Odyssey Of Toby Grated (1)
This is an autobiography of events in my life.
I am 70 years old. When my Dad turned 75 he
came down with Alzheimers and died 8 years later.
A few years ago I thought that I would write down
my most memorable memories in case I have Alzheimers.
Perhaps it will help me stay oriented.
After writing these memories down I thought
other people may enjoy these memories so I
made it into this book which I give away.
I submit it in both .txt and .pdf.
Toby Grated (Toby G Rated) is my pseudonym.
ODYSSEY OF TOBY
Copyright © 2015 Toby Grated
All rights reserved.
Hello Reader. I’m inspired to write this document because I’m getting old.
As I spend more time reflecting on my life experiences I feel it would be
entertaining and possibly educational to share some of them with you.
Some will be humorous, some outrageous, some whiney, some
embarrassing, some sad, some opinionated and you will probably find
some boring. I have ordered these episodes chronologically because I
can’t think of a better system. I sprinkle in a few of my favorite jokes for
free. I write with a pen name as I’m revealing highly personal information
and I am also ashamed of some of the episodes I describe. Also by being
anonymous I feel I’ll be more honest with you and to myself. I also
promised myself that I would follow some of Yogi Berra’s advice “tell it like
it was”. In other words no phony modesty, no phony bragging, just tell it
as best as I can remember.
I’m 69 years old, married with no children, have BS & MS degrees in
Earth Science Geophysics, lived in 10 States and Canada. I’ve worked
in the US, Canada, Europe, India and the Philippines doing geophysical
exploration for oil, minerals, treasures, archaeological artifacts and other
buried manmade objects.
1946 – Detroit, Michigan – Born
2nd oldest with an older sister. Eventually had 5 younger brothers and
sisters. Often wish Mom and Dad would have stopped with me. I’m not
sure but I may have been the last white guy born in Detroit.
1949 - Michigan – Shot a key into the sky
Got a kids bow & arrow set for my birthday. Mom and Dad couldn’t
locate the car key. Asked me if I knew where the key was. I told them I
shot the key into the sky. Sure enough they located the key on the roof
taped to my arrow.
1952 – Kansas – Animal Trainer
Mom liked to take us to the city zoo. The sign said the skunks in the
cage were de-scented. However when I poked them with a stick they
sprayed me. Mom had me bathe in Tomato juice which helped get rid of
the stink. Thru my clothes away.
1953 – Kansas – Reader
In 2nd grade and Mrs. Johnson would read a story to us every day at noon
for one hour. My favorite time of the day. Eventually it dawned on me that
if I learned to read I wouldn’t have to wait for Mrs. Johnson to read the
story. Started reading and have loved to read ever since. Thank you Mrs.
All in all I found school to be a very boring activity with a few excellent
classes and a few outstanding instructors. I was a mediocre student
during most of my education. Am always surprised how much I learned
considering my lack of eager participation. My favorite way of learning
was with correspondence courses – hate classrooms. But I’m glad I
got educated. It was worth all the suffering I guess.
1954 – Kansas – Research Scientist
Dad was an animal husband PhD graduate student at Manhattan State
College (now University). Taught a Saturday morning meat cutting class.
Each Saturday they would butcher a different kind of Animal. My job was
to squeeze the shit out of the intestines and count the number of worms
that came out. Some sort of research project. Can remember the smell.
Got so good at it I only needed one hand to do the squeezing and
counting – ate a sandwich with the other hand.
1954 – Kansas – Troublemaker
At recess me and my buddy threw some rocks at some girls we didn’t
like. When I sat down at class my teacher petite Mrs. McClain grabbed
my collar from behind. I had sunburn on my neck so it hurt and I thought
it was one of the girls so I elbowed her in the stomach and knocked the
wind out of her. I got my first formal paddling from the principal. Three
stingers – the paddle had holes in it.
1955 – Kansas – Christian
Raised as a Presbyterian. Received a small bible from the church for
successfully completing all my Sunday school lessons. My Grandfather
was Irish Catholic his wife Baptist. She joined Catholic Church to marry
him but later returned to the Baptist church. Created friction between
them all through their married lives. They had separate bedrooms. Very
sad. I stayed a Christian till I went to college. Eventually became a
secular humanist borderline atheist. My wife Joann became a hard core
atheist. The organized religions have too many absurd beliefs and don’t
make sense to us. Read the “God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins for a
good summary of religious absurdities.
Prefer Christians and other religions to the Islam religion. Other religions
will shun atheists. Muslims consider it their holy duty to kill non-Muslims.
Says so in the Koran. They have to change their ways. There is
something like 1.4 billion Muslims in the World. They need to
understand that the other 5.6 billion non-Muslims aren’t going to let
ourselves be killed. I suspect in the long run the Muslim religion will join
the ranks of the failed religions. Hope so. In fact I hope all supernatural
religions will just fade away.
