Our Lady Of The Blues
And so Cracker Jack tried to work himself back in. It proved to be impossible as his finger prevented his working while complications kept him going back and forth to hospital. In the end the Navy had to discharge him. The tragedy was that because of his frail self-esteem caused by his brutalization back in Georgia he was prevented from ever realizing his potential. He eventually became an odd job and handyman.
Torbric sat down by Dewey amid the hubbub of Cracker Jack’s return. Tory was all chutzpah; he had no shame.
‘Torbrick, what in the world could you possibly want with me?’
‘Hey, I don’t know what you’re so touchy about, Dewey. I just wanted to see if you’d like to come up to Long Beach this weekend.’
‘What? Are we going to Atascadero again? Dewey sneered, amazed at Trobrick’s lack of conscience.
‘No. My pop and me thought you would like to meet Beverly Warnack.’
‘Who’s Beverly Warnack?’ Dewey asked, forgetting Torbrick’s mention of the psychiatrist at the hospital for the mentally disturbed.
Dewey’s lack of violence precluded Atascadero, Bert thought maybe a regular asylum would do.
‘Is that all you know, psyciatrists?’ Dewey asked. Having narrowly escaped confinement on the grounds he wasn’t violent Dewey was in no mood to give Bert and Tory another shot at him where violence wouldn’t be the issue.
‘Yeah.’ Torbrick laughed self-consciously in answering the question. ‘I guess so.’
‘Listen Torbrick. I don’t ever want you to speak to me again. Understand?’
Torbrick walked away but he didn’t understand. Guilt now bound him closely to Trueman. As good as his word Trueman ignored Torbrick completely. Unable to break down Trueman’s defenses Torbrick did an end run ingratiating himself into Trueman’s clique; in that manner he succeeded in forcing himself on Dewey again.
For now Dewey finished his shoes. Unable to bear the expense of transportation he had made a momentous decision. He decided to begin hitchhiking to Oakland.
On The Road Again
The best and bravest are dead. All that are left are the scum- the liars and cheats, the dancers wallowing in the fat of the land.
To undertake hitchhiking was a difficult decision for Trueman. The desperateness of his situation is indicated by his decision to do so. Dewey had always considered hitchhikers as semi-desperadoes. Men who lived on the edge of the abyss of despair. When his high school friend had become a hitchhiker around town Dewey was able to quell his dissatisfaction only with the utmost effort. He had believed Larry had become declassed. He was now willing to join the ranks of the declassed in order to escape the oppressiveness of the Navy. His life was changed the moment he put his thumb out.
In total he hitchhiked to Oakland no more than a dozen times but those dozen times made such an impression on him that he always believed that he had hitched all three years for tens of thousands of miles. Each and every trip was packed with adventure and rare experience. His life and well being were frequently on the line.
The distance itself was staggering. San Diego to Oakland was over six hundred miles in distance, thirteen hundred miles round trip. While faster than the bus he was on the road for a minimum twelve hours each way. The trip wasn’t worth it but he made it anyway. The most that can be said was that he learned a lot about life and people. Too much of nothing, as one poet put it: ‘I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.’
From the beginning he abandoned the policy of obtaining an out of bounds pass. He found it humiliating to petition Sieggren on one hand while on the other it was a very minor offence that the California police couldn’t do anything about anyway. In a State full of desperadoes of the most desperate description what is a sailor without an out of bounds pass?
Part of Dewey’s position was that his steps were being dogged in San Diego. Our Lady was not about to let up on him. Dewey had no idea why he was dogged but he knew it was so. His weekly flights to Oakland took Our Lady by surprise. While a man on the road is an open target by the time Yisraeli got organized his opportunity was almost over.
Dewey took the bus, perhaps No. 30, out to the end of the line on Highway 101. The San Diego CWBs would pick up sailors for hitchhiking in San Deigo so when you took up your position on the sand beside 101 your prayer was to get a ride from someone before the cops nailed you.
Saying goodbye to his past Dewey stepped to the side of the road to put out his thumb. Sailors always hitched in uniform as Uncle Sam’s blues were a sure guarantee that you would get easy rides. There were many people who had sympathy for servicemen.
Putting out your thumb is no lightweight matter. Your style determines whether you will get a ride and who will give it to you. Some guys hold their thumb up over their shoulder pointing down the road; some stick their arms straight out from the shoulder with the thumb held horizontal. Some stick their thumb straight up in the air but that is guaranteeing you’ll be picked up by a fag.
Dewey emulated his high school friend, Larry, by holding his arm down at waist level palm up, fingers closed, thumb pointing down the road. It helps to jab it toward the centerline when a car passes to remind the driver what you’re after. Other then that wear your most respectable face and stand up straight.
A lot of guys find it necessary to insult a driver who seems to be passing them by bringing the thumb up in an arc ending with the middle finger erect. Dewey was not of this frame of mind besides which many drivers do not make their decision until abreast of you or past you having looked you over carefully. Both hitcher and driver are taking real chances. Lotta crazy people in this world.
Dewey had just put out his thumb when a local pulled over to pick him up.
‘I’m just going down the road a couple miles but it’ll at least get you out of the normal range of the police.’
Dewey thanked him getting out a couple exits down the road. The first ride in San Diego was frequently of this nature. Locals who would not ordinarily pick up hitchhikers would at least move a sailor far enough our of range of the police to prevent his being picked up and returned to base.
Rides were easy to pick up on 101 from San Diego to LA. You seldom stood around long nor did you have to deal with homosexuals until you passed Anaheim. After that every ride through LA would likely be a fruit.
A couple short hops got Dewey above the Marine Base at Camp Pendleton. Cpl. Bill Baird picked him up.
‘Hi. Bill Baird, Lubbock, Texas.’
‘Hi. Dewey Trueman, uh, The Valley, Michigan.’ Must be the way the Marines do it, Dewey thought.
‘Havin’ a good time in your enlistment?’ Bill asked in the most relaxed laid back manner Dewey had ever seen.
‘Not so much I’m going to reenlist.’ Dewey replied in the usual sarcastic manner he considered wit.
‘I can follow you down that rabbit hole. I’m taking the medical.’ Bill volunteered. ‘How about you?’
‘You mean the under 30 and out?’
‘I don’t qualify, otherwise I would.’
‘Well, I qualify and I’m taking it. Bunch a guys are. I can’t take this chicken shit outfit anymore. We got some pretty crazy hombres, I can tell you.’
‘Yeah. Know a few myself.’
‘We had this guy, Dalton Dagger? This was somethin’ else. He’s over in the brig now. He was always touchy as hell, crazy as a loon. He’s over in the brig now. A couple of months ago he stepped out of ranks and just whaled into the Sergeant. Stomped his ass bloody and royal, I can tell you. Not that the bastard didn’t have it coming. Lucky he didn’t kill the bastard. Whatsa’ matter? Why you so tense?’
‘No particular reason.’ Dewey replied. ‘You’re one of the most confident drivers I’ve ever seen.’
This was a particularly busy day on 101. As the car moved into traffic above Anaheim the cars were bumper to bumper four lanes across. Traffic was moving at fifty-five while Bill was moving at sixty-five. Laid back and casual Bill slid his car into spaces no bigger than his automobile steering across all four lanes at a time always pursuing a zig-zag course but never slackening speed.
Dewey was almost rigid and he gasped at some of spaces Bill slid his car into and out of. Out of was almost more impressive than in.
Aw man, relax, relax. I know what I’m doing. Here take one of these you won’t have no worries at all.’
‘What is it?’
‘Just a mo-o-o-d controller. Tranquilizer. Take it, make you feel real good.’ Bill handed Dewey a triangular black pill.
‘Drugs? Uh, no thanks.’
