8/6/77

It is August already and summer is going fast. I am not worried though. I have had a lot of fun this summer. We have gone to many parties and drank a lot of beer. We will continue to do so.

Yesterday and the day before I bought my new stereo. $800. I bought a pair of Advent loudspeakers in utility cabinets at Audiocraft in Westlake for $274 a pair. The rest I bought here in town at Servex. All Pioneer. SX-650 receiver for $255 (retail, $300 or so). PL-112D manual turntable for $70 (great deal, on sale, regular price $130). And the CT-F2121 cassette deck for $150 (another great deal (sale) as it usually goes for around $180 with the retail up around $200). Also I got an Empire cartridge. It sounds fantastic.

I only have six more days to work and I can't wait to get out of that shitty job. We may go to a party tonight at Downs' house. Hope so. Now I will run, relax, and listen to music.

7/21/77

Music is my best friend.

Today I'll write in my journal a bit. All's fair in love and war, and you can't win in either one, either. This makes sense if you think about it. A Bridge Too Far is a good example of not being able to win at war. I need not say more.

Music is my best friend. Time is my worst enemy. You can't win at life. All songs must come to an end—how depressing I am. Christ. I have to keep perspective about life. I'm only here for fun. I think about learning to play an instrument and it makes me feel better. I think about buying my new stereo and it cheers me up.

I learn a lot at work. Britt is hard to understand. I wonder how intelligent he really is. Anyhow, he puts things to words good. One day, people were fighting in their room (a man and a lady). He said that people (husband and wife, or any lovers) like to fight just so they can make up. The making up gets them horny. This seems to be true, if you think about it and watch people.

I have to keep the right frame of mind. Writing in here is just depressing and a fucking waste of time (always worrying about time). Today I will strive to have fun (and from now on).

7/20/77

I ain't wrote in here in a hell of a long time and I may never write in it again and I wouldn't be writing in it now if I wasn't half loaded. This summer is passing so fast it is scary. It has been great so far, but then again it has been terrible. I haven't done half the stuff I wanted to. I haven't even played tennis once. Everything that happens seems to be depressing (good things that end too soon are depressing). I will talk about some good things first, then bad. I don't think I will mention every time we drink, it will get to be boring. I like drinking (beer mostly) but what we do while drinking is the most fun. I get so depressed sometimes, I have to chew licorice root to help me out, this seems to work, but I don't know how long it will work.

Well, Tom and I saw “Star Wars” and sat through it twice and it was great. I loved it. I needn't say more. I sure as hell won't try to describe it. We went down to the river a couple of times for the first time this summer. Shooting bottle rockets there is great. We went one night (last Monday), me, Tom, Strayer, Kevesdy, and Kromer. We got there when it was dark and the river was flooded from the recent rain. We drank a twelve of Stroh's, and it was kind of a weird night.

Now that I start writing all this shit down I realize how much stuff we have been doing. I must be looking for a total new experience because the regular stuff doesn't satisfy me anymore. Maybe suicide is the experience I am looking for. We have done a lot of shit. One night we went to Mauk's party and talked to Neuman for a while and he was almost nice and said a few intelligent things. We slept out in Pelton Park one night and that was fun, too. Tom and I saw “A Bridge Too Far” (a hell of a way to spend a day off, it was three hours long) and I liked the movie and everything but it totally depressed me. A chaw of licorice and a six mile run (with Dan) in the rain cured that. (I don't know why a movie like that should depress me, though. Maybe it was all the killing. I'm getting sick of violence. Maybe it was something else.) The high point of the month was the ELP concert Agsten and I went to last night. I won't bother to describe it, because it's something I won't forget.

Tonight Tom, Mike, and I bought a few sixes of Labatt's and went to Kromer's house (I think in the future I will stop writing about every little time we get drunk and just write my philosophies). It was really pretty fun and we had a good time telling our spontaneous dirty jokes. I'll say no more about it however and this will serve as a turning point in my journal. Now I want to talk in riddles.

