2/19/80 – Dreams

I was at a store that sold Night Train wine. I saw it was $4.25 by the price tag and then realized it was $4.25 for four bottles.

I was in my house and I tried to use the phone but it went dead. I was very worried and knew there was a psycho outside that was going to come in and kill me. I tried to put my snow boots on to leave, but I was panicking and kept messing up when I was tying them.

6/16/79 – Dreams

There were a whole bunch of college age boys in our back yard and we decided to play baseball. I didn't know most of them. The other team was up first and we were in the field. Two guys and me were standing on third base talking but then we spread out. I had the only mitt that was left, a left-hander's first baseman's mitt. If I was able to catch the ball I couldn't throw it. After we had a couple of outs on them and they had a couple of guys on base, we had a questionable play. We got in a big argument and gathered together in the field. Some people were saying, “The hell with this, I'm leaving.” I was about to leave, too. Then about three or four guys came up. They were all tall and thin and wearing grey suits. They all had on those winter hats that cover their whole head except for eye and mouth holes. They also had on wrap-around, very thin, sunglasses. The one said: “We don't want you to argue, we want you to play baseball.” “The other team will be up now and you will play.” And he said some other things I can't remember, but he seemed powerful and dangerous. I, however, didn't want to play, so I snuck in the house. I was worried they might catch me, but I guess no one noticed. I watched them play from the kitchen window.

3/13/79 – Dreams

(even more dreams the same night!)

I was with some friends and we where exploring old houses. We went in this one that was the most beat up house I ever saw. We walked through it and our legs kept falling through the floor. At the other side they got out the door but I said I was staying there. Then I found these huge white styrofoam balls and threw them around. They would roll across the floor and make dents in it where they rolled.

3/13/79 – Dreams

(later the same night)

I was on a school bus with Dan, and a girl asked us if we knew where Chris Johnson lived. “Hey,” we said, “that's who we're looking for, too.” But Dan didn't know where their new house was so we asked the bus driver and he stopped and pointed to a house. We went up to the house and knocked but no one answered. Dan then tried his key and the door opened. In the living room on the couch was Dan's step-mother. She was half-asleep because she was sick. Dan was glad to see her and asked where Chris was. She said she didn't know but mentioned some neighbor's house. We went to one house and asked if Chris was there. There was this old bitchy lady there who looked like a mummy. She said she didn't know and slammed shut a little door in a cupboard and told us to leave. We went to another house that was really weird. I was like a big airplane hanger, but the ends on the short sides were rounded. Also, it was like a giant screened-in porch. We walked up some stairs and went into the house in a screen-door. The floor was like an artificial track and there was all kinds of playground equipment inside. A middle-aged woman came walking around the outside and asked us what we wanted. We said we were looking for Chris. She said she hadn't seen him and so we were puzzled and thought about it. All of a sudden a vision came to me and Dan at the same time. We saw the bitchy old lady that looked like a mummy closing the cupboard with great haste. Right then we knew she had kidnapped Chris and was keeping him in a cupboard.

3/13/79 – Dreams

First of all I was climbing hand over hand over this, like cable, over a huge chasm that had a lake or large body of water in the bottom. It was very far to the other side and I'm sure that if you fell in it was far enough down to the water to kill you. I was climbing and was very tired and at the other side there was a metal thing to climb up on. You had to reach up from the wire, grab the metal thing and pull yourself up, swing your legs up and climb up to safety. It was very hard and there were these people watching and encouraging and one guy would yell all these stupid instructions. I went back and forth a few times but I don't know why because I was really scared, and it was hard as hell. Finally, I got back to one side again and we started to play football across a bridge across the chasm. Everyone playing was smaller than me and the object of the game was we had two teams and the team that had possession of the ball at the other side won. Everyone kept fumbling the ball and I would get it and give it to a little kid on my team and block for him, but someone would get him and he'd fumble. A couple of times people would almost go off the bridge (there was only one little cable handrail on each side) and a couple of times the ball fell off and we'd watch it fall. It'd take forever to reach the water, about 15 seconds, and then you couldn't hardly see it. This one little punk almost knocked my glasses into the water and I told him if he did I'd throw him in. Finally, I don't know who won, but I was climbing back over again on the cable, and when I reached the other side and pulled myself up, a lens fell out of my glasses and almost went off the chasm wall into the water. But I saved it and just then some guys came buzzing across the top of the wire on skis. One guy was on skis and the other guy was riding on his shoulders. They came over very fast and slid to a stop at the other side. I saw it was a couple of guys I knew. I told them they were crazy.

