1970-1972 - The Faegenburg Website

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My Dad Merrill's Slides - 1971 and 1972

These are some pictures my Dad took around  1971 and 1972.  The building fire that destroyed my Dad's Floor Covering business
started a chain of events that changed the course of my life.  At the time it all seemed like a nightmare to me.  I had very bitter
feelings about it all at the time, but for me, the changes that ensued turned out to be the key factors that really changed my life
for the better.  I just didn't realize it until a little later in my life.

The spring of 1970 would prove to be nearly fatal for me.  At just 15 years of age, my best friend, Terry Mcgee and I broke into
a neighbors home and stole some pills we had discovered in the garage.  You see, Paul Wasserott Sr. owned a hospital supply business
back then.  We all lived in a very small (about 12 homes) neighborhood and EVERYONE knew EVERYONE!  Mr. Wasserott had three
daughters and a son, and Terry, June Wasserott, and I were about the same age and hung around together frequently.  Terry and I
were just getting involved wih smoking pot in those years.  Now back in those days, it was not uncommon for Mr. Wasserott to have
various items related to the business, stored in his garage for a few days.  Yes even medicines.  When Terry and I saw the 5000 pills
in that huge jar, we both looked at each other and devised our plan to steal some and try them out.  We wrote down the drug name
and did some research at the school library and were both REALLY excited to find out that the pills were SECONAL a really
powerful depressant.   As I would find out in just a few days, a drug that is lethal and highly addicting!

So we managed to steal a couple humderd of the pills and we hid them in plastic bags in a stone wall that ran through the woods
next to our neighborhood.  After school one day, Terry and I decided to try the pills out.  We had no idea how many to take, so
we started with a couple each.  I had not felt much of an impact after an hour, and decided to pop a couple more.  It was now about
dinner time and I heard Dad whistle to let me know it was time to get my ass home to eat.  When I walked into the kitchen, both
Mom and Dad were down in the Den watching something on TV, and as I walked past the cabinet where Dad kept his booze, I
have no idea why, but I decided to help the pills along by grabbing Dad's bottle of Dewar's Scotch, and I took three healthy gulps.

Dinner went by quickly and I asked to be excused to go back out and play with the gang until dark.  About an hour later, Terry and
me and June Wasserott were hanging out at Terry's house in the downstairs section.  This was a frequent hangout because
Terry's Dad Ludwig was a paraplegic.  He could not come downstairs and his mom Liz was always nearby with Ludwig.  
They also had a concrete covered patio.  I was already on the verge of the overdose kicking in and barely remember what
happenned next.  At some point, we were out on the patio smoking cigarettes, and I just passed out and went down face first
onto the concrete.  I split my lip wide open and was bleeding like a stuck pig.  June and Terry knew they had to get me home
and they each put an arm under my shoulders and hoisted me up and somehow got me to the front door of my house.  
Mom and Dad, were down in the Den watching TV, and I stumbled into the house, fell through the doors to the kitchen
breaking them off the hinges, and crashed onto the kitchen table and knocked it over.  Last thing I remember until I woke up
from the coma 5 days later!

This was Mom and Dad's first exposure to my early years drug use that they had no idea existed.  Needless to say, they were
horrified at what happenned and thankful I lived through it (ME TOO!).  They sent me to Kansas City for a few weeks that
summer to stay with my brother who was in the Marines.

That year also saw the fire that caused the demise of Dad's business.  By the middle of the school year in 1971, Mom and Dad
told me that we were going to be selling the house and moving somewhere as yet undetermined, so that dad could find a job.
St. Petersburg, FL, Camden New Jersey, and Phoenix, AZ were on the list of possibilities.

I thought my life was over at that point.  The thought of leaving everyone I knew, and finishing High School with a bunch of
kids I didn't know terrified me, and I was distraught and ANGRY at Mom and Dad.

I had to give up my cat "Lester", my buddy who I loved with all my heart!  Dad even loved Lester and he was not a cat person
at all.  Lester was a feline Dog, and one of his favorite pastimes was laying on Dad's chest on a Saturday afternoon in the den
while Dad would nap and watch a football game.

But you know, when it turned out to be St. Petersburg, Florida that would become our new home, in just 2 years, at 19 years of
age, I became a Paramedic.  The start of a journey that led to my meeting the love of my life, Lori just ten years later!

But enough about that for now!  Check out the pictures as the journey through Dad's old slides continues!
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