I think if you give THINGS time (anything really) it will work out the way you want it to, if you planned properly. But for me time is running out, and fast. The summer is so far over I can't believe it. I did not really realize it was July yet and it is the 20th already. I have read very too few books already this summer. I can't believe this will be my senior year already. Time is my enemy. I feel like the 90 year old man that hasn't seen a sunset yet. I can't begin to understand life. I really can't understand girls. Kim Kevesdy is a good example (she said she didn't like Star Wars). Just when you think you understand somebody they do something or say something to totally fuck up your mind. I saw Brenda Roth and Ann Bernard at the ELP with Bill Robertson and Mike Baaske. Jesus Christ. People just blow my mind. You can't classify people. I had Tim Neuman down as a total asshole until we talked to him at Mauk's. Classifying as jocks and freaks is also worthless. It can't work. You don't know any body well enough. I have the most trouble understanding myself. Or maybe I understand myself too good. I don't know. Who does? God? I won't get into that. I've wrote too much already and I'm fucking tired. Maybe I'll write a bit more tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll never write in this again. Who fuckin' cares anyway.

I know I'm crazy. I'm just as crazy sober as drunk. Just when I'm drunk I lose my inhibitions and express my insanity a bit more.

How people act is really weird. If you get a certain person away from someone else they are OK, but in the other person's presence, they are totally different and often assholeish.

On thing I am thankful for is friends. I thank God and my self for a lot of friends. Tom thinks the most like me and his thoughts and my thoughts are almost identical, although we don't have to relate them, I just know.

7/10/77

I'm not gonna write in this son of a bitch every day or I'll get damn sick of it. Yesterday was my day off so I'll write about it. It was OK because Tom and I and Joe Fresch went to the Southwyck Mall. On the way we stopped and bought two gross of bottle rockets. The mall was pretty fun, highlighted by an excellent meal at Friendly's. I had a Watermelon Scooper Cooler, or whatever the hell you call them, and it was great. Last night was fun, too. We did not go over to Hahn's because the police found our bottles in the field and those assholes (Fresch, Simcox, etc.) had their names on them and were nabbed.

So we went to Agsten's house (Strayer, Seiler, Bechtel, and I) and Losey, Parker, and Jones came over, too, later. We drank a little and listened to Agsten's new stereo. It is really nice. It is a Pioneer receiver and turntable and Interface speakers that came with an equalizer. It sounds great. We went to the mall for awhile and ran down exit corridors, ringing bells at the doors. I wore my Moose River hat and a big black guy asked me where I got it. At Agsten's again, we drank some more, and Tom and I had a small bottle rocket fight, that was fun. We went out rowdying, too, and a crazy guy came out of one house and growled and attacked us. I may not write in here for a while, but maybe I will if we see Star Wars tonight.

7/9/77

Well, I guess I won't kill myself after all. We had quite a bit of fun last night. Yesterday after work I bought “The Alan Parsons Project” new album, “I Robot.” And “Star Wars” soundtrack. Both on sale at Musicland. Good deal.

Last night Tom and I still didn't know what to do so we headed for Town and Country to get beer. I pulled into a driveway to find my money and Tom Hahn pulled in behind us with Joe Fresch and Scott Kidd and Gary Simcox. When Hahn heard Connie Korns was coming he immediately suggested we go to his house (parents away for 3 weeks). We all got beer (usual, Stroh's) and Tom and I picked up Kim Kevesdy and then Beth Kromer and Connie Korns along with their Maddog from the bushes. We had a lot of fun at Hahn's house sitting and drinking and talking and laughing. After we were all quite drunk, Beth said something about Connie's sister and Connie got mad at her and started crying and ran to the upstairs bedroom. We were all trying to cheer her up and it was ridiculous. An outside observer watching us would really have a good laugh. We're all crazy. I finally took them all home and then slept at Tom's house. The only really bad thing about the evening is that it went too fast. Not enough time. I hate time.

My L.L. Beans order came yesterday. The French Navy shirt is nice and the Moose River hat is bad as hell. Also, the fool'ems came, cheap things. I think I should play a musical instrument to vent my frustrations and get rid of excess energy and creative genius.

7/8/77

Like usual, last night was boring and a drag, not being anything to do. Maybe we can do something tonight. I doubt it. The fucking theaters are so damn expensive. Three dollars for a sorry ass movie. It is because of the god damn mafia owns three of the four theaters in town, including the two big ones. I can't see adult movies but I have to pay adult prices. I hate it how a business can control the price on something like that. We have to pay whatever they ask. I'll be going to fucking work in a few hours. Tomorrow is my day off (only the third one all summer). We will go to Toledo. I am determined to do something tonight (exciting) at all costs!!!