2/28/79 – Dreams

My family and I went to a big building that was the embassy building of another country in Europe. We had visited here before and knew where we were going and went upstairs to the fourth floor. I noticed something was funny, there were TV cameras all over the place. When we got to the top we were informed that the country had been taken over by communists and we were prisoners. We sat on the floor and weren't allowed to leave, and we were watched by a TV camera that would move to follow our actions. There was no one else around and only the camera was watching, so after a while my mom, dad, and brother decided to leave. I said, “Don't go, the camera is watching you!” but they left down the stairs, but I stayed and blocked off the camera. Finally, a communist official come up and told me he had let my family go and would let me go. I asked what I had to do before he would let me go and he told me I had to make a batch of apple dumplings downstairs in the kitchen, or if I wanted to, make a pie. I chose to make apple dumplings but as I started the work I knew something was wrong All the time I was in the kitchen there was a little machine rolling around on the floor on wheels and it consisted of mainly a long tube that made little hissing sounds like it was emitting gas. I asked the communist what it was and he said it was a shit-machine. I started to cook but wasn't doing too well. It took about a half hour for me to measure out a half cup of sugar. Finally, the communist came down and told me I wasn't reading directions properly. I was supposed to start out by putting soap in a soapdish on the stove and melt it. I was getting fed up and so I looked at the shit machine that was rolling around on the floor and told the communist that I would throw a match on it and blow us up if he didn't let me go. He smiled and told me that I was clever—I guess there was some kind of explosive gas coming out of the shit-machine—and asked if I would join them (the commies). I refused.

2/19/79 – Dreams

There were a bunch of guys with me and we were at a bar in Canada filled with red-neck Canadians. Agsten kept yelling and jumping on the table and Dave Goff kept falling back in his chair and stumbling all over because they had too much to drink. Everybody in the bar started staring at us and then a big Canadian plainclothes police man (wearing a flannel shirt and suspenders) came in the door, stared at us and talked to the manager of the place. The manager made an announcement that the place was closed so no one else could come in, but the people there could stay; all except the young kids making all the noise. Then people got up and started crowding around us and we were scared. They were going to beat the shit out of us.

2/14/79 – Dreams

We bought a new house and on inspecting it I found, though it looked nice (very ornate and fancy), it was actually made very much out of plastic. The woodwork looked great from a distance, but from close up it was obviously plastic. I pressed on the “wood” and it gave way to the slightest pressure. Cheap hollow plastic. The house, however, was very big and we even had a maid. I was in the maid's room (very big) and I was helping her set the table by helping her carry dishes and silverware to my parents' huge combination kitchen bedroom. I needed one more spoon and couldn't find one that matched, so the maid found an old one for me. She told me to sharpen the edge in the knife sharpener. I did this but the unusual knife sharpener was very efficient and ate away the end of the spoon so it had a flat end. I was amazed by this super knife sharpener so I stuck the spoon back in and it ate away the rest of the spoon.

I was behind Perkins High School, and having to urinate rather badly, I saw a gate around a stairway leading to the basement. I walked down a few stairs just far enough so my head was above ground level, so I could watch for anyone. I prepared to relieve myself when I was suddenly taken by surprise. A Perkins Police car with its lights flashing whipped into the back parking lot and slid around a corner, and before I could react they nabbed me for indecent exposure. They were out to get me.

