Early morning and my mind is fresh. Let’s get started on People Who Died: Roll Call. Please note that my idea for this set of stories is to basically make a list of everyone that I have ever personally known who has died. I’m thinking it would be nice to give a few details about each person, including the circumstances surrounding their departures from Planet Earth and maybe even something about what they meant to me and how they have helped shape me into the stellar ghetto superstar that I am today. Please don’t judge anyone on this list based on my ghetto ass life lol because that’s not fair is it?!?
I’m doing this in no particular order and solely out of my memory so I’m not going to guarantee 100% accuracy.
Rick Primero was my friend that I met when I went to La Sierra Academy in Riverside, California. I attended for one semester during my sophomore year of high school. La Sierra Academy was a 7th Day Adventist school that my parents decided to send me to in an effort to get some help turning my rebellious life around. Rick Primero was Filipino and he lived in Riverside with his brother Sam and his parents. The whole family was very nice and I’m pretty sure Sam is now a doctor. Rick was totally cool and pretty much of a rebel, especially for a 7th Day Adventist. I don’t know if you know anything about that religion but trust me they are stricter then shit about everything. They don’t drink coffee or tea, use tobacco, drink alcohol or work on Sundays. The girls are hot however and quite promiscuous all things considered. Being a handsome young rebellious outsider, I did very well with the ladies at La Sierra Academy. I must have tallied six or seven girls that one semester I attended and I’m pretty sure my reputation with the daughters of all those rich doctors who sent their kids there was one of the big reasons I wasn’t invited back to attend my second semester despite my 4.0 gpa (all A’s). Another reason may have been the trouble I seemed to continuously get in with Rick Primero. We smoked marijuana, we sniffed paint, we smoked cigarettes, we drank, we were loud and probably disrespectful to our teachers. When I started at La Sierra Academy, Rick started to really get into trouble. I didn’t lead him down the path to teenage rebellion believe me. He was already there but I think my presence which was always a topic of discussion both on and off of campus naturally led people to take a closer look at Rick as Rick was my main cohort at school. We hung out quite a bit and I’d say that we were pretty much best friends that year. Rick was a smart guy and he had a good heart. He also had a thing for my sister Natalie, I found out later. One pertinent bit of information to consider is that Rick and I were involved in a motorcycle accident one Saturday afternoon about a block from his house. We were riding his father’s GullWing, a huge bike. We lost control and laid it down on the street. I scraped up my leg and ass something fierce and still have a numb spot after all of this time. Once I left La Sierra Academy I was on a one way trek to hell. Two months into the second semester of school that year while attending Corona High School I was arrested, sent to juvenile hall and ultimately ended up as a ward of the court and put into a boy’s home until I turned 18. I lost contact with Rick Primero during this time for obvious reasons. Guys didn’t usually write letters to other GUYS when in custody and we sure didn’t have access to cell phones or internet because neither of those things existed back then. I did however stay in contact with this girl Tami Zane who was a really good friend of mine from La Sierra Academy. When I was close to getting out of the boys home I received a letter from Tami informing me that Rick had been killed in an accident in Los Angeles while driving his Honda Elite scooter. He was dragged under a truck and broke every bone on the left side of his body. One of our other friends from school, also with the first name of Rick, last name Porter, was on the back of the bike when the accident happened and he flew into a telephone pole and broke his back but survived and as far as I know he is not crippled or anything like that. Tami picked me up and took me to Rick’s funeral which was really sad. It was an open coffin and I remember just tripping out on how swollen he looked. Also his left hand looked really fucked up and scraped and it looked like they did their best to kind of hide that hand. One thing I remember is Rick’s dad speaking at the funeral and the last thing he said was “See you in the morning son” while tears were streaming down his face. One more little tidbit about Rick Primero was that I heard he left Los Angeles that night and was on the way to my parents house in Corona, California to visit my sister Natalie. She’s the one who told me that.
