In 1978, after I was discharged from the navy, I made it home after a nearly 3000 mile drive from Huntington Beach California. I tried for awhile to make a life for myself in California. I tried to find work. No success at that. I was living with my buddy Andy and his girlfriend. This was not a life. I yearned for home. So I began making plans to go home. I told Andy of my plans.
Before I planned to leave I went to a Rolling Stones concert at Anaheim stadium. It was the Some Girls concert. It was a hot summer day and Andy, Fred and I had camped out in the stadium parking lot. It would be an all day concert with multiple groups. Like I said it was hot! Very hot! Between one of the performances Mick Jagger came to the front of the stage with a fire hose. He yelled into a mic “Are you hot people?” The crowd roared! Mick put the fire hose between his legs and opened the valve and took an enormous pee on the crowd! He did this for around a minute. It felt so good!
A day or two after the concert I started home. There were no incidents except for the mysterious and unexplained help I received in New Mexico. It took me 3 days to get through Texas. I only drove about 9 hours a day. It took me five days to get home. I could have arrived earlier but I was in no hurry. I went through New Orleans then Mobile and then crossed the Florida state line. I made my last stop in Tallahassee, a four hour drive to New Port Richey. I could have drove on. However I was tired and if I continued I would arrive late in the night. I wanted to surprise my parents. I was coming unannounced and I wanted to arrive during the day.
I woke up early the next day and after a good breakfast I hit the road for the final leg of my journey home. When I pulled up into the driveway on Lagoon drive mom was heading to the utility room with a load of laundry to wash. She stood holding the laundry basket while staring at the strange vehicle that had just pulled up. I got out and immediately she dropped the laundry basket and ran to me and bear hugged me! Her baby was home. He was in one piece. As I have said before, mom worried. I was home and she could stop worrying about me getting hurt in the navy. She still worried about me. But at I least she could stop worrying about this.
Dad suggested that I could stay with them while I went to school. I did while I was attending school.
I started school at Pinellas vocational technical Institute (Now called Pinellas technical college) soon after I got home in 1978. And in three years I graduated as a certified electronics technician. I used the GI Bill to fund my education. I worked briefly with Economy TV and then landed a job at Paradyne, a large telecommunications factory repairing modems in the factory service department.
In 1981 I had a home built in New Port Richey Florida. It was a 2 bedroom 2 bath home with a double garage and screened in porch. The home had approximately 1100 square feet of living area. The house is still there at 2001 Castle drive. It is on a corner lot.
I watched with amazement as the house was being built. I never lost the desire to watch construction work. I brought that forward from my childhood when I loved to watch any kind of construction that may be going on.
Life as a civilian had begun. I was very grateful for the experience the navy gave me. And the discipline to handle things by myself. However it was sure good to back in Florida and home!