My one-way ticket outta Palookaville
This memories of idyllic Stockton thread on Facebook has me all head-scratchy. On one hand, it’s really great to scroll through page after page of posts on places I’d half-forgotten. But on the other hand, it’s infuriating to see new post after new post about “Remember that guy who’d stand on the corner of of Pershing and Swain banging on a guitar with no strings and singing Elvis songs?” The way the page is organized, with zero indexing or search function, it’s nearly impossible to get all the comments on one subject together, so you’ll make a nice and thoughtful addition, and then it will disappear, replaced by another five or 10 “remember that guy …” posts.
Still, and although I’m not one for huge doses of nostalgia, I’m kinda getting off on reading some of the posters, like Terry O’Reilly, an old pal from the punk rock days, and Floyd Perry, Jr., whom I’ve never met. But sorting through the 8,400+ posts, way too many of them redundant as hell — which isn’t really the fault of the people posting as much as it is the inherently chaotic nature of the page — to read the interesting posts takes way too much time. It’s easier on a laptop, but downright impossible on a so-called smart phone.
I have a million stories, but damn if I’m going to waste them in a thread that disappears, to be replaced by 12 hammerheads who’ve typed out the same topic in all caps, or infinite variations on “remember when me and Betty Sue and Linda Lou cruised the avenue and ate burgers at the A&W?” or whatever. A little better way to index or organize the page, if that’s possible, and I don’t think it is, and it would be a lot more magnetic to people like me as a supreme time waster. Because I have a bizarre love-hate relationship with Stockton, and even though I’ll most likely never live there again, that town is a big part of who I am, moreso than I’d care to admit.
Not that the thugs and jocks and lowbrow fucksticks who made the lives of me and all my artsy pals so miserable want to read my take on the burg, which is a lot darker than some George Lucas beatoff fantasy — more along the lines of David Lynch, the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese and more. Hey, remember the time we were on our bikes on Yokut(s) Avenue between Sears and Macy’s and we flipped off those National Socialist White Peoples Party assholes from Tracy who were riding in back of a Mercedes-Benz troop carrier wearing Nazi uniforms with swastika armbands, and the driver of the truck tried to run us off the road in front of Lyon’s? Remember the psycho couple in the Lincoln Village flattops who held us at gunpoint for several hours for stealing pomegranates from the tree in their backyard? Remember that guy who burned down the Church of the Presentation because, years earlier, one of the priests there had molested him as an altar boy?
Anyway, I got a million stories. But, hey: Anybody remember Peter Piper Pizza? —Jackson Griffith