Note on Memoir

I had to make a hard decision on what to include and what not to include in this “Memoir” (which I put in quotations because it's not really a memoir—even though it is one, of sorts—but an unconventional one). Not surprisingly, I was inconsistent about journal writing back when I was in my teens and early twenties. There are some significant periods of my life where I didn't keep a journal, or lost it, if I did. I have written about some of these good and and bad times in self-published zine fiction, including Universe City, Five Minutes Late, and Winter Carnival. Rather than re-print or re-create these episodes, I'll just leave it that it's out there, maybe, somewhere. Instead, I'm going to now stick to my original idea of using this “Memoir” to find existing journal writing—and type it and post it periodically. There is actually a LOT of journal writing I am still in possession of. I kind of like that, at this point, I am dealing with stuff that is 40 years in the past—but as I continue to post it, I will slowly be catching up in time. The projected end point being 1996—the beginning of my Notebook Journals memoir project.

Randy Russell 10.1.18

List of things to take to OSU – Fall 1978

[Note: Fall, 1978, I went to Ohio State University, my first time away from home, where I lived in a dorm room with my friends Brad Jacobs and Dan Strayer. There are several pages of lists of things to pack and take. Please note: Brad and I combined our stereo systems, so I have only included speakers and cassette deck.]

Shoes/Boots: Old Wallabees / New Wallabees / Blue Pumas / RWB Adidas / White Adidas / New Balance / Nike / Countries / Slippers / Black Boots / Hiking Boots / New Balance (old)

Shirts (T): Red Jockey / Blue with Pocket / Yellow Adidas / White with Orange Adidas / Three V-neck T shirts / Strap Undershirts / Little Kings / Perkins Cross Country Red / Genesis / Perkins 500 / Camel GT / Supertramp / White with Green Trim

Shirts – Button Variety: French Navy Shirt / Blue and White Hawaii Shirt / Brown Levis Shirt / Blue Prison-type Levis Shirt / White Work Shirt / White Short-sleeve / Brown Short-sleeve / Sweatshirt – blue and red

Pants: White / Army / Good Jeans / Poor Jeans / DK Brown Cords / Tan Cords

Socks: 5 pair little footies / As many brown and blue socks as I have / 10 pair white tube socks / Wool socks (winter)

Coats: White Jacket / Jean Jacket / Old Man's Coat / Army Jacket / Trucker Vest (winter, maybe)

Underwear: 15 pair Jockey Underwear

Shorts: Good Levi shorts (beach) / Nylon swimsuit / Red, Light Grey, and Blue Gym-shorts / athletic supporter

Misc. Clothes: Jumpsuit / LL Beans Moose River Hat / Goodyear Hat / Watch Cap / Housecoat / Good and not quite good gloves / Thin black tie

Books and Magazines: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance / Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork / Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt / The Pill Vs. The Springhill Mine Disaster / Walden / Catch-22 / MASH / Slaughterhouse Five / Clockwork Orange / Ulysses / Mr. Boston Bar Guide / Catcher in the Rye / Don Quixote / Selected Rolling Stones / Selected National Lampoons / Red poetry books by R. S .Russell / Seven Centuries of Verse / All Richard Brautigan / All Alistair MacLean / All Sherlock Holmes / Lord of the Rings (four books) A Decade of The Who

Additional Items: Toothbrushes (2) / Cream Deodorant / Old Spice Deodorant / Bic Shavers / Shaving Cream / Electric Razor / Noxzema Cream / 2 Combs / Brush (hair) / Shampoo (Blue stuff or Head and Shoulders) / Little Screwdriver / A few Washcloths / 6 or 7 big Beach Towels / Pillows and Pillow Cases / Dental Floss / Kleenex / Fingernail Clipper / Swabs / Glasses Strap / Soap / Phisohex / Blanket / Bedspread / First Aid

Decorations: Honest Abe / Senior Pennant / E.A.P. Poster / Darth Balder and Bacchus and whatever else (Dan) / Big Notebook for drawings

Audio Equipment: Advent Loudspeakers (2) / Pioneer CTF2121 Cassette Deck / Shure Microphones (2) / 2 Album Crates / All Good Albums / All Cassette Tapes / Record Cleaner / Tape Head Cleaner / Two Grey Speaker Stands / Speaker Wire / Electronic Keyboard and Amp / Headphones