 

7/7/77

I'll not write in this journal every day because every day isn't interesting. I am writing today however because of the date. (It's cool.) I've just been informed that Jim has obtained two tickets to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, which we should be able to attend June 19th. I hope. I am listening to ELP right now. They are great. I bought Peter Gabriel's solo album yesterday and it is excellent. The mall theaters opened yesterday and I hope to see “Star Wars” soon. I hope we do something exciting tonight, it being everyone's day off (our sleep-out being cancelled). I finished reading my book, “How to Hide Almost Anything” from the library. It was really good. It has inspired me to build all kinds of hide-y holes in my room (two of which have been completed already).

 

Note on Memoir

I'm finally getting back to this “Memoir” after half a year of neglecting it. It's not really a memoir, of course, but a collection of writing from old notebooks, going back to the earliest ones I can find. I'm retyping them, presenting them more or less as I've found them, but also editing somewhat for various reasons, based on my judgment.

Since this is in “blog” format, and dated, I am using this to not only record these old documents, but also to comment on them, in some cases, anyway. Also, I'm going to speculate about the large gaps in time. This is going back roughly 40 years, so in a lot of cases, I don't remember.

I am keeping another online journal, as well, of more recent notebook writing (see: Notebook Journals) but this is still, at this point, going back 20 years. The reason for doing this in two places is just that in each I want to go chronologically, and there is so much notebook writing, I wanted work in two places at once. I know it's kind of confusing, and even confusing to me sometimes! And what is the point? Maybe it's of no interest to anyone but me, that's OK. But I think, if given the chance, to read some typed out writing from people's old notebooks, I might be somewhat curious, because that's often private stuff that no one's allowed to see!

—Randy Russell, May 24, 2017

June 7, 1977

Summary of the summer so far up to this date:

The summer starts with the last day of school, in my opinion. So this is where I start: June, 7, 1977. The last day of school, like usual, is and was a hell of a day. Bright and early in the morning we smoked pot in the car on the way to school. Mike Bechtel, Mark Jones, Tom Seiler and myself. Good pot. I don't care for pot that much but it is alright for before school. The day was basically boring as usual. The asshole seniors didn't do shit. Being afraid they wouldn't graduate. Ha!

After school the fun started. Mom and Dad were away, so we went to our house and drank. We had about a case and a half of Cinci, a case and a half of Labatt's, and twelve of Molson Golden Ale. Ahhh! We all had about four beers, went to L.C.'s and had grease burgers, which were then puked into the sink (by Strayer (Dan) only). We then moved our party into the woods with my huge cooler. Brad Jacobs even came with his eight of Schmidt's. After drinking for awhile back there, we started for Parker's graduation party, and we met Behr (Paul Behrendson) on the way. The tall, lanky senior gave us all a ride (crowded). We arrived quite early. (All loaded already.) I brought a gallon jug which was filled slowly and emptied quickly as we sat around a table and sipped the Rolling Rock on tap. It got dark and more crowded. We got more loaded. The music was good. Four big speakers on the roof. We all took No-Doze to keep us awake and we kept on going.

Finally it was real late and everyone was leaving and Bill Jacobs arrived, just off of work at “Town and Country” with a tapper of Falstaff. Somehow we finished that off quickly. And now being the only ones left, we retired to the woods. But we did not retire yet. In fact now came our party, the fantastic book burning ceremony, which I don't remember too well as I stood and watched my algebra book (which I purchased that day for a dollar) burn while I stood zombized with another beer in my hand. We all crashed then, I playing my recorder for a few minutes (Supertramp's “Fool's Overture”) and Geisler not one of the regular gang, either, looked for his contacts which he lost in his drunken state. The next morning we were all a little sick. Joe Fresch ate an Oreo and threw it up. We all went over to Parker's house and cleaned up all the shit.

