Backward Rain

  June 6, 2004

 

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NOW

June 6, 2004 - Sunday

Holy Tank

Now that the county has inspected and approved our debris removal, we're breathing a little easier. Immediately after the fire, they sent teams of inspectors to the burned properties and we were tagged as one of the disaster victims. In a prominent place, they hung a yellow tape with a card officially declaring our property as part of the calamity. We were assigned a number and entered into their bureaucratic disaster system. Getting out of that system can be a problem and after June 1st they began to slap liens on properties that didnít comply. We made the deadline with about a week to spare. (Just one of the many reasons I retired early)

Because our ďprimary residenceĒ didnít burn, we found ourselves in an awkward position. Even though we lost several buildings, because they werenít where we sleep at night, we didnít qualify for federal assistance. Just the same, we were still required to meet all cleanup guidelines and time tables. Luckily, we did qualify for the county's free dumpster program and we made ample use of it. That program has expired and weíve had to pay for the remaining dumpsters out of our own pocket.

Finally weíve got the county off our back and we can now start rebuilding without deadlines or threats of legal action. Iíve mentioned that we inherited all sorts of junky sheds and discarded appliances when we bought the property and since they burned, Iím trying to make sure that doesnít happen again. Thereís something about country property that attracts old refrigerators and derelict cars rusting away in the weeds. (You know youíre a redneck when the junk yard calls to get spare parts).

This weekend Catherine started on a new chicken coop and Iíve been focused on preparing the site for one of our new water tanks.

I cut a doorway and rolled the old water tank to the side. Later Iíll stand it up and use it for a storage shed. (Sounds like the punch line for a redneck joke)


You can see the light through the holes in the bottom
 

 

THEN

June 25, 1968 - Tuesday

So far this summer I've been working part time at the vet hospital. I'm still trying to save some money and I'd really like to buy a sports car before I start school in the fall.

Doctor Smith hired an interesting girl to work in the back with us.  Her name is Marlene, she's about my age and apparently she was in jail for drug possession. She looks and acts a lot like Janice Joplin. I guess she's on parole and Doctor Smith is trying to give her a hand. She's really funny and I enjoy hearing her talk about all her run-ins with the law. She has a boy friend and I'm not really looking to get anything started with her but she did say she would sell me some pot.  I'm going to taker her up on it when she gets some.

Ron really puts Marlene down behind her back and he's always making jokes about her. I think Ron is uncomfortable about my friendship with her. It's almost like he's jealous and he doesn't want me to out distance him in "real life" experience. I've been thinking a lot about people who pretend to be looking out for you when they actually just want to hold you back.  They don't really care about you and they secretly fear that your life may turn out to be better than theirs.  They try to trip you up so they can feel better about themselves.  I get the feeling that's why father didn't let me buy Doctor Smiths house and I don't think Ron, Kirk, Pat or Bill would really like to see me succeed in anything I try. When you really look at them, people are selfish and they view life as a competition. I'll admit to being selfish but I'm really not into the competing thing.

Bill got fed up with his mother today and left home.  I helped him try to find an apartment but we had no luck.  I left him at the Safeway where he works and that was the last I saw of him.  His mother called up about an hour ago saying she was calling the police and she asked me not to get involved.

July 21, 1968

Bill joined the Army and left today for four years of service.  I was pretty sad to see him go.  He's experienced a lot more than me and through him I learned a lot.  We were going to go to the same college and now I'm a bit lost. Besides Ron who is a bit younger than me, Bill was the most normal friend I had. Before he left he said he'd never forgive me if I manage to avoid the draft.  Guess he wants to make sure I end up suffering like he's going to.

I finally bought a sports car last week.  It's an Austin Healy Sprite and it was the cheapest one I could find. Around $900. The day after tomorrow Ron and I are taking it for a two week trip around Southern California.

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