Misc.: Danny (ifin he wants to go) / Glasses (drinking variety) – Mug, Identical clear mug, 2 shot glasses, Pepe Le Pew glass, Bizarre Pina Colada glass, Silver mug, Frosted glass, Coffee cup, Suds bowl / Sunglasses: Dan's / Clip-on / Cedar Point Matches (in Cigar Box) / Herb Box (metal) with Tea (etc) inside (Licorice Root) / Eyeglasses (the ones I wear, plus Old Billy Glasses) / Pipes and Tobacco – all pipes, all tobacco, reamers and cleaners / Beer – Case of Budweiser, case of Homebrew, some Cinci, Labatt's, Stroh's, and whatever / Ashtray / Pens, pencils, paper, and notebooks / Popcorn / Padlock / Scissors / Flashlight / Sewing kit / Tape / Laundry bag / Hangers / Stopwatch (for recording) / Belt buckles (Miller, Branding Iron, Old Milwaukee) / Calendar / Chapstick / Money / Red Wristwatch / Frisbee

Food: Dandee Corn Puffs / Cheetos – fried / Hi-Hos / Cheese (Parmesan, Pepper, Smoked, Camembert or Brie, Liederkranz, Swiss, Limburger, Bleu) / Tavern Nuts / Popcorn (unpopped) / Cheese Corn / Hard Pretzels

The First Winter Carnival

[Note: I am writing a few brief accounts—never recorded in notebooks—based on stories written later, published in a zine/book called Winter Carnival (1990) (out of print). There are no specific dates.]

One year, in high school, for Thanksgiving vacation, our family met with other relatives at a huge, old, rented house by the river, near Loudonville, Ohio and the Mohican State Forest. It was one of those weekends where it starts snowing and just keeps snowing. My brother and I were delighted, and we took our sleds and found a great sledding hill behind the house. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner, of course. The house was a lodge-style place, privately owned and rented out through the year, completely furnished, including games and books. I immediately found a book, MASH (1968), by Richard Hooker, and already familiar with the movie and TV show adaptations, was surprised to find the book quite different. I was a little obsessed with it, particularly the enigmatic “Trapper John” who sat around in a giant parka which he'd occasionally disappear into and emerge with a can of beer and opener. At one point he headed out into the snow to climb a nearby mountain. When they asked him where he was going, he answered: “Winter Carnival.”

That was where I initially got my idea for Winter Carnival—a winter tradition that involved some kind of exploration of the outdoors, preferably during a heavy snowfall, while drinking. That weekend, because of the increasingly heavy snowfall, we ended up leaving the house in the woods a day early, so we had quite a lot of uneaten provisions to return with. I helped pack up the car, and while stowing the beer in the trunk I let a few cans roll up behind the spare tire. Once back home, after getting unpacked, I retrieved the hidden beer. Left with a great snowy weekend, I went out wearing my Dad's old army jacket over my “trucker's vest” (men's insulated undergarment), and with all those available pockets I was able to conceal several cans of beer. Later, then, when out with friends, I'd casually reach inside, produce a beer, and pop it open. I'm sure my friends were as impressed with me as I was with myself. Becoming intoxicated, while it might happen, wasn't the point. The thing I realized was that some kind of magic happened. The snow, the outdoor setting enhanced the drinking, and the drinking enhanced the outdoors—much like adults drinking fine wine with an expensive meal—but this was better, because it was my thing. This was the beginning of Winter Carnival.

Calendar – Summer 1978 - Part II

(Note: I started keeping calendars, eventually, with notes on what I did, but not until the mid to late Eighties. So it was a surprise to find this calendar, gridded out in a sketch book, from the summer of 1978. This is a brief summary of stuff on that calendar.)

Part II

July 1 – I do my Who painting / Jonesy's party and hotels, Camper Village / Tom sleeps over / Communist discussion

July 2 – Nasty day / me and Tom go to Kelleys Island on ferry

July 3 – We come home on ferry / me and Tom and Brad go to hotels

July 4 – Me and Tom and Jones go canoeing!

