Thursday, August 16, 2007



In honor and memory of all the Idiots that were nurtured in Rotterdam, we've decided to have "TWO IDIOT THURDAYS." This weekly blog is brought to you by the original two idiots so named by their fathers and others in the early 1960's. Nick and I will walk through the episodes of our lives weekly. We will trace origins and mythical like humble beginnings of the legend that continues even today. Ugly can be changed but once an idiot you remain an idiot forever. Idiotism is a prideful thing but a cross we carry willingly.

Due to our admission of being guilty to some mayhem, destruction, vandalism and thievery names and exact locations have been altered.

Volume 1 - Gary Bailie's Basement - located on Hollywood Avenue.

You always went in through the garage to the back door and then straight down the stairs. Mr. Bailie, Lew, looked like Koukla from the Koukla,Fran and Ollie puppet show. He called everyone by their last name - "Hey, Nichols, get your bike outa here." Nick's famous line was, "He could eat an apple through a tennis racket." Mrs. Bailie wore a "house coat" constantly. Lew would wander down stairs but I never remember Mrs. Bailie there. I guess they figured if they don't see it.............. They were good people and great with their kids. It was just a mellower time then.
As 12 year olds, this was the site of sexual fantasies, reading Playboy and Oui magazines, cigarettes and where 4 could catch a buzz on one 6-pack of Piel's Real Draft or Reingold Wide Mouths. Later it became a make out pit where many of us succumbed to the sins of the flesh. Where we first tasted pink lip stick, learned how to unfasten a bra with one hand, touched female flesh for the first time, one girl taught someone to only take one leg out of his jeans so that he could get his pants on quickly and ultimately our virginity was stolen from us by the rapidily maturing beautiful flowers that seemed to bloom early in Rotterdam. I'll never forget the smell of hairspray and how it stuck to your face when making out.

All the above while waiting for the ever present feet shuffling of Gary's Grandmother across the kitchen floor where she would open the door and shine a flash light downstairs yelling," Gary you down there? You won't go away and leave me will you? I'm afraid of snakes and lightening!"She'd shuffle back to her livingroom chair.

Sunday night was Ed Sullivan night in the basement. We watched an old Holocrafter console black and white t.v. with rotating rabbit ears with aluminium foil for better reception. There was a full length mirror that Gary would dance in front of to practice his moves - spins, splits, head bobs and face distortions. If his father saw him he'd explode and yell,"That's enough! You look like a moron!" Gary believed that he was the spitting image of George Harrison; not so much. Most week nights we stayed home. Friday and Saturday were hang out nights. Sometimes there would be 5 people and others 20. By the time we drove, you couldn't find a parking spot.

Many summer days and nights we spent hours playing cards, smoking cigarettes, telling jokes and calling up girls. Also you had the "would you?" conversation, along with things like Samantha or Genie?There was always the 1-10 scale (Ladies you did it too!). Boys extended it to include less than attractive girls if they had a nice figure. This game was also broken down by body part - for instance, "..... but she's got great legs," I'm sure you catch the drift.
When we acquired the new found freedom of driving we didn't go as often. We found the parking spots. Our girl friends made us do things like double date, take them to the movies, dances and parties. Sometimes even worse things, like going to her house.

We argued about bands, movie stars, Viet Nam, hippies, drugs and most everything else. We read our first Rolling Stone magazine and I turned him on to Dylan here. But event planning was his thing.

Gary continued with younger disciples. He, like Peter Pan, never grew up. His place is where we misspent our youth. It has a fond place in the memories of alot of people. It's almost as if he knew he'd never get old - he died in his mid- 20's in a car accident.

We still think of him and remember it all! Thanks Beetle!


Nick Marino said...

As I read through this, not only could I visualize that room, but that "smell" came back to me as well.
Just like you found the car antennas in the basement of your parents house after all these years, you have to wonder if Alberta's underwear is still in the bottom drawer.....under a mound of Playboy magazines.
Anyone else reading this, don't ask "Alberta who"? Our lips are sealed!

Jim Brandow said...

aaaaahhhhh--reminded me of the old days of basements (different ones of course) beer and dirty mags