I worked a few weekends during school and I started in the summer on June 12, Sunday. [At Cedar Point, Breakers Hotel] After a week of work, I had worked in every section of the hotel, but now moved pretty permanently to “C” section, the newest one. I work with Britt Jewett, as I did last year. He is OK because he is funny though kind of lazy. I also work with Mark Laws a typical St. Mary's pussy. I can tolerate him though because I know he can't help being an asshole. He thinks he's doing a lot of work, but all he does is bullshit work like repairing the cabinets and cleaning spots on carpets and walls. Must be going for ass kissing, pube faced Mills' job. I also worked with 20 year old Tim McKinney a lot. Tim is hard to figure out, at first I thought he was an asshole trying to be cool. He probably is. He does have some good points (everybody does). But all he talks about is fucking girls. I was running down Milan Road one morning (an early six miler) and I saw Tim and a maid sitting in a police car. He had run into the back of a truck on the way to work.

I described the people I work with quite a bit and I will describe my friends in greater detail as I get to them in daily writing. I've been running quite regularly, in the mornings. I will continue to increase my milage throughout the summer.

The big event of the summer is the Pink Floyd concert. June 25, Saturday. We left at noon. Four of us, Mike B., Tom S., Mark J., and I. Originally seven of us were to go. Coker (Joe) was the last dropout, just before we left (probably because his “wife” Beth Schoepfle). We got to the stadium with little trouble. We sold Coker's ticket quickly to some big, ugly dude for fifteen bucks. It was great waiting outside the stadium. All those freaks. What an atmosphere. “Acid, downers, I got acid and downers for sale.” One idiot was waiting for the door to open and beat his head violently into the door about 20 times. When we got in, the stadium was so small it seemed. We got good seats right under the edge of the overhang. When it rained we stayed dry while it got wet five rows ahead of us. It got very crowded (a record, 83,199) but it was amazingly quiet and well-behaved. Pink Floyd were great. They had a fantastic light show with a 40 foot screen up above them. They had fantastic fireworks, complete with “raining” sheep. They had big helium balloons of pigs and such. They had fantastic music and a quadrophonic sound system that blew my mind. We all smoked quite a bit but that was unnecessary. They started out with a jet flying over low and “Sheep” from their “Animals” album, which was the best album I had bought so far in the summer. They also had two encores. We had a hell of a time getting out, and home. Driving around Cleveland, lost at two o'clock in the morning was weird, all that traffic and trash. We made it home, though, three in the morning.

Monday night (27th) Tom and I went out and bought a twelve of Stroh's and went to Beth Kromer's house sitting on the front porch and drinking. That was pretty fun, just sitting and talking. Also there, besides other girls, were the R.J.'s (Rookie Junkies), Hand, Winkel, Downs, etc., who were a lot of fun like usual as they smoked pot and sat around and stared (note the sarcasm). Tom and I then drove Kim Kevesdy and Suzi Brian to get more beer. We got Labatt's at Town and Country. This excellent Canadian beer was only $1.81 a six-pack.

We left at about 11 o'clock. I then went over to Agsten's (Jim) house where he waited with Dan Stayer. We drank more beer and slept in the trailer. We set our alarm for 3:30 but awoke at six. Quite disappointed, I vowed to try again. Wednesday night we did it again, this time going to sleep by 12:30. The three alarm clocks woke us at 3:30 and we rode into town. It was a weird and great experience. We saw an alleged drug deal, and were followed around by one of the participants. We failed at stealing the “Wildman Street” sign, but so what. We then locked up our bikes at the post office and walked around. I had Mom's old 35mm camera and took many pictures. Even from atop the Goodwill building at sunrise. We also took a scenic trip to the top of the Feick Building. All in all it was a great bike trip.

On the Saturday of July Fourth weekend I went to Kelleys Island with Tom. We sat around and relaxed, ate a lot, and went swimming (3 times!) I got a good sunburn or tan. I got the rest I needed to keep my sanity, this being only my second day off all summer. It was also fun riding around in the Barracuda convertible.

I forgot to mention the big storm, Thursday June 30th. We were at the mall, mesmerized in The Gold Mine game room, while a mini tornado devastated parts of the mall. We walked out to see the ceiling falling in, in places, and wires hanging down. It was quite shocking. Water was dripping in all around and some temporary walls fell in. It was really weird. Jim and I were furious we didn't have our cameras. We were put out into the storm and witnessed much more damage. Mostly trees mangled. Also, driving home I saw some of the weirdest and brightest lightning ever, and it really freaked me out.

