It is certainly true that this installment will be much more interesting that the last one. Juicier as it were. Because when we moved to Thief River Falls, Minnesota from Kansas, it was like moving to another world. In Savonburg, Kansas, the school I went to was very small. I had eight people in my class, and six in the class above me. We were in the same room together. In these classes, I was the fastest, smartest, and most popular kid there. Not so in my new home. That was a shock that would take many many years to overcome. As with all children, we form a world in our minds, and think everything works that way. Well, the things that were COOL where I was, were not COOL here. So in my trying to fit in by showing those talents that I thought were cool, only made me seem strange. Also by moving to a larger town, there was more money around. Greater highs for the those that have, and a greater seperation from the have nots. In Kansas, I wore what everyone else wore, cheap clothing, because that was all the farmers in the area could afford. Here, there were brand names, styles, fads, etc... etc.. Well, my family had no money, so I wasn't allowed to have any of those things. So I went from being the most popular person, and most talented around. To being the weird kid that wore the odd clothes.
That made being in this new place very hard for me. The popular kids already had their friends. So when trying to make friends, or play with someone my own age, I had to hang out with the people that had no friends already, basically the losers. That made me even more unpopular. It was a very hard time for me, and this created a basis for a very long journey for acceptance that caught me up and had a profound effect on my life.
For two and a half years, I was very unhappy. I had no good friends, and was very lonely. Then I met Gene Lepala. He was interested in all of the things I was interested in, and he had his best friend move away about the same time we met. We became great friends, and saw each other and talked to each other everyday. We had seperate interests as well, but were always together when we could be. We were at each others houses all the time. For the next four years my life was pretty good.
During that time, I had started to play hockey, football, and golf. Through my above average talents and some personality, I had once again became friends with the popular crowd, called "jocks." But retained many of the friends that I had made when I was not so popular in the crowd called "ticks." Plus, I enjoyed academics and was in with that crowd too. I knew everyone. Also, I became more and more involved with church. Becoming almost fanatical in my belief structure, believing everything that was told to me. Until in my senior year, everything changed.
We were poor, that I have explained before, so to dress like everyone else and not get made fun of, I had gotten any job that I could to help pay for my school clothes, the right shoes, attractive jackets and hockey equipment. I held two to three jobs all through high school. In the ever increasing need to keep up, when those around me started getting their jobs, I had to get a better paying job so that I could keep up. I started working for Domino's Pizza. This was a critical point for me. Also, I was very shy, but finally I started dating, and it was the combination of women and work that led me to a number of interesting things.
At church, our youth group was very strong and tight knit, and we started getting into the "new christian rock." Keith Green, Steve Camp, Petra, Rez Band, The Messiah Prophet band, and Stryper. Some pretty tame, others VERY heavey metal. The backlash at church came from those that thought all rock music was bad. This is where my break from the authorities of the church came from. I read my bible one chapter a night before going to bed, for years. I knew it, very well. So when scriptures about rock and roll and its evils were spouted, I spouted back the about dancing for God, the evils of the accepted country music so many in church listened to, so on and so forth. Then I ask the real question, "Have any of you listened to the music you are putting down?" the answer was. "That they would not defile themselves in that way." Then the event that caused me to question happened. I quoted Jude 10-11. About those speaking evil of things that they know not. That caused QUITE a stir. In Jude, he was talking about devil worshippers, not what good God fearing people want to be referred to. My father, the pastor, said I had to write an apology. I said that I beieved what I quoted, and was in no way sorry. Then it happened, my father, the man I still respect above all other followers of God said, "It doesn't matter whether you believe it or not, it is necessary for the peace of the congregation and my standing within it." BOOM!! Right is not necessary in church, just the unity of the organization. That lesson above all others that he taught me has stuck with me the most.
Also at this time, I was working at Domino's Pizza, and with a heavey partying crowd. At the Christmas party, there was drinking, and it was my first time getting drunk. I was 18, and it was a LOT of fun. Just another thing the church was wrong about. So, I started partying. It was hard at first, but I started to find a party a weekend. Then two or three. Then everyone would come to me to ask me to promote their party. I went to them ALL. I was a lot of fun, and everyone welcomed me to their parties. I would start out at 7-8PM with the Jocks, their curfews were around 10-11PM. Then I would party with the Ticks, Their curfews around 12-2AM. Then I would party with the Domino's crowd until 5-6AM. I would tell my parents that I was closing at Domino's, leave the garage door up so as not to disturb them opening it when I came home. Domino's closed at 2AM, I normally got home around 3AM. By the end of school, I was directing the different groups of people to the appropriate party for them, when they came and ask where the parties were. I also, ignored the people in my church group, to the point of not even returning a "Hi" said in the hallway. It did not fit with my new image. What a dick I was.
Also at the same time, I said I started dating. I don't know if that would really be the word. Becoming a slut is a better descirption. When I was younger, I was pudgy, always on the edge of the huskey section. So I had a poor self image, and did not think that I was attractive. Being a golfer, and golfing up to 300 rounds a summer at our small 9 hole course, I got a jof there between my Junior and senior year in school. I started out the summer, 5'4" 170 lbs, chubby. By the end of the summer, working 70 to 80 hours a week, hitting a growth spurt, I was a very tan, 5'10" 160 lbs. I had gotten a great new body, but still had the same self image. So when I started partying, I did not care who I hung out with, a lot of girls came after me, and got me. The night I lost my virginity, I was 18, and a 35 year old woman that I worked with, basically took in a bedroom, and we started going at it. Later that evening, I had sex with another woman as well, 23 years old. Then her sister, and anyone else who would grab me and take me to a bedroom. They knew I was easy, popular, and would add status to them to get me. I guess it was the worst when on prom night, I actually worked at Domino's, got to the prom parties about 11PM, drove a bunch of STINKING drunk people home, because I was sober. Then in one of the hotel rooms at 6AM, a bunch of them came into the room where I was sleeping on the floor with the girl I was with that night, they tried to grab the blakets off of us. Yes we were still naked. I let her take the blanket and keep her modesty. I didn't care, I got up in front of those thirty or so people, with used condom still on, looked at the clock and said, "Oh shit, Dad's up." Yeah I got busted by my dad, got rumors flying all around about my parading around in the hotel room, and I loved it all.
I went into high school a shy, chubby, scholarly, athlete, and left a hard partying, sex machine that treated women horribly. I was totally consumed with myself, and getting everything that I could for me. I never stopped to think of anyone else. This is not even the worst it got. Through it all, my best friend was beside me.