgery on his knee for an injury he suffered in football last fall.  His surgery was on Wednesday, April 18, 1979.  The next day, at about 8:20 PM I called him.  For me, it was a big step.  I was so nervous and so afraid that I’d have nothing to say, that before I called I even began to write down questions.  After 3 questions I gave this up.  It was useless since he had answered these questions within the first minute.

I had known about the pending operation for quite awhile.  And though I have written Steve at least 6, or 7 times and had asked this question a couple of times, I never got an answer.  He has never written back, but he did talk to me at a dance in March.  He came right up to me and we chatted.  “Gee, it was easy,” was the thought that struck me.  We did not chat long, but it was nice to talk at all.  I have respected Stevie’s sports abilities for a while now.  He seemed to know what he wants and he has what it takes to accomplish this.  What I did was write a letter last year to him in hopes to strike up a friendship.  He lost his grandparents in a short span of time.  His home life is not the best, his Dad lives in Seattle, and he lives with his Mom.  And yet through all of this, he has maintained a fantastic attitude.  I wrote a letter and did not stop writing, especially after he got hurt. It cost him most of the football season and all of basketball and track season.  I know how hard it is for a competitor like Steve to have to sit it out.  I wrote to try to help him.  I was told that I may have, so I kept writing.

Mel told me about his operation coming up soon but didn’t really know for sure when it was.  She told me on the 18th, but the 18h was Wednesday.  I had thought she had said the 16th, so I called the 16th.  They had no one by the name of Steve Cunningham in the building.  Mel wasn’t even sure if he was in Port Angeles or in Seattle.  If he was in Seattle I’d go visit him, if in PA I’d have to be satisfied with a call.  Finally, Mel called on Wednesday and confirmed Steve was in PA.  I was to call the next night.

Like I said I was nervous.  I dialed the hospital and it rang 7 times before being answered.  I almost chickened out and hung up.  They rang Steve’s room.  Some girl answered and I gave her my name and she said, “Oh, you must want Steve, just a minute.” She then got Steve on the phone.  We said hello and there was a pause, the thing I dreaded most.  But, it didn’t last.  We talked for 20 minutes.  I had attempted to hang up by mentioning that I had to study for a test.  We got off on the Sonics and the conversation went on for a couple more minutes.

The amount of time we talked was significant, but even more so were the things he said. Here he is laying in bed, in pain, and he tells me he’s going to cut shake bolts in June.  He wanted to put on weight through weight lifting and to top this, his goal for football, his final season, is to score 15 touchdowns.  The whole team did not score 15 Td’s last year and he wants to score 15 himself.  This kid is impressive. He’s got me believing he will do this, I know he’ll try.  He offered to play tennis with me this summer, all this while laying in bed recovering from surgery on his knee.  My respect for him grew 10 times.  His attitude astounded me.  He doesn’t know it, but I’d do almost anything to help him   I’ve got to let him know.

Steve also talked about going to college.  He said he was even interested in UPS.  Again he had taken me by surprise.  I didn’t want to hang up.  I could have talked to him all night, could have listened all night.  I didn’t care about the cost of the call.  It had to end though, and I hated to.  It was an interesting talk that I really enjoyed and I felt good about making it.  Twenty minutes, Jeez I couldn’t believe it!  I don’t know if I helped him, but Steve did me a lot of good.

 

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July 9, 1987 – 1:45 AM Sunday, July 9, 1978 – End of Journal #1

          July 9, 1978 – 1:45 AM   (seven years later Danielle would be born)

I find it very hard to be strict with my little sister.  As I sit here writing, I am fighting the tears back.  Melonee is a great kid, and I probably am not close to anyone in the world as I am with her.  What I did tonight I felt was right, I ruined the evening for her, Val and Theresa, but I still think I was right.

The three of them left the house at about 9 to visit Coach, Julie and Mel wanted to talk to Dwayne about the Business Week trip they have coming up soon.  I wanted to go with them, but because Dale was here with her kids, I declined.  Before leaving, they asked for my permission to let Theresa spend the night to which I had no objections.

Dale left at about 10:10 PM and the house was empty.  Dad is visiting Mom in Bellingham this weekend.  Before they went I was dropping hints about them inviting people over, I hate to be left alone, and though loneliness is a feeling that has been with me so long now, I should be used to it.  Lately, it has been tearing at my gut, and I have had tremendous urges to get out of the house.  To no avail, at least until last night.

