Saturdays were all about wrestling. I would wake up and watch my Saturday morning cartoons and eat breakfast and then usually head over to Mayland’s where we would watch WWF for hours. His Mom was also a big wrestling fan so almost every time I went there, wrestling was on TV. She loved Bob Backlund and he was the champ back then. We’d watch guys like Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Andrea the Giant, Pedro Morales, Jesse Ventura – I could go on for a whole post on all of those guys. There were always a stack of wresting magazines at his house from all of the other wrestling divisions beside the WWF (NWA, AWA) but they all seemed like cheap imitations. Mayland’s Dad took us to see wrestling once at Manchester high school (long before they went big time) and we saw Bob Backlund Vs. The Iron Sheik. It was kind of weird because we’d watch every Saturday and they were in these arenas and then there we were watching them in a high school gym. We were right near where the Iron Sheik came in the ring and I think Mayland’s dad went up to him. We tried to get near him but he yelled at us – Dick!
There were a few girls that lived in the apartment complex as well. Most were older than us and we didn’t talk to them too much unless we were just being pesky little brats. Rachel was a year younger than I and lived with her Dad Rick down near Mayland. Her Dad had this cool van that was dubbed the Sea-Witch. It was an old 70’s style van that had the shag carpet in back and a cool paint job on the outside. We thought Rick was the cool Dad because he had long hair and loved Journey. One time before I went to my Dad’s for the summer Rachel said to me “Don’t forget my birthday Butchie”. That of course became one of the most quoted lines by all the kids as they made fun of us.
Across the hall from me were Joanie and her parents that used to always play cards with my parents. She was a couple of years older than me but we used to hang out whenever our parents were partying and playing cards. We usually hung out in my room and played glow ball. Tara lived upstairs from Rachel and hung out with Sandy all of the time. Because Sandy was Mayland’s older sister we used to torment the hell out of them. Up the complex a little was a girl named Monique who was even older and never could be bothered with us. She hung out with a girl named Chris who lived across from Brian. She was a rocker chick who always had her hair teased and wore lots of makeup. She worked up at Burnside Drug as a cashier. Because Vince Neil from Motley Crue looked like a woman back then I finally said something to her while I was buying candy. I said “did anyone ever tell you that you look like Vince Neil?” She says “Thanks, nobody ever told me I look like a man before”. Ummmm no I mean he looks like a girl, you don’t look like a guy! We never spoke again.
There was an old lady who lived alone in a townhouse at the end of our apartment buildings named Olga who had tons of cats (yep she was the cat lady). One time Mayland told me that she would buy us ice cream and fortune cookies and I didn’t believe him. We all went over and sure enough, she gave us $5 and we walked down to Arirang Grocery that was a small oriental grocery store and bought a big bag of fortune cookies and then next door to Friendly’s and we bought a half-gallon of ice cream. We took it back to her house and she would unfold the carton and slice the ice cream like a cake. We would do this almost every week. One time I went there by myself, she had ice cream and cookies already and gave me some. While I was sitting in the living room I heard a funny noise. I looked back into the kitchen and there was Olga with her moo-moo pulled up squatted over a roasting pan in her kitchen pissing in it! That was the day I realized that Olga was an old drunk. I bolted out the door and never went back for ice cream again.