Rons Rants

A Blog Is A Self-Inflicted Invasion Of Privacy

Location: Newland, North Carolina, United States

I'm a fifty two year old happily married man who doesn't really like many people which is why I live on the top of a mountain.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Memories...Part Two

Thanks for dropping by ya’ll. Rocky…as usual, you’re a hoot. As usual, Jean you’re a sweet heart. Mick thanks for rattling my memory on the Navy days. Assrot….I sure wish you would change your name so that I could mention it without feeling so damn…..wierd. What a hoot. Where the HELL did you get that name?

Well…back to the tale.

I was hangin’ out on the beach with a bunch of friends when it all happened. One of the guys had turned up with a small grocery bag full of marijuana and most of us were as stoned as a burka-less Muslim woman. (stoned….get it?) I know….not all that funny. However, we were having our usual good time when all of a sudden, four older red necked looking guys came up and started to deliberately try and ‘harsh our buzz’ as they say.

One of my best pals back then was a guy we all called ‘Tank’. No…he wasn’t very big at all but he once got so stoned and drunk that he dunked his head into a lobster tank at a seafood restaurant. He later explained as we were all ushered out of the joint that one of the lobsters had asked him to “come closer”. So..he did.

Anyway, Tank was a harmless guy but nonetheless, a couple of the rednecks were getting in his face about something or other. I began easing over to where they stood to see what was going on. As I grew close enough, I could hear a couple of them making fun of Tank’s hair which, quite frankly looked a little like a vintage Artis Gilmore afro and while Tank WAS tanned…he was NOT black.

They really weren’t acting all that aggressive so I walked up in a very passive manner.

“Hey guys…..what’s goin’ on?” I asked innocently.

The shortest guy in the foursome gave me his best James Dean greaser grimace.

“We ain’t talkin’ to you.” Was all he said.

I looked at Tank.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

Tank looked at me with fear in his eyes before he managed to say that he was okay.

A skinny guy with red hair stepped up and got in Tanks face.

“We don’t want no white hippy niggers on our fuckin’ beach.” He snarled. “Don’t let me catch you here again.”

Tank was a meek guy but, this being the era of social revolution, his outrage had been ignited and he began to preach to the guy about how racist and offensive his remark had been.

Well….truth be told…he didn’t get much of a chance to voice his abject indignation before the guy landed a hay maker upside the left side of Tanks bushy head. I think the punch actually landed somewhere between the opening of his mouth and the expulsion of air as his first word was being uttered.

He went down faster than a Clinton intern!

Well damn…..hippy or not, that pissed me off! Truth be known….I was a hippy in lifestyle only. Hell, I grew up fighting, playing football and raising hell so….the ex full strength Southern boy overtook my Harry Chapin side and I charged the guy. My right shoulder drove into his chest so hard that I could hear the wind leave his lungs as we both hit the sand. We landed hard and before I could pick myself up off of him, his buddies decided that I would make a great communal punching bag. I got in a few shots but, for the most part, they kicked the crap out of me. A couple of them held me up, down, and sideways while the other guys wore me out until some other good natured beach goers managed to pull them off of me. Tank and I were both left on the beach, bleeding and moaning while the merry band of rednecks ambled off.

Thankfully, neither of us was injured too badly but I was damned mad. Later in the afternoon, one of the kids who had been on the beach came up to me as I was sitting at an outdoor patio bar nursing my wounds.

“Hey dude….I know where those guys are staying!” He grinned. “The assholes who jumped you.” He added.

I looked at him and then at Tank.

“Oh really?” I laughed. “Well…why don’t we go visit ‘em Tank?”

“What the hell for?” He asked seriously.

“Revenge would be a good reason don’t you think?” I asked.

He looked at me as though I was stark raving mad.

“No man….I’m over it.” He replied meekly and then, in the true fashion of the era added. “Make love not war dude.”

Well, his attitude ticked me off and I told him so. After all, the only reason I had been pummeled was because I was trying to help HIM!

“Damn Tank….you got popped once and went down like a rag doll! They kicked my ass for half the fucking day!” I shouted.

“Well….that ain’t me dude. I ain’t no fighter.” He said then got up and walked away.

Well hell….I didn’t plan on actually fighting all of the rednecks! I just wanted a measure of revenge! Where was his indignation? Where was his pride? Where were his balls?

Give peace a chance my ASS!

Side Note:

This is one of those times when I wish I would have had access to an ‘undo’ button on my life but…..

No such luck.

I spent the rest of the day, dreaming up some form of revenge and yes….drinking. I had to be careful of course because there were four of them, one of me and they HAD kicked my ass once already that day.

I needed a plan.

I decided to go check out the house where the rednecks were staying. Unfortunately, they were not out bar hopping. They were at home with a dozen or so of their closest friends.

