Dating ’91-’92

So your mom’s friend, Luis, didn’t kill me and remained an awesome Mexican and became a friend. I remained painfully white. Your mom and I began to talk about our own culture, our dreams. We dated and hung out together non-stop through the first week. Literally every day, every night. I wouldn’t drop her off at Luis’ house until around 3am. I was living with Granny and Grandpa Perry at the time – a 45 minute drive. I would be back at work at 8am and do it again.

Luis brought your mom to the shop that Monday July 15, 1991 when we met over the Corgi at the chain link fence, and had our first date… on a Monday night. She didn’t want to go to the shop with him that day. He really didn’t wanna have to kill another white boy.

Regardless. Papa got the date and Luis didn’t kill me. I polished my ’76 Camaro, wore my best white jeans, tucked in my shirt, and what you can’t see are my white snakeskin cowboy boots.

This would be me getting a six pack to drink with my minor date.

And this would be me drinking and driving her around.



We were very, very dumb back then.


And very good looking. We used to crash apartment hot tubs late at night.


Hey Sunny, this is where you get that look.
So mom did go to Del Rio on the Greyhound and came back with pictures. And a criminal record. In Mexico.

These pictures.


When returning to the states with her friend, the cops found a bong in his car. She was only wearing this. It took them all day to figure out they weren’t smuggling and she says she doesn’t actually have a record. I still find it strange she wants nothing at all to do with Mexico considering her maiden name is Trevino. But I believe her.

Because I wore stone washed jeans. This would have been one of our many trips to Port Aransas in our sick white boat shoes.

We also went camping a lot – this would be Canyon Lake, Texas with our buddies, Ron & Christine.

We liked Austin a lot even back then. This would’ve been on 6th St with Robert. Our first conversation included talking about our desire to move to Austin.

And we were trying hard to fit in. This must be some sort of family dinner on papa’s side – that’s Ditty, your great grandma on my left. She would hate that I posted this picture of her. She was always so proper.

Your mom & I started working together at the hot rod shop in San Antonio soon after meeting. She came in to help out in the office, answer calls and all. I primarily managed the place.

One of the mechanics owned this drag racing car, Yosemite Sam. It was very fast.

What’s hard to see is the fantastic burnout I was doing here… nor could you know from this picture that this was in the parking lot of the shop and the car had lousy brakes. I almost drove through a building after this burnout.

We used to go to the dragway quite a bit and bracket race. Basically, you pick how fast you think you can get your car down the quarter mile and whoever is closest to their chosen time wins. As in life, I won some and lost some.

After dating for several months, Jenn and I were often sneaking in and out of Granny’s house where I was living to spend the night (totally not acceptable by Granny, like really really not acceptable), or spending the night at the shop in an office. That was always weird. It became less common to make the trek to drop Jenn off at Luis’ place because of the amount of time we were spending together. So we moved in together in this travel trailer parked near the shop.

This is the same trailer I lived in when I went to school in Abilene. Our first home! Rent back then was $150/mo for the full hook up spot. There was no public restroom or shower. This was truly a trailer park.

We really enjoyed this a lot. That would be our clothes drying over the rear kitchen table, couch and your mama cooking some eggs or pork chops. It was a fifth wheel, so the bathroom was in the middle and the bed up top.

We had a couple of cats. The one on mom is ‘Dallas’ that she brought home randomly, the other is ‘Scratch’ that your papa had for a while.

Then this happened…. (had nothing to do with the cats)

Welcome baby Trevino! (that you would be you, Austin)

July 15, 1991

Hi kids. It is July 15, 1991. I am Gregory Basil White, your future dad. I really don’t like my name. This is the day our life started.

I’m 23 years old working for my stepbrother – Grandpa Perry’s son, Lee. It’s a hot rod shop in San Antonio, I’m making $5/hr. There’s no family money, and I have run out of loans, money, and time to finish college. I wanted a four year, bachelors degree in engineering. I carry a two year degree in ‘electronics science’ in my wallet from Texas A&M.

In 1991, computers may or may not happen yet. Robotics and lasers are the high hope. I went to school to be a better roadie. I wanted to work for bands. I have a $9,000 student loan that I have to start repaying, now. On $5/hr.

I spent the last year depleting Grannies college savings at a christian university that lied to me on a degree plan. She raised me after 10yrs old as a single mother. Your uncle James left soon after your Granddad.

Your Granddad was a minister/realtor/bible/oil salesman when I was growing up. He often jokes how we should see each other every few years. Granny and I survived on something like $10k/yr from her part time jobs and the horse/petting zoo farm. I didn’t know we were poor, we just didn’t eat much nor do much outside of church and the farm.

