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“Secret Sex, A Book Alive Online,” written and lived by John Scott G.

Chapter 10 – Boss Angeles.

There are two possible openings to this chapter. Here’s the straight-to-the-point version: Our family had enough of Fort Richland and moved.

And here’s the arty-as-hell version: After a few years in the richly rigid and unintentionally Dadaistic city of Richland, the entire family was ready for a saner lifestyle and a more cultured existence. But we didn’t get it because we moved to Los Angeles.

Radio Waves

Right from the start, I was deliriously happy with Los Angeles because of the radio stations.

DJ: Hey, welcome to the boss sound from the “Los” town! This is your main boy on your joy toy, the glad grad with the sonic pad! Yes, baby! It’s Commander Space on the rockin’ place! Where it’s at, where it’s happening, where it’s groooooooovy, baby! Right here, everything is all NOW, all the time! So remember, gals and pals, ya gotta Hear It, Don’t Fear It. And you know you’re gonna hear it ’cause we are 50,000 ear-dusting gut-busting watts of musical excitement! And you are Dialed In, baby! Ya know who we be, so say it with me, babes, we are: K! F! U! K! in Boss Angeles!

[Cue semi-wiggy barely-controlled freak-out music track, maybe something like “Psychotic Reaction” by Count Five or “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock.]

Can you imagine how Southern California seemed to me? Coming from the Midwest by way of Podville, this place was more than a whole new world for me, it was a whole new universe. Everything was beyond the norm. It was Over The Top, Totally In, and Far Out all at the same time. This was a planet seemingly made up of bleached blondes and blonde beaches, barrels of barbiturates and oodles of booze, customized cars and customized pharmaceutical concoctions.

Beach City Laid-Back Revolutionaries

Culture shock hit me like a cherry bomb flushed down a boy’s room toilet. Even the geography of the city was awesome. Every part of Southern California seemed like it was close to the beach. There was something about the air and sky that whispered “ocean nearby.” Even if you were in the middle of Rancho Cucamonga, which is at least fifty miles from the beach, somehow it always felt as if the waves were right past the next intersection.

Unfortunately, a beach city tends to attract people whose noggins are full of very few ideas and whose work ethic lacked what my grandfather called “oomph.” So when the layabouts of So-Cal felt they needed to Express Themselves they formed a mini-mob and, despite holding practically no views of any kind, they voiced them anyway. . .

LEADER: What do we want?

CROWD: Some stuff, man!

LEADER: When do we want it?

CROWD: Right now, or like, soon!

True, there were some disgruntled and disaffected souls who practiced revolution. Well, they practiced talking about revolution, although they usually didn’t do anything about it. They usually didn’t do anything about it because of two things: great weather and the availability of drugs. The need for actual insurrection was often lost in a balmy breeze and a shifting haze of Cannabis Sativa. That’s the wild stuff from the hemp plant. We are talking weed. Ganja. Bud. Pot. Chronic. Maryjane. Or my favorite term, wacky tobacky, which wasn’t used much by the Locals, but was a fave expression of Uncle Gerry.

“That wacky tobacky has a tendency to mellow things out,” he said.

“Can I try some?” I asked him.

“Naw, your parents would be upset.”

“Couldn’t you mellow them out with some first?”

He smiled. “That’s an interesting idea,” he said and then winked at me. It was like a promise of a present to be enjoyed in the not-too-distant-future.

Just as an aside, I’ve never understood why the USA spends so much money on every possible type of tactical military weaponry in order to launch an invasion or incursion or whatever; why go through all that trouble when we could probably disarm entire topographical regions just by dropping pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes from cargo planes.

But I digress.


There were lots of different lifestyles to investigate or emulate in La-La Land. While people around the globe referred to us as L.A. or Hollywood, we called the areas by far more specific names like Van Nuys, Norwalk, Wittier, Sierra Madre, Alhambra, Santa Monica, and so on. The place is home to millions of people in about six dozen interconnecting cities and a lot of ’em offered numerous choices of activities.

Talk about diversity! On the one hand there were surfers; on the other hand there were citizen’s planning organizations. Members of car clubs cruised the streets on Wednesday nights, but members of book clubs met at the library on Saturday mornings. Over here were musicians; over there were members of the John Birch Society. Do you like poetry? They’ve got entire societies of poets. Do you like chess? You can play in rec rooms, dorm rooms, or in the park. Bowling, horseback riding, knitting, politics, religion, sports, whittling, art. . . you name it, L.A. had it.

Anything you could imagine (and a lot you wouldn’t think of despite thinking for about a million years) could be found in El Lay. There were even some guys who took a very creative view of what could be put together with everyday items that were easily purchased at the local hardware store.

