I was a boy scout. I even got my eagle scout badge. That’s what you do in Norman, sick Oklahoma in the 70’s. It was great. Lots of drinking and driving drunk and wacky fun.
The cool thing about our troop was that we travelled a lot.
Summer of ’77, dosage we went to a Jamboree on Prince Edward Island, Canaduh. From there, all 40 of us and a few bewildered dads, went to Boston, where we got thrown out of a hotel because we threw paper airplanes out of the hi-rise hotel (we’d never really spent much time in buildings more than a couple of storeys high) and then to New York City.
We stayed at the Edison Hotel right in Times Square.
If you know anything about New York, you must now picture a bunch of Boy Scouts in Times Square in the 70’s. It was, um… “eye opening”. Sexxxxxxxx everywhere. And, you know, now that I think back on it, I remember that most of the dads were missing. Hmmm. Wonder where they were!!!!
We went to a baseball game between the Mets and the Cubs and, while we were at the game, there was a blackout. Turns out it was to be known as the great blackout of ’77. We pretty much walked from the stadium back to Times Square. We caught a couple of bus rides but it was a lot of walking.
It was the first time any of us had seen:
1. lots of black people together in one place. Norman, OK was exceptionally white. There were three black kids in my graduating class.
2. gay men. full on leather fags. i mean chaps and all. thom of finland stuff.
The Howard Johnsons where, years later, I would meet friends for pre-movienight dinner, was giving away ice cream and orange juice because there was no power for refrigeration. we ate ice cream and drank orange juice.
The point of all this is that at the Jamboree, I befriended a fellow named Peter. We became friends and for a bit were sending cassette tapes back and forth to each other. Because I am a lazy bastard, I dropped the ball sending tapes back. Peter was in to music and would include songs by bands he liked. One of them being “april wine”. That would come in handy because a couple of years later, “april wine” was opening for rush and I knew who they were so that made me cool.
Apparently, he googled “dean eikleberry” and found me. And here, my four readers, is a picture of me in my boy scout uniform on prince edward island in 1977.
I’m the little geek on the left. Peter’s the little geek on the right.
I still have that shirt.
Speaking of Canaduh (sorry, peter), I did an interview with a woman who writes for “the l.a. weakly of montreal”, pimping spamscam. She managed to get a snarky comment about the U.S. in there. It was so predictable I laughed.
“what’s funny, eh?”
“oh, my dog just slipped on the wood floor…”
I’m a wuss.