Optimistic Volitions…………..#69 (the 50’s)


Castlemont High School

The teenager having graduated from high school this past  Thursday,  you would think elation would have prevailed, but it didn’t.  The first weekend found congratulatory accolades according an impression of accomplishment,  commanding his presence,  but an over shadowing consciousness began to emerge.  A sense of loss beginning to envelop him as he watched his sisters depart in the morning for their appointed educational task.  Depletion was provoking a feeling of emptiness in the pit of his stomach.   His morning no longer possessing a purpose,  the inception of a daily agenda, the engagement of projects,  all having vanished with his secession from school.

Gary’s Mom & Dad

Oregon State College

Forestry ?

Gary yet to make definitive volition about the future, his parental communications having never included a  consequential   conversation as to expectations after high school.   There was a mention of college,  seeking employment in the private sector and a possibility of the military,  but no serious conversation evolved.   He was alone in his thoughts of which direction to channel his efforts.   Higher education was the key, but to what door?   A dilemma was present,  financial ascendancy was essential,  an another obstacle to address.   Gary having received an answered to an inquiry to Oregon State College concerning forestry curricula,  his thoughts of abiding in the wilderness were those of younger adventurer experiencing new and abounding wonders.  Maturity adds a new epoch to a resume.

KROW Studio 464 19th st. Oakland

Red Blanchard

Gary’s interest in radio having since waned as had the broadcast programming of the past.   He recalled his visit to KRON Radio during a school Business Education Day, traveling to their upstairs studio on 19th St,  A opportunity to once again observe a live broadcast, the station not exactly what he expected, a series of small broadcasting rooms, not a large studio Pavilion like the KCBS studio in San Francisco he  experiences visiting the Red Blanchard Show.  His journalism interest was beginning to  peaked  after discerning its many aspects depended on the competency of editor,  a question of  pervasiveness.

Bud O’Toole

Gary’s cousin Bud’s Missile – A Nike – Ajax

Another protracted avocation was the military,  it provided educational options,  but the youth was unsure of the scope of opportunities.  The youth took notice of his Cousin Bud O’Toole,  assigned to a firing  battery with  a Nike-Ajax Missile unit near Los Angeles.   Gary’s affinity for science fiction and his association with Elves’,  Gnomes’  and Little Men’s Chowder and Marching Society,  induce him with an  extreme interest in space, rockets and adjoining germane subjects all enveloped by the military.  The final contingency would be to postpone a decision and seek employment,  entering the world of commerce, time being no longer an imminent factor, mid-term college enrollment was already finalized.

Dale Spady and his 5 Hp. Cushman

Down Shone Ave to Mountain Blvd.








Gary pondered, no longer would there be a discipline of authority to instruct the path of decisions, to council and deliver confidence, the world having become a stage and it was time to walk on and perform.   He heard the revives of an approaching motor scooter echoing from the street,  his friend Dale Spady dismounted from the two-wheeled transport and it was then Gary took notice, Dale had purchased a new 5 Hp Road King Cushman motor scooter.   Climbing aboard, Gary on the rear jump seat, the two rode down Shone Ave,  cruised along Mountain Blvd and it was during the ride that an adventuress notion  began to formulate.  It would encompassing the two of them, the 5 horsepower Cushman and a round trip ride that could  approach 1000 miles.

Journey marked on 1959 CA road map

  The idea for this journey all stemmed from Gary’s desire to visit his career minded military cousin Bud O’Toole in Conoga Park, not far from Los Angeles and  question him about his missile related army assignment.  Gary briefly laying out his plan to Dale, they would start south on the Nimitz Freeway to #101 and San Jose, then take #17 over the Santa Cruz mountains to scenic highway #1 along the ocean until it converges back with #101 at San Luis Obispo and from there on to Conoga Park, about a three-day sight-seeing journey.  Gary adding from his cousin’s house they could  tour  the fashionable star-studded homes area , the Hollywood Hills and other attractions in Los Angeles before returning home.   The two concluded,  it could be accomplished,  a three day, two night venture,  spending their nights camped adjacent to the blue pacific on the beach and once arriving from their escapade south they could  lodge with Gary’s cousin Bud and  family at Canoga Park, leaving the path and time for the return open.

A coming expectation

A coming expectation

Gary informing his parents of their intended excursion as did Dale,  the parents of the two prospective traveler first displaying non-belief that the two would even attempt this endeavor.  Once accepting the premise that they might really go forward with this foolhardy venture, they asked the inevitable question why.  The recent high school graduate having anticipated the parental question remembering a quote from author Andre’ Gide  “man cannot explore the oceans unless he loses sight of the shore”,  the journey south would demonstrate a new-found sense of independence, but they had to be realistic giving a  more plausible reason, that of seeing the scenic California coast and Gary wanting to visit his Cousin.   They thought it best to begin as soon as possible before their parents could persuade them otherwise, the two having much to do in preparation, some detailed planning but more important the acquisition of their needs for the trip.  Gary concluding, optimism before volition makes for reason.

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