I can tell you this, that my life was kind of normal as a small child. It must have been because I really don’t remember much before the time I was about 6 or 7 years old except for those accidents I spoke about in my earlier blog. I started to ride mini bikes at that age so maybe that’s why I remember, motorcycles have been a huge part of my life as that is one of the main ways that I earn my living and I still enjoy to ride even to this day.
I remember going to the mountains and riding on the weekends and going to the bar and hanging out through the week. There are a few things that stick in my mind from my elementary school days but most of my memories stem from my life at the bar, probably because it’s where my life started to go wrong.
We would get to the bar after school around 4:00 and grab something to eat. Most times mom wouldn’t have time to cook supper so we would just grab something there. Miss Pauline knew just how I liked my grilled cheese sandwiches and they were my favorite. After that it turned into the waiting game. Dad worked till 6:00 and some nights we would head home right after a beer or two but many nights it would be 8 or 9:00 till we would get home. Some nights we would even stop at other bars on the way home and have to wait for my dad in the car. (That’s another distinctive memory I have from the early years, waiting for Dad in the car while he was drinking in the bar.)
What does a kid do in that time? They had a pool table at the bar and a couple of pin ball machines. In the early days I would bum quarters off the regular patrons at the bar but as I got a little older I was learning how to hustle them on the pool table.
The bar was located in the basement of a strip mall and my sister and I would spend a lot of time there. Myself more than my sis cause we fought a lot when we were little and Lori would just hang out at the bar playing with her baby dolls. Buy not me; I was on the move learning the ways of the world on my own. I knew a lot of the store employees by name and I was definitely learning new skills and ways to inquire things. There was also a bowling alley at the strip mall and I remember spending a lot of time there.
All of this was ok at first but as I was getting older I was really becoming tired and bored with the whole situation. I needed something more in my life and basically I wanted things to keep me busy. I needed money to get the things that I wanted and my dad couldn’t give me any, he needed his money to buy his beer. So I took things into my own hands and I began to steal the things that I wanted.
At first it was small items like candy and magazines. Then it turned to larger things like baseballs, hockey pucks and sporting goods equipment. Heck by the time I was like 10 I had stolen a complete football uniform from Pep Boys, one piece at a time. I remember it took about two weeks to get it all out of the store but I pulled it off. My mom began to ask me where this stuff was coming from so I had to learn my next basic outlaw skill, and that was how to lie.