The girls came home alone at about 10:40 PM, just as I was finishing my exercises. (I am proud of myself in at least this one aspect of my life.  I have missed only 4 or 5 days of running through my exercises since being home for the summer.  And better yet, I am losing weight!  I am less than 200 lbs for the first time in ages.)  Not only were they alone, but they were planning to go to the Johnsons house to visit some.  I hoped, almost prayed for an invitation to come along, but none was forthcoming.  The loneliness hit every part of my body, pounding me with self-pity, shame for myself and all the other emotions of loneliness.

I wanted to go out, but where?  It was 11:00 PM and I didn’t want to drop in on anybody who did not expect me,  who could I visit?  As I write this I realize I don’t’ have many friends, but that is my fault, I am now writing in a room full of self-pity.

So, the girls took off.  Before leaving, I asked what time they planned to be back.  What  I heard was, “Oh, later.”  I asked for a more specific time and heard, “2:00,” “12:30.”  I looked at my watch and said, “Be in by one.”   I was a “nice guy,” then, a “good person,” and a “swell fellow.” But, I said one and I meant one.

I sat and watched the news, did the dishes, some clothes and sat down to read.  I planned to be in my room by 12:45 AM so that when they came in it did not appear I was waiting for them, though I was.  I had my bed made by 12:55 AM and was waiting.  A phone call, asking for more time would have been acceptable, even if hopefully by 1:15 AM, within the 15 minute grace time I was going to give them.

th (10) One fifteen rolled around, no girls, no call and by then I was pretty mad.  I had given them at least a half an hour more.  I wrote a note, taped it to the door, locked the door, went to my bedroom and waited.  About five minutes later they were home, but no one came to the room.  It took them 10 minutes to come up with their damn good excuse.  But, until I hear a doorbell, or someone came to my room to explain I did not consider them “home”; this came at 1:31 AM when Mel came into my room and told me she was sorry.  Val said, “sorry.”  I looked at them, outraged and said, “when I say one, I mean one.”  (My Leonard showing?) I got some more “sorry’s,” but that wasn’t good enough for me, and I said so.  By this time Mel was on the mad side and said something about “that is all I can say, and we’ll be back in…”  If she thought she was going again, I had some more t tell her.  I didn’t understand her, and I wanted to explain myself better about why I was so mad.  A phone call would have done it, and they could stay out all night for all I cared, I trust them.  But, when they are expected to be in by a certain time, I expect them in by that time.  They are all old enough to accept this responsibility and more.  Just a phone call dammit!  (Leonard again?)

When I walked into the living room, I was surprised to find Tate, Dwayne, and Geir sitting there.  I told Mel I had given them a half an hour to an hour more than they had asked for and that if Mom and Dad were home… She said she was sorry. I asked to have the boys leave and walked into the kitchen until they did.  I tried to give a speech about responsibility and ended only half fighting with Val.  Mel told me some feeble excuse about not watching the time and waiting for Dwayne to get permission to use his car to drive them home.  I reminded her of the old phone, th (11)and I was getting madder and madder, and I soon felt I would be yelling.  So, walking out of the room I said, “If it were up to me I would ground them for a week.”  Val said, “Not me!”  And boy did that light a fire.

I walked in and asked what she meant.  She told me she was old enough to be responsible for herself and furthermore, my Mom and Dad told her if she wanted to stay out late that that was her business.  I knew that this was true, but argued anyway.  I finally gave in to her; it’s hard to argue when you know you’re wrong.  So, I ended by saying, “You’re right, but it doesn’t help them,” or something like that.  I wanted to tell her that she was old enough not only to take care of herself but the other two (as well.)  Of the 3, she is the eldest and should have gotten them back on time.  But, I know she is too immature, childish to think along these lines.  She couldn’t even keep the living room clean, a simple enough task and she showed her immaturity by using in her argument, “Well, you’re not my boss.”  Of the three, Mel is by far the most mature, most responsible but they have a way of getting her into trouble, like the first night they were here and broke Mel’s 11:00 PM curfew by 20 minutes.

