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How Greg got Saved, BC Part Two

by | Jun 11, 2024 | News

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Last time I gave a quick overview of my early life and the circumstances leading up to my move at 16 to Arizona to live with my uncle.

To pick up there, I took off from Detroit Metro at about 11pm and landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor a few hours later. I was filled with apprehension and resentment. How dare these ignorant adults turn my life upside down like this I thought. Never occurring to me that my life was already dangerously upside down due to my own ignorant decisions. In the midst of this upheaval I did somehow understand down inside that my uncle was going way above and beyond in doing what he believed was good for me so I didn’t take it out on him.

It’s important to mention that though my uncle was raised Roman Catholic, he had long ago abandoned that belief system and was now an atheist generally in the Carl Sagan scientism school.

He was also now an accountant for Ingersoll Rand Corporation and doing well enough financially to live in the McCormick Ranch section of Scottsdale. A decidedly upper middle class, but not super rich community. He got me a couple jobs with business owner friends of his, which I promptly lost because I had zero experience with, knowledge of or desire for anything that might vaguely resemble adult responsibility.

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On my way back from the first job interview I noticed that the local high school was about 1000 yards from the strip mall where the job was. Instinctively I headed over there on the bicycle I was riding to see what the local drug supply looked like. Let’s just say I was not disappointed. I got there during a break and weed was everywhere right off the bat. I hooked up with another couple brothers (nothing like the ones in Detroit though) and a third friend of theirs and off I went, taking up right where I left off in Detroit.

Needless to say, the trouble with sin is that it comes with you wherever you go and is also awaiting your arrival when you get there.

Though some street drugs that were in every school bathroom in Detroit, like tabbed mescaline and PCP (we called it “T” back then) were not as common down there, the drinking age was 18 and mushrooms (shrooms) were easy to find.

Things went south (pun?) quickly with my uncle, which was entirely my fault. I was out all hours partying and when high and or drunk enough, would forget to disable the alarm, waking the whole household. The first couple times I wound up with his shotgun in my face, until after a while they figured it was just me again.

He did try, but he didn’t know what to do with me either. I should add here that I grew up at least as close to my aunt, his wife, as I did him. She was completely distraught at what I was doing to myself. She changed my diapers when I was a baby. Interestingly, their two young kids loved me and I got along great with them lol. (another long story)

After less than a year with them I got drunk one morning ,when nobody was home, on his whiskey and forgot about some oil in a pan that I was heating up. I sat down in the living room and forgot about it. I barely remember, but by the time I became aware of the flames, they had set the plastic hood/light shield thing above the stove on fire.

Using a kitchen fire extinguisher that I knew he kept under the sink, I managed to get it out. The kitchen was a disaster. The metal part of the hood was all warped and the plastic sheet that covered the light was melted and dripping all over the stove. Not to mention the black soot all over everything.

Drunk, eyes watering and coughing and gagging I was in a complete panic.

I did the most courageous and responsible thing I could think of.

I ran away.

I left a scribbled note apologizing and took off on my bike with the clothes on my back, a bag of dope and maybe 100 bucks, having no idea what I was going to do next.

We’ll pick it up there in the next highly condensed installment.

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