Thursday, February 23, 2006

When I Was In College

When I was in college, I lived for a year in a house with 5 other guys. A small house. Far from campus. It had a mold problem in the basement, where my room was, and I almost burned it down once. It's not there anymore. It was only a few years after I moved out that I noticed it was gone. I guess it had been torn down, because there was a completely different house where ours used to be.

I used to take the bus to work across town at a used CD shop. I would walk the 4 blocks between our house and the bus stop in loafers, brown ones designed like saddle shoes. Even in the winter, often slipping, but never falling. I had a walkman that I listened to. I listened to lots of things, but especially a Guided By Voices tape, the second Pharcyde album, and the Pell Mell album "Interstate."

The CD shop was in a famous strip mall, and there was a little arthouse movie theatre across the parking lot. I saw "Suburbia" there one night, and when I got out the busses had stopped running. So I unlocked the store and slept behind the counter. I was a bad worker there, because I often spent over my budget when people brought in CDs to sell. But the owner was cool. Jeff was a card carrying member of NORML, drove a rusted out Trans Am, and dated a girl who worked across the hallway of the mall at the hemp clothes store. He liked Alligator Records a lot. He was kinda like "The Dude."

Next door to the shop was a Baskin Robbins run by an Indian guy. I'd go in there everyday and buy a Jamocha shake. Often one of his sons or his daugher was working. He was always really nice, and I remember one day when he had to close the shop because he couldn't afford it anymore. I was sad for him, and for myself because I couldn't have my shakes anymore.

The store front was a great skate spot. It had a few little planters and some sets of steps. During the summer, D and I would head out there to skate it after the stores closed. We were never really good, because neither of us had the nerve to try anything really dangerous. But it was on a nearby loading ramp that the author executed a perfect kickflip in front of friends who aspired to such greatness. Inevitably, we'd get too tired and sit on our decks, smoking cigarettes.

When the mall was sold to another developer, everything was torn down. The spots where I worked and skated are now a giant parking lot.


Anonymous Jeremy said...

Would this be the old Frandor? I remember it well.

Reading this brought on a huge wave of nostalgia.

1:13 PM  
Blogger J.Knecht said...

Ah, Frandor. We miss the old you. Remember how there was a Pinball Pete's right there too? That whole place was weirdly cool.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Laba said...

BTW, that house is still there!! I drive by it whenever I return to EL. It has been converted into a two-story. Ahhh, the memories!

9:37 PM  
Blogger J.Knecht said...

No way man, that can't be the same house, can it? I wasn't really surprised when I thought it was gone, cause we wrecked that place! Next time I'm in EL, I'm swinging up Lexington to take a look. 532 Swing!

11:38 PM  
Blogger Spliffmeister said...

Ahh, yes, Frandor. The memories. That, and the late "Ernie the Can Man". Those are the MSU memories to cherish.

5:04 PM  
Blogger J.Knecht said...

Man, I didn't know Ernie died. He was quite a mystery. Ernie the can man, RIP.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Spliffmeister said...

Yeah, Ernst Young (Ernie the Can Man) died in Jan '04:

Too bad, he was quite an interesting guy (I had a talk with him about cool architecture in Jocundry's Bookstore one time)

9:50 AM  

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