Victor Cornelius was my Granny Brenda’s cousin who lived at her house in Garden Grove when I was a kid. I thought he was kind of mean but I found out from my granny that he actually really thought I was a good kid who needed guidance and that was the reason he was a bit hard on me. He had one fucked up withered ass looking monkey hand. I think it was his left hand. What happened is that when he was younger and living in Trinidad he stuck his arm out the window while in a car and another car hit it somehow and just basically smashed the shit out of it. He died of cancer when I was maybe 16. He was pretty old and stuff. I called him Uncle Victor but he wasn’t really my uncle. He was more like a cousin or some shit like that, only three or four times removed. That’s pretty much all I have to say about my Uncle Victor. He was a pretty alright fellow and I think he told me some pretty cool stories here and there when he wasn’t all grumpy and shit.
Margaret Savage was the mother of a guy I went to elementary school with named Patrick Savage. We went to St. Edwards, a catholic school in Corona, California. Details are a bit fuzzy for me but I know that we had some sort of connection with Margaret Savage whether it was because she babysat my sister Natalie and I after school some days or because we used to car pool with them a couple days a week. It was definitely one of those two things for sure. Anyways, I remember her as a nice lady, although she sometimes got mad at us kids for fucking around too much. She died in a horrific car accident while I was still a kid. Something happened involving her car and an 18 wheeler truck I’m pretty sure. I think it was in Chino, Calfornia on the 71 which is really just a overblown street masquerading as a highway at this time (in the 80’s). I’m not sure the exact details but I heard that she got dragged somehow behind the truck and got totally mangled in the accident. Like bad. Pretty sad. I remember tripping out a little when I heard and feeling real bad for Patrick. I’m pretty sure Patrick started getting into trouble after his mom died but don’t quote me on that.
Joe Bayne was my Grandpa Archie’s brother who died like in 1913 at the age of 14 or so. I didn’t know him personally and I realize I am breaking my own rule on this one but I thought he should be mentioned because he died so young and because of the cirucumstances surrounding his death and because for many years I had a picture of him, dead, at this funeral on a table surrounded by white flowers, with socks on, his hands crossed and his eyes closed. I don’t have too many details about him except I do know that they were playing cricket and someone hit the ball on top of this building in Trinidad where they lived. Joe Bayne climbed up on the building and fell backwards from a long distance and broke his neck and died. Like I said he was my grandfather’s brother and I was extremely close to my grandfather and I just have always felt a certain affinity with Joe Bayne. I’ve dabbled in doing some art work using that picture I had forever (that I gave back to my Aunty Dorothy a couple of years ago). I also have scanned that picture in at at an extremely high resolution and cleaned it up on Photoshop and blew it up to try and see more details about him, how he looked, what he was wearing when they held that wake at his parents house and other little details I thought may have been hidden from view the casual person who glanced at the photo. This was a few years ago and I don’t remember having any important revelations appear to me so I’ll leave the story of Joe Bayne right there.
Megan Toughill was a beautiful and very cool girl that I knew in the punk rock scene in Orange County. I’m not even gonna lie, I wanted to hook up with her for years lol. She was totally fucking hot and had a rad attitude. I always used to see her at punk rock shows and I’d give her a hug and stuff. I actually knew her sister Erin better then her. Erin Toughill is pretty famous actually. She’s a beautiful girl too and she’s an MMA fighter. She’s even fought Laila Ali in a professional boxing match. I’m pretty sure she lost to Ali but other then that she has kicked all sorts of chick’s asses. I know Erin because she used to be boyfriend/girlfriend with my friend Mike Robarge and one time I went to San Francisco for the weekend with Mike’s band, Scarred for Life, a gnarly hardcore punk bank that had Ray Gunn as singer, one of my best friends Steve Stearns as drummer, this gnarly fucking guitarist Clyde Abad and Mike Robarge also doing guitar and this dude Crischarge. Shit that weekend was back in like 98 so I’ve known Erin and Megan for years. I haven’t talked to Erin in awhile and of course Megan died. She got in a gnarly fucking car accident on the freeway one night in September, 2004 I forgot the exact date but it was a gnarly fucking tragedy. I actually cried when I heard about it. It was that sad. She was a totally gorgeous chick and apparently the accident was fucked up and gruesome because she got evicted from her car. So, yeah, I wasn’t happy to say the least to hear about the passing of Megan Toughill. A few weeks after her death I moved to Australia and didn’t come back for five years except for once for Christmas.
