Growing up with Ronnie was great.
We had a lot of fun, and more than a few close calls. When we were around 16, I remember a night we were drinking a lot. Most of my stories start that way. We had brought along a friend, Dennis Pryzborski, to be our designated driver. We went over to some girls house that Dennis knew. We were sitting in the girls bedroom talking, I think I was holding one of their hands. Nothing more than that. Next thing we knew, the girls drunk daddy came home. He was pissed at us. Hollaring, get out, I will kill you. We ran out to the car and jumped in. Took off down the road at a fast pace, I told Dennis to slow down, but it wasn’t Dennis driving, it was my drunk friend Ronnie. I asked him to slow down. He was panicked, saying that guy was going to kill us. The next thing I remember was seeing a desd end sign. I hollared “Dead End”. The next thing I remembered was in slow motion. I saw us hit the railroad ties blocking the dead end, I saw the brush going by the car, and I felt the car go airbourne. We flew about 50 ft into the middle of a field of mud. It definitely could have been fatal if it had been a different dead end. I got out of the car, knee deep in mud. Disoriented, looking around. We were all ok. I remember we walked about a mile to long point rd. We were wet, freezing, no jackets. We found a store trying to call a wrecker. A cop car drove up, looked at our dumb asses, laughed and drive off. We finally got a wrecker to pull the car out of the mud, and take us home to my house. It was daylight. I had to wake my grandmother up to pay the wrecker fee. I ran the bathtub full of hot water and got in. I was so hypothermic that I just layed down. It took about an hour for me to warm up.
Then there was the time we went to Austin. We were about 18. I think I was at A&M. We had beer on ice and a box full of marijuana cookies I had made. We had breakfast of a beer and cookie to start the trip. I didn’t know it but, everytime we stopped for a bathroom and beer break, Ronnie was hitting the cookies. I remember we were close to Austin and I saw a fork in the highway. I asked Ronnie, which way? Ronnie, which way? I looked over and he was staring straight ahead, mouth open, so stoned that he couldn’t talk. We finally made it to the campground where his Uncle Mike and family was. We set up the tent, and commenced to the main porpoise, getting drunk. I had my guitar and was playing and drinking. Next thing I vaguely remembered was noticing that Uncle Mike’s 15 year old daughter was looking good. She had grown up. It gets hazy after that. Next think I remember was waking up. I had blood all over my face, and my whole body hurt. My face looked like a war zone, all skinned up. I got up and looked around. First thing I saw was. Line of 55 gallon trash cans were knocked over, and my hat was laying by the cans.It was never admitted to, but I am sure I said the wrong thing to Uncle Mikes daughter, and that big man had thrown me head first though those garbage cans. I am pretty sure I deserved it. For years, Uncle Mike would just look at me and smile.
Another night, I remember Henry had booked us at a bar on Travis Street in Houston. It was known to be a gay bar. We set up the equipment and got a drink. Everything looked pretty normal. We got up and were playing some songs. I saw two big old cowboys with beards come in I started to think that, maybe everyone comes in here. Then we played a slow song, and those two big old cowboys got up and started to slow dance together. I just looked at the floor. I knew if I looked at Ronnie, I would have busted out laughing.
Then there was another night we had been out drinking, probably had been to a topless dancing bar, as would any 16 year old should. :). When We got home, I heard the smoke detector going off. There was smoke everywhere, and my grandmother, Grandma Boo as we called her. She had a broom handle and was beating the hell out of the smoke detector, yelling “shut up you son of a bitch”
I went in the kitchen and she had left the fire on under a iron skillet with nothing in it. That skillet was glowing red hot. About that time Ronnie walked in, took one look at the skillet and said, just let me know when it’s done!! And went to bed.
Ronnie and William were our best friends. William was my brother’s age and best friend. He had a nice car and he loved to drive fast. One night he was driving home. There is a bridge on Ella close to 18th street in Houston. Two lanes on each side. There is a small gap between each side. I guess it was fate, he lost control for a second and his car just threaded the needle between the bridges. His Car flew all the way to the other side of the huge concrete bayou. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Ronnie was listening to police radio and heard about the wreck. He just went to watch, until he realized it was his brother. I still think about William a lot. I looked up to him. He left a big hole in our family.