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A few more memories ...

Let's take another trek down memory lane to the 1970's and recall a few more songs that were very special to me in my young life ... where a 16 year old girl still lives and dreams and pines about the boy that wrecks her dreams ...

Marvin Gaye, Distant Lover, LIVE.

EVERY TIME I hear this song I always have the same reaction ... a big ol smile comes to my face. The intro starts slowly ... and then the crowd begins to realize that he is getting ready to sing Distant Lover and the place goes absolutely WILD with screams. ... the memory for me is always, always the same ... See! Who needs videos? Imagination is so, so, ... much more. Whenever I hear Brick House by the Commodores I always see a brick house of a black girl in tight jeans and a yellow tube top dancing ... that's my own personal video. Whenever I hear My Cherie Amor I see Elaine Phillips and Jerry Santana walking down the block. These are my own personal memories, the videos of my imagination.

Wasn't he beautiful ...
I actually met Marvin Gaye once. It was the early '80's, Universal Amphitheatre L.A. My girlfriend Diane invited me to go see Julio Iglesias (not my kind show but it was free okay) ... after the lights went down and the show had started he and two other people took their seats ... RIGHT BEHIND US! And I kept thinking to myself, IS THAT HIM? IS THAT HIM? OMG ... IT'S HIM!!! We didn't have the best seats and I kept thinking to myself ... why does he have such lousy seats? As I kept trying to convince my girlfriend that Marvin Gaye was sitting right behind us, all she kept telling me was to "shut up ... I'M SINGING!"

Sure enough, concert over, lights go up, I turn around and MARVIN GAYE IS LOOKING RIGHT INTO MY EYES! I smiled ... I told him I loved him, and he smiled back and said thank you. He asked my name, shook my hand and engaged me in conversation, like really sincerely you know ... and there I was rapping with Marvin Gaye!!! No one had yet realized that a music legend was in the house ... so I had him all to myself for a few minutes. Then, little by little, people started to notice him and in a few seconds he was surrounded by people and I got pushed back. My one lifetime regret is that I didn't ask him for his autograph - IDIOT, but I didn't wanna bug him, you know. And, as I was being pushed further and further away and he was being surrounded by people, I waived and yelled out "Bye Marvin!" ... and I SWEAR TO GOD, he stuck his head out from the crowd, made eye contact with me and said ... "Bye Debbie!" A few months later, he was dead.

Best Cruising Song Ever - All Day Music, War

Growing up on the east side of L.A. in the '70's there was the low rider culture. Car clubs, cruising, music. No different really from the car culture of any other American town, teenagers and cars and music all go hand in hand, but in the 1970's, L.A. was, well what can I say, L.A. was just a lot cooler than your other cruising scenes, not that I'd experienced cruising anywhere else, but come on, we're talking about L.A. babee ... the infamous and renowned Whittier Boulevard ... where many a heart was broken and probably a few bones too.

Once again, cousin Danny and his gold Camaro come to mind. Cool Dan and the cousins were getting ready to cruise the boulevard ... Me: I WANNA GOOOOOOO ... please Danny, please, take me with you, ... LET ME GOOOOOOOO pleeeeeeze. Danny: OKAY OKAY! But you gotta sit in the back! AND DON'T TALK TO ANYBODY and DON'T POINT AT ANYONE! (gee Dan, why didn't you just tie my hands behind my back and put electrical tape over my mouth .... sheesh). But if that's what it took in order for me to go then I'd keep my mouth shut and not ask any questions or point at anybody. It was about as much fun as you might imagine if you couldn't talk or look or laugh or move. I kept thinking to myself, just wait Danny, one day I'mona have my own car and I'mona have cooler friends than yours and I'mona go cruising and YOU'RE GONNA WANNA HANG OUT WITH ME ... JUST WAIT!

When I was 19 years old I bought my first car, a little orange VW. It was the disco craze and my girlfriends and I would pile into my little VW and cruise Montebello Park. And no. Danny never went with me. HA HA. My little orange VW was my special friend. I had that car for YEARS and in an attempt to be a "cool" older sister, I would let my brother borrow it once in a while. THE LAST TIME I let him take it he brought it home, parked it, came into the house and NEVER told me that he had scraped the entire driver's side from bumper to bumper on a metal pole, or stop sign, or whatever the hell he did. But he f-ed up my car. I didn't discover this until the next morning when I was on my way to work. UGHHHHHHHH! GEORGE!!!!!!!

