Tommy seated far right.vice president of the Oakland Chapter. I only found this out when I saw him in the above photo that I discovered online and to the link above. Looking at that picture they each seem vaguely familiar to me now, ghostlike faces from the past.
Every week, on Friday night, Tommy, would throw a huge party and Hells Angels from all over would show up on our street. You could hear the rumble of the approaching bikes and we knew what was about to happen. Motorcycles would be parked facing into the curb up and down both sides of the street for blocks. There was lots of drinking and fighting amongst them. I can remember kneeling on our sofa and peeking out between the curtains at Tommy's house on those nights because of all the ruckus and being a curious girl.
In later years, whenever I spoke to my mom about Tommy, she would tell me that he was protective of us girls, meaning my two sisters and I. We lived in a very rough neighborhood in Oakland and I can imagine that is what she's referring to. We were the only white people living on the block besides Tommy, our landlords, and an elderly man living next door, and this was during a time when the black power movement was uprising and there was a lot of racial conflict going on. The Black Panthers roamed the streets. Tommy watched out for us. I think that I had a little girl's crush on him. He was a nice guy from what I remember and a cute one at that. I only wish that I knew what happened to Tommy.
Of the five men that were seen frequently in our neighborhood in those days, from what I've learned online, Michael 'Tiny' Walters simply disappeared, Ron Jacobson died in Sweet, Idaho in 1972, and Skip Workman died in 2012. Sonny lives in Cave Creek, Arizona. And Tommy?
A video of Skip Workman confronting the author Hunter S. Thompson.
Our landlord and his wife lived across the street from us in a boxy little peach colored house which is still there and is next to Carol and Shot's old house described below. On Christmas Eve the landlords would walk over to our house and give each of us girls a coloring book and some crayons. We looked forward to that each year and they were the nicest people.
Across the street at 2481 lived a couple named Carol and Shot. Carol used to babysit me, she was a big loving woman. I can remember playing outside by myself, listening to the birds singing, picking the yellow spikes in the center of the calla lilies and pretending to be or do I don't know what. I don't think Carol ever got mad at me for doing this, perhaps she was unaware I was picking them. Carol and Shot used to have the most fun parties with Motown music and dancing. That's where I learned to love to dance at a very young age.
After school each day, we girls would run home and then run down the street to our friend's house and watch Dark Shadows. Here's the introduction to Dark Shadows, I'm sure many of you have seen.
My sisters and I used to walk to the tiny market on the corner for a bag of candy and we had a cat that would follow us and wait outside the store and then follow us back home. It's now called Pete's Market and I'm not certain if that was the name of it then or not (the name sounds familiar) but the front of the store pretty much looks the same to me. It was a very small store situated within a residential neighborhood. I could be wrong but I think the row of candy was located on the right as you walked into the store and they had bins of brightly colored flip flops outside in the summer for a dime per pair and we would buy several pairs for the warmer weather. Boy, we could get a lot of candy for a quarter or less. Even for a penny, sometimes two things for a penny! This is only a small sampling of the candy I grew up eating and can vouch that they gave me plenty of cavities. They still make mostly all of these candies today.
|Once the lemon candies were gone, the box itself made a whistle sound if you blew into one end.|
|Some hot candy.|
|Loved these flavorful wafer candies.|
|Cigar shaped bubble gum.|
|Wear the necklace and bite off candy as needed.|
|Like a sweetened Kool-Aid powder.|
|Everyone in our family smoked cigarettes. I used to pretend to smoke these candies but I never liked real cigarettes, even as a kid I hated them. I never smoked even though my friends took up the nasty habit. And guess who has asthma problems?|
|Chewy is right! Chewy goodness by Annabelle's. A local bay area company.|
|Juicy wax lips for Halloween.|
|And the juicy wax syrup bottles. Bite off the top, suck out the juice and then chew the wax. Nothing better.|
|These were one of my favorites.|
|You could crack a tooth on one of these.|