Well, that may summarize the summer thus far, but I'll leave a blank page in case I think of anything I forgot. —RR

BEGINNING: FIRST PAGE OF: SENIOR YEAR JOURNAL – DATE STARTED: 7/7/77!!!

[Note: This is the beginning of my “Private Journal”—with the declaration “Do Not Read”—though I suspect the statute of limitations has long passed. Interesting note, my handwriting here has changed from cursive to very legible ALL CAPS. I will, however, type this with small case letters.]

Introduction:

My name is Randolph Scott Russell. (17) I am writing a journal for my senior year in high school. Or at least this summer. Maybe some day I will publish it and call it “Senior Year.” Why am I starting now? Your senior year starts at the end of your junior year, right? I did not start right then because I was not inspired to do so. Now I am inspired. Why? Probably the date: 7/7/77!! Wow!! (7) Seven is not MY lucky number (eight is) but seven is A lucky number, so fuck it. I'll start late.

Enough of this bullshit, though. Why AM I writing a journal? In the words of the fictional character, Henry Reed, “Diaries are for girls, so I am writing a journal.”

What will my journal be about? Adventures, philosophies, beliefs, complaints, and just all kinds of interesting shit. Right now I'll tell you my philosophy of life, plain and simple: Have Fun. Period. This is a bit oversimplified, but it always holds true. Everything I do is for fun. And the best way to do this is to have a good sense of humor and be able to laugh about everything. I know I can't do that, but I try. Lord knows I try. I'll try to write most of this journal about fun I have. And I have a lot of it. In many different ways. I hate introductions, too. You are hoping to turn the page and see the actual journal start. I'm tired of writing this shit, so, OK.

 

November 29, 1976

[Note: After nearly 30 chapters of Inspector Leedingham being shot, stabbed, bombed, and beaten, as well as fighting back, contributing to Hollywood-scale chaos, death, and destruction (and equally as uninteresting) his final fate is in a bombed elevator with the cable severed, plummeting down a 20 floor shaft. His solution, at the end of the previous chapter, just before reaching the bottom, is to “jump up.”]

What will happen to Inspector Leedingham? Obviously the little trick of jumping up just before the elevator hits the ground is useless to try, although it is amusing to think about. Can any man survive falling in an elevator for 20 floors? The elevator, when it hits, would smash together like an accordion. Even the fall alone would kill an average man. But then, Inspector Leedingham is not average. He has survived many ordeals that most most people could not live through, so he may have lived through this. Nevertheless, this is the last day to write journals so you may never find out if the Inspector is dead or alive.

October 25, 1976

Freshmen have many character traits. These are things they do that are common to all of them or at least ninety percent of them. The first is the tendency to carry huge amounts of books, overloading their arms and frequently dropping them. More common is their habit of carrying their books in one hand and putting their other hand in their pocket. There is one thing that ALL freshmen do. That is, as they walk, they run their hand along lockers or walls, sometimes hitting locks as they walk along or scraping a pencil or comb along them.

October 20, 1976

Lunch has become a very serious problem this year in school. Since the time I had given up eating school lunches last year (for obvious reasons) I have carried my lunch to school every day. This was fine for a while, but now I am getting a little tired of eating nearly the same thing every day. There is a small variety of food to bring to lunch. Should I go back to the horror of school food, or be tortured by the lack of variety in the brown bag? Or maybe I should drive to Golly Gee or McDonald's for lunch. This is a lagging problem that I will work on a solution for.

October 19, 1976

Inspector Finnius Leedingham pondered wearily at the crinkled, off-white note scrawled unintelligibly by someone, most likely, with a clever, analytical mind trying to make it appear he was in possession of the mentality of a sixth-grader. Leedingham sat in almost complete silence and totally motionless while analyzing the letter, and he appeared to be in a trance except for glancing up occasionally at the irritating horsefly that was caught between the inner and outer windows of his dreary, ancient Scotland Yard office which was badly in need of cleaning.

As the poorly hinged door burst open, Inspector Leedingham's head popped up like that of a wild animal ready to kill and gave a look that would make most people break down in tears to his bumbling assistant, Constable Paperhanger. However, the constable was not bothered by Leedingham's anger, perhaps because he was used to it; perhaps because of his extreme ignorance. Although he meant well, Constable Paperhanger tried too hard to help out and never failed to foul up The Inspectors's investigations; sometimes almost jeopardizing his phenomenal arrest record at the Yard. “Figure anything out yet, Inspector, on the ransom note, huh?” Paperhanger asked questions like a child.