My brother could be a weird little cat sometimes. He was incredibly funny but in an irritating make-you-wanna-kill-him kinda way. When we were still in high school I once woke up to find him in my room turning all the little knick knacks on my dresser and bureau to face the wall. I watched him do this for a few seconds before I asked him ...'WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!"

George: I wanted you to think you woke up on the other side of the mirror. Ba dump bump.

He had some funny idiosyncracies like ... he would not eat baloney unless he slapped it on the table ... cause ... (are you ready?) ... he had to wake it up. He also would not drink milk unless he shook the bottle REALLY hard ... Why? To wake it up ... I told you he was weird. One eventful night way back in the olden days, we were coming home from a great little jazz club on the westside of L.A. and he decided to start reading all the freeway signs out loud ... and backwards. MOTHER OF GOD HELP ME! Example: Freeway - Yaweerf; Soto Street - Teerts Otos; Manzanar Avenue - Euneva Ranaznam ... he did this ALL THE WAY HOME despite my yelling at him to SHUT UP or I'd make him get outta my car! UGH. No one could irritate me more than my brother, and vice versa. One night when my parents had gone out it was just the three of us at home, me, my brother and my baby sister. I was probably 17 at the time and George was 15. I was sitting on the couch watching t.v. when all of a sudden a head appears in the hallway ... a head with a black stocking over it ... my heart stopped. I didn't know whether to scream or pee in my pants I was so flippin' scared .... yeah ... Georgie! YOU STUPID IDIOT!!!!! YOU SCARED THE SHIT OUTTA ME!!! He also once chased me around the house with a knife cause I was driving him crazy. Ahhhh, the wonderful memories of youth.

Now we're both in our 50's. We laugh alot about the old days and are grateful for the kind of childhood we had when kids could run around the neighborhood and stay out at night in the summer playing with all the other kids on the block. Kids today don't have the same kind of childhood that we had and I think that is so sad. We didn't have "play dates" ... WTF is a play date?! We just went outside and played. And if we wanted to go over to a friend's house we just went. We didn't schedule play dates.


  1. Debbie - You bring back so many happy memories for me!! Although I was born in the late 60's, I still remember cruising down Whittier with my Mom in her 66 Pontiac or my Aunt in her 57 Chevy! Those were the good days! Days when you didn't have to worry about a gun being pulled on you cuz you were in the wrong neighborhood....or getting raped by 10 crazy guys just cuz they thought it was funny. I love Marvin Gaye!! LOVE HIM!! He was so handsome and had one of the best voices....whew his was some grinding music! Anyway, thanks for starting my day off right!! Good thing I have my iPod here, I can listen to some good music from back in the day! Keep up the great blog, I love ya girl! Love, Corinne

  2. Debbie I laughed so hard when I read about what George did. The street sign's, the black stocking over his head man, that really brings back some great memories. It was such a nice place to grow up and I did'nt realize it then but, being surrounded by family was a blessing.
    I mean, how many people do you know grow up and have their older brother and a cousin that lived next door as their best friends. It was a true blessing.

    Cousin Dan

  3. I think I've told you before but I lived in CA until 1966 and lots of my cousins still live there. Once when I was visiting in 1969 my cousin took my cruising down Whitter Blvd. I have family all over CA ...Whitter, Norwark,Downey, Anaheim,Long Beach to name a few..It's funny after all these years I still miss CA..Sounds like we had the same kind of childhood..playing outside almost all day, being called in to eat and then right back out..none of this sitting in the house watching tv...

  4. Yea, the good old days. I remember everything except chasing you around the house with a knife ! Say What ? About the bug, I was leaving a party in Jardin and needles to say I was , well tequilla and weed get the picture, and ofcourse I was with Markie. He kept saying 'pull the left, pull to the left ! all I heard was metal scraping metal , sorry.
    Then there was the time , I was with Mark again leaving a party in Santa Fe Springs and some dudes threw a beer bottle at us and it hit your fender , why they did that I dont know. ? Sorry. Hey , whats a couple of dents any way ?
    Your Bro

  5. Debbie-
    love your blog! This brought back so many memories. Excuse me, i'm going to catch up on all your other posts.


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