‘Suit yourself. Everybody at Pendleton’s doin’ somethin’. Some really far out stuff too. Man, there’s stuff nobody’s ever heard of. We got this one guy, Jim Alexander? Got some peyote buttons. You know peyote? Never heard of it? Well, there’s this cactus grows down in Mexico, close to the ground, has these little buttons on ’em, you eat those and you get high. Bitter as hell, get you sick. After you eat ’em, if you can get ’em down, you throw up, after you throw up you get high. Don’t like ’em myself.
So anyway, Alexander ate a bunch of ’em, got real high, way up there; havin’ quiet conversations with the Architect of the Universe, know what I mean, really wiped his windows clean in that celestial gas station, opened the doors of perception for him. Ever know that book Doors Of Perception by Elvis Harley, you will.
So, ol’ Jim liked that so much about two weeks ago he ate twice as many, got way up there, high as you can go, he’s up there yet. Still hasn’t come down. I bet he’ll have stories to tell if he ever makes it back.’
We…well, don’t you think he may have damaged his mind permanently?’
Naw. why would he do that? He just probably likes it up there, talkin’ to God and everything, wouldn’t you? Wish I could.’
‘Well, I mean, how’s he do his work?’
‘Work? He don’t have to work no more. They got him under observation. He’ll have some stories, I bet. I’m tellin’ you everybody’s high on somethin’, or lots of different somethins. too. Boy, the things I’ve taken. Mushrooms, go-o-o-d. Ever heard of LSD? You have? No kiddin’. Man, get some of that right away, G0-o-o-der. Rearrange your priorities right away.’
Dewey was doing his best to relax. He looked around hoping a cop would stop Bill so he could get out but the CWBs are never there when you need them.
‘You know I like you.’ Bill said. ‘Don’t know why, there’s just something about you. Dig this. Know where I’m going? Gotta get married. Knocked this chick up. Pissed me off, she shoulda been more careful. I’d walk but her mother got this phone in her hand, police on the other end. Chick’s only fifteen, you see my problem? No, you don’t. No money, nada, not a sou. Gotta go through with it though or it’s off to the hoosegow with me. You could probably help me out. You see, back in Lubbock I got this girl that’s hot for my dick, she can’t get enough, almost afraid for my health to go back, wouldn’t, but her old man’s got millions in the bank and wells pumping in the fields, you followin’ me?
So, I get my medical and I go back to Lubbock and sit around humpin’ the bird with a bottle in one hand and joint in the other the rest of my days. Betterin’ than those talkin’ to God blues, don’t you think? That’s where you can help me out, dig?’
‘How’s that? You want me to take the swing shift, give you a break?’
‘Ha, ha. No. No. You know what you could do for me? You could marry my little chiquita here, satisfy her mother, know what I mean? Get me off the hook, she doesn’t like me anyway. Chiquita’s a hot little number soon as she drops her loaf. Can’t get enough. What do you say?’
‘Um, Bill, you know I’m not really in the marryin’ mood today.’
‘Hey, Dewey, this is buddy talkin’. You won’t help a buddy out?’
‘Bill, helpin’ buddys is what I do best but I’m not going to get married. I’m on my way to Oakland.’
‘You ungrateful son-of-a-bitch. I give you a ride and you won’t even do me a favor? Get out. Get out.’
The car was at the end of the freeway at Sepulveda Blvd. They might easily have flown off the end if Dewey hadn’t refused to get married because relaxed Bill Baird was paying more attention to Dewey than the road. As it was he slammed on the brakes pulling to the side of the off ramp by coincidence. Cars nearly piled up behind him.
‘Get out, goddamn you, you ungrateful son-of-a-bitch.’
Dewey wasted no time getting out of the car. Shaking his fist at him Bill Baird rammed the pedal to the metal spinning down the ramp without even checking the traffic. Jim Alexander must have been interceding with God for him.
This left Dewey on foot in LA with little idea where he was or how to get North.
Pressure Gonna Drop On You
Dewey was from the midwest. Californians by which midwesterners generally meant Southlanders, were considered actual lunatics by midwest standards. They were considered humanity stood on end. The dichotomy was current in California in the LA-San Francisco rivalry. The Southland was preeminently the home of nuts. It was considered quite appropriate that LA was the home of Looney Tunes.
As a midwesterner this attitude was part of Dewey’s intellect. He was not alone. Literature is replete with contempt for the Wasted Angels. Why the Angels should be humanity turned upside down is not really all that complex a problem. Anyone with an ounce of understanding however would have placed his money on the Wasted Angels for the future of mankind.
It is strange that in this earthly paradise people at one and the same time should be both so happy and so unhappy.
There is really no physical environment on earth like LA. By LA I mean from the Grapevine in the North to the Southern border of Orange County and from the Beaches in the West to San Bernardino, Lake Arrowhead and Palm Springs to the East. That is an immense and diverse piece of land with nearly every inch of it inhabited. It includes the sweltering basin floor and the areas of Big Bear in the mountains. Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower forty-eight, rises in those same mountains.
The weather is the finest that you can find in the world. There is never a time when more than a T-shirt is needed for warmth day or night, unlike the French Riviera. The ubiquity of asphalt and concrete means that there can be some very hot days when the heat is reflected back up but the humidity is low. It is never as uncomfortable as Miami, Hawaii, Washington D.C. or New York City.
In addition to the fabulous weather there is no form of natural or manmade entertainment that isn’t available. There are other pleasant spots in the world like the Riviera and there are other spots for entertainment like Las Vegas but for my money there isn’t anything you can do in either place that can’t be done better in LA.
The weather gives people a buoyant, ebullient, upbeat bounce but is countervailed by the squalor of the city. Not that the city isn’t affluent and attractive because it is, or was at the time, but the exuberant expectations of an overly hopeful populace can never be met by reality. There is an air of anxious desperation that lays over LA like its persistent smog. In the bright sunshine there seems to be a low pressure system hovering like the Alaska Low to the North. It wobbles from side to side but it never goes away. The eye of the system lies over Watts.
Strangely in this land of religious sects ranging from bizarre witchcraft cults like Aleister Crowley’s Golden Dawn through Rosicrucians, Theosophists, Manly Hall’s Philosophical Research Society, Garner Ted Armstrong’s Ambassador College, the Vedantists and what not to all the Protestant sects and the Catholic Church, there is so little spirituality. There is only the crassest materialism. Everyone believes salvation comes from the barrel of a pen and a check book. Drugs are as commonly consumed as water. Nor is drug consumption a recent phenomenon but goes back to the teens and twenties and even earlier.
Nor is there any social homogeneity. LA is a layered construction of immigrants from all over the United States as well as the world. Like Dr. Petiot they were all the kind of people who like to bring their baggage with them. This is what gives the place its flavor. At the beginning of the twentieth century the Anglos controlled the psychological atmosphere but that changed as the century wore on as other ethnic groups began to dominate. They all have their neighborhoods where they congregate. Little Thises and Thats.
The Blacks, the leading subculture in America, invaded the area during and after the War. As the influx continued during the fifties and sixties they spread over South LA from Watts.
The increase in the Black population of California of over eight hundred percent during this period was not spread evenly over the State. The major portion was in the Bay Area and LA which means that those areas increased by a thousand percent or better so that pressure on formerly White areas was rapid and instense. This huge unassimilable immigration bearing the various Black intellects of Dixie was extremely disappointed on its arrival. Nowhere else so much as in LA was the promise of the golden life in the Golden State so little realized. If Whites were disappointed in their pursuit of material salvation the Blacks were enraged.
As in Chicago and Oakland Blacks were not expected to venture forth from the Stockade without a pass. They had to have a good reason to be anywhere else. The Black writer, Iceberg Slim, says that he didn’t leave the Stockade willingly to drive across town for fear of police harassment. It is to be imagined that he knew what he was talking about.
