It Never Rains In Southern California

The California Trip — Part 4

George and Kay Troutman standing outside their home in San Diego in 1965George and Kay Troutman standing outside their home in San Diego in 1965

And so we arrived at our destination—San Diego, California, where we stayed with George and Kay Troutman, who were related to us in some way that was a mystery to me. [Note: while I’m writing about the California trip entirely from memory, I had totally forgotten Kay’s name; that’s the one piece that required some recent assistance, which I’ll be writing about in the epilogue to this trip.]

Kay and I got along right off the bat. She was an extroverted and outspoken woman who totally commanded any conversation that she was a part of. We quickly discovered that she and I both enjoyed the Hullabaloo TV program, so we bonded over that.

George, meanwhile, was more laid back and soft spoken. When Kay was around, he let her have center stage, but when he was on his own, he had a lot of stories to tell. He took us on a tour of San Diego, which I recall as being heavily influenced by Mexico and the Spanish language, as all the streets seemed to be named Calle this or Calle that. Being a Mason, he proudly showed us the Masonic Temple.

Edna Troutman, James Troutman, George Troutman, and Mary Hoffa standing outside George’s San Diego home in 1965Edna Troutman, James Troutman, George Troutman, and Mary Hoffa standing outside George’s San Diego home in 1965

On other days he took us to the San Diego Zoo and to Tijuana. In those days crossing the border was no big deal; I don’t think we even had to show ID. Since I didn’t have a driver’s license yet, I wouldn’t have had an ID.

I vaguely remember Kay talking proudly about her son, I think from a previous marriage, who was a jockey who had won the Kentucky Derby in the early 50s, and I also recall talk of another son, this one of Kay and George’s, who had just joined the Marines and was stationed at nearby Camp Pendleton.

Mary Hoffa, Curtis Troutman, Edna Troutman, and George Troutman at the San Diego Zoo in 1965Mary Hoffa, Curtis Troutman, Edna Troutman, and George Troutman at the San Diego Zoo in 1965

 

When we told George about our sojourn to Vegas and the adventure with the slot machines, he gave us his tip for playing the slots. Watch the other players; when someone leaves after playing the same machine for awhile without winning, go to that machine and insert one coin. He swore by that technique. Knowing what I know now, I doubt it had any advantage over any other method.

We must have stayed with Kay and George for at least three days, perhaps five. It was a pleasant stay, George and Kay were wonderful hosts, but finally the day came when we had to return home.

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