Posted here for the first time in history is a picture of yers troolee and two friends.
It was taken some time between 1963 and 65 during a social gathering at the Lutheran church I attended at the time.
The person in the middle is John Gretzinger.
The person with the banjo is Erik Shank.
That would be mee on your left.
I have been in contact with both of these individuals in the past couple of years.
Both still live in California.
Once upon a time, long before most of you were born, I was a nerdy teenager trying to find my way in life.
Trying to dress like the cool kids did and say the words that the cool kids did, etc.
I considered myself a "Christian" though if someone were to really start drilling me on specific points of doctrine, behavior, or Bible knowledge, I would quickly have admitted that I did not measure up to being a disciple of Jesus.
All of that notwithstanding, I was a member of a Folk group called The Lexingtons.
I came up with the name.
The other members reluctantly agreed to it.
We really wanted another name but it was taken by another group on the other side of town (Los Angeles).
I don't remember what the name was now.
We were part of a trend in them days.
"Folk" music was big.
This was in 1959-65.
The number one song in the nation for several weeks had no electric instruments in it.
And it had a BANJO in it.
The group that sang it was called "The Kingston Trio".
The song was "Tom Dooley".
(which I never really liked, but sang it on request.)
In fact, it really was a "folk" song - meaning a song written many years before relating some real event and passed down through generations by word of mouth.
It was about a guy who kills the lover of his ex-girlfriend in 1866.
The fad was so huge that the Gibson and Martin guitar companies could not make acoustic guitars fast enough.
The waiting period for ANY model Martin guitar was 6 months!
Gibson was the same.
Erik waited almost 6 months for his banjo.
I bought an Epiphone guitar and waited 90 days for it to come into the store.
We were big fans of the Kingston Trio.
I bought all (ALL!) of their albums.
Any time they were playing in the area, I would go to see them. (see the 100 things list)
As soon as a new one came out, we would pick out the songs that we liked the best and learn to sing and play them.
Anyway, in the spirit of full disclosure, here are two pictures of me at age 20, taken on December 31, 1965 at about 9 PM.
I and my girlfriend at the time were attending a New Years eve party.
The teacups we are holding contained a mixture of vodka, 7-Up, and ice cream.
This is the only evidence of the only time in my life that I have ever consumed an alcoholic recipe to the extent that it affected my perceptions (read: drunk).
Although I will tell you that I was not "drunk" as you may have seen some people.
"Tipsy" might be a more accurate term.
You can read more about the events of this evening and the following morning in my 100 things list.
Once I realized that it was having an affect on me I stopped drinking it.
This was not the case for many of the others at the party.
Music being played on the stereo that evening included "The Beatles Songbook" by the Hollyridge Strings, and some older Johnny Mathis stuff.
Other music included some real Beatles stuff, and the Beachboys.
Standard party background music for my crowd.
Little did I know that less than a year from this evening I would kneel at the altar in the U.S Army base chapel in Teagu, Korea and repent of my sins - including this one - and be born again.
This was my life before the big 180.