A few months ago read results from a “Pew” pole. They had polled all of
the Muslim dominated countries and asked “do you support violent jihad
against infidels?” The results ranged from 15% – 45 % that supported
violent jihad. Let’s say an average of 20%. That means there are
300,000,000 Muslims that want to kill me. Scary! That religion has got to
Hope people will learn that it is more important to love each other than to
love any God!
1956 – Michigan – Sex Education
Spent part of every summer at my grandparent’s house. One day my
friend Chas said “let’s go over and get Karen to show us her private”. I
didn’t believe him but we went and got Karen and went out in the woods
and she pulled her skirt up and panties down and sure enough! But the
deal was we had to show her our privates. But Chas and I got in an
argument who should show first and Karen got disgusted and went home.
Kids will be kids – no harm done.
Nowadays if the psycho babblers and Criminal Justice Bureaucracy
learned of such behavior they would put us kids in “counseling”
embarrassing and traumatizing us and our families and destroying our
friendships. Such is the current social absurdities and sex abuse
I heard Chas say something about intercourse so when I got home I
asked my Mom what intercourse meant. She took me in the bathroom
and explained that intercourse is when a husband inserts his private into
his wife’s private to deposit a seed to fertilize her egg so she can get
pregnant and have a baby. That was the extent of my sex education. The
rest I figured out for myself from friends, playboy, x-rated novels and my
imagination. Served me well.
About this time I started getting sexual feelings and masturbating. I was
bi-sexual at the time. Both girls and boys appealed to me. Have since
learned about 30% of boys going through puberty start out as bisexual
but most eventually become straight as I did. The rest remain either bisexual
1956 – Indiana – Environmentalist
In the 5th grade Elementary School. Spring time “Clean up Paint up Fix up
Week”. I and my friend were assigned the important job of painting all the
trash barrels on the playground with green paint. After we finished we had
some paint left over so we decided to decorate the side of the school with
some graffiti. Unfortunately we were the only kids in school with green
paint. Got paddled by the principle.
That brings up the subject of butt paddling of kids by principles with the
permission of the parents. I got paddled three times in grade school and
deserved it every time and knew I deserved it every time. The biggest
hurt comes from the humiliation of all the kids in school knowing you are
being paddled. Some of the best lessons I received as a kid. I’m all for it.
1957 – Indiana – Bird Hunter
Bought myself a bb gun. Mowed lawns and saved my money to pay for
it. Had a cool scope on it. Accidently shot out the neighbor’s large front
window -$85.00. Dad said he would let that one go by with no
punishment. My bedroom was on the second floor with several windows
and Dad had just installed all new screens. Sparrows in trees outside
my bedroom. Kept shooting at them but I wasn’t hitting them. Then it
occurred to me that shooting through the screens slowed the bb’s down
and that was why I was missing. When Dad saw the holes in the new
screens he took my BB gun and smashed it against a tree. End of bird
hunting days with BB guns.
1957 - Indiana - TV Star
Jerry Van Dyke (The brother of Dick Van Dyke) had a small TV Studio
close to where we lived. He had a local variety show and admission for
the audience was free so us kids would sometimes go watch his show.
His show was sponsored by a local dairy. He would pick a kid from the
audience to be in the live advertisement. One day he picked me. He
asked me if I liked the milk. I said yes. Then while he talked about the
milk I drank a glass of milk. My most vivid memory was how filthy the
glass was before they filled it with milk. Tasted OK.
1958 – Indiana – Boy Scout
I had been a cub scout so advanced to a boy scout. Our troop went on
a 50 mile bicycle ride to Turkey Run to camp out. Truck brought our
camping gear and beans and hot dogs. Cold rain and sleet whole way.
Got to Turkey run pitched tent in rain and ate raw hot dogs and cold
chili. We all got sick.
Went on a winter campout in a park, 20 Fahrenheit snowy. Went to bed
and the troop leader brought a fry pan with hot coals into his tent to
help keep warm. Sleeping bag caught on fire and burnt him. Took to
hospital. We all got sick.
But I learned allot of good stuff in Boy Scouts. Allot of good memories.
Even the bad memories are good memories if you know what I mean.
1958 - Indiana - Chicken Farmer
For Easter parents bought us 6 kids 1 chick each. Dad was an animal
nutritionist doing research for Pfizer. We raised those chicks on a
special experimental food that was supposed to increase their laying
capacity. Sure enough when they started laying they would lay several
eggs a day. Only problem was that the eggs were the size of
1959 – Michigan – Fisherman
Grandfather charted a cabin cruiser to go Perch fishing in Lake Erie.
Strategy was to find a flock of feeding seagulls. Drive boat towards them
and coast through the flock. Using three hooks per fish line. Sometimes
brought up three perch at a time. The seagulls were feeding on a school
of minnows that are being chased up shallow by a school of feeding
perch. Caught 88 perch in one afternoon.