It is true that you could travel all over the highways and byways of California without seeing a Black unless you went into one of their areas. That was an unadvisable thing for a White to do. In the time Dewey hitchhiked he saw only one Black family not only on the highway but driving any city street.
In this brooding state of anxious depression amidst the state of hoped for material gratification there is no wonder that the Blacks of LA have erupted into destructive rages on occasion.
The same anxious tension was endemic to the area but when Whites riot it is not called a justified rebellion to intolerable conditions and retribution is swifter, surer and harsher than any Black will ever experience regardless of what they think.
I hope I will be excused for having no more than passing sympathy for the Black plight. Whites are murdered and plundered by the police and nothing is or ever will be said or done about it. Racism or whatever you want to call it is not just Whites oppressing Black folk. It is rich against poor, the acceptable vs. the those they have made unacceptable; discrimination is the very fabric of our or any other society here or in Africa. So Whites know better than to riot. They resort to crime, vandalism and sabotage and take their punishment piecemeal. It’s almost a blessing that Blacks don’t know how to do it right.
In the beginning LA sold itself as a retirement center. I haven’t seen the statistics but it is said that midwestern farmers sold out the farmstead to luxuriate in the warm California sun. Iowans are always specifically mentioned with some contempt as though they were inferior to whatever passed for acceptable Wasted Angels.
On top of them came the Jews. Everyone knows better than to say anything derogatory about the Jews so they have never been criticized although they form the corrupt core of the LA intellect. The Southland today is the second largest Jewish area in the US and probably larger than any location in Israel.
They are so numerous and influential that they have been able to name the giant intersection of San Vicente and Wilshire after the founding Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion. As covert objection is apparently taken to this coup you have to look twenty-five feet up the lamp post to see the sign where it has been placed out of reach of dissenters.
During the Dust Bowl of the thirties Okies and Arkies and Texans who gave up their farms flooded into LA in numbers equaled only by the Negroes of the forties, fifties and sixties. Unprotected by a condemnation of bigotry their invasion was less welcome than the Blacks and lacking a Hillbilly Anti-Defamation League they were criticized in terms that would have generated successful lawsuits from Jews. Even in 1958 they were synonymous with total ignorance and treated in a discriminatory manner, usually having to accept jobs in service stations. They gave LA a pronounced Hillbilly flavor.
The Italians and Jews of organized crime came in with a rush as the decade of the thirties closed. They quickly established their presence in their particular manner giving their own peculiar flavor to the business and social situation. If you want a neat before and after comparison check out the first four novels of Raymond Chandler as compared with the last three.
There was a substantial Chinese and Japanese population dating back to the nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth. After the Asia Exclusion clause of the Immigration Act was eliminated in 1965 at the insistence of the Jews huge numbers of Far Eastern and Islamic peoples arrived.
Why were the Jews anxious to revoke Asian restrictions? Well, it was good for the Jews. If you look at the map you’ll see that Asia stretches from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. that means Israel is in Asia so no Jews could have legally emigrated to the United States from there. It is a Jewish principle that no restrictions be placed on them as God’s chosen people. Thus the Asian exclusion was eliminated to benefit them.
The huge herogeneous population- LA is the second largest city in the US- had to have employment. There was little hope that prosperity could be induced and maintained by selling lots to Iowa farmers. Layers of industry like the layers of ethnic groups began to arrive. As industry in LA is distributed throughout various communities over a vast area it is quite possible to miss the significance of LA as an industrial center. Indeed, Dewey did.
After 1914 the burgeoning new movie industry moved West from New York and environs to locate in LA. The basic la la land reputation of LA arises from the movies. Actors themselves are considered unstable people subject to subconscious whims. Their excesses and style gave the city a much different flavor than say, Pittsburgh, where industrial executives indulged in the same excesses but with a more sedate style.
The movies themselves brought in droves of hopefuls whose dreams could not be realized. But the hopefuls were generally good looking and energetic. They were looking for opportunities and they probably created a good many not only for themselves but for others. Being an unstable lot the human wreckage was enormous creating an atmosphere of human exploitation.
The movie industry from the start was the preserve of Jews. There was no way you could work in the movies unless you kowtowed to Jewish desires. That meant that all the scripts served Jewish ends. After the forties the Mafia influence on the film industry increased dramatically. Soon every fat ugly Italian mobster had a gorgeous Anglo sexpot dragging along behind him.
The movies followed the discovery of oil. First in Huntington Beach, Long Beach and Santa Fe Springs then in a number of places. Thus the basis of industrial prosperity was laid. As an anti-union city LA was able to attract one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of industry in the country. With the addition of the crown jewel of aero-space there was no stopping the prosperity.
Climate, easy money, and sunshine; what more could anyone ask.
However as people transformed LA, LA transformed people. Back in their hometowns in settled conditions it was very important to maintain a respectable facade founded on an Augustinian style Christianity. Activities that might tend to rend that facade were consigned to the basement rather than the light of day. Then people suppressed their ‘Freudian instincts’ in favor of ‘normality’ and ‘morality.’
In the feeding frenzy of LA where everyone became anonymous, being the indentity they chose to create for themselves on any given day, Augustinian mores were thrust aside in favor of subliminal Freudian desires. Chutzpah became more important than morality or polite manners. Crudeness was applauded.
In a remarkable switch deplorable Freudian subconscious desires were more or less released into the light of day. The casting couch morality became the norm while chaste sexual behavior was condemned. The activities of the basement were elevated to the first floor while Augustinian morality was relocated to attic storage as useless baggage.
Morality became a catch as catch can affair monitored by the eccentrics rummaging around in the moral attics. You were only punished if you didn’t have the chutzpah to pull your crimes off. Everyone was on the make. If you weren’t strong or quick enough to make you became one of the made. It was the triumph of American pragmatism. The only thing that counted was if your scheme succeeded. Success was morality and if you didn’t succeed you whined on over to your lawyer and filed a lawsuit. Whether the Wasted Angels needed Freud or anyone else to teach them this is debatable but it was Freudianism in action.
The tenor of morality was controlled by the Italian Mafia in conjuction with the Hollywood Jews but the style was more of a Protestant or Arthurian sort. Open and brazen.
The most important element of the LA mix was the movies. Now, it is a fact that the movies were and are a Jewish enterprise. Anything that doesn’t please the Jews isn’t going to make it to the screen. In the early days the Jews felt constrained to cater to Anglo-Saxon tastes thus Jewish desires and needs were sublimated. the axis of taste and style shifted however. An Anglo-Saxon intellect like D.W. Griffith was subtly edged out of the stream or as they say, ‘marginalized.’
Marginalization is the PC way of saying censored and discriminated against, blacklisted. As in the old days Jews and Negroes were not welcome now the ‘marginalized’ are discriminated against. This is called ‘Democracy.’
Only gois like Cecil B. DeMille who honored Jewish dictates were allowed to survive but they were kept on a short tether. Chastised for his early portrayal of Jesus as King of Kings De Mille was forced to turn to the Old Testament epics that glorified Hebrews in expiation. Thus in the history of the movies you will find many more Old Testament epics than you will find Christian ones.
The chaste Arthurian heroines of Griffith like Lillian Gish were replaced by big hipped, big busted loose acting women like Jean Harlow and Mae West. Nice girls couldn’t make it in the movies.
The Second World War put an end to all that had gone before. The old Hollywood died. Television has been given credit for destroying the movies but that is absolute nonsense. At the end of the century amidst much fiercer competition for the entertainment dollar than in the immediate post war years the movie industry is more successful than in its heyday. The truth of the matter is that the prewar world of Anglo-immigrant conflict on which the content of the movies had been based had disappeared. the industry languished in the search for a new ethic which also coincided witht the introduction of TV.