“I believe we are dealing with a character far more brilliant and diabolical than you could imagine, old boy,” reeled off Inspector Leedingham, now forgetting his anger and once again concentrating on the puzzle. He was about to add something more descriptive when he was interrupted by a crashing of glass as a large metal object crashed through the window and onto the floor!

Yellow Spiral-bound Notebook – “Private Journal”

Introduction: This notebook (marked “Private Journal” at the top) is one of those 8½ x 11, Mead, spiral-bound kind with lined paper and three holes in the margins for inserting into a three-ring binder. What's funny is if you go to look for school supplies, you'll see the exact same notebook, now, 40 years later. Except that now, if you say “notebook” to kid in high school, it might mean a type of computer.

There are two journals in here; the first looks like it was a class assignment during the fall of my Junior year of high school (1976), and the later, hopefully more interesting one, is from the summer of 1977, guarded by a note that says, “Do Not Read!”—which I felt my mom would honor—so hopefully that one has stuff about drinking beer and smoking weed and crushes on girls. I may never have read it since I wrote it.

This first one, however, I just read over and it's mostly a continuing story about a fictional English detective in a kind of detective story/action movie parody. We had to keep these daily journals in some English classes as writing practice, and this was my solution. It is full of terrible writing and overly descriptive, violent action sequences, pretty hard to take. At one point my teacher, reviewing it, wrote a note in the margin: “I really like this.” It probably would have been more appropriate to send me to the school psychologist. At the very least, s/he could have lectured me about not always using two adjectives before EVERY SINGLE NOUN—but then maybe s/he did, and I just didn't listen (even to this day).

Anyway, I'm just going to include the first entry (of the detective yarn) here, and spare anyone who might be reading this the rest—it's just more of the same with increasingly graphic and bloody description. Also, I'm sparing myself from typing it—though my handwriting is surprisingly legible cursive. So I'm including here only the first and last chapters of the detective story, as well as a couple of other journal entries (that were probably more typical of this kind of class assignment). Then we'll quickly move on to the later, summer journal, which promises to be quite embarrassing.

Thursday, June 15, 1972

We woke up and got ready to go. We were now in Georgia. We started driving and ate breakfast at Candyland, and drove off again. We stopped at a gas station and I went to the bathroom. When I was walking out a policeman walked in. When I got out the attendant said that police were here looking for a bank robber. After we left we got into Tennessee. All along the road were stands to get fireworks. Among them were: Silly Sally's, Crazy Ed's, and Joker Joe's. We finally got to Kentucky and drove to Lexington before we got a motel. After supper, Jeff and I went swimming. We came in the room and watched TV and went to bed.

Wednesday, June 14, 1972 – Tarpon Springs

We woke up and got ready to go. We started driving home early. First we stopped at a Howard Johnson's to eat breakfast. Next we stopped at Tarpon Springs. We took a boat ride and watched a diver dive for sponges. Interesting. We then bought some stuff at a shop and started driving. We kept driving until we came to a motel. We ate and went swimming. We went to bed.

Tuesday, June 13, 1972

Today we had a lazy day. After breakfast this morning we, Mom, Jeff, and I went out on the beach and built things in the sand. [Mom added: Randy – Spanish fort and turtle. Jeff – castle. Mom – giant head.] We ate lunch in the room, Kentucky Fried Chicken. All day Jeff and I had races down stairs in the two elevators. We ate supper at Gigi's Italian restaurant, and came back, and went to bed.

[Mom added: Dad did some wash today at a laundromat while Mom washed hair. Dad didn't feel very good late today... must be “vacation bug”... we have all had it once or twice.]

Monday, June 12, 1972

This morning we woke up and got ready. We ate breakfast and started driving. We got to Cypress Gardens and took an electric boat ride, fun. We then saw a cool waterski show.

We then took a walk through the gardens. We got something to eat and left. We started driving, SW. We at lunch at Morrison's Cafeteria and got in the car again. We finally found a motel, Ramada Treasure Island Inn. It was right on the Gulf of Mexico. Jeff and I collected shells. We ate supper in the motel and went to bed early.