The house was one of those typical semi dilapidated sun bleached row houses that were so familiar in any beach town in those days. Still are I suppose. Due to the lack of air conditioning in the old house, the doors and windows were wide open and it was obvious there was a party going on. I sat on my old Honda motorcycle across the street from the house watching and brooding when suddenly, I saw the redheaded guy come walking out the front door and head toward a car in the sand driveway.

Without even thinking about it, I hopped off my bike and ran toward the guy. I reached him in a few seconds and slammed him into the side of the old car. He had seen me coming at the last second but wasn’t able to put up much of a defense before I had rammed him into the car and punched him in the mouth a couple of times. To his credit, he didn’t go down and was fighting valiantly until I dropped him with a hard left.

Just as I was enjoying myself, the lights dimmed as though a movie was starting and suddenly I was on the ground looking up at about a hundred people. Okay, it was only a dozen or two but most of them were either kicking my ass or actively suggesting that it be done.

Sometime during the melee, I remember that a really fat black haired woman kept kicking me in the ribs while I was being held down. She was screaming like a maniac.

“He’s my old man motherfucker!!” She screamed over and over again as she tried to cave in my rib cage.

Once again….I was saved by onlookers. This time from the adjoining houses who had come out of their homes and figured that my ass had been sufficiently thrashed enough for one night.

I lay there in the sand for the second time that day and tried to survey the damage.

Somehow, I was alive and somewhat coherent but it was quite obvious that a few ribs were bruised/cracked/broken and that my left wrist was definitely broken. The odd angle at which my hand pointed back at me was a dead giveaway. I remember thinking that I’d never be able to ride my bike back home.

As I recovered a bit, an old man came over and offered to call an ambulance for me. I declined and told him I’d walk to the hospital which was only a few blocks away.

“Boy….I don’t think you gotta few blocks left in you.” He chuckled. “Hell….I drive you.”

I mumbled my thanks and staggered over to retrieve the key from my bike.

Within minutes, I was in the near deserted emergency room having my wrist set, receiving a few stitches and being cleaned up. Mercifully, they shot me full of something and laid my weary ass in a hospital bed for the night.

When I woke up the next morning, I was discharged and went straight to my house and crashed for another day.

Sometime during that time, I hatched a plan.

I had a buddy of mine drive me to get my bike. He rode my bike and I took his car back to my house but not before noticing that the rednecks were still there. I saw the same cars so, I knew I’d be coming back to visit.

Give peace a chance?

No friggin' way!

Later that day, I decided to enlist a friend of mine in my little plan.

Steve Dorsett was at home and partying hearty that afternoon when I arrived unannounced. Steve was a bona fide NUT and was known to be up for anything that offered excitement.

As I walked into his house, I was greeted by the smell of pot smoke and the sound of CCR cranking out of the stereo. In the corner of the living room, I saw Steve kneeling on the floor snorting coke off of a cheap coffee table. He waved me over and of course, I indulged as well. After snorting a couple of long lines, I sat on the floor and waited for the rush.

Steve grinned at me.

“Damn dude…what happened to your arm? Your face?” He laughed as he looked me over. “Shit…what happened to all of you?”

“Four rednecks did a tap dance on me down at Ocean Drive the other day….TWICE!”

As we sat there and experienced the rush, I related the events of my rather shitty day. As the rush intensified, so did our youthful testosterone and before long, I had Steve and myself ready to go to war! Did I mention that Steve was a NUT?

“Let’s go waste those mother fuckers!” He snarled.

I laughed.

“Naw man….we can’t KILL the bastards but we CAN get even.”

I laid out the plan of retribution I had been mulling around in my beady little brain.

Unfortunately for me AND Steve…..ole Steve was completely gung ho about the whole plan.

Within minutes, we had recruited two other guys. One of them (I’m not making this up) was nicknamed ‘Pistol Pete’…not because he was a great basketball player ala Pete Maravich but because he LOVED pistols and owned a bunch of them!

The other guy was a really large lifeguard who answered to the rather unusual name of Grunt. I didn’t know Grunt very well but I do know that his name was well earned. He rarely spoke and what did come out of his mouth was more of a grunt than an actual language. Some said that he was a former Marine who had seen too much combat in Vietnam but I tend to think his nickname was more a product of his oratorical skills…or lack thereof. Hell, maybe it was a bit of both but he was a scary lookin’ dude no matter how the name originated.

Is it just me or are you getting a bad feeling about where this whole yarn is heading?

Boy….I wish I’d have had a bad feeling back then but damn it!

It was such a great idea at the time.

Okay….it's time to let ya’ll in on what I figured at the time to be a brilliant plan. After all, three other dope smoking, coke snortin’, beer drinkin’ manly men with a couple of hundred active brain cells between ‘em were absolutely SOLD on the strategy so….it should have gone off without a glitch right?