I always worked hard and went to church until I was 16 when I yelled ‘fuck you’ to my mom and raced off on my piece of shit cruiser motorcycle. It didn’t have a first gear. Racing off in second gear is not that dramatic.

I moved out at 17. I partied and did stupid shit. I can’t buy the ‘Jesus or hell’ christian faith I was raised and educated in. Nor can I believe there is no God, some higher power that makes us want to be better. Something that keeps us together after all this passes. I’ve always wanted to be a good guy despite many asshole moves.

Around 20, I got sick of competing for minimum wage jobs so I started the electronics school with grants, student loans, and a job at the front desk of Holiday Inn, downtown San Antonio – the one by El Mercado. I knew how to conform, smile, and wear a tie. I’m good and patient with pissed off people.

Turns out I wasn’t a dumbass in college despite my solid ‘D’ average from high school. I excelled in a school when they didn’t give a shit if I showed up or cared. I learned best stoned. It gives me some kind of weird focus. Marlboro Reds cigarettes became tolerable to cover up the illegal smell of pot. Marijuana is perceived like hard drugs back then. I did research. They’re nothing similar. I puke when I drink. I actually enjoy Boolean algebra and hotel assholes after a few bowls or joints a few times a day.

So, July 15, 1991 – I’m a typical white American kid from a broken christian home. A tech certificate trade in my wallet. Fresh from a good fucking from a christian university, to working minimum wage back in the party town I wanted to get out of. I felt very alone. Kinda pissed, and really lost. I want to be a good man.

I met your mom at the chain link fence inside the car shop I worked at. We were on opposite sides.

You know we love the 80s movies. I knew right away she is the girl I want to marry. She’s Demi Moore from One Crazy Summer; Ally Sheedy from Short Circuit; Kerri Green from The Goonies – all of them wrapped up in this cow print bikini top and mini skirt right here in the auto shop.

I’m a shit storm of insecurity wrapped in a fast Camaro with a dresser full of Van Halen spandex sporting a blow dried mullet. Clueless, shyly confident. God how I wanna be liked, my only prayer these days. She just needs to say something, anything, and I’ll share my goofiness because I like people and she’s the closest I’ll ever get to ‘Andy’ (The Goonies girl, not Toy Story).

My dream guy…everything in this paragraph, my dream guy…

I don’t even try talking to her after walking by to look at cars, then check the desk, then back to cars, desk, cars, desk, cars…. I suck when I’m around girls this hot. I don’t believe I have a chance, not gonna even try, and all these guys I work with are trying. Yet she chose to talk to me about the shop dog, a Corgi.

I thought she could be 16 or 25. I try so hard to look into her eyes. So beautiful. So confident. A voice and attitude that draws you to her… bikini… shit. Eyes. Look at the eyes, man. I just wanted to talk. She made it easy. I didn’t actually get the date, she did and made me think I did. She said she had plans that night that fell through. She had to say it a few times before I offered the night. I wanted nothing more than to spend time with her. Lots of it. I had never felt the desire to be such a gentleman. Never wanted to make anyone feel like such a lady.

We drove around in my ’76 Camaro till morning the next several nights in a row and I hardly wanted a kiss goodnight. I wanted to spend time with her. Lots of time. And hold her hand.

We were painfully common. Your mom came from a broken family too. Mexicans, the Trevinos. A rough stepdad we’ve told you a little about.  Your grandma was a busy mom back then. Jenn was raised by her mom and her mom’s mom, a cute little grandma named Rose that she also called mom. Ya’ll got to meet her a few times when you were babies.

Your mom had left her home at 16 and was living with a Mexican guy friend named Luis. He was clear with me – I will kill you and bury your white ass. Do not hurt her. Mexicans are awesome. You all are very blessed to have Mexican blood in your veins.

After becoming hopelessly infatuated with her, I learn she is only 17. I’m 23 and felt like a schmuck to be so hopeless and helplessly in love already. I somehow know I love this woman and want nothing more than to take care of her. Forever.

A week after meeting, she took the Greyhound bus to Del Rio for the weekend to hang out with a friend. I hoped for her return. I hoped she wouldn’t realize I’m a poser. How insecure and unable I am to take care of her. I partied in sameness that weekend like I had been for years, my last time ever. She got thrown in a Mexican jail for drug smuggling.

Wasn’t my stuff…Not even kidding…

That’s what they all say.

