Monday, July 31, 2006


The last time I talked to Billy Shannon he told me Gus Moran died of a drug overdose. And then Dick Martin, who had been his roommate, blew his brains out.

These were all teenage friends of mine who lived around San Bruno Ave. in San Francisco. The latter two were still hanging around our teenage haunts.

It has left me wondering what life is all about. Many guys I knew had their life pattern fixed in junior high school. What they were then was what they were for all their lives. Is that what’s supposed to happen? You get comfortable in a box at an early age and never leave it? Evidently many do.

Gus Moran was a charismatic little guy who desperately wanted to be macho man. He was full of life and smart-ass wisecracks and was fun to be around. He would make instant judgments on what was funny or weird or bad with such emphasis that his opinion was hard to argue with. In fact it was usually right.

He decided, during the Korean conflict, to join the Marines. This was a mistake. What would a little smart-ass wisecracker be doing in the Marines? He got kicked out during basic training. The Marines recovered but he never did. Someone told me he started drinking heavily after that.

I don’t know.

Is that what life is all about?

Some go one way and some go another?

And some never leave the old neighborhood.


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