We arrived in Tampa, Florida and I remember driving through a neighborood and stopping at a 7-11 and Carol asking the guy behind the counter if there was any place for rent around. Turns out there was right across the street. I don't know if that is really the way it happened but thats what I remember. We lived in the house directly across the street from 7-11. This would begin a life long love affair with slurpees. Almost every day i would count out pennies to buy a slurpee. Chelsea and I would walk acoss the street and get slurpees. Keep in mind I was 3. Can you imagine?
For those of you keeping track at the ripe old age of three I had lived in countless places in California, then to my grandparents in Virginia. Then Eden, back to my grandparents and then to Richmond. A midnight escape to Florida and there we were in the house across the street from the 7-11. I am thinking how did we do so much in such a short time but there are milestones that make me sure of my age. Florida was when we watched the launch of a Rocket from our porch, and Nixon posters were on every tree, phone pole and wall. I looked this up to be sure, Nixon ran for re-election in 1972. I am thinking that we must have moved to Florida right around election time, that would make me just shy of 3 years old. Holy cow, how the hell do I remember this stuff? On May 14, 1973, the last Saturn V launch put the Skylab space station in orbit, what I rememebr is sitting on the front porch and watching this huge smoke tail on a rocket going straight up. I remember some stuff on TV but I also remember there were no people on the rocket. Don't know why I remember that, but I do.
Florida has several stories that I have been telling my whole life. First and foremost, when ever someone talks about living in Florida I always talk about the bugs and the frogs. We had a box fan in the hall way blowing into the kids room and the parents room. At night the palmeto bugs would get sucked into that fan and it was like machine gun fire, tat-tat-tat and the crunchy bug guts would end up on the linencloset door. I also loved the ran , which happened almost everyday, because it brought out the frogs. I actually believed that it rained frogs because the rain would start and the frogs would start hoping all over the yard. Tons of little green and brown frogs, just a little bigger than the huge raindrops. they appeared to be splash up of the rain, like they dropped from the fat clouds.
Florida returned me to my old friend the ocean. Now I don't remember the Pacific ocean at all but mom tells me that she would take Chelsea and I often. The story goes that I loved the ocean, first crawling then runnung to it. Chelsea on the other hand, hated the water the sun and especially sand. While I was running in the surf, Chelsea would spend her time on a towel with a makeshift 'hippie' tent around her. We were told this was because of our astrological signs. As a Peices, I was a fish, most attracted to water. Chelsea was an Goat, an Aries is naturally uncomfortable with the water and particularly the ocean. Tampa Florida it known for it's beaches and I have memories of running along the beach picking up silver dollars by the dozen and trying to stuff jellyfish into bear bottles. I also remember Bob tipping hermit crabs over and filling them with beer. The crabs would stagger out and stumble down the beach. Chelsea and I loved that trick. I remember Bob fishing in the surf and pulling in a blow fish, fully inflated.