posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:20 PM
The Girl on the Rincon
The Rincon, simply enough, was one of the best beaches around. At least it was simple to us. Us being the kids who grew up and lived in both Santa
Barbara and Ventura and spent many days as well as a few nights along the Rincon. Most times at the long and beautiful white sand beaches and other
times, parked somewhere along the beach or for those who knew where to go and how to get there, up into the mountains of the oil fields overlooking
the Rincon. With a beautiful young woman if you were lucky and if not, you could always drink beer with the guys and watch the sun sink into the
Pacific while wondering about life. Course, with the bunch I ran with it was more about the beer and not getting caught with it - since we were all
underage - than it was about the wondering. A little bitching, a few lies, a couple of tall tales and all in all it wasn’t too bad a way to spend
Even so, most times, specially after a few beers, you could look out at the black shadows of the offshore islands or into the clear and star laden
sky and just wonder. Geez . . . even at the age of eighteen there were a helluva lot of things to wonder about and wondering about women was what we
wondered about the most.
I met Annie at the age of 16. Right in the middle of my junior year in fact. At the time I hadn’t been driving for long, but at least I had my
own car - a 50 ford sedan - and the freedom to do things. The folks were good about letting me run a late curfew and at the least I tried to keep
them informed as to where I was and what was going on. Kinda funny, my sister who was the really smart one in the family ran her own schedule, went
her own places and pretty much figured the world could conform to her and not the other way round. She was forever getting grounded for something the
folks would have let her do anyway if she’d just let them know. I saw what went on, kept the folks apprized of what was cooking in my life and I
had about all the freedom I could handle. Kinda funny that once you start driving, a lot of life’s little restrictions faded into the background
and now you were your own man and could do pretty much what you wanted, when you wanted.
I wasn’t all that good though. I’d have been grounded in a flash if dad would have caught me drinking beer. I got drunk now and then, we all
did, but I always did it in somebody else’s car.
Part of the hanging out, drinking beer and puking like a man was a bit of bravado sometimes.
We pretty much knew what nights were going to be serious ones as far as setting up a race out in the country went and by the same token, when nothing
jelled, especially on a date-less Saturday night, Benny would get his 21 year old brother to walk over to the liquor store next to the gas station
where he worked and buy us a case of beer. I was happy to get beer, but sometimes I wondered why in the hell Benny’s brother was willing to buy us
beer. Looking back, I think he had the four of us pegged pretty well. Six cans of beer apiece wasn’t going to get us into too much trouble and
sometimes the beer didn’t go all that far. Half the time we either invited another guy or two along or saved some of the beer for the next night.
We didn’t need beer to get us through the night, but it did loosen a few tongues and like always, sometimes the wagging tongues got a little too
loose and before you knew it a fight would be on. Usually with one of the invitee’s. We could fight, but like most guys we lost about as many as
we won and if nothing else we were staying even in the score department.
Like you’d expect there was the usual grumbling and bitching from the losers, but no one ended up in a long-time feud or anything like that. We
had the fights, mopped up the blood and got over them with no long-lasting effects.
Hanging out at theVentura Fosters Freeze was one of our favorite things and if we didn’t have a date it was one of the first places we went. Lotta
times we had the beer iced down in back, but if something was going on we figured we could always drink it another day. Fosters made the best
taquito’s in town far as we were concerned and the burgers weren’t too shabby.
Close to midnight, parked at the back of the small parking lot at Fosters Freeze, all four of us dateless, we finally realized the fog was rolling in
pretty good and the back roads drag racing bit between the two cars we thought would have it out was a bust. Part due to the fog which always killed
traction for the strong running cars and part due to neither car had come into Fosters Freeze. I gave it up, said so long to the gang, fired up the
50 Ford sedan and pulled out of the Fosters Freeze parking lot via the alley to Catalina Street which was one short block to the west from Fosters
Instead of turning south for home, I decided to turn north, cross Main, go to Poli, hang a right and cruise by the high school gym where the
Christmas formal was being held. I wasn’t sure what I would see, maybe someone I knew and stopping and talking for a while would be ok, but what I
wasn’t thinking about was, what guy escorting a beautiful girl in a gorgeous strapless gown was going to take a break from that just to talk to
Cruising Poli Street and sliding past the gym in second gear at 20 per, I was surprised to see a girl in a white strapless prom gown leaning up
against the tennis court fence about a hundred yards up from the gym. Kinda weird thought I. What the hell would a girl in a prom dress be doing all
by herself that far up the street on a cold and fog laden night?