Joel Brown was a fat, ugly, pimply faced dude that I was in Riverside Juvenile Hall with in 1985. Him and this dude Joe Bibby (who I was also in juvie with) had gone to rob this drug dealer dude in Corona. I think the dude’s name was Mike. Mike’s mom got her hair cut by my mom so I heard alot about this case. Anyways Joel Brown decided to shoot Mike in the head during the course of robbing him, much to the suprprise of Joe Bibby. Joel Brown was a fat piece of shit. He was held in solitary confinement and pretty quickly it was decided that he would be tried as an adult and he was transferred to Riverside County Jail. I remember that he was happy he was getting transferred because county jail inmates were still allowed to smoke cigarettes back then but not the minors at Riverside Juvenile Hall so he was happy to be going. Well I’m pretty sure he wasn’t too happy about a year or two later when he was in prison serving out his 15 – life sentence for second degree murder and he got killed himself. Good riddance to a piece of crap. Joe Bibby, who I did actually like and I know for a fact had no idea that any murder shit was going to take place ended up going to California Youth Authority and I don’t know what happened to him after that. I did see him once a couple years later on the outside and he seemed fine. Hopefully he has stayed out of trouble since then.
Mike “Maddog” Combs was a guitarist for a punk band I have been seeing for years named the Cadillac Tramps. He was an awesome fucking guitarist and seemed like a really cool dude. I heard that he was sober for years, he lived in Los Angeles somewhere. I didn’t know him personally, like as a friend or anything. Let me explain. I had a daughter with this girl Heather Batchelder. A couple of years after Ciara’s birth, Heather and I were having massive relationship issues to say the least. Anyways, one day I went on her hotmail account that I had set up for her a few years earlier and one that she had never changed the original password on. In her inbox was an email from her friend Tamara Cross with the subject line RE: Love in an Elevator. Before I even opened it up I knew what it was. At this time I was working a temporary Senior Accountant position for Ultramar Oil Company in Downtown Long Beach and I was at work when I read this email. It was also a Friday. I remember that for sure. The email was a reply from Tamara to Heather and it was all about this incident where Heather had fucked this dude Maddog in an elevator in a building in LA after a Cadillac Tramps show. Man oh man that was a sickening email to read lol. Dammit. It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life for sure let me tell you. I was pretty fat at the time and the very next day I started running. Within 60 days max, I had lost all of the extra pounds (about 45) and I was starting to look like the sexy motherfucker that I was. So anyway, yeah the maddog was Mike Combs. I didn’t hold it against him personally in the slightest. It wasn’t his fault. To be honest, it wasn’t her fault either. I had let my life go, my looks go and I was basically a drunk, coke sniffing piece of shit at that time. It was a well needed wakeup call for me. A few years later, I moved to Australia (coincidentally right around the time Megan passed away) and I remember I wan’t in Australia more then two or three months when Heather told me about Maddog. I was bummed out to hear about it. I am not too sure exactly what happened but I know that he was found dead in Vail, Colorado while snowboarding. This was in December of 2004 I believe. I don’t know if he had an accident or if he suffered some sort of seizure or heart attack or something. All I know is that he passed away doing something he loved and there is something to be said for that. I’m pretty sure he was about 43. Sad story and untimely end for a talented guy who just so happened to fuck my chick a few times lol. But its all good…..
Okay this is getting to be really long I just noticed that its approaching 3000 words so maybe I will cut this one off here. I have many many many people whose stories I want to tell so stay tuned for the next episode. Hopefully nobody gets offended by this subject. I’m not doing it to be disrespectful (except maybe to Joel Brown). In my mind I’m honoring people who have affected my life by saying their names and something about them so people will never forget them.
Until next time……