When we moved to Star Lake I lived with my Mother, Step Father Bruce and my brother Paul. My Father was still in the Chicago area and I used to visit him during the summers. Back then I could fly alone at the age of 6, 7, etc. with no issue. The flight attendants (still called stewardess’ back then) would always walk me to my seat and take care of me in the air. The first couple of years that I stayed with him he lived in an apartment above a garage on Fox Lake. It was a small three room apartment and it was there that I first discovered Haagen Daaz. He used to buy flavors like coffee, rum raisin and of course chocolate. He would always eat right out of the carton (as did I with him) and he always ate the melting outside first. So each time you would get the ice cream out there would be this mound right in the middle of the carton. He also always use Irish Spring Soap, Aqua Fresh toothpaste and the apartment had sulfur water. Don’t ask me why I remember this stuff but I so and any of those smells always remind me of Fox Lake.
I also had a pillow that I would use exclusively when I would go there. It was a panda head pillow that I called Pesky. He drove a Bronze Cutlass Supreme, one of those big ass 70’s style GM boats and he had a turtle in the back window named Tugbutt. One time we were driving through a bank parking lot and going around a left hand corner and I was screwing with the door handle. Of course out I went and I don’t know how but I landed face first on the pavement and I remember he slammed on the brakes with the back wheels right by my head. I wouldn’t have gotten run over but let me tell you it scared the living shit out of me.
Fox Lake was a cool little place. Right next door to my Dad’s was a small neighborhood bar where my Dad would go sometimes. Across the street was a much wilder biker bar that I was told not to go near. It was usually pretty loud and crazy and I wouldn’t go near the place. The bar my Dad hung out in had a friendly small town crowd and all the same faces. I don’t remember any of them except for one guy named Nick. He told me it was short for Nickel and he wore a bracelet made out of Nickels. I use to always eat Tombstone pizzas when I went there with him. I also always would play “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens on the jukebox. Every time.
Playboy wallpaper – My Dad had a stack of Playboys in his apartment that I use to sneak a look at when he went to work. He knew of course but didn’t really say anything. The house that was behind the garage was owned by a family with two daughters and one day I felt like redecorating. I took some of the Playboys and cut out pictures of the naked girls and started taping them all over the walls and windows. I saw the two daughters walking past the garage to the house from the upstairs window and started waving, mind you with naked ladies taped up all over the windows. They looked up in horror and ran home. My Dad got home shortly after that and for some reason didn’t like what I had done with the place. Reluctantly I had to take my brilliant work down. It was shortly after that I was enrolled in Kelly’s day camp to spend my days while he was at work.
At the camp we were split up into teams of 6-8 kids per team and it was gender specific. We all had these cool names that we suggested for our team but none of them got picked. There was this small kid with glasses and he always had snot running down his face and he said – “how about the invaders!” We were all like nnnnooooo but of course, we became the invaders. So being on the boys team we never got to play with the girls until free time and even then we really didn’t. There was one brown haired girl I liked and never really talked to. I had a couple of the kids I was with go tell her I wanted to hump her (and probably some more graphic stuff). They all giggled and ran over to tell her and she just started balling. The counselors of course got all over the kids who told her and told them that I put them up to it. I of course blatantly denied it and said they made it up. There’s not much else from Kelly’s that I remember other than me being good at archery there and that they had awesome frosted brownies for snacks. There you have it – sexual harassment, invaders, archery and brownies. You would have thought this was a stoner teenager’s story but nope. I was still only 7. That came later…