July 5 – Me and Dan go to beach (East Harbor) / Bank incident – gin / Eat at Ernstburger's / Play pool at Brad's

July 6 – July 8 – Work at Diamond's – sale

July 8 – Party at Ag's – good stereo system

July 9 – We go to beach (Bay Point) – Molson's – all day

July 10 – July 16 – Work at Diamond's at Midway Mall – with Tony – sort pants

July 11 – Record – Television / Taped David Johansen on WMMS from Agora

July 13 – Brad, Tom, Jackie come over late

July 15 – Record Club – Hell, Tull, Lou Reed

July 17 – Work – Diamond's – to Cleveland with truck driver

July 18 – Work – Diamond's / Circle Track / Holiday Inn / Ag's birthday at 12 o'clock – out to Stokey's and Frisch's

July 19 – Run six miles – almost die / Dave Mason concert at Blossom

July 20 – Dan and I go to East Harbor and Pizza Hut and to Brad's house and home early

July 21 – Work – Diamond's / We go swimming at Parker's and go to Pink Panther / I get my hat back / We go to Holiday Inn and see Fred

July 22 – Perkins Road Race - 28th – 17:56 (3 mi.) / Sailing Club dance / I go back in the woods

July 23 – Went to Ag's house all day and to bed early / Finished new wave tape

July 24 – Work – Diamond's / Went to Bay Point – I snuck in by swimming / Party at Ag's house

July 25 – Did nothing all day – hot as hell / Went to Brad's house at night to play pool

July 26 – Went to mall [illegible] / We go to Holiday Inn – go swimming – see Fred

July 27 – Mike, Rick, Mark and I go to beach but Mike's car fucks up and we go swimming at Parker's / We watch Dr. Strangelove at Ag's house / Brad and I go to Lula's party 5 minutes

July 28 – Work – Diamond's / We go to Holiday Inn / I go to Ag's

July 29 – Tom and I go to Oberlin / I buy jumpsuit and pants / Go to rec theater – put in Springsteen concert / Buy Dead Boys album / Watch Saturday Nite live

July 30 – Tom and I film punk rock film – Waiting for End of World / Vacationland / I go to Brad's house

[No entries for August or beyond]

Calendar – Summer 1978

(Note: I started keeping calendars, eventually, with notes on what I did, but not until the mid to late Eighties. So it was a surprise to find this calendar, gridded out in a sketch book, from the summer of 1978. This is a brief summary of stuff on that calendar.)

[Part I]

May 28 – Work – Best Western (I was cleaning hotel rooms)

May 29 (no school) – Work – Best Western – David Johansen (Agora)

May 30 – June 1 – Work – B+T (This was at a small machine shop called Busch & Thiem)

June 2 – Marla McGregor's Grad Party – Our grad gift: “Honest Abe”

June 3 – June 12 – (most days) Work – Best Western

June 4 – Graduation Party for me, and Robyn Rice and Brad and Galloway and Newman

June 6 – Record – Nick Lowe

June 9 – Kelley and Lizzi's Star Lanes party / Harry's grad party / We go on roof of Plaza – Ag gets nailed

June 10 – Mielke's party / Bird's party

June 11 – Suter and Vicki's party / We go to Frisch's / Tom sleeps over

June 12 – Record – Michael Stanley

June 14 – Work – Best Western – fired – last day!

June 15 – Record – Cheap Trick / We go to hotels (Hand, Hahn, Tom. Brad) – Church group

June 16 – I apply for jobs (Ward's, K-Mart, Tent) / Concert – Cheap Trick – Public Auditorium

June 19 – June 25 – Work – Diamond's Men's Store – Tent Sale out the Sandusky Mall

June 19 – Dan and Brad go fishing

June 22 – Record – Vibrators

June 23 – Chris Lange's party – me and Ag go to Bevric's house

June 26 – June 29 – Work – Diamond's – Cleveland and Midway Mall – sort pants

June 28 – Tom's birthday? / Suzi Brian's party

June 29 – Apply for job – Hills / Me and Brad play pool

June 30 – We go to the beach (Bay Point) – sunburn – Winkle's boat – me, Tom and Brad – Stroh's case / Dickie's house party

[to be continued]

Dreams – 5-6-78

I went to school and couldn't find my locker. So me and Jim and some others skipped school. We went downtown and sat by a guy's store until he told us to leave. Then I went into a big building and went up the elevator. We went so fast that we passed the speed of light and went into the future. We heard a lady's voice over a loudspeaker and ran for the elevator. But when we got to he bottom a man told us there was nothing we could do. We were stuck in the future.