We can count on one hand the days we’ve been apart since then. That same hand that is on your mom’s butt.

 

 

Your dad, before mom

Growing up güero.

Thoughts with pics and words around Jan 2014 by papa.

Your dad grew up white. Very white. Down to the last name. Even if he somehow got your granny’s maiden name, he would’ve been a ‘Smith’. Someone traced us back to the Mayflower, pilgrims and puritans. So Yeah. That white.

My heritage is European. Probably some Irish, German, Nordic. I really don’t know. Someone looked up ancestry and found ‘Dragging Canoe‘, a Native American really mean looking dude in there. I wouldn’t doubt we have a bunch of other races mixed in there somewhere.

Something I’ve learned through the years – We agree way more than we disagree. Nobody wants to ban slingshots or have a neighbor with nuclear weapons. Nobody wants to kill babies or enemies, just freedom. People respect others beliefs, and fight for their own over the tiny stuff in between. This makes bad-ass warlords like Dragging Canoe that kill white people, yet desire them enough to have some sex with ’em and make more. It’s weird.

Gratitude

Today I am grateful we generally agree Destructive Devices (explosives) and arms that are classified Military Grade remain illegal and extremely difficult to get. That nobody is arguing BB guns.
Our hatred lives in the tiny window between caliber.

Today I am grateful that we generally agree politicians can be corrupt, yet we continue to pay taxes and have government services and laws to protect us and make life easier. That we all generally support helping those in need, fight for equality for ours and most others belief systems, and collectively appreciate the benefits of tax money.
Our hatred lives in the tiny window between parties.

Today I am grateful that we all generally support marriage across religions and races, and through most levels of femininity and masculinity. That we agree humans shouldn’t be sexing different species.
Our hatred lives in the tiny window between whom others orgasm with.

Today I am grateful that the majority of us understand our DNA shares more humanity than race. That most of us realize our regional impurities and we come together as humans when we are faced with terror and evil. That we connect as a human race and fight together against actual enemy attacks.
Our hatred lives in the tiny window perceived between colors on the Von Luschan scale.

Today I am grateful that we generally agree a pregnancy should be terminated to save a mother’s life. That we have the medical technology to accomplish saving a mother’s life. That for the most part, we don’t fight over birth control.
Our hatred lives in the tiny window between cells splitting.

Today I am grateful that witches and races are not lynched in town squares anymore; that Christians can purchase the same weapons Muslims can; that Hare Krishna’s hand out literature on the streets, and Jehovah’s Witness’ can knock on doors without getting shot. That most of us will race toward evil and terrorists to destroy them to save others, regardless of religion, race, and beliefs.
Our hatred lives in the tiny window between beliefs.

Today I am grateful we’re only enemies through such tiny windows.
0.18 inch bb to 0.5 inch legal caliber
Democrat to Republican
Straight to Gay
0 to 36 on the Von Luschan scale
Sperm and egg to first breath
Belief to Action

Yet we still generally dine together, laugh, and kill each other objectively less than any other time in human history.
I’m so confused that I hate us and love us and this blip of a human experience so much. Thank you all for all of it.


As for me, I grew up on the side of white, protestant, Church of Christ, Texans. Chicken and dumplings, chicken noodle soup, and chicken fried steak… lots of chicken and lots of church.

Our last century of roots go deep through Texas. Your 3x great grandfather ran Tom D. Smith Fancy groceries on 9th and Congress in Austin around 1900. Your great something uncle was John Nance Garner. Another somebody was the mayor of Uvalde. There were also pioneer ancestors in Weatherford and Burnet, Texas.

I spent a lot of my growing up time visiting the dairy farm in Weatherford that my dad, your Granddad grew up on with three older sisters. Your granny, my mom grew up in San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Kind of a hoity toity hood. She was pretty much an only child, her older brother being much older and going off and being a fighter pilot hero. Her mom and dad, Ditty and Bo, were a socialite and Supreme Court and military lawyer.

I was born in Nashville when Granddad was there selling bibles. He was also a preacher and youth minister, he also worked with the YMCA and sold real estate. He worked a lot, was gone a lot. Granny raised me and your Uncle James. She was also a teacher. We moved to San Antonio when I was two. At seven we moved into the house you know I grew up in with our tiny hand prints in the concrete.

Your grandparents met at Abilene Christian University. We went to Sunset Ridge Church of Christ a lot. Ditty was there when the church got started in a Red Cross building.

