Oxnard Mon Amour

rundown mini trailer home.
Home! Sweet home!

While working in the security-guard game, I was living in a mini-trailer – let’s be kind and call it a “trailerette” – the scene of my tryst with the crippled, trainee-janitress Barbie. This trailerette was in the Wagons West Trailer Park right off Route 101 in Oxnard, California. When I say “right off,” I mean I could reach out the window and adjust the rear-view mirrors on passing cars. (It has been said that oxnard is something that comes out of a bull’s nose. I don’t know if that’s true but I can testify that Oxnard, California smells like something that comes out of a bull’s ass.) 

Vintage postcard of giant  strawberries
Strawberries bigger than my trailerette

Strawberry fields surrounded Oxnard to the horizon. The fruit was grown under long strips of black plastic sheeting so the fields looked as if they had been wrapped in an enormous garbage-bag. But, in a certain light, those garbage bags were beautiful. They shimmered in the sun and radiated heat waves so that, at sunset, Oxnard was a mirage city afloat on a glistening, black-plastic lake. 

Wagons West Trailer Park, an island in that lake, was infested with illegal immigrant Mexican families. Wetbacks. Like their Puerto Rican cousins in Brooklyn, they spent their days screaming the Mexican equivalent of “mira, mira,” blasting the Mexican equivalent of Tito Puente music and shoplifting. Wagons West had a swimming pool the size of a toilet bowl so the Mexicans used it as such. All in all, this wasn’t shaping up to be one of the more festive Yuletide seasons of my life. Besides, Christmas and Southern California didn’t go together. It was just plain wrong.  

Boy Outa Brooklyn a murder memoir by Jack Antonio 
Image: the smiling face of Steeplechase Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn
Available as a paperback and eBook
amazon.com
amazon.co.uk
And as an eBook here
https://books2read.com/The-Boy-Outa-Brooklyn
 

Have Beeper Will Travel

Hospital security guard
This could be me at the start of my graveyard shift
with beeper locked and loaded.

Like most New York actors who think a move West will magically revive their fortunes, I find the trajectory of my L.A. career to be somewhat less than meteoric. In fact, 1981 finds me working as a security guard in Happy Valley Hospital just outside Los Angeles. It sounds like a “funny farm” but it isn’t. You’re thinking of Camarillo State Hospital – the insane asylum that housed Charlie Parker and other jazz-junkies. That’s where Parker wrote his tune Relaxin’ At Camarillo. 

Security guard sleeping on the job
This could be me in the middle of my graveyard shift
with beeper locked and loaded.

My job at Happy Valley entails walking around in a pretend-cop uniform to reassure people of something or other while carrying a clipboard, jiggling a few doorknobs and reading a few gauges. I have no idea what the fuck I’m reading but I tap the gauges with my pen, nod sagely and pretend to write something on my clipboard. I also have to raise and lower the American flag. This duty is taken seriously by the numb-nut who trains me to be his replacement. He’d been in the National Guard and knows a thing or two about flag raising and flag lowering and especially flag folding – “Now, do it agin and git the triangle-fold tight this time.” He is a Moron First Class.

Boy Outa Brooklyn a murder memoir by Jack Antonio 
Image: the smiling face of Steeplechase Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn
Available as a paperback and eBook
amazon.com
amazon.co.uk
And as an eBook here https://books2read.com/The-Boy-Outa-Brooklyn