The Jews of Hollywood formed the new ethic and they formed it in their own image. They no longer felt the need to cater to Anglo-Saxon tastes. The movie ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ which was about a goy posing as a Jew seeking to create anti-Semitic reactions when they didn’t exist was the opening salvo of the Jewish campaign.
Interestingly enough this tradition of sensitivity was continued forty years later in a movie by the Jewish producer Steven Spielberg by the title of ‘Men In Black.’
In this movie an organization based on the ADL has a world wide organization not unlike the International Jewish Conspiracy called the Men In Black. They seek anti-Semite ‘creeps’ who are all so disguised that a person of reasonable sensitivity could never recognize them. It takes the highly developed sensitivity, otherwise known as paranoia, of these covert ‘saints’ to recognize them. In other words the so-called ‘witchhunt’ of the McCarthy era has been sanitized into a holy way of life but with potentially anti-Semitic targets rather than Judaeo-Communists.
Needless to say the Men In Black were clones of the Man In Black needed to purify the country as sung by the Kingston Trio and the attempt to live it by Johnny Cash.
Thus by controlling the content of movies the Jews had progressed from ‘entertaining’ the goys to showing them up in ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ to controlling them in ‘Men In Black.’ This was a very remarkable achievement in more or less fifty years.
The Jews did have to make concessions to the brutal methods of the Italian Mafia. Originally cast as brutal oafs with Anglo-Saxon names in the gangster movies of the thirties the Mafiosi emerged as brutal oafs with Italian names in the post-war years. The difference was that they made brutal oafishness acceptable. Movies like ‘The Godfather’ legitimized their methods in turn brutalizing the rest of the population.
Two other groups shaped the form of the post-war movies. The ubiquitous Revolution and the Homosexual community. All four groups functioned quite harmoniously together. All four wished to sap the Anglo-Saxon government they despised.
The Revolution was quite subtle. In movies like The Ugly American they made the charity, kindness and good intentions of the American native seem like the grasping, mercenary moves of a sexual predator. As in all Revolution movies the Soviets or Chinese Communists come off as the good guys. In movies like Dr. Strangelove the Soviets and the Red/Liberal government of America seemed to be opposed by an industrial military complex controlled by lunatic Anglo-Saxon Hillbillies.
The Reds also seized on the novel by Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe to defame and revile the Anglo-Saxon. Discrimination against those of English ancestry was quite common as the century drew to a close. Defamation was frowned on unless the English were being defamed.
In the most recent movie version of Robinson Crusoe the colonial peoples get their revenge as Friday make a fool of Robinson Crusoe. The question is asked what if Friday grabbed the sword first? Why then savagery would have reigned triumphant, what else? It would be as in Africa when the English left, one tribe massacring the other.
So also was the trend to glorify homosexuality. Homos and Lesbians were always portrayed sympathetically while homosexual sadistic brutality became the normal mode of expression. More and more movies began to appear in which brutal murders or shootouts took place in public toilets, a sure sign of homosexual influence. The most favorite scene was when the shooter thought he had his man trapped in the ‘shitter.’
The target always places his shoes and pants to look like he’s on the throne while he has climbed above the stall. There is only a moment for the obligatory puzzled look on the shooter’s face as he gazes into the empty stall before the shitter descends on him from above like a load of shit.
A criminal attitude toward life became the standard outlook. Hollywood called it ‘entertainment.’
All things conspired in LA to create an unruly atmosphere. Naturally control of such an unruly lot required a strong police force; nearly an occupying army. Enter the LAPD. Los Angeles had the most feared law enforcement agency on either side of the Gestapo or KGB. The only real difference between the LAPD, the Gestapo and the KGB was a matter of style and that was narrow.
The Black Folk might like to think they were singled out for rough treatment but in their insularity they just don’t know. A late century criminal like Rodney King might be able to start a riot by resisting arrest and getting beaten for it but for every Rodney King there are dozens of nameless Whites who are beaten, crippled or killed with no recourse to ‘discrimination.’ A dead White man is only a dead White man who had it coming. It is only the concept of racism that makes a Black man killed by the CWBs a crime.
Members of the Gestapo or KGB are fearsomely portrayed in the movies but you don’t know what fear is until you’ve had a jack booted, jodhpured, helmeted, dark visored, CWB with a Dick Tracy array of gadgets and guns belted to his midriff walk up to you with the full intent of knocking you to the ground with his leaded billy if you show impertinent curiosity as to his intent, let alone, spirit. You better be Black if you want to file a complaint because they throw White boys out on their ear.
The LAPD walked mean and talked mean with the uncompromising full support of not only the legal system but the financial and political power behind them. No action would be taken against a CWB no matter what he did or why. There were corrupt, vicious, criminal and big with a license to kill before .007 made the scene. They were often used as hit men by the powers that be.
No one but the terminally insane like Rodney King ever messed with them. Being Black is a very poor excuse. There was no question that if you fought the LAPD the LAPD won. It was a suicide mission. One tried not to be seen with them even standing next to them. How could anyone Black or White sympathize with a fool like Rodney King?
All those bad ass Blacks, wild Hillbilly Boys and assorted desperadoes didn’t pay the LAPD no mind. The Mafia and ADL were greased of course so the LAPD didn’t pay them no mind. In its relaxed way LA was the toughest city in the world.
Now, as an innocent at large Dewey Trueman was dropped off in the dark at the end of the freeway on Sepulveda Blvd. with no idea where he was or how to reach the Grapevine. Dewey scuffed the pavement with frustrated kicks wondering what to do next. He spotted a gas station a block away where he hoped to receive good information.
The worst of it might be that some joker would send him down to Watts where he would have one hell of a time of it. The first major eruption in Watts didn’t occur until 1965 but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of little tremors first. White was not a popular color in Black Watts. Even high yellows had to take care down there.
Luck was with Dewey. He had developed a good tough scowling Navy walk. You have to act so tough to get by in America. A term of approbation during the fifties was ‘that’s tough, man.’ meaning that’s a cool shirt, for instance. They even wrote a lilting tune called ‘So tough’ to celebrate the condition. Toughness will get you further than politeness any day.
The attendant eyed him up. Respect for the uniform and attitude got Dewey correct directions. The attendant advised him to go over a couple blocks to La Cienega then North toward the Hollywood hills to Lankersheim Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley, or just the Valley, thence to the foot of the Grapevine. A formidable forty miles or so through uncharted territory. Being young and dumb was a big asset to Dewey, otherwise he would have had to think twice.
Hitchhiking through LA meant running a seventy mile gauntlet of queers. Dewey was psychologically unprepared for this although common sense should have told him that anyone standing by the side of the road soliciting rides could be construed as being ‘lonely’ and desiring company. He was concentrating on his own needs which were to get from point A to point B. Nevertheless the highway is the proper place for sexual adventures.
As usual the homos were out in numbers so there was no dearth of rides. Homosexuality was still against the law but the make or made attitude of LA drove large numbers of defeated men into homosexuality in an attempt to regain some masculinity. If you lost yours you could hope to suck or siphon it out of someone else.
It always seemed strange to Dewey that these homos were out patrolling the highways. As many as there were, he thought, you’d think they could find some way to get together or identify each other. Eventually they did when they created Disco. However at that time there were few obvious homosexuals. The closet was the right place to be. Mostly they relied on hand signals to identify each other like moistening the eyebrow with the little finger.
In reality they rejected their own as sexual objects preferring virgins instead. That was where the real manhood was. Either that or they preferred the danger of strangers in the dark. There was no difficulty in rolling a gay. They actually invited beatings being sado-masochistic.
