Saturday, July 12, 2008

Linda McDirty

My friend Tony came to visit last week. Our conversation came around to an old roommate of mine named Linda.

When my friend Marge came to visit me at an apartment I was living in with Tony and my brother Patrick she grabbed me by the ear, told me I wasn’t living like this anymore, and took me home to her apartment in the West End.

The second day at the new place she brought Linda home. This was in the 70s.

Linda had been my brother’s girlfriend but I don’t think he ever really appreciated her. He and his friends called her McDirty which was based on her real name and her supposed sexual promiscuity.

Tony told me she was the first truly sexually liberated woman he had ever known. He confessed to me that over time, he’d fallen in love with her. I loved her very much but never as a lover. She later confessed she was in love with me which became awkward.

Linda had been a sheep farmer, a prostitute, and best of all, had a bullet lodged in her leg.

The first night the girls and I spent together at the apartment Marge ran into our rooms whispering someone was prowling around outside her window.

We went into her room and the prowler was still out there. He jumped off the porch when he realized he’d been discovered. We faced Marge’s bed toward the window and all three slept there with our heads under her covers trembling.

Linda and I learned Steppenwolf was going to play at Six Flags. We hitch hiked out there and found their keyboardist Goldie McJohn was the only original member in the band. I still think he’s an incredible keyboard player but Steppenwolf just isn’t the same without John Kay.

Somehow I got separated from Linda and found myself outside the Dolphin show after it had closed. A young woman was feeding the dolphin and cleaning up. I yelled, “Hey, ya know that dolphin’s probably smarter than you are?”

I had been reading a lot of John C. Lilly at the time. In the 50s when he was already in his 50s he had done a lot of personal research with LSD. He invented the isolation tank. His work was depicted in Ken Russell’s film “Altered States”.

He had also done a lot of work with whales. He eventually came to believe that dolphins were more intelligent than humans. With government funding he began to build an aquarium for people to live in that would be under water. Dolphins would be able to observe us. The government yanked his funds and took what he had learned to use for the military. They strapped bombs to the dolphins and trained them to destroy ships. This is all depicted in a film George C. Scott starred in called “Day of the Dolphin”.

If you take a little time to research how whales communicate with sound you might understand why it’s possible they’re more intelligent than we are. It’s a totally different thought paradigm.

Anyway, the woman cleaning the tank told me to come back in twenty minutes when she was done so I could meet the dolphin. When I came back she leaned over the pool and patted the water. The dolphin swam in circles around the pool a few times stuck his head out of the water. She instructed me to do the same. I patted the water and looked in. I couldn’t see him anywhere. He stuck his head out behind where I was looking and spit water at me. I did this several times and he outsmarted me every time. He proved he was more intelligent than I was.

Linda’s room was between my room and the rest of the apartment. I had to walk through. Several times she’d be in act of sex. She would occasionally talk to me as I passed through. It was all very casual. Sometimes I’d be surprised by who she was with.

Linda eventually got caught up in politics and moved to follow her cause. I’d love to see her again. More and more memories start to flood in.

Pictured is a party invitation she sent me after she moved out. It has a post mark from June 1980. I used to have a great souvenir tintype photo of us in 19th century garb we took at Six Flags. It represented our relationship perfectly. I can’t find it anywhere. If anyone has it can I scan it?


tonpatti said...

Linda and I loved each other but we only had sex once or twice, well three times, always a disaster. I remember each disaster perfectly, and marvel at how we managed to span the gamut of awkward sex so easily. I just loved her because she was one of the most amazing women I had ever met, and now, all these years later, I still have met very few women who have had her range of adventures. Paula Wills has had some amazing adventures, too.

The concert I went to with Patrick and Linda and Mark Grey was the 1977 Funk Festival in Kansas City. We drove in her beat up old Volkswagen.

Rose Royce, Chaka Kahn and Rufus, The Brothers Johnson, The Isley Brothers, Bootsy's Rubber Band, Parliament and Funkadelic. They had to drag George Clinton off the stage by force as he was promising to bring everybody back up on stage and a huge lightning storm was raging out of control in the huge outdoor stadium. Best concert I've ever seen.

Another interesting Linda story is that when I was living with her Earwacks played a party at our apartment and left the gear in the living room . The next night we went out to get something to eat - I remember we just went to White Castle - and when we got back, less than a half hour later, we went to bed without even looking at the mess in the living room. The next morning we got up and it was all gone. It was a huge blow.

Another important Linda McDirty fact is that her old friend John Rude named her McDirty. We didn't make it up to make fun of her, she came with a certain pride in it and told it to us herself.

tonpatti said...

Oh yeah, that artwork is some FoJammi work. I can tell right off.

Doggie said...

I knew the art looked familiar. It wasn't Earwacks that played that night . I was out of town. It was a jam with everyone else. I specifcally told Dom not to take my guitar but he did anyway. I still harbor a little anger about its theft. I'm so glad you mentioned John Rude. I'd forgotten about him. He was an interesting person.

dominic said...

I am painfully aware of your justified resentment. not sure that i ever officially apologized, but i fully own blame for the theft.

Linda- by any last name she was known by (and there were at least three)- was truly amazing. I am always reminded of her whenever i see Helena Bonham Carter, only much more real and less stoic.

Hope she is well and happy in whatever capacity she is living life.

Doggie said...

I'm not really angry. Just love personal digs! Linda was amazing.

Doggie said...

Fojammi just gave me pics of Margie and Linda from back then. I'll post as soon as I get home!