Summer of ’78 A Road Trip





After more than two years of on and off work my first novella has been published!  Below is the first chapter.  At the end there’s a link to purchase the book through Amazon. The paperback is $9.99 and the ebook version is $4.99.  The ebook has colored photos.  The paperback has grayscale photos.  But the paperback you can leave on your coffee table and show it off to people!  Please buy it and spread the word.

Thank you!



A Grand Adventure

“Goddammit, Fralia, focus! Where’s your head at?” yells the coach.

I’m thinking to myself, Oh boy, here we go again.

It’s senior year in high school and none of us are focusing, but Fralia is always an easy target. And why not—good looking, charismatic, smooth talking, and dating the hottest girl in school. It seems like even the coaches are jealous of his charmed life.

Dave Fralia was the first person I met when I moved to San Diego. It was at “two-a-days” practice for frosh football at Mount Carmel before the school year began. We just hit it off and became fast friends.

That was 1974, and now here we are in May of 1978 and graduation can’t come soon enough. The day after graduation, we are jumping in Herman, my 1970 Volkswagen Bug, and hitting the road for a five-week trip of the Western United States. A grand adventure: a two-man tent, our fishing poles, and .22 caliber rifles in the back seat. Everyone thinks we are just talking shit. Oh, ye of little faith. I’m only seventeen, but will be eighteen in a week and a half after graduation.

We have a nice loop planned through Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, down the Oregon coastline, and back into California. We’ll be visiting my friend in Idaho Falls. I lived there for three years, the formative ones, between eleven and thirteen. Idaho was fun, but San Diego is more to my liking. Toward the end of the trip, we’ll be in Sacramento, my birthplace, visiting my aunt, cousins, and childhood friends. Our last stop will be San Jose to visit our friend Suzie.

You are probably thinking, Herman? Who names their car that? Isn’t a guy’s car supposed to be a she? Well, Herman is a she. The Encinitas Herman Cook license plate frame inspired the name. I got a great deal at $650. She’s a faded red, without dings or dents. She always starts, is dependable, and— like most Bugs—leaks a little oil. The gas gauge also doesn’t work, but the trip odometer does, so I just have to be sure to get gas around 240 miles. I’ve only run out of gas a few times, but I always carry a skateboard and a gas can in the front hood for when it happens. Herman has a roof rack and we plan on taking the bench seat out of the rear and folding the back down for more storage room. She has a new set of bias ply tires. She’s good to go.

A critical component of any road trip is music—I just got a swinging deal at Pacific Stereo on a Pioneer AM/FM cassette deck. None of our tapes are going to get eaten! We are each bringing a briefcase full of tapes. Killer mix tapes, plenty of Neil, REO, Steve Miller, Elton John, Ted, Frampton, Stones, America, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, April Wine, and even some Jimmy Buffett, just to name a few.

But graduation is still weeks away, and the days just drag on. We are in no-man’s-land: senioritis, completely done with high school, but still stuck in it. We spend our days putting forth minimal effort and screwing around: blowing off classes, running an underground newspaper, hitting the beach, and dreaming about our grand adventure.



Please purchase!  Click here to buy it

I’m probably pushing my luck, but if you could give the book a great review on Amazon it would be much appreciated.




Thank you very much,