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Moonlight Ranch
Moonlight Ranch

Moonlight Ranch

FarmerBrownjim brown
1 Review

The 1960 Winter Olympics were held in Squaw Valley, California, near Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley of course has been renamed as part of the great woke awakening.

Way back then, I was age 16, a high school l sophomore, and lived in the little agricultural town of Santa Clara. I skipped the Winter Olympics, mostly due to expense, but also lack of interest. After all, we had Summer Olympics gold medal winners in our Santa Clara High School due to the famous coach George Haines, the swim coach.

It did, however, increase my interest in exploring California. I’d never been to Lake Tahoe, let alone Squaw Valley. Additional interest included the geography. Lake Tahoe is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with its steep inclines and panoramic vista, but more importantly, its straddling the California and Nevada borders. Nevada’s laws significant werely different than California's.

When turning 16, I immediately got my driver’s license and bought a 53 Chevy convertible with fruit picking, lawn cutting and paperboy earnings. With my license and car, I was free. Leaving the house, turning the corner, no one knew where I was going, where I was, and were I went when I returned home.

I had friends of similar bent. year lateThe next winter after the Olympics, as mature, 17-year-old high school juniors, 4 of us, decided to visit Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe. We took Mike’s car. He’d bought a 1957 Studebaker and had dropped a corvette engine in it to document his male superiority cruising First Street American Graffiti style, in downtown San Jose. He was also the only one with a car reliable enough to make the trip and had chains in case of snow.,

It may be hard to believe, but there were no drugs back then in local high schools or even colleges. Drugs were something vague that big cities like New York experienced in movies. Marijuana was in the same group as heroin and cocaine. Meth and LSD weren’t even words. There were 2 drugs common back then, nicotine and ethel alcohol, but they weren’t considered drugs. We didn’t smoke yet, but drinking was big. We’d already finished a case of Gallo Ripple wine night fishing on a rock ocean jetty and no longer could stand the taste of wine.

We’d moved from wine to beer and hard liquor, vodka, rum, and whisky. Beer was out for our trip due to it being winter. Storage in the car was also a factor with 4 squeezed into the Studebaker, a car of limited interior.

We decided on whisky but needed to obtain what was limited to those 21 and over. To get our alcohol we parked the car in front of Durgan’s Bar in Santa Clara’s little downtown, all demolished now, and waited for a customer to come out. When an appropriate buyer staggered out, we gave him $10 to go back for 2 fifths of cheap whisky.

As he returned, he handed the bag to the guy in the front seat and stumbled to get in the back seat. I, realized we no longer needed him, pushed the lock button down on the back door and the driver sped off.

I don’t know how long he held into the door handle, but it was an Olympic record of sorts. I assuaged my betrayal guilt by recollecting, I’d let him keep the change.

Secure with our supplies we drive to Lake Tahoe but there, we were confronted with where to stay. In our exploration, we’d discovered the Olympic skating rink with eaves that sloped down allowing a car to park beneath out of the snow. Being plebeians, we parked there for the night with the whisky and car heater turned on occasionally to keep us warm.

We downed the first bottle and decided to keep the other in reserve for the next night.

Then the red lights showed up. It was the California Highway Patrol or CHPS as they we’re called.

He flash lit our faces , checked our id’s, and asked what we were doing under the skating lodge eve. With a few omissions we told the truth.

He then asked,

“Okay, where’s the liquor, boys?”

Of course, we denied possession.

He explained,

“Well, you boys can possibly spend the night under this eve or in jail, which do you prefer?”

We fessed up.

He poured our remaining whisky on the snow and explained our situation.

“If I see your car on the road before sunrise, you’ll get to view the sunrises from jail until your parents come to bail you out. By the way, don’t let the car run to heat it up. You may die from carbon monoxide. I see it every year.”

It was a long night of shivering, but we saw the sunrise from under the eve.

The next day we drove to our real destination, Moonlight Ranch in Nevada, and lost our virginity.

Author Notes: It was a different world back then.

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About The Author
jim brown
About This Story
4 Jan, 2023
Read Time
4 mins
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4.0 (1 review)

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