BFD 2 Fresno

BFD 2 Fresno
This song started with the line, “From Bakersfield to Fresno and everywhere in between,” which made me laugh out loud. I’ve hitchhiked that stretch — but it was back in 70 or so when it was safe (you know, back then, all we had to contend with was the Manson Family, the Hillside Strangler(s) and 3 or 4 different murderers — all dubbed “The Freeway Killer” or “Freeway Strangler” by our imaginative local press) and, while there were more than a couple miles in between there wasn’t much else besides dust and superfarms that smelled of supertoxic insectisides wafting up into the 110 degree, smoggy air… altogether, delightful trip.

(Honest to God, kids. Do not hitchike. It’s not like it was in the thirties or the fifties — or even the 60’s and 70’s when all the mass murderers started trolling for hitchers… Just don’t do it.)

AYoS acoustic version

produced version [at Soundclick.com]

BFD 2 Fresno

I know you wonder
how I’ll ever get along
What will the lost boy do
now the smart girl’s gone?
I haven’t seen the world
but there’s one that I know
You were just a short short ride
on a long long road…

First time I saw you
didn’t know what to do
I tried to catch your eye
but you just came barreling through
all the boys scattered
and the sparks began to fly
I just stood there
you fillin’ up my mind

I know you wonder how I’ll ever get along…

Don’t know why you chose me
Guess I thought that it was just fate
The door swung open
I threw my old life away
my hometown in your rearview
my feet on your daddy’s dashboard
Didn’t take long til I saw
just what I was for

I know you wonder how I’ll ever get along…

From Bakersfield back to to Fresno
and everywhere in between
Everything was wrong
and it was all because of me
At the bottom of the hill I said
“here will l be fine”
Last time I saw you
you was just another grape on the vine

I know you wonder
how I’ll ever get along
What will the lost boy do
now the smart girl’s gone?
I haven’t seen the world
but there’s one that I know
You were just a short short ride
on a long long road…

(C)1997, TK Major

Blog within a Blog…

And speaking of Freeway Killers… I used to eat breakfast at a little joint in Long Beach in the 70’s called Egg Heaven (my typical order was a Maria’s Special, a chili and home fries and eggs and hot sauce conglomeration cooked up by Mary, the cook-owner), more or less every day on the way to work and, often as not, with my GF or pals on the weekends.

As anyone who does the diner-breakfast thing knows, you typically see the same folks day after day. Everyone has their typical seats and times… it’s a big, chaos-driven watch mechanism of coming and ordering and eating and going.

One of the other regulars, a fellow around 30 or so with long blond hair, kind of funny eyes, and a droopy moustache, had initially caught my eye because he looked enough like a friend of mine to make me look twice (but not three times… more of a cousinish resemblance, if you will). But it wasn’t him and he mostly receded from my active attention to become just another cog in the big breakfast machine. Still, over a period of several years, I probably saw this guy at least 3 or 4 times a week.

Eventually, a nasty motorcycle wreck took me out of that groove and into the hospital. When I got out of the hospital after two months I had to find a new place to live and moved to nearby Seal Beach, which at the time (’81) was quiet and charming. During my recuperation, I stumbled into a substantially different morning groove, different times, different breakfast joints.

Imagine, if you will, fair reader, my surprise when, picking up the local fishwrapper one day I saw a picture of the then-recently apprehended “Freeway Strangler.”

This is a guy who had strangled (as it eventually turned out) over 40 young men he’d picked up hitchhiking, most of them marines, soldiers, and sailors, drugging them first and then performing more or less unspeakable crimes to them. (Can’t remember if the unspeakable crimes were pre- or post-mortem. But bad stuff, trust me.)

And, you already guessed it, of course, it was the blond, droopy-moustached regular from the old breakfast joint, who I found out was named Randy Kraft. He was a fairly distinctive looking guy. There was no mistaking him as his eyes looked into the mug shot camera. Turned out he was openly gay (confounding the era’s ‘profilers’ who had pegged the crime on a deeply conflicted “latent homosexual”) and living with his boyfriend, a hairdresser, who was given a clean bill of health by the cops after a super-thorough investigation, saying the BF simply didn’t know anything about Kraft’s secret life as a mass murderer.

More than a few years later I became friends with a transplanted Dutch jewelsmith, a hip, counterculture guy who had been married for a number of years to a pretty young American girl. In passing, one day, I mentioned that I used to eat breakfast “with” Randy Kraft, the mass murderer.

My friend got this funny look in his eye and said, “Well, I can top that — my wife and I used to double date with him and his boyfriend.”

“He seemed like a nice guy — but kind of quiet,” my friend added with a laugh.


It’s a small world. Sometimes, just a little too small.

 

 

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