March 11 will always be a memorable day for me. It was on that day in 1971 that I ran away from home.
All through high school, I was a lonely girl. I was chubby, acne faced,painfully shy and never had a date. I went to the prom with my big brother. I didn't have a future. College was not an option as I hated school and didn't want any more of it. Living in Wisconsin in the 60's, a girl's choice (at least for me) were slim. Marriage or factory work... Then I met a boy...He actually liked me...He saw something in me no one else had. He was a nice boy, a decent boy from a nice loving family. He had been in the Army, didn't go to Vietnam but was stationed in the States..He had just been released. He was a hippie. I fell head over heels for this boy. He had lots of friends. Because of him I was finally in a group and they were the cool people that I had always seen in the teen bars, wearing plaid shirts, jeans, hiking boots, long hair, nodding to the music by the front of the stage, going into the parking lot during breaks..I finally belonged. I was in love. It was wonderful.
Then one day he told me that he was going to see his brother in California. Did I want to go along?Well without thinking or planning or wondering what would happen once I got there, or where we were going to live and what we would we live on, I said yes. I told my parents.. they were not happy.. I said I was going... " how do I plan on getting to California" my father asked? Why, we're hitchhiking!! I replied..
And so, many years ago, in a time that now seems so innocent..I left home. I was 19 years old. In the biggest snowstorm in years, with my mother locked in her room and my own father in tears, I walked out that front door with one suitcase and a guitar. With no plan. Terrified but excited. And on a snowy interstate with the boy I loved, I began a new life. On my way to Venice, California.....A place I never heard of and knew nothing about.