If you were game for a homosexual adventure or led them on they drove you to secluded spots of which they knew plenty even in the middle of the city. Most of them wanted to blow you so a crack on the head with a blackjack while they were down there presented no difficulty. It’s a wonder more of them weren’t killed.
Most of them got straight to the point resulting in a two block hop. Some were more discriminating taking a mile or so to make up their minds. Dewey’s luck was a succession of two block hops all the way up La Cienega to Wilshire.
Dropped off on the South side of Wilshire Dewey crossed the street to find himself in a wonderland by night. Change comes swiftly in LA. La Cienaga from Wilshire to Santa Monica at the time was a glitzy restaurant row for tourists. The street was at its apex. Seemingly imperishable in the bright lights at the time all but Lawry’s would be gone within ten years or so.
Like Lawry’s these were all mammoth restaurants seating hundreds. Any one of them would have seated the patrons of all the restaurants in the Valley of Michigan on any given night. The bustle was gorgeous and immense.
Much to the amusement of the car parkers and doormen of which each restaurant seemed to have dozens Dewey gawked like any red dirt Georgia farm boy on his first trip to the city. He yearned to be part of the scene. Twelve years later when he came back having no other choice but Lawry’s he ate there. It was a good restaurant but like a bottle of wine promised more than it could deliver.
For now, heedless of time, Dewey walked slowly up to Santa Monica Blvd. taking it all in. He stopped before the windows of Zeitlin and Ver Brugge an excellent book store to ogle their fine display. He would one day shop there but it too followed the restaurants into oblivion.
He was lucky enough to catch a ride from Santa Monica to Sunset with a foursome enjoying LA to the fullest.
Like La Cienega Sunset was if not actually in decline on the verge of decline. This was the time of the TV series 77 Sunset Strip. Raymond Chandler complains of the Mafia and its hold on restaurants. So organized crime had run the restaurant scene for some time although it was nowhere so obvious as in Dean Martin’s restaurant, Dino’s, which naturally commanded the central spot on the strip. Unlike the tourist traps of La Cienega Sunset was where the LA glitterati went to shine.
The Eve of Destruction lurked on the North side of the street tucked behind the glitter against the hills. Strangely Dewey found his way there. Just as the jive talking parking lot attendant of 77 Sunset Strip, Ed ‘Kookie’ Byrnes, represented the obverse side of hip culture the Beat character Maynard Ferguson would have frequented the coffee shop called the ‘Eve Of Destruction.’ He didn’t stay long.
As with everything in Hollywood the Wasted Angels sought out the essence of a thing and turned it into a movie set. If you wanted an authentic coffee house you had to go to San Francisco. If you wanted artificial people playing at being Beats in movie set coffee houses you went to LA. In San Diego the scene was like someone who had heard of Beats and setting up a coffee house on that hearsay. They completely missed the point by called a coffee house: ‘Socrate’s Prison.’ Really strange.
At the time Dewey was rigorously authentic. As an outsider of society he was quite familiar with hip jargon and Beat attitudes if unfamiliar with them in context. He was not only offended at the phony coffee house, but the tough Mafioso who regulated admittance of the clientele took offense at his appearance.
Unlike the later Studio 54 of New York the coffee house couldn’t select its clientele from a long line of hopefuls but it could deny entrance to those it considered unsuitable. The tough young criminal found Dewey objectionable about the same time Dewey was revolted by what he saw.
Dewey was already leaving when the bravos moved toward him to drive him out. Therein lay the corruption of LA. The Anglo-Saxons were an inclusive people. Having inhabited America they invited all the peoples of the world to come on over too. But many of the peoples of the world like the Italians and the Jews were exclusive peoples. They were narrow and discriminatory. They only wanted to admit people who met their circumscribed standards of acceptability.
Clubs may be exclusive but restaurants cannot be. As the Mobsters drove out people they found objectionable the clientele diminished in proportion to the number of tough acting, though talking Mobsters who thereby dominated the clientele. As the regular clientele disappeared there were only a bunch of criminals sitting around insulting anyone who walked in. The Mob restaurants all went out of business one after the other. They should have formed clubs. But without any outsiders to impress with their tough tough ways there was no joy in that.
Their attitude may have worked well in economic backwaters like Sicily and the Pale but in a booming expansive economy the attitude is counter productive. Of the pool of potential customers the number of rejected is always much greater than those who are acceptable.
As the Jews and Italians always want to be in the high profile areas the acceptable are too few to meet expenses hence the restaurants always go out of business. Dino’s was the opening wedge in the destruction of Sunset Strip. The hammer that drove the wedge in was across the street. The Beats, who were not a respectable intelligencia were soon to evolve into the Hippies who were neither respectable nor intelligencia. There was something happening here but no one understood. By the mid-sixties all the glamor was gone from Sunset Strip. the Mafia and the Hippies had driven everyone away.
Rather than put his thumb out amidst the glitz Dewey walked on down to the corner of Laurel Canyon to begin there. It was one of the longest walks of his life. Once again his uniform availed him nothing; if anything it marked him as an inconsequential person to be ignored. Ignored he was; the self-important people intent on entering a Mafia dive like Dino’s blinded by their desire to appear ‘in’ walked right over Dewey as if he weren’t there. Women as well as men. They didn’t brush by him they walked right through him. Dewey was not aware of slipping out of their way but he must have as no physical contact was made nor was he knocked aside. He saw men and women standing near the entrances looking in his direction and laughing but he never knew why.
Continuing up Sunset through lights so bright the headlights of cars seemed dim Dewey found his way to the corner, crossing over Laurel Canyon to put out his thumb. He was picked up immediately. His ride wasted no time.
‘Unzip your fly.’ The homo commanded before the car had reentered the stream of traffic.
‘Zip your lip.’ Dewey commanded reflexively in turn.
That was a fairly witty exchange but the fruit was not in the mood for witty repartee; he wanged to the curb at the first opening.
‘Put out or get out of my car.’ He demanded. ‘Nobody rides for free.’
‘That’s right, Jack, and you ain’t got enough to pay the fare.’ Dewey sneered as he slid out of the car.
He was pulling his middie down and arranging his scarf when a car pulled up before he’d even put his thumb out. He got in.
‘He there, Sailor. You’re a likely looking guy.’
‘For what?’ Dewey asked.
‘You can drive?’ His ride asked.
‘Are you kidding?’ Dewey sneered. He’d been behind the wheel once a couple years previously. He hadn’t done too well but he figured that was his first time. The next time he’d be a regular Barney Oldfield.
‘OK. I’m going to pull up in front of a liquor store up here. When I get out slide over into the driver’s seat. I’m going to be coming out of the liquor store in a hurry. When I do don’t even wait for me to slam the door; have it is gear and just get the hell out of there.
OK. Here we are. See this corner here? Go up to the next one and turn right. Don’t let anyone slow you down. Run ’em over if you have to.’
The driver took a huge .45 automatic out from under the seat dramatically snapping a clip into place.
Dewey quickly came up with the sum of four. they both opened their doors at the same time as Dewey stepped out.
‘No, no, man. Just slide over.’
‘This is where I wanted to get out.’ Dewey said politely walking away.
‘Aw, chicken shit pansy. Nobody rides for free.’
Where have I heard that before? Dewey asked himself.
Undeterred by Dewey’s defection his ride entered the liquor store exited in a hurry, got back in his car and shook his fist at Dewey as skidded around the corner.
A block later the CWBs pulled up. A pair of jackboots and dark visors grabbed him by the arms.
‘Just a second, Sailor, we want to have a few words with you.’ the voice of an anonymous Gestapo figure admonished from under his crash helmet behind the dark visor and dark glasses. ‘We don’t like swabbies comint to our town and committing robberies.’
