Monday, March 3, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 60

   Back in 1983 I was a bouncer at a church. Allow me to explain, lol. After highschool I went to collage for just under a quarter, and dropped out. I worked some odd jobs, but I was doing so many drugs, it's kind of a haze now to me. I and the group I was running with got an invite to a party out in Waconda and it sounded like a road trip, so I was in. This one seemed more organized than the usual parents are gone, come on over and ruin the house type party, this one had fliers with directions. Back then we all had long hair and wore some kind of leather jackets, and we piled into my 1968 Mustang and head out into the night. The fliers seem to have a flaw, the street names aren't quite right and we drove past the first few till we realized the mistakes. I'm thinking it might have been done on purpose... Plausible deniability? Noooo officer, that is not MY house, we don't live on THAT street. Or it could have been the person doing the fliers was stoned.
   So, we arrive at what to us was a rural area with large houses spread fairly distant from us, and this particular one had a big gravel parking lot. Hmmmm. We each pay $20 to get in, get a Solo cup and can hear a live band playing rock and roll somewhere deep inside. The inside of the Waconda party house is dim, dank, wooden and complicated. I suppose you could say it was a Frank Loyd Wright design without the vertical features, or many windows. It is a 10,000 square foot, $395,000 (Back in 1981) mansion, with a built in swimming pool, stage, sauna, bars and dance floors. The walls where lined with heavy duty, carpet covered plywood benches everywhere and the place was a maze that wrapped around a central indoor pool that reminded me of a dungeon. There seemed to be nooks and crannies for sitting and drinking all over and the main room had a bar big enough to be at an Applebees, just walk up, set your red Solo cup down and they fill it, for the duration of the night. The bathrooms cracked me up as they where big, like you'd see at a bar downtown, but felt like something you'd find in a residence. I became a regular at the Party house and the bathrooms often turned into mini parties where folks had the expensive drugs out as the doors all had good locks.
   Of to the right was the stage room where the bands played, and I once saw The Radiators blast a party out in there. There was one room that had a foosball table and some kind of hockey game, maybe some beat up pin ball machines. Then there was what I called the living room with it's sunken pit lined with the benches and a table in the middle. Often where the times that groups would hang out in there, chain smoking and drinking the brains away. That room had a large window that looked down on the pool and I so recall one evening seeing a naked guys clinging to the small ledge of the sill, above the pool, inching his way to the deeper end to jump off. A girl sitting below the window looked up, got disgusted, and smacked the window really hard right where his junk would have been, causing him to fall in, LOL! She had a cup in one hand with a smoke, and barely missed her stride in her conversation with us. The pool was fun, when you could get people to go in. It wasn't fancy, it kind of looked like a flooded basement, but I always brought a suit.
   There was a second floor, I was up there just once, but all of the parties where confined to the first floor and basement. That was another maze of rooms of random sizes. The dance room had huge speakers and a lighted floor light Saturday night fever and I have a fond memory of watching people in there as the Talking heads 'Burning down the house' played 5 times in a row. One room had a small table with a mirror built into the top that people made the mistake of doing coke on. Want to have 17 people you don't know talking about the weather and laughing at all of your jokes? Put some coke out in a public place then.
   In my 5th or 6th weekend of going to the party house, I started to be more accepted by the son of the owner. I never made any trouble and was gregarious, so soon he wasn't charging me an entry fee, as long as I would help him out if there was any trouble. They never carded anyone, so often there where a lot of rampant, drunken teens, I suppose it helped him to have me looming near by if anyone got out of hand. One night we where walking down a hall in the basement that I had been down a bunch of time before and he asked me if I wanted to see his place. I'm thinking, how long of a drive is that? I wanted to stay here at the party and tell him that. He laughs a bit, takes out a small block of wood from his pocket, touches it to a wall, and a section moves in a bit. It's a freaking hidden door! He and his wife have their own apartment in the basement, and I had never known it! We hang out for a bit and I find out that his dad is a mail order minister for the Universal life church for just $30. That is how they have been getting away with this... this is supposedly a church!
   I stopped going after a while, they where in court to keep from being closed down and I was sure that sooner or later I would get a DUI leaving the place. For some reason I would go through three packs of cigarettes a night there and the idea of getting knifed just for free beer lost it's allure.
   Moral to this story? Hmmmm... watch your kids maybe, there are false gods out there and people willing to give over their entire house to make a buck off them. I get the feeling that if it can happen in the sticks outside of Chicago, it has happen in a lot of places. Out of the many hours I went there, I can only recall bits and pieces.

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