I apologized for making the guys leave and ruining their night. But, I felt that I was right in doing what I did.  It may have cost me some friendships and friendships are what I lack at this time  The guilt overwhelms me, and that is why I sit down and write this. Have I rationalized my actions? th2 No, because I know I hurt Mel.  That is one of the worst things I could do.  I told her, “God, Mel if I can’t trust you who can I trust?” This is a true statement.  What gets me is that Mel will be bothered by it tonight and maybe tomorrow, but will get over it.  The others have probably forgotten about it already, and me?  Well, I’ll brood for weeks. (I will take time to write about my night at the gym later, and probably more about this incident.)

Sunday, July 9, 1978 –

          Well, here it is Sunday afternoon.  I have been up for a half an hour and haven’t spoken a word.  Nor has a word been expressed to me.  The three girls completely ignored me,  Mel left without saying where she was going.  She told Val, but not me.  I guess this is only to be expected.  Let me drop this subject and talk about last Friday night.

Friday night did not have a great start, but it ended with me being kind of proud of myself.  It may be a simple thing to others, but for me, it was a giant step.

At about a quarter of after eight, I took Yolanda and Mel to the center.  It was kind of empty, being populated by Cubby, Judy Ray, Yak (Paul) Parker and Robin McCarty.  Mel wanted to play ping-pong, th (12)but couldn’t find the second paddle.  I didn’t want to play ping-pong all night again, so I suggested we shoot around, the thing I wanted to do, anyway.

Cubby was shooting on one end and Judy on the other.  I joined Cub and Mel joined Judy.  Mel quit and joined Yo-Yo who was playing pool.  Judy left a little later, and Cub went to the other side of the gym.  Judy returned and shot around with Cubby.  Robin McCarty came in and started playing 21 with Cub, leaving  Judy with two choices.  Either she would have to join me or go.  She left, giving me the feeling that I had the plague or something.

I shot around for another 5 minutes then went to join Mel, Yo-Yo who were playing ping-pong while Judy watched. I was ready to suggest that we leave.  I didn’t want to say anything until they finished, so I wandered over to the th (13)pool table to watch Yak play.  To my surprise, he quit, racked up the balls and offered to play a game.  Before the game was over, Judy, Mel, and Yolanda retired to the gym to play 21.  Yak beat me soundly in the first game but lost the second when he knocked in the eight ball.  I had the third game won when I put in the eight ball, my last ball, but lost the game when the cue ball rolled in too.  I won the fourth match fair and square.  In the middle of the game, Mel and Yo informed me that they were leaving with Judy.  Yak beat me in a fifth and our last game.  In the middle of the fifth game, Dan Greene drove up.  (At first, I thought it was Brian Gagnon.)  He went directly to the gym to shoot around.  When Yak finally finished me off, I decided that I would take some more shots and then head for home.

Before I walked in, I was determined to participate in any game I was invited to play.  As soon as I walked in Dan yelled at me to join in the game th (14)he was playing with Cubby and Robin McCarty.  By the time I walked over to where they were playing Cub had won the game.  Dan threw me the ball to start the next game, but both Cub and Robin walked off the court to rest.  Dan told me to warm-up, so I swished the first ball I shot. “I said warm up.”  When I missed my next shot, he said, “That’s better.”

Cub finally returned, and we shot around a bit.  Dan abruptly yanked a rebound and started down towards the other end of the court where Willy Sawyer and Chipper Smith were messing around.  “All right, me, Bud-Bud and Cubby against you, Chipper and Robin,” Dan told Willy.  The first shot went up, I jumped up, grabbed the rebound and tossed it out to the top of the key.  I must have gotten a little off of the ground because as I snatched the rebound, I heard a “Geez!” exclaimed by Dan.

I was given Willy to guard, and he burned me a couple of times, but I think I more than made up for it with some outside shots, some rebounds, and tip-ins.  Cub, Dan and I whipped them 21 – 15, 1 pt a basket. We took a small break before starting a new game with realigned teams.

This time it was Yak, Chipper and I against Dan, Willy, and Robin.  Though it should have been a wipeout on their part, we stayed close.  We led most of the way.  It was a hard-fought, very long game.  I was guarding Dan, this time and he got me few times.  But, I did get him back, even blocking one of his shots.  We held a 14 —13 lead when it was suggested we go to 15.  I missed the chance that would have won it.  They tied it, and we hit 15, but they informed we would have to win by two.  They took a 16 – 15 lead, and we tied before finally losing 18 –16.  But, I had a great deal of fun and hopefully proved I played well enough to play in their league.