I went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Every event, every time. A lot of  Church. Church. Church. A really, really big deal in my young life… oh, and Young Life™, another churchy organization I did stuff with when I was in public school. We also worked a lot. Lots of value in work too. I’ve heard these priorities more than once:

  1. Work.
  2. Church.
  3. Family.

My parents gave themselves to work and church. I’ve always believed both pretty much digested them – got their best parts to nourish the machine while moving methodically towards its next consumption. It’s what machines do to survive.

My mom and dad simply failed at family.

I was ten when my dad packed a suitcase and just left. My brother went with him a year later. I was raised primarily by Granny and Ditty and the church. I had a good childhood. The dysfunction got loud later.

I would hear from granddad a few times over the years. He would pop in and out and say things like ‘we should try to see each other every 2-3 years‘.  He still says that in my 40s. I still don’t know how to process it.

I grew up working hard on Granny’s farm, land that came from her parents (Ditty and Bo) back in the ’40’s. This was their retirement land. Granny loved her horses and this turned into her horseback and petting zoo business after working some shitty waitress jobs to keep us going after Granddad left. Working the farm taught me work ethic. I was up at 5am to feed horses every morning; hauled hay and filled the feed barn; collected horses off the road in the middle of the night and stayed up all night with them when it froze. I never really knew we were low income.

Around 12 years old, Granny married Ricky for a couple of years. He remains a father figure I enjoyed and admire. I learned fun from Ricky. He built fast cars, boats, and motorcycles and day jobbed in old school graphics. He drank a lot of beer. We went on trail rides often – we’d ride long distances all weekend with 200 or so other people, a sound truck, covered wagons, and dances every night. For a couple of years in February we’d ride for a week from Kerrville to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Great times.

Ricky also turned me onto fast motorcycles, boats, and cars. I rarely rode horses after he bought me a screaming Suzuki RM80 dirtbike. I also got really good slalom waterskiing behind his  speed boat and really got into the waterskiing culture – trick, jump and slalom. I kept tabs on all the top competitors. Wakeboarding didn’t exist.

Uncle James went to live with Granddad because he and Ricky didn’t get along at all. Granddad got married to your Grandma Jeanne and they lived in Midland with Camie (her daughter) and an exchange student from Costa Rica, Ivannia. I’d go up there on weekends and spent a summer with them. I worked on a ranch and earned money to buy a slick water ski. That’s why you know all of them.

Mom and Ricky got divorced near the same time dad and Jeanne divorced. I was 14. Uncle James was 18 and had already graduated High School. He moved on. I started my rebellion. My motorcycle gave me a lot of  freedom. I was all country sweet church boy – but by 16, I was a full on rebellious stoner. I abandoned church and started barely passing High School.

Granny somehow kept us together and going. She’s the strongest woman I know.

Between 14 and 16 with little income she somehow figured out how to get me on church retreats to snow skiing (K-Val style – no snowboards), Big Bend, camps and all that. One year we did a Wilderness Trek where 60 some odd church kids hiked up 14,082 foot Mt. Windom near Durango, CO. Whitewater rafting and a ride down the mountain on the narrow gauge railway. Still one of the best experiences of my life.

My youth minister from church, John Harp, remains the other man I admire most in my life. I carried his and Ricky’s business cards in my wallet for decades. He was far from a hipster despite this look.

I love and respect granny so much but started questioning her religion and dogma. I searched for my identity through long drives, motorcycles, rock-n-roll, and pot. I went to a lot of hard rock concerts. I experimented with harder drugs, no needles – stuff like acid, ecstasy, coke, and shrooms. Didn’t like any of it much.

I never could drink. Friends thought I was quite the partier, few knew that I’d carry the same beer or cup without refills all night. You’ve heard from old friends about the epic keg parties on Greg White’s land. It was very Dazed and Confused. The last one got me thrown in jail. Don’t go there, it sucks.

My senior High School government paper was on legalizing marijuana. I’m sure my debate was rigged. All the other kids went on debate with each other. I had to debate my government teacher who is now in the Texas senate or something. The arguments haven’t changed. I’m glad society is.

Mom called the cops on me one time when she found a pipe, rolling papers, a wind up toy, and shoe polish in my baja bug one day.  You figure out what she was thinking on the windup toy and shoe polish. The cop confirmed my bug smelled like pot and I got a short run with PDAP (some drug abuse program).

I graduated high school, barely.

I moved in and out of Granny and Ditty’s house and got my first apartment when I was seventeen. I worked a lot of lame jobs, did some cool roadie jobs, eventually moved in and out and back in with a girl, and a few years later got tired of being broke and started engineering college to University.

Then I met your mom.