Here's the deal.....

We were gonna drive over to the redneck house in Grunt’s old Buick land yacht. If the party was still going on, we were simply going to walk through the front door. Once inside, we were going to kick the shit out of the rednecks in their own damned house. Pete was carrying a large handgun just in case the odds were against us so, we were gleefully anticipating a good time.

Needless to say, things didn’t go exactly the way we had planned.

Dear Lord did things go wrong that fateful night.

Before it was over, we were facing seven counts of armed robbery, six counts of assault with intent to kill, several counts of stuff I’d never heard of and a partridge in a friggin’ pear tree as I recall.

Not a great night in my life!

To Be Continued ASAP!

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Monday, November 12, 2007


I was visiting Mick's blog today and was reminded of some of my experiences around the time that I was ordered to voluntarily join the United States Navy. I honestly had no choice in the matter. My options were few…join the military or go to a very serious penal institution for six years.

I know….you’ve heard that tale a hundred times so it must be a load of B.S. but….it’s true. Back then….and even nowadays…it happens quite often. Judges want to give a dumbassed kid a break so…..they offer the military option. I’m glad I took it. I was far too young and cute to go to prison!!

Not saying I enjoyed the Navy but I’m damned sure I wouldn’t have been pleased with prison!

Mick has a much better memory than I do. He reminded me of so many details of boot camp in Orlando that I had long since forgotten. He was there a couple of years before me but, it was basically the same when I went through.

His writings reminded me of a few escapades that were incredibly etched into my limited gray matter during those days.

What a strange ride it was.

The year was 1972 and I promise that you have never known a more lovable dumb ass than I was in those days of yore! I really was a nice kid. All I wanted to do was play music, make love to as many young ladies as possible, work little, play hard, smoke pot and basically……enjoy life. Yes, I worked few odd jobs but mainly, I was a hippy.

Thankfully, I was a reasonably good looking dude and could play guitar a bit and sing pretty well so…in the hippy hierarchy…I was a ‘happenin’ dude’! Kind of like a small time Charles Manson without all that mass murder messiness.

People had a way of looking up to guys like me as though the ability to make music and write songs which made no sense was something to be revered. It was a simpler time.

Think about it…..

I could sit on a sand dune in front of a crowd of dope smoking kids staring into fire and sing a heartfelt rendition of ‘Horse With No Name’ and at the end of the tune, they would look upon me as if I had delivered the gospel straight to their collective hearts!! It was as though, I had somehow imparted a great wisdom on them. Of course....the scary part is that I actually believed that I HAD!!

Does ANYONE know what the hell that song actually MEANS?

Dewey Bunnell wrote the damned song and even HE can’t explain it!!

However….I digress.

Back then, in the days of barely portable record players and eight track tape players who’s batteries barely made it through half of the latest Eagles album….a singer/guitar player was held in high esteem when the weed was burning out on the beach! Guys like me were kind of like a flesh and blood radio back then. I guess we were, in a sense, the last of the true traveling troubadours.

I realize that it sounds kind of romantic to remember it in those terms but really…(Mick knows what I’m talking about)…we really were pretty well esteemed back then.

Shortly after we ‘did our thing’, music got extremely portable. Until that time….only a real life, flesh and blood, dope smoking, beer swilling, cocaine snortin’ musician could play ALL NIGHT LONG and entertain people on a beat up six string guitar in the middle of nowhere!

Nowadays however… IPOD can play every song by every artist in the entire world for a week on a battery the size of that annoying little liver spot on my ancient looking right hand!

Where the HELL was I when I got old?

DAMN....I'm digressing again!


Back then, I simply lived to party.

At the time, I was living in an old rooming house in Myrtle Beach. I vaguely remember the place being called ‘Mom’s House’ but, don’t quote me on that. I remember the place being drafty, moldy and hot as the gates of HELL! No AC and who the hell could afford a fan? Hell, if I had brought a fan into the place, the old woman who owned the place would’ve raised the rent to twenty bucks a week! No such extravagance for me.

I had been ‘drifting’ for quite sometime and had only recently stopped in Myrtle Beach although, as a Charleston boy, I was no stranger to the Grand Strand.

This summer, I was playing with a band whose name escapes my fragile memory but…we were pretty good and we were working pretty much all night…every night.

Myrtle Beach was wide open during those halcyon days of yore. It may have seemed to have been a lawless time to the casual observer at the time.

After all.....people were making love on the beach with reckless abandon. Dope was smoked, snorted and popped in public. Public drunkenness was a way of life to be celebrated and almost ANYTHING was condoned. However.... much to my chagrin….there WERE laws and unfortunately….the police occasionally enforced them.


My brush with the law came on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in August.

To Be Continued......

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