I hung a right on Seaward, went south to Main Street and ran down the front of the high school campus to Catalina, hung a right there and before long
I found myself on Poli in front of the gym just idling by in low gear. There wasn’t a soul there, but I could see the girl in the white prom gown
still leaning against the fence. I wasn’t sure what to think, but the fog coming in hard enough to make me operate the wipers now and then made it
pretty obvious the girl would be soaking wet in a little while. I pulled up to ask her if I could help and before I could wind the passenger window
down, she walked over, opened the door and got in. You can bet it was a surprise to me. I didn’t recognize the girl, but she was most beautiful.
The street light reflecting little beads of light from the water on her hair lent a strange, but comforting feeling to her beautiful smile.
She shut the door and said, “I’m ready to go now,” leaned back on the seat and closed her eyes.
I was at a total loss for words which was a little surprising as I’d never had trouble talking to anyone. Her short, but terse comment pretty much
brought my thinking processes to a halt since I’d never had a total stranger say anything remotely like that to me.
I pulled away from the curb, turned right on Seaward heading south and when I hit the stoplight at Main she said, “Turn right.”
I ran the car down Main, passed the graveyard at the top of the hill and we were rolling easily downhill into the heart of downtown where all the
stores, restaurants and theaters were. I’d glanced over several times and she was sitting there with a tired, but pleasant expression on her face
and hadn’t said a word since we’d turned onto Main off of Seaward.
When we got near the Avenue which was about the end of Main Street, she opened her eyes, sat up, looked at me and said, “Do you have enough gas to
take me to Santa Barbara?”
“Yes, that’s where I live. I have money for gas if you don’t.”
“I have a full tank, but what are you doing so far from home?”
“Would you like the long version or the short version?”
“Either one, whatever’s easiest for you.”
“My son-of-a-bitch boy friend . . . at least I thought he was my boy friend, invited me to the Christmas dance and I thought it would be fun so I
“He’s a Ventura guy?”
“Yes, but it’s not important who he is, he’s out of my life now and I don’t want to talk about him except to tell you why I was standing
outside next to the tennis courts.”
“I met him at the end of last summer when my church youth group came down to Ventura for the weekend and we stayed at homes where the Ventura youth
group kids lived. All very much on the up and up, well chaperoned and all that. Anyway, we started writing each other, once in a while a phone call
and this was our first real date. Boy, he was so different from what I thought he was. He picked me up, promised to get me home by one and was the
perfect gentleman around my folks. They were like me and thought that meeting a nice boy through church was a pretty good way to do it. My dad
really seemed to like him. The light began to dawn while we were driving to Ventura. He had more on his mind than going to the dance. He wanted to
park along the beach and make out for a while, but I didn’t feel quite right about that. Especially since I didn’t know him all that well. We
went on to dinner and the dance, but he was mad through the whole thing. During one dance, he told me I’d either put out or I’d be walking home
and he’d be taking his old girl friend home. I walked off the dance floor, out the door and up the street to where you found me. When I grabbed my
purse I left my coat behind and I don’t care.”
Looking at her in the dim light, it looked like she did care. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and she didn’t say anything for a while.
When she did, she asked, “You’re a Ventura guy, right?”
“Do you think you could go to the school tomorrow and get my coat back? It was a gift from my favorite aunt and I’d hate to lose it.”
“Yes, but getting your coat back probably couldn’t be done until Monday. How will I get in touch with you?”
[edit on 11/8/2009 by Desert Dawg]