Garage Band, High School, And My first real girlfriend

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A lot happened in my life as the decade of the 60’s drew to a close. In the future few posts I will be writing more memories about the final 2 or 3 years of the 1960’s as I remember them.

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In 1968 Greg Habenicht,  Carlos Washington and myself started a band. We called ourselves Wheat. Greg came up with the name, and we all liked it. Carlos played the electric guitar.  Greg played on a drum set, and I played the farfisa portable organ.  Bass notes were played on the organ, so we remained a trio.

We practiced regularly and rehearsed either in my basement or Greg’s basement.  The songs we worked on were definitely from the hippie genre.  We worked on Jimi Hendrix songs, Cream, Steppenwolf etc.

We played a total of 5 gigs. The first one was at a Wattles Park junior high school dance. The second was at the band’s friend Dennis party. The third gig, arranged by my mother, at the Jackson mental health asylum for a Christmas show. The forth gig at a party in Carlos back yard. And the fifth gig at a friend of Greg’s brother’s David.  This gig was bittersweet as it was our last and it took place on the eve we moved to Florida. All of these gigs took place in 1968 and 1969.

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The summer of 1969 ended and school began.  I was going to be a freshman in high school! Exciting and a bit scary all at the same time. High school was a bit different.  We had more than one teacher for one thing and no recess.  I guess this was the price to pay for growing up.

Harper Creek high school lay outside the 2 mile radius from my house so for the first time in my school life I rode a bus to school. Harper Creek high is a large school complete with gymnasium and football field. I took my first vocational classes here. Auto shop and machine shop.

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I had my first real girlfriend in 9th grade. Sandy is her name. She was wonderful. My parents often dropped me off at her house where we would go to the basement to listen to records.  Or we would roam the neighborhood hand in hand. I was in love. My first real love.  And I knew Sandy loved me too. Our physical love never went further than kissing and holding each other as it should be. I had the deepest respect for my girl Sandy. I remember going to numerous school dances with her and I especially enjoyed slow dancing with her. She was all I wanted and needed.

We first met at Harper Creek High school were we were both Freshmen.  We attended many dances there and football games.

We enjoyed each others company so much. When I learned that I would be moving to Florida in 1970 after the 1969 1970 school year I told my dad that as soon as I was 18 that I would move back to Battle Creek and resume my relationship with my girl Sandy. However this did not happen and I remained a Floridian all my life.

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