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Newspaper Boy in Street

Shy Guy from Hollywood High

Chapter   (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)  (5)  (6)

1946 — Gower Gulch
Selling the Los Angeles Herald-Express & the Daily News

Gower Gulch

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Gower Gulch — Our Home Away from Home

To Carl and me Gower Gulch had become our home away from home. Neither of us particularly cared for being at our "real" home. Our mothers were both pretty short-tempered, and frequently not much fun to be around. Furthermore, my mom didn't like Carl, and Carl's mom wasn't too crazy about me.

I'm sure each could have given you a long dissertation on how "that other kid" was a bad influence on her son — but we believe it mainly had to do with their dependence on our being the only stable "men" in their lives. They both had a history of failed relationships, and each was resentful of anyone who appeared to be weaning her son away.

Pounding on Our Door in the Middle of the Night

I vividly remember one incident when Carl's mom came pounding on our door in the middle of the night with a crutch. She and Carl had gotten into such a contentious argument that he didn't feel safe staying at home (she could be pretty physical). So he came to our place (but didn't tell his mom where he'd gone). And I didn't tell my mom (who was already asleep) that her least favorite person had come to spend the night.

Well, Carl's mom, who had recently broken a leg while trying to outrun a spurned boyfriend, didn't need a crystal ball to figure out where Carl was. So about 1:00 AM she came hobbling up to our door and started pounding on it with her crutch, yelling at the top of her lungs, "I know he's in there! You'd better send him out before I call the cops and have you arrested for child-stealing!"

Now my mother is sitting up in bed, blinking her eyes, and asking, "What the hell is going on?" When she finally got it all sorted out, she wasn't sure which she resented more — having Carl there or having his mother pounding on the door and waking up all the neighbors.

She finally decided that the latter was definitely more irritating. So she yelled at Carl's mom to go ahead and get the police — and to be prepared to explain why her son was so frightened he had to come and hide at our place.

Well, Carl's mom was not one to give up easily — but even she was starting to feel a little awkward about having a dozen or so neighbors gathered around to see what all the pounding and yelling was about.

I don't guess any of us got much sleep that night. But Carl stayed and went home the following morning — and somehow lived to tell about it.

Why Carl and I Got Fired

Our route managers had become increasingly displeased with the fact that Carl and I put no real effort into selling the newspapers. The Herald-Express manager, in particular, had begun to threaten us with "being fired if the next time he arrived, he didn't find us out in the street pushing the papers."

Well, I could hardly blame him, since his income depended on how well his paperboys did. However, the guy had an abrasive personality that Carl and I never did like — so it was hard to get enthused about doing anything to please him. Besides that, Carl and I would be quitting soon — so his threats meant nothing to us.

Carl was going to be moving to Norwalk to live with his dad, and I had found a job at a nearby Ralphs Market. So the next time the route manager arrived, he did not find us in the street pushing the papers — rather, we were each sitting on a stack of papers, practically obscuring them from view.

So we were fired on the spot, and laughed about it for the rest of the day.

I tell this story with no sense of pride — just one of the dumb things you do when you are young and have not yet learned to be more considerate of other people's needs and feelings — not to mention trying to do the best you can at any job you have.

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Don Edrington's Home Page     Shy Guy from Hollywood High     Brief Bio   All Stories

Prologue   Ch.1 Alameda — Los Angeles 1939 — 40   Ch.2 Echo Park 1943   Ch.3 Virgil Jr Hi 1944   Ch.4 Le Conte Jr Hi 1945 — 46
Ch.5 Gower Gulch 1946   Ch.6 Hollywood Hi 1946 — 47   Ch.7 Drop Out 1948   Ch 8 Norma Jean Salina 1948   Ch 9 Fort Ord 1949
Ch.10 Fort Belvoir 1950   Ch.11 Korea 1951   Ch.12 Back to Civilian Life 1952   Ch.13 Cornet Stores 1953   Ch.14 Puerto Rico 1955
Ch 15 Signs by George 1956   Ch 16 Mexico 1958   Ch.17 Fullerton 1960   Ch.18 Fallbrook 1973   Ch.19 Assorted Strange Cyber Stories

Chapter 5 (1) (2) (3)

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Since I have no personal photos from my youth, I've used pictures found on the Internet to help illustrate some of the stories told on these pages. In a couple of instances I've used photos of people who just happen to closely resemble someone I once knew. However, if it's found that I'm using any images in violation of someone's copyright, please let me know and appropriate action will be taken.
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