The Venice Beach Bar

The Venice Beach Bar is located on Ocean Front Walk near Dudley.  It sits opposite the large parking lot off of Rose Street.  The building was built in 1922 and currently houses a bar and eatery.  It is one of the historic buildings in Venice with a lot of history.  It is legend that the music group The Doors hung out here.

The bar is currently closed for remodeling, but will open soon just in time for the good weather.  The views of the beach and sunset are unparalleled.  If you happen to be visiting southern California be sure to give the Venice Beach Bar a visit.


The End (the high price of addiction)

My relationship with Scotty ended one night at the Monkey Pub.  I had gone there with Gina and Scotty.  Gina got up to use the restroom and I was left at the table sitting across from Scotty.  When we arrived I was in a good mood and happy.  As I sat there watching him drink his beer that I knew was going to be the first of many, I thought to myself, “What am I doing?  Do I want to spend the rest of my life with an alcoholic?”  My answer to myself was, “No!”  I looked across at him and said, “I don’t think this is working anymore.”  

He asked, “What isn’t working?”


“So just like that it is over?”


There was ranting and raving about how I would regret it, how I would be alone.  I reminded him of all the times I talked to him about getting himself help.

When Gina came back to the table I told her we needed to go.

Breaking up with a boyfriend who lives next door is not easy.  He flaunted his relationship with Mary in front of me.  I ignored it as much as possible.  I won’t lie, it did make me a bit jealous.  I kept telling myself it was for the best. I knew something bad was coming in the near future.  He had begun drinking in the morning and it continued all day.

One Friday night Wally’s band was playing at the Vogue downtown.  Gina, Rene, and I decided to go.  We dressed up for the occasion and had fun listening to the bands.  Scotty showed up and I tried to ignore that he was there.  When it came time to go home we got a ride home with Stan in his cab.  Scotty joined us and sat next to me.  The entire ride home he kept telling me how he was still in love with me.  I kept telling him he wasn’t.  When we arrived home we all got out of the cab and Stan drove off.  Scotty asked me to go home with him.  I told him no.  I walked into my house and made some tea before going to bed.  I saw him sitting on his back porch pouting.  I was tempted, but I stayed strong.

The next day I walked into his house.  I had something to give to one of his housemates.  There Scotty was sitting on the couch next to Mary.  He followed me into the kitchen.  I looked at him and shook my head.  “That is why I did not go home with you last night.”

“It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Yes it does.  I am not going through this anymore.  I don’t want you to bother me anymore.”

A few weeks later I met Scott at Stan’s birthday party.  I came home one evening to find Wally and Scotty in my living room.  Wally looked at me and said, “Scott called.”  Scotty looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Twice.”  I looked at them both and thanked them and then went upstairs.  I still loved him but I knew he would not change, ever.  

Walking away from that relationship was the hardest thing I have ever done.  He was on a downhill slide and I did not want to see the crash.  A few months later he was dead.  What I had been dreading happened a lot sooner than I expected.

I recently spoke with a young man who was going through a similar situation with his wife.  She was addicted to heroine.  I told him how I had to walk away because people on a downhill slide drag their partners right along with them.  A few weeks later he came to me and told me he was moving back home to his home state.  He was walking away from his wife whom he loved and her addiction.  I told him he has a lot of courage to walk away.  It is hard and painful to watch someone you love self destruct in front of your eyes. It takes great strength to do something about an addiction and those who have sone so should be admired. There is nothing to be done if they do not want to get help, all one can do is save themselves.  


Would You Like to Swing on a Star (Part 2)

My skates had marks and creases all over them and were well-worn.  I would have to wait until I outgrew my current pair before my parents would agree to new ones.

A young woman with long blond hair approached us as Shelley’s father entered the building.  We got in the back of the station wagon in the very back where there was a seat that faced backwards.  Darci and I were invited to spend the night at Shelley’s house.  We had to return to the arena the following morning anyway.  The three of us went down to the basement to watch television.  On the shag carpeting on the floor record albums were scattered about.  Shelley had an older brother and two older sisters who were in high school.  Darci picked up an album cover and took the vinyl record and placed it on the turntable.  The needle automatically set down on the outer edge of the disc as Simon and Garfunkle began to sing about bridges and troubled waters.  We sat on the floor, mesmerised by the music.  That was the turning point for our taste in music.  It was not the Partridge Family or Bobby Sherman, it was something much deeper.That night we placed  sleeping bags in front of the television and watched the tube until we fell asleep.

The next morning just as Saturday morning cartoons were beginning, we piled back into the car after having a large breakfast of pancakes, and made our way back to the ice arena.  This was our routine between the ages of 5-9.  Our group lessons were much more difficult now.  As we stood on the ice waiting for our instructor, she showed up with a clipboard and a pile of papers in her hand.  She took the stack of sheets and handed us each one.  It was explained to us that the ice arena was going to put on a large ice show and our group was toing to be performing in it.  I glanced at the paper and saw that it listed two weeks worth of performance dates and times.  The young girls were all a buzz with excitement.  We were told we would be in costumes and people would lbe applying makeup each night we performed.  We all placed our papers on the bench behind the wall and returned to the ice.  We began learning new spins, jumps and twirls that we would be doing during the show.

My mother picked us up and we piled into the giant yellow and white 1956 Ford.  We were exhausted from practice and sat in silence.  The news cam on the radio; Patty Hearst had been kidnapped and someone named Ted had murdered another woman.  The hippies had done another sit-in and Nixon was sending more troops to Viet Nam.