Was an avid fisherman all my life till my late teens when all my fishing
gear was stolen from my grandfather’s garage. One pole was a
classical bamboo fly rod given to me by Jack Parr’s uncle that my
grandfather knew. Never got back into it much after that.
1960 – Michigan – Hoodlum
In the 9th grade I decided to go live with my grandparents. Crowded at
home with five siblings. My grandfather who I was very close to just
retired from the Railroad after 51 years. He started out at 15 filling oil
lamps on the RR. Was superintendent of the Michigan RR yards at
retirement! Got in with a group of young hoodlums; cut school, got in fist
fight, shoplifted, drank whisky, smoked cigars, tipped over outhouses,
broke into a hunting cabin and had a party. After about 4 months of crime
I decided that wasn’t the route I wanted to follow so I drifted away from
that group. Good thing many of those boys wound up in prison and lived
short difficult lives. When I think back on it I think I did it for the thrill,
something new and exciting. Luckily never did get caught. At my 50th high
school reunion learned that one of those boys was still in prison!
1960 – Michigan – Hunter/Trapper/Fisherman
Was closest to my grandfather, he was my idol and mentor. Every
summer would spend with him. He would tell me endless stories of
hunting, fishing and trapping. Bought me my first fish pole, 22 rifle and 16
gauge shotgun. Brought up hunting, fishing and trapping. Thanks
granddad -lucky kid and kind of spoiled. Spoiled is nice. One of the
biggest gifts he gave me was his Irish humor. Helped get me through
many hard times.
Trapped muskrats. Skinned and stretched the pelt and sold for $0.75
per pelt. Eventually found a restaurant that served muskrat and gave
me $1.25 per fresh muskrat for whole unskinned carcass. Good deal!
Went on my first deer hunt using a WWII vintage bolt action rifle. Sitting
down resting with my back to a tree. Heard the hoofs of a deer off to my
left and saw him just as he went behind a tree. Slowly I brought my rifle
up and took aim. He stepped out from the tree looking head on at me. I
fired and hit his chest he fell back then forward on his knees. I panicked
(buck fever) and got the empty shell casing stuck in the chamber as I tried
to rack in a new shell. Got my knife out and cut my thumb all up trying to
Jimmie the casing out. By the time I got it fixed the deer had disappeared.
I followed his blood trail into a swamp. Never could find him.
Went ice fishing and had a small tent I used as a fish house. Sat tip-ups
outside the house. My granddads collie would bark whenever a flag on a
tip-up sprang up because he knew we had a fish on – smart dog.
1961 - Michigan - Free Car
My great uncle had a 1952 Buick sitting in a field on his farm. He said we
could have it for free if we removed it from his property. Me and my buddy
towed it to my grandfather’s place. We cleaned the engine up, charged
the battery, put some gas in it. When I turned it on it turned over a couple
times then there was a big bang! We went out behind the car and there
was an asphyxiated dazed rat with his nesting material. Apparently he
had made a nest up the tailpipe.
1961 – Michigan – Skipper
Uncle used to come up to visit and go fishing. He had a 5 horse Sea
King outboard and we had a row boat. He left the motor for me to use
during the week. Went out fishing one day but forgot to tighten the
clamps that held the motor on the boat. Motor jumped off the boat and
sunk out of site. Mucky bottom – never found motor.
1962 – Minnesota – Cool Guy
Mom and Dad bought a 1961 red Ford Galaxy convertible. I had just
got my driver’s license and was really a cool guy when driving it. Last
day of school and I was doing wheelies in the high school parking lot –
showing off to the girls. Unfortunately the engine died and I smashed
into a station wagon. Instantly went from cool to fool.
1962 – Montana – Cowboy
I and my friend Lon decided to go out West and become cowboys for the
summer. Dad got us a Job on a Ranch by Great Falls. We hitch hiked
from Minnesota to the Ranch. It was a fine job; cut, baled and stacked
hay. Summer fallowed. Pick and shoveled out an underground basement.
Worked 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. Paid $7.00 per day and room and
board. Lasted one month, quit job, hitchhiked home. Never rode a horse.
All the other jobs I’ve had since then seem easy.
I have worked at 35 different jobs in my life. A piece of Mark Twain’s
wisdom “Variety is the spice of life”.
1963 – South Dakota – Supernatural Experience
I’ve only had one experience in my life I would call supernatural. We lived
in a 3 story split level house. Me and Mom and Dad were in the recreation
room in the basement. My youngest 2 year old brother was sick in my
parents’ bedroom two stories up and at the other end of the house. All of
a sudden Mom jumped up yelled my brother’s name and ran up the stairs.
My Dad and I both looked at each other in confusion then ran after Mom.
My brother was having a convulsion and was blue in the face. Fortunately
Dad had been a medic in WWII and knew what to do and my brother
recovered. I asked Mom how she knew my brother was having a
convulsion. She said she had started feeling short of breath then realized
Copyright © 1915 Toby Grated