‘I wouldn’t either.’ Dewey said without thinking.
‘You getting smart with me, son?’ The officer said pushing Dewey backward across the other CWB’s extended foot. Dewey crashed to the ground.
Now if Dewey had been as stupid as Rodney King he would have come up cursing and swinging. The CWBs would have made no bones about breaking his. Sitting downtown in the can Dewey would have no recourse but the suffer the indignity and its accompanying jail term. He would have been just another no account loud mouthed White Boy who deserved no considerations. No riots for Dewey.
‘Now, you were seen getting out of the car of the man who just robbed that liquor store back there. What’s your story?’
At least they were nice enough to ask back in those days.
‘Uh, no story. I was…’ Dewey was about to say hitchhiking then thought better of it. ‘…in a bar back on the Strip and met the guy and we were going to somewhere else when he turned out to be queer. He pulled over and I got out. That’s all I know.’
‘What bar was that? Your ID says you aren’t twenty-one yet?’
‘Coffee bar. It was a coffee bar. The big one back there across from Dino’s’ Dewey corrected himself.
The CWB leaned close but could smell no liquor.
‘Yeah. Of course that’s it. I’m no crook.’
The cop had no real reason to hold Dewey, not that he needed one, so he gave indications of letting him go.
‘Teufelsdreck, hey? Where’s your base? San Diego? You got an out of bounds pass?’
‘This is only LA. Don’t need one.’
‘Maximum’s a hundred miles from San Diego, isn’t it. Used to be when I was in.’
‘Just barely. They told us LA is OK without a pass. Exec doesn’t want to be bothered.’
‘Oh, ‘they’ did, did ‘they’? Well, watch your step, bud. Stay out of trouble.’ The CWB said throwing Dewey’s ID at his feet which seemed to be SOP for CWBs everywhere.
Dewey let them drive off then put out his thumb. A car wheeled across traffic from the other side of the street where the driver had been watching.
‘What was that all about?’ He demanded, his curiosity shooting out in blue flames.
Nobody rides for free. Dewey thought and nobody gets my story for nothing.
‘It’s a long story.’ Dewey replied laconically.
‘I got time.’ The driver said eagerly.
‘Yeah. Well. I’m trying to get to Lankersheim Boulevard in the Valley. You heading in that direction?’
‘As a matter of fact, I am.’
He made all the right turns weaving through the Hollywood Hills as Dewey spun his story out as long as he could beginning with ride from the Marine, Bill Baird. He had just finished his story when the car descended the hills unto Lankersheim beside Universal Studios in North Hollywood.
‘Cops are a bitch.’ The driver said as Dewey got out.
‘Sure are. Thanks for the ride.’
Love Letters In The Sand
Lankersheim was the heart of the run through LA to the Grapevine. It was one twenty mile gut through the Valley. On Friday nights the street was vital as a drag strip. It may have been the finest drag strip in the nation, wide enough for micro contests of bravado and long enough to exhaust your strength.
The entire gut was thronged with high schoolers from all over LA. Thousands of cars inched North while thousand more crawled South. Boys hung out of cars hooting at girls. Girls gave them that look promising everything if only they could get together across the throng.
Cries of ‘Turn the car around, dammit, she wants me.’ abounded on all sides. The girls knew they were safe but the vanity of the boys made them believe the impossible. No car could turn around although some daredevil might try from time to time but this only resulted in traffic jams and cursing from the other boys.
Boys hurled deadly insults to other boys knowing they were safe within the glacial flow of traffic. In the anonymity of this melange of high schoolers drawn from hundreds of square miles of LA there was a slim chance anyone would ever see anyone else again.
At strategic points self-appointed marshalls sat on their cars identifying and cataloguing cars they’d seen before. With little else to do but interfere in other people’s business they plotted and schemed to control this incredible galactic happening that occurred every Friday night. In whatever manner they worked they were able to determine who could and who could not take part in the parade.
When they found someone they didn’t like the wheels went into motion and the Lankersheim version of the ADL or Mafia sprang into action. the car was isolated by the organization; the driver either proved himself or found his safety very uncertain.
This tremendous show was kids from the classes of ’59, ’60 and ’61. Their conception of morality had changed drastically from the crowd of ’54,’55 and ’56. There hadnot been too many saints around in the latter years but by ’58 concepts of the permissable had deteriorated drastically.
There was scant respect for people or property. Moral considerations had been swept aside. Decency was a thing of the past. More than ever if you couldn’t out tough the toughs there were no social or moral supports to restrain anyone. Aleister Crowley’s moral: The whole of the Law shall be: Do as thou wilt was but a fact. The only restraint was outraged public opinion and that worked but slowly.
Even the, if convicted, and the scope of restriction on evidence was constantly made more difficult, the sentences were minimal. As heinous as Caryl Chessman’s actions were it was ridiculous he got the death penalty when actual murderers were serving three years or even less. For many men aboard the Teufelsdreck it was worth three years to murder someone they didn’t like.
All over LA the youth were committing egregious crimes. They burgled houses in broad daylight. If caught they beat up the homeowners laughing them to scorn. They had the strength to perpetrated while the homeowners didn’t have the strength to resist. Crowley was taken literally.
The Old Fuds couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. Here these kids had everything and they were satisfied with nothing. This wasn’t the Depression when things had been tough, the Old Ones lamented, these were prosperous times. But still the kids ran wild in the streets. Still, as they laughed at their elders and pushed them from sidewalks as they passed.
The results of immigration and racial strife had come home to roost but nothing could be done about it so the Old Folks made plans to retire behind fences and walls in ‘planned’ communities. They really thought they could distance themselves from problems in that way. Crazy world.
As Dewey looked down Lankersheim he gritted his teeth. On the one hand all these dragsters meant that it would be difficult to get rides, while on the other it meant that it would have to tough it out to avoid fights. If he had to fight his uniform would almost certainly be torn necessitation a return to the Base.
Grimly he put out his thumb. Here at the beginning of the gut things were at their mildest. Mingled in all these kids were a myriad number of fruits. Perhaps they found the gut a happy hunting ground for the young stuff. At any rate a couple of them moved Dewey a couple miles into the center of things.
He attracted a fair amount of attention from the dragsters who didn’t see many sailors on their strip. Dewey fielded threatening comments from the marshalls sitting on their cars and laughed at the goofs hanging out the windows. He only wished the girls blowing him kissers were half sincere. In any event he wasn’t about to make a fool of himself by responding to them.
then his gaze strayed across the street. To he surprise he spotted Gonzo Lewis in front of a drug store. Lewis was too preoccupied to direct his attention across the street so he didn’t notice Dewey. Lewis was in uniform and he was panhandling. Whether he was doing it to make for his lost income because of the advances or whether it was just a Man With The Twisted Lip routine couldn’t be determined but he appeared to be doing well.
He stood with a forlorn expression which elicited more of a response than one would think. People would ask what the matter was. Lewis explained that he had had his pocket picked so that he no longer had the money to get back to the hsip. People pressed money into his hands, not only change but folding cash.
Gonzo was doing OK. LA was the perfect paradise for him. He pulled his stunt regularly, a different location each time so he wouldn’t become obvious. Pasadena one time, Riverside another, Anaheim the next. Disneyland was a terrific location especially as the clientele of tourists was never the same. Gonzo was good too, he had his look and act perfected. he more than made up for however much he had to repay the Navy. Heck, he collected more each month than the Navy thought he was worth.
‘Oakland.’ Dewey said in response to the question of how far he was going as he opened the door.
‘Know some people.’
‘Naw. Just a forty-eight. Weekend. Gotta be back Sunday night.’ Meaning Monday morning but it was understood.
‘Already near midnight. You’ll have to turn around and come back as soon as you get there.’
