Friday, April 10, 2009

1985-87 First Heartbreak, Graduation and the move to Dallas


During the summer of my Sophomore year Jamey broke up with me. I was completely surprised and hurt by his announcement. I went home heartbroken and cried to Momma and she told me it would pass. It did. Later I heard from a few people that Jamey never saw anyone longer than 6 months. We saw each other about 6 months. Ironically the day we broke up was the same day I realized how difficult mixing music was going to be. I had purchased a mixer a couple of days prior from radio shack and until I got it home and started "trying" to use it, I actually thought that the mixer "mixed" the music for you. After all it was called a mixer wasn't it? Boy was I disappointed. When I realized I was going to have to listen to two songs at the same time AND figure out which one was going faster or slower AND make that + or - adjustment AND keep the record from skipping (ALL AT THE SAME TIME) I was so upset. It was Jamey that taught me so much about dance music and told me I should look into being a DJ. He gave me a lot of records out of his collection that I really loved. I have kept them all these years. My first Lime record was from Jamey, Your Love. He also gave me a 12" single of Loverboy by Billy Ocean that has his handwritten message on the inside sleeve that read, "For my Loverboy..."
By my Junior year in high school I was starting to have some fun.  Dad gave me his light beige 1977 Cutlass Supreme. It was kept in top condition (of course it was, belonging to my Dad) He always kept our cars (and yard) looking awesome. He has restored old cars since I can remember and has a mountain of trophies to prove it. I also noticed a few years back in my parents hallway, a plaque for the best kept yard in their neighborhood. I started going out downtown to the Rose. The Rose was a dive gay bar in Wichita Falls (the only kind they had back then) that usually played a jukebox. I met these two kids Mary (later to become Mary XTC) and Robert Taylor. We used to bug the owner of the Rose to let us DJ there. One weekend we dropped in and there was a DJ spinning. It was on a Saturday night and it was noticeably more crowded. The DJ was Wes Brown. I knew of him because he had also gone to Rider High and had graduated a couple of years previous. He played "I Know I'm Losing You" by Uptown and a couple of Dead Or Alive remixes which we loved. We met all these people we had never seen before. We were so impressed with the Rose bar after that and I think all three of us played there, as well as The Pub, before we left Wichita Falls. (by 1985 there actually were two gay bars in lil ol WFT pop. 100,000)
Now having wheels I started making trips to Dallas to Oak Lawn Records to buy records and to go out to the clubs (If we could get in). One weekend Mary XTC, Robert Taylor, new BF Jammie Palmer and I went to Dallas. We somehow got into Baby's and were awestruck by a huge video screen playing Dead or Alive's My Heart Goes Bang.

We were a foursome that often went on weekend trips to Dallas or Oklahoma City. Both being almost equal distance from Wichita Falls and had fun places to go out. Once while in Oklahoma City there had been a hate crime so the clubs were on alert and you had to either get inside a club or leave. There was no hanging outside. Helicopters circled above the area. We decided to go to the Wreck Room but Mary XTC couldn't get in for some reason so we were pissed. Mary got into the car and started undressing. She was laughing and ripping her clothes off and yelling,"Pull up in front of the club." "I am gonna let them have it!" So we pull up right in front of the Wreck Room. Mary gets out in a full length black coat and is yelling, "Hey!" "Haaaayyyeee!" "Over here." Everyone waiting to get into the club and the security guard look over at her and she says,"Can I come in like this?" At that time she drops the coat and exposes her naked body. We were yelling at her to get into the car but she just stood there for what seemed like forever. Finally she gets in giggling and we squealed the tires on that rental car getting out of there. We laughed all the way back to Wichita Falls.
I also made frequent trips to Comanche, OK to see Jammie. He was cute and my age and drove a blue 1980 Toronado. He knew everything about that car and could fix anything that went wrong with it. We were BF's from my senior year in high school until about 3 months after moving to Dallas in 1987.
Although I don't remember much of it I graduated at the end of May 1986. That weekend Jammie and I moved into a rent house about 2 miles from my parents house. Moving the last load with my Dad we both cried about me leaving home. Monday it was back to work at Texcolor Inc. where I had worked since I was 16. Jammie got a job at Gibsons and a job at the Girls Club where he taught and was a babysitter of sorts. By the end of Summer 1986 we were getting bored with Wichita Falls and each other.
Near the end of 1986 I had become friends with Oak Lawn Records employee, Craig Bell. Our friendship developed over the phone during my frequent calls to the store while ordering records. We went down to Dallas to meet Craig and his partner Kurt Specht. From the first day we met them Craig was sure we belonged in Dallas. After weeks of phone calls and a few visits we accepted an invitation to move to Dallas and live in Kurt's home until we got on our feet. Kurt was really cool about it and assured us it wouldn't be a problem. Jammie and I leased out the house we had just bought together and quit our jobs. We drove down with both cars packed full of records and clothes. My brown 1980 280zx was practically dragging tailpipe. We got there on a hot night late in August 1987. We unpacked our cars into one of the extra rooms of Kurt's 3 bedroom house. It was an awesome house with a pool and granite floors. We got up the next morning and started job hunting. Jammie ended up at Neimans at the Mermaid Bar and I ended up (with the help of Oak Lawn Records and Craig) with a DJ job at Big Daddy's and (eventually) a day job at Oak Lawn Records. Big Daddy's was a new video bar on Cedar Springs next to the Village Station. Most nights while I worked until 2am Jammie would go out to Village and flirt and meet guys. After being at Big Daddy's for a few months Jammie and I got into an argument and he gave me a choice of working at Big Daddy's as a DJ or being with him. Being the naive 19 year old I chose Jammie and ultimately ended up at JC Penny's in the housewares dept. Fierce!
By this time Jammie and I had moved out of Kurt's and into an apartment around Park Lane and Greenville on Holly Hill. One night while driving home I got pulled over on Park Lane. It turned out I had a warrant out for my arrest for a speeding ticket I had received a few months prior. I ended up in the Dallas County Jail for about 6 hours. At about 2am I was released. Sherry Seipel, the door girl at Empire, and Jammie got me out. I guess Jammie called Sherry and she called the attorney that represented Empire and he bonded me out. That short experience in jail was enough to keep me from ever going back and I don't intend on ever returning!
The longer I worked at Penny's, the more out of my element I felt, the rules, dress code and most of the people there were getting under my skin. The manager of the linens department, which is where I was put after the rush of Christmas was over, was a grade A bitch. She looked like a monkey and walked heavy on her heels. One evening she chewed me out for wearing a sweater instead of a jacket. Later as she came stomping by I happened to be on the phone. She stopped, stared and then went about her business. On her way back through my department she told me to stay off the phone. She didn't even ask who I was talking to. She had no idea whether it was a customer or a personal call. She had the rudest tone for someone I had only spoken to like 3 or 4 times the entire 3 months I had been working there. It pissed me off so I told her to go f*** herself.  I was followed out of the store by 0099dana which is security at JC Penny's. I did end up missing this one lady there that I often had lunch with though. Her name was Dottie Fairfield. She was a very well dressed red headed lady probably in her late 50's. I wonder what happened to Dottie?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting story. Providence has a population just under 200,000 and at least eight gay oriented bars.

    But interesting, the people you work with. From 15 to 20 I worked for a regional hardware retailer called NHD. Met lots of cool people working there. Unfortunately I've lost touch with many of them.

    Thing is, NHD was famous for training. I learned how to properly prepare surfaces for painting, how to do electrical work, plumbing, etc. Skills that come in handy even today.

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