jouets dans le grenier
l'ameublement idéologique pour l'esprit sans foyer
1980.1: Chicago Farewell party @ 1041, pleased to include about a half-dozen souls who were my total claim to friendships, celebrating the first forty years of my life. Left Fred Schnell in charge - he will later commit suicide there, face covered by a picture of his former wife.
1980.2: Join LACCD at Olympic location, with pint-sized aeronautical engineer Jon Goldman in charge and my responsibilities shared with a budding young operatic lady named Gail.
1981: LACCD. Relocate to District Office Operations, p/u new HW-oriented Mgr, simply referred to here as ‘Army.’ New window van, round trip to Chicago, then L.A. storage. Note 1041 burglarized, presumably via the common rear passage between my home and Dave LaVelle’s cocaine-dealing computer-hobbyist establishment.
1982: LACCD. Termination of $32k/a job in progress. Exiled to Trade Tech Campus. Final employment hearing clearly established that for what Systems’ tasks entail in an HW environment, LACCD is certifiably overstaffed, & according to who really needs to be there, I am the most dispensable. Continue teaching 2nd or 3rd Visual Basic class (@ $50/session) at Valley College.
1983: Return to Chicago. Start w/ LaVelle, who seems to be the one who burgled stuff from my store. Then to Sally Rae Kennedy in Maywood for soul reconstruction, and to Chicago to begin programming a system for step-brother Tom at $1k/mo.
Mr. Tahi & I had side-by-side offices in a Chicago Avenue loft, kitty-corner from the LaSalle Street Burhops. To which I daily commuted from my seedy hotel lodgings just off Broadway just north of Diversey. Tom had had a few office jobs, but this effort was probably funded from years of skimming as a managing bartender. The deal was that we should each come out with product that would have value to each of us. In my case it would have to be programming tools, to expedite development of the system Tom might eventually describe.
Tom privately showcased my work to other advisors, who confirmed it seemed to be some kind of database system. About midway thru the project, either on his own or by their inspiration, he decided to suggest that the record selection mechanisms used were probably not of my own creation. Big mistake. While my BASIC methods here did not have the internal finesse of what I created at Loyola in assembler, it was in terms of outputs functionally equivalent. And altogether, here as there, my work.
Recognizing leadership when I saw it, I silently turned the baton over to Mr. Tahi. I would later locate John Hannah, who found time to visit me with just the right encouragement. I did have Thanksgiving 1983 dinner at Tom’s home, which included Dick & Margaret (but not the Trimnells). He later surfaced at my house, to announce my elimination from his organization & his confiscation of my on-site materials. Again he pissed up the wrong rope, because Source was never left on site. This was dutifully provided under separate cover.
1985.1: Visit LACCD in May, and take a noon-time stroll w/ my former EDP manager, F. Gerard Mueller. Briefly return to Chicago, p/u delinquent $7k LACCD separation check, & note telling that Sally gave all my other stuff to Tom ("blood is thicker than water"). Apparently her thought went from 1/1/83's "nobody loved me more than she," to 5/1/85's Team Player mode, that I really should have nothing from my effort on Tom's behalf. Later called from Tampa, expressed my profound disappointment in her in the first, 2nd call is rejected by Ralph II.
But friendship not clouded by inheritance issues prevailed outside the Kennedy circle. I had altogether forgotten that May that Joe Spicuzza held, and presently returned, my extra floppy-resident copy of Source. And Kathy Anders, like the earlier Anderson, had been of no use to authorities in the course of my legal problems.
1985.2: Continuing in LA, lived for a half year at the downtown Milner. Only visitor was LACCD’s Op Manager Gonzolo Sanchez.
Started as BASIC programmer with accounting assignments. Seems then that except for a solitary Philippino operator, Hill’s entire mainframe EDP staff was in collective flight to greener pastures. To compound its Controller’s distress, that operator was now due for her annual vacation. Pointing out to him that their computer configuration was exactly what I had worked with in 1969, he seemed willing to accept the thought that I might be his EDP manager. Particularly since I would be doing the Philippino’s chores while she vacationed in the islands.
As I recall, Hill’s several databases were distributed across a multitude of IBM 2311 7.25mg disc packs, typically offline with pre-existing staff having made no particular effort to consolidate related data to the same pack. Given a limited number of drives on which they might be mounted, and the rigors of a batch-processing environment, daily operations involved an inordinate amount of disc swapping.
Early in the acceptance of my operational duties, I consolidated data for my convenience in pack handling, to the eventual outrage of absent staff. Swaps were reduced by more than half. Our returning operator was literally in tears over this reduced opportunity to daily exhibit her pack-handling dexterity.
In any case, I had covered his operator’s vacation, and despite Corporate’s marginal concern, I was no longer needed as Manager. And therefore terminated.
I closed out my Los Angeles work life driving an LAX shuttle van. This means early every morning I was equipped with a vehicle and a list of folk who needed to get to various regional airports, ending with LAX, on time. These I found quite literally in the dark, with a map and a flashlight attached to the steering wheel of my car, at locations I had not of course been to before. Nearly a dozen, every morning. Different airports. None of these folk ever – to the best if my knowledge – missing a flight.
The down side being, that after each morning run, dispatch was rarely able to schedule any other trips for me. So I quit.
For the last few of these years, my religious and social life revolved around the clergy & folk attending crypto-Catholic services in and around L.A. These started with house services by a self-ordained priest whose name I’ve forgotten. Then I graduated to the Celtic Catholic Church, presided over by Bishop Duane Hauser. Finally I was in the general company of the Apostolic, a spinoff of the Old Catholic Church. All these services seemed genuinely Christian, and I truly miss my friends within them.
1986: NY: Invited by Ron Lusker & wife Marilyn to work at their DeBruce bed-&-breakfast, called a Country Inn. He of course being the same Ronnie Lusker I completed grammar school with, and whose girlfriends I shared after I returned from my USAF excursion. He had completed massive coursework both on the Chicago campus of Illinois and at Chicago’s Art Institute & Goodman Theater, and was now an owner & landlord in Greenwich Village, as well of this estate in the Catskills.
While he had indicated to his ex-nun wife that from my childhood potential I might now be somewhat impressive, it was clear to Marilyn that I was a person of little (compared to her husband) accomplishment. Whatever I might have done for them, they preferred to believe they could easily purchase better elsewhere. So I worked (for room & board & a small stipend) as their bartender till the Fall hunting season.
There was an NYC overnight at his Greenwich studio, and it was fun to see Village from that perspective. I got to use the company car to visit Newburgh, across the Catskills and on the Hudson. There were some in-house distractions. Like Ron working naked on the backyard single beam bridge of his own construction. Or the very surprised look he noticed on my face when flame raced up my arm, attempting to ignite a butane oven from the inside. (Fortunately aloe grew in their yard.) Or when two of his regular well-heeled guests suffered the effects of a bad meal, and proclaimed their total lack of further confidence in DeBruce cuisine.
Unfortunately there were the effects of mean influences on his early life that continued to be conspicuous to me, and even now a bar to any really pleasant association. It is too bad, because if we were truly conversational we might have profitably become mirrors to each other. At season’s end I was silently conveyed to within cab range of JFK, to begin my life in Tampa.
Last update on 29-December-2016 at 8:307AM.