‘Sure do. Seems like a waste of your time. You should stay in the Valley and relax.’
‘Sure, but I don’t know anyone. I can’t afford it.’
‘You know me.’
‘Not very well. Just met.’
‘Time will remedy that. What say you stay at my place. We’ll party a bit then maybe I’ll drive you back to the base Sunday night?’
‘Aw, gotta get to Oakland.’
‘You’re short of money? I could let you have some.’
‘Thanks a lot, but it’s Oakland or bust.’
‘You might as well get out there then, you’re wasting my time.’
‘OK. Don’t say it: Nobody rides for free, right?’
Several fruits later Dewey was standing at the foot of the Grapevine left by a not very considerate driver. It was now one-thirty in the morning.
The wise thing would probably have been to turn around and go back but that would probably have taken him all night anyway so he decided to go on.
The heavy traffic of Lankersheim had disappeared. It didn’t seem as though anyone was using the Grapevine this late at night. The worst that could happen had happened, Dewey was on the Grapevine at night.
The Grapevine was a fifty mile stretch of highway that led over the range of hills joining the Coast Range and the Sierra Nevada. The Grapevine itself, the highway, twisted and turned through this barren moonscape. Things could and did happen up there. If anyone cared to look they would find burial grounds.
The wisest thing to do was to refuse all rides that didn’t get you completely over the Grapevine down into Bakersfield. Dewey was too new to understand that so he took a ride that dropped him off where 126 to Ventura to the West split off.
There Dewey stood in the dark night with the star spangled sky above him. Navy blues are not a good outfit for hitchhiking in the dark. Only that white hat stands out. It didn’t matter too much because traffic had shut down for the night. He arrived after two. Only a couple cars passed between then and four thirty when he caught a ride.
To amuse himself he stood out in the middle of the road daring a car to come along and hit him. Even more daringly he sat in the middle of the road daring a car to come along and run him over. He wandered from side to side standing for long minutes with his head tilted back on his shoulders gazing up at distant galaxies too far for the naked eye to see. It was then his mind slipped into a different mode. It wasn’t a dream and it wasn’t a day dream it was as though an automatic door opened allowing Dewey to step down a corridor into a house on the beach. The house was exceptionally clean, neat and orderly, tastefully and sparingly decorated. A fresh innervating breeze wafted through the open doors and windows.
Dewey’s first real vision was entering the kitchen. There was a woman he couldn’t see clearly standing to the left as he entered and another very beautiful woman seated against the far wall in a sort of high chair. She was immobile, her face impassive, her eyes glazed and fixed; perhaps she was staring into the same invisible galaxy of the same distant super cluster into which Dewey was staring. Perhaps their eyes met in that distant space.
Dewey was delighted to find himself in what appeared to be his home as every nerve tingled with delight. He spotted the sink, picked up a glass to draw some water and burst into song. Strangest thing of all it was a Pat Boone song. In the strong mellow unconstrained baritone he only wished he could command he sang: ‘It was on a day like today, when…’ As he began ‘when’ the woman on the high chair came to life. The glass and water disappeared. In a happy joyful demeanor she appeared in his arms joining her voice to his in a soaring soprano. ‘…we passed the time away, writing love letters in the sand.’
‘I thought you’d never come back.’ She exclaimed ecstatically. ‘I’ve kept myself for you all this time.’
Dewey was overjoyed to find his lost beauty again although he wasn’t aware she had been lost.
He was about to say: ‘Yes, Darling, I’ve yearned for you for so long.’ While leading her outside into the glorious blue of the sky, the buff of the beach and the innervating breeze. He would have sat with her with the surf rolling in writing actual love letters in the sand. But the other woman broke in to say what a miracle it was as Dewey’s Anima hadn’t spoken a word since she was thirteen.
And then the Sheriff walked into the room demanding in a loud stern voice. ‘What’s going on in here?’
The stars appeared once again before Dewey’s eyes. He had lost that beautiful buxom darling once again. Nor could he find a trace of her as his eyes searched all across the universe from end to end. The epiphany was over.
The active memory faded from his mind immediately as his conscious mind descended into the Life in Death Hades of his daily existence. Only the faint light of her glow remained out where his sight couldn’t see. She was a hostess on a big mainliner out behind a cosmic cloud his vision couldn’t penetrate. Where oh where could she be?
Actually she was where she would ever be, only in his heart and in his mind. Dewey didn’t have the psychology to understand his epiphany nor if Freud had been there did he have enough to explain it either. While Freud put the understanding of dreamwork on a scientific basis he himself lacked the science to really develop his notions. He understood the principle but he was never able to penetrate the veil. All of his dream explanations in his dream book are less than superficial; at no time does he have an inkling of the true meaning of the symbolism.
He was too preoccupied with Jewish political problems to actually probe the science of this subject matter. If dreams can be considered the poetry of the psyche then daydreams are its prose. Both dreams and daydreams deal with the same psychic traumata. Both are seeking the same solutions.
Daydreams since they originate in the subconscious and are manipulated by the conscious are in many way more important than dreams. As a sort of novel they can be written down exactly as they occur if you are aware enough to capture them.
With a catalog of a dozen or so the nature of your problem can easily be ascertained. With that level of interference out of the way your conscious mind is free to probe further while your subconsicous is forced to send up fresh matter. After a while you’ll bore yourself to death if you’re not careful, ending all your problems.
Dewey’s experience was neither a dream nor a daydream but an actual ephiphany and a very pleasant one. His subconscious mind had processed a mass of information so he actually believed rather than corrected for his tastes as one might in a daydream. Daydreams have to be let flow without hindrance to show their full content. Unfortunately the tendency is to correct them to bring them into consonance with conscious needs or fears.
The meaning was quite simple to an analyst with the necessary information. All of the information didn’t come from within the mind. In those days there was a real controversy over Pat Boone vs. Elvis Presley. Boone was the clean cut hero of the upper half of society while Presley was the common, vulgar hero of the other half. At least that’s how the upper half perceived it and how the other half accepted it.
As a member of the other half Dewey consciously passionately embraced the cause of Elvis but as he was never one or the other of anything, he shared characteristics of both. Now, as his psyche, that is to say, his whole mind, processed the data concerning Boone and Presley in light of his own experience it dealt with all the details and not just the ones Dewey consciously dwelt on. Thus his psyche came to different conclusions than Dewey’s intelligence.
Dewey’s psyche did know how repressed he actually was. Since his intelligence and psyche both admired the same thing his psyche fought to show his intelligence the way to freedom.
Elvis as a member of the suppressed other half sang of their hopes and despairs as in such pre-Army songs as That’s All Right Mama, Mystery Train and Heartbreak Hotel. Dewey consciously related to both the despairing content of the songs and the hurt repressed style of delivery.
On the other hand he sneered at the confident, expansive assertive style of Pat Boone’s Love Letters In The Sand although he recognized the wholeness of the sound. The open handed unimpeded baritone delivery from the deep chest was where he really wanted to be.
The repressed high pitched wailing of the early Presley was where he actually was.
It should be noted that something happened to Presley in the Army because when he came out he changed his hysterical frantic delivery for a more controlled baritone although not with the contented unrepressed openness of Boone. It should also be noted that the Army never felt the need for the upper class Boone’s services. Somehow he slipped through the draft even as an officer candidate.
So the symbolism of Dewey’s epiphany was quite clear. The house represents the self so Dewey had exchanged the prison of earlier dreams for a bright, airy, pleasant edifice. the kitchen is the room of transformations, rebirth as in the loaf in the oven. It too was impeccably clean. The glass and water are symbols of the Anima or female. The ocean and beach outside the windows is clear. It should be noted that the windows were open to let in the fresh air.
