Saturday, March 23, 2013

My First Meeting With Death, Not My Last

     I met death at the age of 15. It took me months to get over that first meeting. I kept my promise. I had a son born in 1985 and I named him Lance. That one was for yLancno.  As I said before my seior year in high school was a long one. I  ould not wait until it was my turn to join the Air Force. It never occured to me that I would not be stationed anywhere near my brother. He was a Shaw AFB, outside Columbia, SC, and I could very well be stationed out of the country. I just knew I had to join, period. I spent 8 weeks in basic training then
spent the next 12 months at Shephard, AFB in upstate Texas for my medical training  that was equal to a paramedic in the free world. I loved every minute of it, too. I was clear across the otherside  in the chow hall across base and a guy walked up to ask if I had a brother named Chaz. I was not familiar with his name, at that time. He threw me off and when I told him that I did not have a brother named Chaz. My brother was not named Chaz. In the military they go by your first name, which for bread is Charles. He qyuickly recieved a shorter version, Chaz. The airmen that approached me said that I sounded exactly like my brother. He was blown away. It tripped me out, too
    I joined the military in late fall and by the time I got the chance to see Chaz it was springtime. Which is not a bad time seeing how I was stationed in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida and he was stationed 80 miles from Myrtle Beach, SC
   I had bought a new 1977 Toyota Celica and loved to drive that thing, so, I convinced Chaz that I would  drive up there and then we would spend the weekend on Myrtle Beach. I had a buddy that worked in the pharmacy and he loved to smoke weed but didn't know where to get it. We worked up a deal that every payday, twice a month, I would get him an ounce of weed and he would get me a 500 pill bottle of 10mg Valiuhm. By the timgot to Shaw I must have had 700-800 blue valiums.
  Chaz worked in medical supply and had a blue tank of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. When we got to the beach we were the party. After checking into our hotel and smuggling that tank to our room we head out to the beach recruiting folks for our party. When the word got out we had free V's and laughing gas, plus a keg of beer, we could have charged a cover and made a killing. We didn't charge and had so many people we had to move it to the pool. I think we had a good time cause I sure don't remember anything. The next day people I did not even know told me we sure knew how to party.  I had to take their word for it. I told them we had moved to another Hotel and there would be a party. Shit, when people hear free anything they will come in droves. The next party that next night was like it was in another city. I did not recognize a soul. Apparently Bread did cause I went to look for him and found him naked, in my bed! "Ya'll couldn't
use the floor, couch, or wait a minute, your own damn bed!" Guess they couldn't make it any further. It was still daylight outside when we started the second party so a few of us decided to take the water slide down. I was gazing off into the wild blue yonder when Bread huit me on the arm and said, "Look at that chick, she has a dick" I thought maybe there were some residual nitrous in his system or he hadn't gotten enough sleep when I looked at the girl he was pointing to and I'll be damn, she had a dick. He offered me $50 dollars to go ask her why she had a bulge in the front of her bottoms. As bad as I needed the money I waas not feeling up to getting a right hook from a female. We stared and tried to make sence at the hard-on she had when a dude from our party overheard us talking and he volunteered to ask her to, in some way, pay back on the most fun he had had
in years. We warned him that it might not turn out that well but he didn't care. I think he had one of those benzo hangovers from hell. We watched him walk over to her, talk to her for what seemed like a half hour then walked back where we were standing with our curiosity about to kill us. He didn't say anything and Bread screamed, "Well, what did she say?" the dude stared at us with a confused look then stated that he forgot to ask her about the bulge in her pants. We went apeshit. I'm not gonna tell you who actually asked the girl/boy but I will say it was done Democratically.  theblogmeister

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Brother Before Cornbread

Since 6th grade I had a friend that we considered brothers. His mother was the PE teacher at our high school, so, Lance and I found ourselves doing tricks on the trampoline and other gymnastic stuff. Lance and I spent a lot of time together. Spending the night with each other doing things together that made us inseperable. In about 1973, Lance's mom and dad got a divorce and his mom married my grandmother's younger brother. That was great for us. We were know calling each other cuz. It was a great friendship. In October of 1974, I was at the hospital where my mom worked. I used to love to go to work with my mom. Everytime an ambulance pulled in I would tell my mom that I was going to the ER to watch the Doctors and nurses work. Mom was not worried about me because she had many friends who worked in the ER to keep an eye on me. October 13, 1974 my grandmother happened to be in the hospital and as I was standing at the window I saw the flashing lights of an ambulance and quickly made my way to the ER. When I walked into the ER the first person I saw was our football coach with the front of his white shirt covered with blood. I did not know what was going on and was afraid to ask Coach Darnell when in walked the door was Doug Prater, Lance's brother. He had Buddy Massaro helping him into a treatment room. I grabbed a shoulder and helped Doug into the room. Soon, the nurse came in and wanted Doug to give a urine sample. He was not visibly hurt but I could tell that his mental state was not right. My questions about what had happened came without any answers. After sitting in the waiting room for a while I saw Lance's mom and dad come through the doors and were immediately taken to a room for family, only. While I was racking my brain trying to figure out what was going on I saw a guerney rolled out of a treatment room with the body covered in a sheet with massive amounts of blood at the area of the head. The nurse that was pushing the guerney by me stopped as I stood up. I reached for the sheet and uncovered his head and it was Lance. I do not remember walking to the 7th floor, where my mom worked and starting crying and could not stop. Mom called down to ER and found out what happened and immediately called my dad, who came and picked me up. It took several months for me to get back to some normalty. I made a promise that if I ever had a male child I would name him Lance. On June 3rd, 1985, I did have a male child and his name is Lance, who is attending U Mass with the hope of getting into Harvard Med. I have no doubt in my mind that he will accomplish this goal. He does have an angel named Lance looking out for him.        theblogmeister

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The second of four boys, Charles H. Riley II, was named after my Dad because he was the spitting image. We called him Bubba his whole life until we became teenagers. I don't remember who gave him the nickname Cornbread but it stuck. Bread was a fighter early on in his life. In the first grade he was diagnosed with a degenerative hip condition called Leggs Perthese Disease. For two years he had to wear a harness that kept his left leg off the ground. It never bothered him. He played little league baseball using one crutch and could outrun most others.   Cornbread and I did not become real close until we were in high school. When he got his drivers license we were almost inseperable. Concerts, pool halls, juke joints is where we could be found. In the 70's, you did not have to worry about someone pulling a gun, so, fist fighting became our favorite passtime. We did a lot of it, too. Cornbread was not a huge guy he just knew how to fight. If anyone went places with him you could almost guarantee getting in a fight. It was a lot of fun, back then. Foosball was our thing. Buddy's gameroom on Hoke street was the place to go. We could put down a quarter on the foosball machine and play for hours. The winners kept playing and we were a very good team that played, a lot. My brother decided to join the Air Force when he graduated and when that day came I had lost my partner. My concentration went towards school. Not acedemically, it was more for entertainment. My senior year in school was a blur. I graduated but honestly don't know how. After my graduation I did what Cornbread did the year before. I, too, joined the United States Air Force and trained to be a medic. I was in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. and Cornbread was at Shaw A.F.B., S.C. eighty miles from Myrtle Beach Me and Bread met a knew friend, Jimmy Buffett, and we became full blooded parrott heads. Soon, came the second worst day of my life. It went down hill from there.   theblogmeister