I was pretty proud of myself.  Only a few months earlier I would have declined Dan’s invitation to join them.  Not only had I joined them, played and did well, but I am eager to return, eager to shed my loner_by_ambar89-d3ei5l8loner status.  The incident the next night certainly did not help matters, but I am not going to stop trying to get out.  I am going to make friends, and I’ve got to get a girl.  I have got a craving for companionship, a close relationship.  As my weight goes down, I feel my self-respect goes up this has got to last because for the first time in a long time I feel right about me!

End of Journal #1

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June 6, 1978 – Catching up

June 6, 1978

I have been home for little over a week now and a lot has happened since the last time I wrote in this.  I shall now see if I can’t catch up some.  Classes ended with no real crisis or excitement.  I have already received my grades, getting a B+ in Popular Literature, B in Money and Banking and C’s in Financial and Cost Accounting.  Finally, getting to come home is still the highlight of the school year.  I sent a graduation card to Miriam Whitaker; in the process of finding her address, I also discovered she was married.

Before I came home I got some more bad news from home.  Jim Chartraw was killed in a car accident.  He was only a year older than I was.  Two stories mark my memory of Jim.  In his first year of football, he had been putting on his gear for the first time.  He had put on his girdle pads backward with the butt pad in front.  I had made the same mistake and Mr. Z pointed out my mistake much to my embarrassment and he did the same for Jim.  It became one of Jim’s favorite football stories.  The second story involves football also.  In my sophomore year, Mr. Z announced that he had come up with a tie for the Most Improved Player award th (8)and he wanted the team to vote and break the tie.  The two people tied for the award were Jim Chartraw and I.  Jim Chartraw won that vote and an award that he deserved.  He was voted an all-conference player in his senior year.  He will be missed.  I was home the day before his funeral.  His funeral was a Catholic service, the first I attended.

 

All the news isn’t sad though.  The surprisingdownload (3) SuperSonics are the big hit in the sports world.  Tomorrow they play for the championship of the NBA.  Their series with the Washington Bullets is tied at 3 games apiece.  I have been to 4 playoff games, two when they played Denver and two with the Bullets.  If all goes well I will be there tomorrow. There is nothing like a game in the Coliseum.  The crowd’s noise is ear-splitting and tomorrow’s game should be the loudest yet.  We went to the Kingdome game and though there were 39,000 fans present the noise level did not come near the noise level reached in the Coliseum.  Dad, Mel, Lawanda and I traveled to and from the game.  Mel had to shop for a dress for graduation.  I bought a tennis racquet.  The Sonics lost the game in overtime, but the trip home was enjoyable nonetheless.  We stopped at Shakey’s to eat pizza.  Dad switched places with Wanda after we ate and Lawanda kept me company about 2/3 of the way home.  We had a nice talk and for a brief moment.

At the Letterman’s banquet. Lawanda showed up with Butch.  I was a guest speaker at the banquet and had the honor of sitting at the head table.  I was to speak about the tradition of Neah Bay sports in the seventies.  I have attached the speech I read to this page: I was asked to speak at the banquet and I gave the following speech:

 

What has sports in the seventies given us? Our football teams play under the lights.  Our basketball teams play in the new gym. There are more programs, involving more students now more than ever — little league and JV football; basketball and track from the elementary through high school, and more.  A firm base, a sports base is being built now, that students are going to live off, grow from, up through and beyond their school years.  The seventies certainly have had its ups and downs.  There have been undefeated teams; teams that have been league champions and still others who lost more than they won.

        But in looking back there never really have been any “downs.”  Regardless of what a team’s record may have been, those who participated are going to look back at those days and remember them as the “good ol’ days.” When looking back on the “good ol’’ days” the team’s record really becomes secondary.

        What will be remembered is the team spirit, the togetherness; the coaches, practices, the sweat, the dirt, the rain, the cold; sore aching muscles, but above all you will remember your friends, your relatives and all who came to show their support, to root you on, win or lose.

        No matter how a team is going, you will always find someone who has given their time to go see the teams play.  On the coldest, wettest night, one can look down the sideline and see some of the toughest, most faithful fans you will find anywhere.

        It is then a player realized that there is more than a team spirit, team togetherness; but there exists a community spirit, community togetherness.  At this same time, a participant realizes that all the work, all the sweat, all those practices, the football games in the rain, the basketball games in hot gyms, all the long trips, it all becomes worth it.  Worth any and all effort you can give it.