“We would do interesting things with chemicals and propellant,” one of them told me. “So far, we never, kind of, ever got caught.” (And yes, these guys probably did have something to do with the development of the late eighties/early nineties television show, “MacGyver,” but knowing Hollywood, they probably didn’t get paid anything for it.)


Like New York City, there actually was too much going on. Unlike New York City, you could do things inside an insular bubble that kept out the real world. I remember going on some sort of group outing, I think to see a movie in Westwood, and on the way back all of us got very excited about this great new promotional structure that had been erected to announce the upcoming release of a new Beatles album. At least, that’s what we assumed. It was monstrously huge and could be seen for miles around.

We described it to our friends once we got home and we were shocked to learn it was part of some religious group’s architectural offering, or something. “That’s a statue of the Angel Moroni,” we were told by Ted, one of whose parents was an actual member of the organization.

We then were told the Full Story . . . Apparently, there’s this angel who guards the “golden plates,” which are the source of some important book. Or maybe it was that Moroni was a person who wrote in the “golden plates” back in pre-Columbia days, then died and became an angel who now guards the plate thingies. Or something. It’s about as realistic as someone living inside a whale, when you get right down to it.

Ted told us all of this gobbledygook in a very serious manner and we were suitably impressed. Which means we managed not to laugh, although the pressure was building up by the time he paused for breath.

“Ah yes,” he said, “the Angel Moroni. Of course,” he added, “the kids call it Angel Macaroni.” Not a great joke. A juvenile joke. A joke for eight-year-olds. But we exploded with laughter. What a release of tension! When we all caught our breath, Ted added, “And the rest of us just refer to it as Angie Moron or The Angle Maroon.” We all enjoyed a good chuckle over the whole thing. Yes, including Ted.

Sex, Drugs, Rock, Shock

While I thought the surrealism of the Macaroni thing was very funny, and the customized cars were very cool, and the surfer chicks were really well-built, I just wasn’t sure what group to try to join. And besides, deep down inside, I was just like a bunch of my generation, who, when asked if we thought ignorance and apathy were big problems, our mumbled answers were that we didn’t know and didn’t care.

Despite the lack of initiative among all us would-be rebels, there were a bunch of revolutions going on at the time: political, anti-war, fashion, sexual. But you probably want to hear about the sexual revolution, am I right?

Let’s try that again: Am I right?

That’s more like it. Now I want you all to get in the proper mood for a presentation of some important aspects of the sexual revolution. It’s vital that you understand the feeling of freedom it conferred upon the teen members of the proletariat, especially those of us who came from a closed-in, buttoned-down, up-tight, middle class, middle-American failed-Protestant background.

A lot of time has gone into finding a good way to demonstrate this concept. Once we begin, I think you’ll see that we have come up with the best way for you to fully “get it.”

So, to appreciate the true spirit of the sixties, I want you to stand up now and remove all your clothes. Then we’ll turn and go to the first person to your right and help them remove all their clothes. Then, marching bare arm in bare arm, naked hip next to naked hip, you can gather more and more people in your immodest movement. Feel the freedom of being able to live totally unencumbered by those false symbols of antiquated conformity. You’ll be liberated and refreshed by being able to face the world in your natural-born state of existence.

So, let’s all stand up right now, take off your clothes, and hug the first person you see. Everyone will feel so much better because of this. Really, it’s going to be quite an exalted experience. All right, here we go, we’re all standing up and getting rid of those restrictive garments. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

No problem, everything’s fine, just go ahead now. I’ll wait.

Oh, you want me to go first? No problem. Hold on a sec’. . .

There we are. Hold on another sec’ while I turn up the thermostat. As you can see, it’s a bit cold in here. . . . Okay, I’m back. Now it’s your turn. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Uh, people, the clothing?

Is there some kind of problem here? You’re reading this so I know you understand English. The directions are fairly simple.

Step one: locate clothing.

Step two: remove them.

Look, you managed to dress yourself this morning, right? Okay then. Just do it again in reverse.

People, work with me. This is the best way you’ll be able to experience the true humanity of humanity, the brotherhood and sisterhood of the skin, the simple splendor of the mortal body. Doing this will be magical, mystical, beautiful! It will be your way to participate in a minor miracle of sharing. Now, smile, take a deep breath, take off your clothes and start hugging people in the goddam spirit of love and understanding!


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“Secret Sex, A Book Alive Online,” written and lived by John Scott G, is Copr. © 2011-2012 by JSG, all rights reserved under U.S. and international copyright conventions. Commercial use in any form is forbidden without express written permission of the author. Originally published on with permission. Credits: Book cover design: Phil Hatten; Author Photo: Phil Hatten.