The woman on the stool who was about the same age as Dewey was quite obviously his Anima which had been repressed at the same time as Dewey’s Animus had been. Thus as he bursts into song realizing the relaxed full chested baritone style of Pat Boone his Animus and Anima have been made whole again. The glass and water coalesce into his Anima as she immediately comes back to life embracing his Animus in reunited bliss.
They would have gone outside to write love letters in the sand had not the Sheriff of Dewey’s censorship invaded the ephiphany to destroy it. the Sheriff rlated to an incident in Dewey’s infancy when a real sheriff had just walked into the back door of the house saying the exact same words in his response to hier mother’s telephone call.
One may presume that the woman who rejoiced at the Anima’s revival was somehow related to Dewey or it may have been the Terrible Mother aspect of his Anima. Another form of censor.
In any event the range of information of which Dewey was aware or unaware used by his psyche was both enormous and extremely subtle. It is truly amazing that Freud with his pinch chested mentality never went beyond the level obtained in his dreambook which was indeed minimal.
The epiphany vanished from Dewey’s conscious mind. He had no idea what it meant he only knew he desired it.
Still basking in his glow he moved back out of the middle of the road as he saw headlights approaching. The laboring of the vehicle and the clanking of its bicycle chain identified it as a Volkswagen. Caught between the despair and hope that not getting a ride leaves you with, Dewey just kind of flipped his thumb out in a hopeless gesture. The little yellow Bug slowed to a stop. Dewey didn’t have to take more than a half dozen steps to sardine himself into the little Beetle.
Stan Leland was behind the wheel. Stan was a desperate character. He was prepared to kill the hitchhiker for the twenty dollars or less that he assumed Dewey had. He was convinced the hitchhiker had twenty dollars on him. That was why he stopped.
Leland was twenty-five years old. He had once been a strapping young man but his straps had been snapped for him. Stan had attended Hollywood High. He hadn’t come from the rich families but he had been allowed to hang around with them. Not having the grace of legitimacy he had made up for it with the bravado of the interloper. Having to be deferential to his group he made up for it by tormenting others. He didn’t really torment them but he didn’t make any friends either.
Graduation left Stan stranded. His group melted away into the universities while he had to find a job. Stripped of his social status he took up the pose of an aspiring actor. He was only middling good looking although a lithe six foot two. His brash self-confidence turned his middling looks into a species of handsomeness. He thought he was good looking and therefore he was.
Stanford tried to make up for his loss of social status with an aggressive brashness that tended to alienate rather than endear. People tended to endure him rather than challenge him. And then Stan turned twenty-0ne.
He had secured a couple walk-ons in the movies, you know, carrying a rifle in buckskins along the wagon train and in one he spoke a line but it was cut out. These successes convinced him of his future, increasing his aggressive demand for status.
At twenty-one he went up to the Strip to celebrate. Three or four drinks later his attention was caught by a cute little blond thing serving as a pendant to Fat Tony Carmino’s ego. Stan compared himself very favorably to Fat Tony in an attempt to lure this worthless slut, but good lay, his way.
Fat Tony, and he was not without friends, took exception to brash young Stan’s advances to his frail. Stan didn’t fully appreciate the difference between the people he usually balked and the men of the Mob. Fat Tony and a couple of guys who didn’t appreciate Stan’s mouth took him outside, drove him to a quiet place and practiced drop kicking him against a wall to see how far he’d rebound. Stan wasn’t resilient enough to be much fun so they left him in a heap driving back to the strip and Fat Tony’s frail.
Stan Leland’s body healed but his mind never recovered. He had had the bravado kicked out of him. He had lost his brash self-confidence having nothing left but his middling good looks and a slight stoop. Where he had previously stood tall, almost with a back lean, he now walked, slightly bent and without any real elasticity to his step. He was cowed. His movie career was over. He made money by cons and grifts that occured to him on the spot.
‘How far are you going?’ He asked.
‘I can take you part way. I’m going to Turlock.’
The VW clanked into action. Dewey had never been in one. While not new to the scene, in 1958 they hadn’t been around all that long. The air cooled rear engine with its bicycle chain drive sounded strange coming from behind him. The VWs had low horse power. They went from 0 to 60 in 60, minutes that is. Any rise in the ground slowed them to a crawl. A Chevy would be in the next county before a VW crested the hill.
‘Really noisy.’ Dewey said.
‘My little Bug? People’s car. That’s what Volkswagen means. People’s car. Did you know that?’ Stan would never have driven a VW before Fat Tony and the Mob cut him down to size.
‘Volkswagen? Folk’s wagon. People’s car? No, I never translated it; never thought about it.’
‘Ya. It was designed by Hitler. Did you know that?’
‘No. I didn’t know Hitler doubled as a car designer.’
‘Designed might be incorrect but it was made by his orders. People may talk bad about Hitler but he gave the Germans work. Built the Autobahns for them to drive their Beetles on.’
‘Oh, wow. Quite a guy.’
‘Yeah. I’ve read everything there is on him. History’s giving him a bum rap.’
‘Oh well, if you’re going to start wars you better be prepared to be criticized.’
Stan thought back to Fat Tony and winced a little. He’d always considered his treatment unfair, even criminal. It was, of course, but society had given the Mafia a license to act that way while Anglos were supposed to be above all that and walk around Italians. Stan’s interest in Hitler had begun on his hospital bed as his mind groped to deal with his pain.
‘Hitler gave Henry Ford a medal, did you know that?’
‘No. A medal for what?’
‘A lot of people think he gave it because Henry Ford was an anti-Semite but that didn’t have anything to do with it. It was because of this, the Bug.’
‘Uh, Ford financed the Bug?’
‘No. But he made the first People’s Car, the Model T. That’s really why Hitler admired old Heinrich Ford, because of his production methods and the Tin Lizzie. That’s why he kept a life sized portrait of Ford not because of some silly Jews. Those people always exaggerate their importance. If nobody’s thinking of them they stand up and shout: ‘Pay attention to us.’
Ford was criticized for accepting the medal but I think he did the right thing. Ford might have been run out of Germany if he’d declined the honor. They made Model Ts for fifteen years and they’re still making the identical Bug over twenty years later. That’s an achievement worth a medal. His own country didn’t appreciate him enough to give him one. What do you think of that?’
‘Never thought of it.’
‘How much money do you have on you?’
Dewey turned his head sharply to watch Leland: ‘None.’
‘Nothing? No money? Come on, how are you going to eat?’
‘I’m not until I get to Oakland.’
Whether Stan believed it or not Dewey was telling the literal truth about eating. He never ate or drank on the road.
‘Oh come on. You’ve got to have a twenty on you. You guys always do. Nobody rides for free. You can chip in a little for gas.’
‘What? So far you haven’t even used up a gallon of gas. These things must get about thirty miles or more to the gallon. What do want a dime?’ Gas was twenty or twenty-five cents a gallon in those days.
‘Where do you keep it, in your shoes?’
‘No money. I don’t have any.’
Leland decided on a ploy.
‘I’m getting hungry. Why don’t we stop for breakfast in Grapevine here. Here’s the Grapevine Cafe. Good food. I’ve been here before.’
‘I’m in a hurry, man. Go ahead. I’ll just get back on the road.’
‘Hey, you ingrate. I pick you up in the middle of the night on a deserted road and you’re in too big a hurry to eat with me?’
‘It’s not that, man. But look it’s daylight already. I’m way behind time; I should be in Oakland by now.’
‘We are having breakfast.’
Stan had touched Dewey’s guilt. Dewey was a nice guy, he tried to appreciate what others did for him. Also he reasoned that he might still be standing outside the Grapevine Cafe when Stan left. He went along.
‘What’re you going to have?’ Stan asked amicably but craftily.