In the last post you read about my job as a Wild Animal Park Ranger in New Jersey. In this post you will read about my disconnection from family after the Air Force and why I left Minnesota.
1972 – Miami Beach, Florida
I returned to Minnesota in August of 1972 and tried to marshal some enthusiasm from my buddies to go to Miami Beach, Florida to hang-out near the white, sandy beach and chase some girls. The topography along the Miami Beach coast had made a big impression on me one week-end while attending Air Force technical training in 1970 in Biloxi, Mississippi. My first experience smelling ocean salt, surfing and walking the beach, for me, was transformational. I proclaimed myself a beach person and vowed to never live far away from the beach. This was my mindset.
While others were zeroing-in on new careers or making wedding plans, I had just one thing on my mind, living near the beach. Unable to talk anyone else into going to Miami Beach, I made the plane trip by myself. I met two semi-lovely beach ladies who agreed to let me stay at their place near the ocean. More responsible now, that part of the story shall remain untold.
No Offense, But Minnesota Sucks
With the benefit of hindsight, I can now say that at 22 I was searching for something that didn’t exist – in Miami Beach, Florida anyway. I had left everything I knew – bad as I thought it was at the time – in Minnesota to join the Air Force. I had been discharged and tried to re-establish old ties at home, but no one seemed interested. I had said openly I didn’t see myself remaining in Minnesota and to some individuals, that was like an act of heresy. It was if I was a traitor to the Minnesota homeland. It was if I had violated the code. One that says, “You don’t leave.” You especially don’t declare openly that you can’t stand most things about the provincial attitudes of the folks who live there.
Not the Place, It Was Me Trying to Escape My Memories
I was also not in a relationship. This was the worst part. My friends had wives or girl friends. My brother Dean, and two sisters, Pam and Darla were married and had children. I felt completely disconnected. I suppose this was typical for military veterans, in 1972. What I needed was a deep relationship with someone who understood all of this. One that didn’t depend on these old Minnesota ties that were rooted in a culture of “You don’t leave”.
I needed a girl friend.
Do you live in the same state where you were born?
Next: Priscilla – An All Out Siren Who Smelled Like White Shoulders Perfume