Happy Father’s Day: Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience By Fayden (2)

Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience (2)
Original story by Fayden

This is about 1973 at a house on Birch Street in Montara where “Dirty” Ernie (we called him “Dirty” Ernie because he liked it), Chuck Portz, the “Turtles” old bass player, my first wife and I lived. In this house we played music until all hours of the night and drank like fishes.

We used coal for heat and totally polluted the neighborhood for a week while we used up the big bag of coal we bought in the pot belly stove. We went back to wood when we saw what it was doing to the air. No one ever complained, we assumed, because they all drank like fishes, too (at least. the closest neighbors seemed to).

“Dirty” Ernie was a short little Italian guy, deaf as a door nail, bald on top with a massive mustache. He’d walk into any social situation, yelling, “Hey, no laughing tonight,” and everybody knew it was Ernie and they would laugh and then return to whatever they were doing.

Chuck was a portly man who was building a large ferro craft boat about 55-feet long out in the backyard. He worked in a fiberglass factory that manufactured shower stalls and he was a commercial abalone diver. Chuck owned a black Labrador Retriever that lived in the fiberglass warehouse and he bragged that the dog could actually sit down on the toilet in the restroom to do his business.

Other locals, including Ernie, Don, Gary, Orville and myself were also commerical divers. Problem was we didn’t really like processing the abs, so we’d trade Dwayne, the butcher at a local market, for anything that didn’t taste like fish!

…to be continued..