He Blew His Mind Out in a Car

“Well,” my first thought was, “There goes Germany.Dartillac1_CITD

Someone ran toward the Dartillac and opened the door to let me out. I was shaky and on the verge of tears. Then I saw the pickup truck I’d hit.

It was nearly dead center at the intersection of Highway 7 and 101, by the former 7-Hi Shopping Center. The truck was lying on its side, the driver clambering out the passenger side door. He was apparently unhurt, too.

Police soon arrived. The diary reports: “A cop from Minnetonka took me to a cop from Orono, and he took me home. I bummed out the rest of the night—didn’t talk to anyone.”

It’s odd there is no mention of the folks’ reaction. After all, the Dartillac was Mom’s car. While it was unlikely all my savings for Germany would have to go to repairing or replacing Mom’s car, my shot at talent show stardom also seemed in peril—I was grounded for a week. The next three entries are spare: 44 words the following day, 50 or so the day after that, and a cryptic message ending the Thursday entry: “I’m ready to go journey someplace.”

Dartillac2_CITDDad must’ve agreed to let Harvey drive me to the repair shop to get photos (shown above and at left) for insurance purposes, but outside of that I was to be home directly after school. Although the diary doesn’t back it up, my being unharmed was more important to the folks than Mom’s Dodge Dart. “A car can be replaced,” Dad likely said.

“I’m losing everything,” the Feb. 22 entry reads. “My watch, my class ring, my good pen, My Mind…” Three days later I’d need my wits for the Winter Talent Show in the high school’s cavernous gym. Friday night, I was released from captivity. The Party Chasers steered the ’Stang toward downtown Minneapolis’ former Skyway theater to catch the concert movie Yessongs. Packed in the car were Brian Sipprell, Rudy, Harvey, me and two six-packs of Michelob.

That night I was back home in bed by 3 a.m. The diary reports: “Woke up around 5:30 or 6:00, took a shower, ran around [Casco] Point for Track, and Dad was able to drive me to work at 9:00.” While it was only a four-hour shift, I was exhausted. Steve called me at Super Sam’s to say Skeeze wouldn’t able to play that night.

I nearly lost it over the phone.

Now carless, some intricate ride-bumming choreography was needed to get from Super Sam’s to home, from home to Skeeze’s (to see what was up), and then another ride to get to the show on time. The first ride fell to Mom, the diary states. I now wonder what we talked about on the ride to Skeeze’s and back—if indeed she did, since the diary says Mike Elyea gave me the ride over to Steve’s. The Dartillac totaled, the folks eventually popped for a used Audi (shown at right, winter 1980), which she may’ve had possession of by that Saturday.My beautiful picture

Skeeze was sick. The show would have to go on with me solo—the very thing I feared the most. Steve, Mike and I took the equipment to school, set up, and Brian Sipprell gave me a ride home to change clothes. While that night was a blur, I do recall Dad expressing his surprise at watching my classmates cheering and whistling from the bleachers.

But the diary tells it best from stage view: “I came on 9th, played an improvisation, stopped, played ‘Jeremy Bender,’ ended it, hit the synthesizer, played around with sounds, ended it all, walked around, bowed, waved…

…And found I wasn’t a rock star.”

~ by completelyinthedark on December 8, 2012.

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