        It’s all worth it because you are participating in one activity that brings the community together and you are on center stage.  You know that at any game, win or lose, a friend, a relative, a teammate is going to walk up to you, give you a pat on the back and say, “Hey, great game!”  They recognize the effort you have given and acknowledge it.  And you know they will always show up, will be there somehow, some way to see you play, because that is the tradition of Neah Bay sports.

The banquet went well as far as I was concerned.  My speech wasn’t too bad and I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be.  Melonee received a Most Valuable Award for both Volleyball and Basketball.  Ronnie won the Most Valuable for Varsity football and track and a Coaches award for basketball. Dan Greene was Most Inspirational for both varsity football and basketball.  Tate Perry was Most Improved in Basketball and received a Coaches award in football.  Mark Ray was Most Valuable in Basketball.  Matt Kallappa was the Most Valuable Player for both JV football and basketball.  Stevie Cunningham received the Coaches award in track.  All in all, it was a pretty good evening, but the best was yet to come.

The banquet was held on Mel’s birthday and Theresa Shunn, an adopted member of the family arranged to have a surprise party for her after the banquet.  Because of Mel’s play practice, she didn’t get home ‘til 10:45 PM and everyone was gone by 12:45 AM.  But the hour or so wait was fun for me.  I started playing our pool gameth (9) and was winning game after game.  It was strange since it was the first time I had played on it since being home and I had not played on it for months.  I beat Barry a couple of times, Ronnie twice, Darrell Markishtum once, and Mark Johnson once, Dwayne Johnson finally beat me, but I took the next two to win a 2 of 3 series.  But the most fun I had was against Matt. He was so determined that he was going to beat me, but he never did. We must have played 7 or 8 times.  He finally gave up at 12:30 AM and went home.  I finally proved to these guys that I was good at something.  Previously, when given the opportunity to play I usually blew it, but this night I proved myself, had a good time and wasn’t uptight except for an instant or two.

Stevie Cunningham showed up with Lois Johnson.  Stevie chose to sit by me at the District track meet when he didn’t have to and we talked a little bit.   Stevie is one kid who I like and respect a lot.  His athletic ability surpasses everyone around. He is a smart kid who doesn’t fool around, someone who’s got his head on straight.  Kibby really likes him and talked a lot about him last summer.  I wrote to him in hopes of starting a little closer friendship, but when he was there that night I got nervous and spent a lot of time walking through rooms.  I think he attempted once to mention my letter, but we got cut off, so I think I’ll write him again since I haven’t seen him since.

I was also uncomfortable around Lawanda and Butch.  But, that’s only natural and involves a little jealousy.  I was surprised to find that Brenda and Ronnie were dating.  Mel may still have a thing for Tate and Lester may be at the back of her mind.  But, withstanding the uncomfortable moments, the night was very enjoyable.

Graduation was in direct conflict with the Sonic game.  Mel was a Junior Marshall, so we had to be present and on time.  We left the house when there was 4:18 left in the game and the Sonics up by 2.  Mom found the game on the radio and we listened to it on the drive back to the gym.  On the way back I saw Jimmy Jarrett for the first time since being home and the first time since his Dad’s funeral.  He was walking back to graduation as it turned out.  At 2:16 left in the game,  the seniors showed up to begin the ceremonies.  Dad had parked the car in front and I had stayed inside listening until the seniors showed up.  Mom hung around and the radio attracted Coaches ear also.  Mr. Bigelow came around the corner and Mom pleaded with him to wait until the game was over.  I told him the time and score and he waited.  As a matter of fact, the Seniors gathered around the car and listened too!  When the Sonics finally sewed it up they got set to make the long march, leaving only Jimmy and me to listen to the final seconds.  After it was over, we exchanged some words about the next game and went inside.

Junior Marshals Mel and Lawanda led the small class of six to their diplomas.  Kimm Brown was Salutatorian and began his speech by announcing that the Sonics had won.  He then proceeded to thank some people, including Mom for pushing him to his diploma.  David Morton gave a nice Valedictorian address and Nora Barker gave us all some words of wisdom.  It was a nice service. I congratulated all the seniors save Kimm who did not stand in the reception line.  He came in later and while I waited for an opportune time to congratulate him, it never came, so I didn’t.  I chatted briefly with Danny Greene and that was graduation 1978.

 

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