Entries Tagged as 'Life Writing-Memories and Experiences'

Oorah in Hell, Indiana NYE 1994-1995

When I met my college boyfriend, Billy, he had just come out of the Marine Corps and enrolled at UMD. We always use to joke he went from his Mama, to the Marines to Me. About a year and a half into our relationship he invited a few of his best friends from the Corps to come stay with us in Duluth for their first reunion since their days in the service. Aaron flew in from South Dakota, Mick and his girlfriend Tracey drove from Indiana, but the third friend, Ray Ray couldn’t make it from LA.

That weekend is worth a post on its own, but today we are here to talk about the following New Years Eve.

Tracey and Mick decided to get married on New Years Day 1995. Billy was the Best Man, Aaron a groomsman and Ray Ray was the videographer. The rehearsal would be on December 31st so we needed to be in South Bend, Indiana by noon on New Years Eve Day. We drove from Duluth to Chicago and crashed at my sister’s place and then woke up the next morning to head over the Skyway into Indiana.

A scary gas-up in a bad part of Chicago and a $110 speeding ticket put us behind schedule and we hit Indiana just a little late, around 1pm. The drinking has already started and we quickly caught up. Remember those big glass heads that were popular at Pier One Imports that year? They came in green, blue and clear? Well we had brought two as “orgy cups” because they were huge and couldn’t be set down. This may not have been a wise idea.

(Mick, Billy, Ray Ray & Aaron)

About an hour into the party Billy pulls me aside and says,
“Do you love me?”
“Yes.”
“Do you trust me?”
“Yes.”
“Then when I tell you to get down, get down.”
“Okay.”.

Twenty minutes later Aaron, who I had only met that one time before puts his arm around me and looks into my eyes.
“Do you trust me?”, he asks.
“Yes. “
“Then when I tell you to hit the floor you hit the floor.”
“Okay.”

When its time for the wedding party to go to the rehearsal I opt to stay at the house and take a nap. Our bed is up in the cold attic, a mattress on the floor with the only illumination a bare bulb from the ceiling and a small, grimy window. Mick and Aaron come upstairs and give me a loaded shotgun. “Just in case” they say. “Just in case of what?” I ask. “Just don’t let anyone in or answer the door”. “Okay.” After they leave I call my mother who is at my sisters place in Chicago. They encouraged me to come back to the city. I said, “don’t worry about me, I’m armed.”

At one point the doorbell rings and I don’t answer it, per my orders. I look out the dirty little window and see some Hells Angels looking dudes. I reach out and stroke my shotgun reassuringly. Later I learn that this is the father of the bride, who is in some scary biker gang.

The wedding party returns and we realize that no one is throwing Mick a bachelor party. Somehow I am nominated. Bachelor party for some former Marines with no notice on NYE? No problem. Porn.

Aaron, Tracey and I load into Aaron’s ride, a vintage ambulance he had borrowed from his father, and head to the video store. In the parking lot Aaron pulls out his 9mm Gloc to show me. “Why do you have a gun?” I ask. “You never know” he says. “Okay.” We go into the video store and head for the ADULT section. The lonely men selecting the appropriate porn to ring in the new year stare at me and Tracey. We smile back and make our selections.

The party roars into life and more people start to arrive. The biker gang father and some of his friends, Tracey’s little sister and her boyfriend, a Latino “gang banger” who the family can’t stand. The kid is an 18 year old punk and is trying to act all gangsta, talking shit to Ray Ray who is from LA and used to be in a real gang. Ray Ray is not amused and the kid gets all offended, threatening to have his boys come and teach us a lesson. You don’t mess with “South Bend, Bitch!” gets him kicked out.

The party roars on. We put on the porn, I don’t remember the title but I know I chose well. There was some tropical island theme with a giant penis Tiki God. Tracey’s older brother arrives with his beautiful wife, a Polish girl with blonde, curly hair, short tartan skirt and tight red sweater. Whenever her husband is not around she is hitting on Aaron. I am sitting on the couch, Aaron is on the floor next to my legs and the Polish bride is across from us when she pulls a “Basic Instinct” and flashes me and Aaron her business. Aaron and I look at each other, not sure how to react. She smiles.

We are distracted from the Tiki God Penis and Eastern European Snatch by Mick and Tracey who are suddenly in an epic fight. A screaming, throwing of plates kind of fight. Mick cancels the wedding and jumps into Tracey’s car and takes off, tires squealing into the Indiana night. He’s wasted and it’s icy. Billy and Aaron stumble out into the ambulance and go after him. I am left with the hysterical bride-to- be. An hour passes before Mick returns, crying and hugging Tracey. Wedding back on! No sign of Billy and Aaron. About 45 minutes later the ambulance pulls up out front with a cop car behind it, lights flashing. Aaron managed to crash through a median and bang up the ambulance and the cop was kind enough to escort them home without arresting him for drunk driving or searching him to realize he was carrying a loaded handgun. It was a New Years Eve Miracle!

Welcome 1995!

The next day we load into the cars and head over to the park district hall that will be home to the wedding and reception. Here I meet Tracey’s youngest sister, a sweet seven-year-old girl who you can’t help but feel sorry for, knowing her family. We are all there early and decide to crack open the keg before the ceremony even begins, drinking cheap beer from our plastic cups, smoking Camel lights. Then there is a wedding.

(Biker Dad & Bride Tracey)
Billy caught the garter and I the bouquet.

(Billy & Me)

It was a normal wedding, well, white trash Indiana wedding normal, and then suddenly it wasn’t. Now it was one of those bar fights from a 1970’s movie.

The Best Man, my man, comes flying out of the bathroom, hands around the throat of the brother of the bride. They sprawl on the linoleum in their tuxedos and Billy is beating the guy senseless. The gang banger kid comes running out of the bathroom crying and yelling that his “Boys are coming for you!” Aaron stumbles out with a dazed look on his face and the Gloc 9mm hanging limply at his side. People are screaming and running. Except the bikers. The bikers just look on as if this is common wedding behavior.

We separate Billy and the brother of the bride and try to figure out what the hell is happening. The gang banger had made some threatening remark to Aaron who then pulled out his gun and stuck it in the kids mouth, asking “Do you feel tough now, Bitch” This made the brother of the bride punch Aaron and then Billy went all Semper Fi in defense of his friend and attacked the brother.

Everyone is going crazy. The hot polish wife comes tearing up to me, threatening to kick my ass if I don’t get my man away from her husband. Sweet me in my green velvet dress and spiral curls gets right back in her face and yells, “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE AND PUT SOME PANTIES ON, BITCH!”

It’s pandemonium until the groom picks up a large metal trash can and hurls it through the plate glass window, screaming, “Why can’t we ever have anything nice?!!!”

The shattering glass and rush of cold January air seem to take the wind out of everyone.

Most of the guests leave. I am sitting on the floor, legs out in front of me. I am cradling the seven-year-old sister in one arm and Aaron, the twenty-three-year-old former Marine in the other. They are both crying. I now have the gun.

Biker Dad suggests we all get of there before gang banger boy comes back with his friends. We all head back to the house and go up to the attic. We sit with the guns and the lights off, waiting for a drive by that never happened.


(me, sister who dates gang banger, ?, Tracey, 7 year old, Mick, Billy, Aaron & Ray Ray)

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