My Time in Latvia (Part 5)

My friend Erin and I met the man from the defense department at a cafe in Riga’s Old Town in an area where ex-pats hang out.  He told us he was there as a consultant.  Latvia had not been an independent country since the 1920’s and at that time there were lots of consultants and volunteers in Latvia as the country tried to rebuild itself.  After enjoying a nice meal and hearing the latest news about my home town, Erin and I boarded a train back to Valmiera.

One of the most memorable events of my time in Eastern Europe was the opera festival.  A group of Peace Corps volunteers traveled by bus to a nearby town where there were castle ruins largely intact.  During the day, performers sang from a stage built among the ruins of the castle.  We sat on a large green lawn eating a meal picnic style and listened to the beautiful music.  When evening fell the stage and surrounding areas were lit by candle light, giving it a medieval look and feel.  Singing is a huge part of Latvian culture and the opera festival is one of the main events.

Although we were overseas we continued to celebrate US holidays.  For the 4th of July the Ambassador from the United States invited the Peace Corps volunteers in Latvia to his 4th of July party.

Estate Records (Exerpt from my memoir #17)

The bus driver had pulled into a rest stop in the mountain range that luckily had a small store with food.  I spent most of the day reading a book I had bought before I left San Francisco.  The young man next to me kept falling asleep and trying to lean his head on my shoulder.  I kept pushing him off.  I would have asked to move seats, but the bus was full.  As one can expect the passengers on the bus were not happy about being stuck for three days.  Had our driver put chains on the bus, we would have been in Seattle already.  Every once in awhile I got off the bus to stretch my legs and get some food.


After three very long days we were able to get back on the road again. In Seattle I got off the bus and was excited to be back.  A man came up to me and said, “Did you see that poor woman who had to deal with the guy constantly trying to lay his head on her shoulder?  What a jerk!”  I replied, “Yeah, that was awful.”  Gina came and picked me up at the bus station.  I would stay with her for about a week.  That night we went to the airport to pick up Elizabeth, also returning from San Francisco.  She had lived in San Francisco at one time and told Gina and I about her ex boyfriend who use to beat her with a baseball bat.  I had never known this about her before.  She had married our friend Travis and always seemed happy go lucky.  One would never believe she could have suffered the kind of abuse she was telling us about and be so upbeat all of the time.  I was glad she was now with Travis, who was peaceful and kind.


I called Scotty a few days after I had been back.  I was nervous about speaking with him as he was angry with me that I left several months before.  He wanted to meet me to play some pool in Pioneer Square.  At first he acted aloof.  He was still angry at me.  He warmed up after a while and we were friends again.  I let him beat me at pool.  I was a better pool player than he, but I knew better than to slaughter his ego.  Over the next several weeks we saw each other and began dating again.



Scotty’s best friend Wally met us at the Comet Tavern.  We sat at one of the long tables and talked about music.  Their band Wally World had recorded several songs which Scotty had on a tape.  He and Wally began talking about how they should try to put a record out.  Wally agreed, and the conversation ended their.  I had heard this talk of putting a record out several times.  They talked about it, but did nothing towards actually having it done.  I thought maybe it was fear of failure holding them back.  It is a bit terrifying to go after what you want.  You might fail, or you might actually get it,  And then what?  I looked at the two of them sitting across the table from me.  “Why don’t you put out a record yourselves,” I suggested.  I told them I would help them figure out how to get such a thing done.  We sat and discussed how we might do such a thing and after a few hours Estate Records became a reality.

Estate Records (Exerpt from my memoir #16)

I stood in the doorway staring at him in shock.  I had not told very many people where I was living, which is why I was so surprised to see him.  After letting him inside he told me that he had done some digging and found out my address from someone I had written.  He was on vacation and wanted someone to show him around town.  I told him of my troubles finding work. We made a deal that I would show him all of the sites he wanted to see and he would buy my meals.  After talking for a while and catching up we walked out the door and up two blocks to Haight street.  I took him a couple of blocks down Haight to an Ethiopian restaurant where we had lunch.  The rest of the afternoon we walked up and down Haight street exploring all of the interesting shops.  The rest of the week we went to see L7 play live at a club nearby, we went dancing at a venue that played World Music, went to hole in the wall restaurants and ate fantastic food and explored San Francisco.  It was one of the best weeks I have ever had.  So I was extremely sad when he left to go back to Seattle.  

I kept up my job search and finally got a job at a bed and breakfast in Japan Town.  I enjoyed working the front desk and greeting the guests.  And just when it looked like things might work out for a while, my housemates said they were going to move so I would have to find a place.  I was drained of money by that time and even with a job, there was no way I could get a place on my own.  I decided to work until I had to be out of the flat.  The day i packed up my belongings to take a bus back to Seattle, my friend Elizabeth called to tell me she was in town and wanted to see me.  I told her i was on my way out the door to catch a bus back north.  We agreed to get together once we were both back in Seattle.  Some of Rhonda’s friends gave me a ride to the bus station and I boarded a Greyhound bus.


The bus ride back to Seattle was anything but smooth.  We had to change buses in Sacramento and in the bus station a man began to say sexually explicit things to me.  Some men noticed and one of them told him to leave me alone that he was my boyfriend.  He got rid of that guy, but he did not turn out to be much better.  I thanked him and after boarding the bus I took a seat by the window. He sat down in the seat next to me.  At first I did not think much of it.  The bus left the station and things went well until we were in the Siskiyou Mountains.  Our bus driver was an elderly man and he had not put chains on the bus and we were stuck in the snow on the mountain for 3 days.