November 21, 2014

When I was a pre-teen, I started smoking. I was a smoker from age 14 to 17. I went to see the Ramones for the first time when I was 15 or 16. They played at the Arcadia Theatre in Dallas, which was a really cool place to see a show. When I was watching the Ramones, I totally felt like I was in the movie Rock N Roll High School, which I’d first seen at age 10. I was so excited to be seeing them.

I was in the pit area, close to the front of stage for most of the show. At some point during the show, I spotted a big skinhead who had his shirt off, and his bare back was coming right at my face fast. He knocked me down! Some guy saw this and acted quickly, picking me up and throwing me over his shoulder, getting me out of the eye of the storm. I thanked him and went to the bathroom.

I had a tiny split lip, bleeding, but not a big deal. My face got hit pretty hard though. I couldn’t see any other real damage, but I did feel a knot in my forehead for a week afterward. While in the bathroom, I ran into this other girl, Alice. (I nick named her “Super Alice” because she was Asian and had big teased up hair like Siouxsie Sioux and she reminded me of a superhero comic book character. She was really hot. I wish I had a picture of her.) Alice was in the bathroom picking cigarette butts out of her hair that someone had thrown at her. BOOOOOO! hahaha

Anyway, two years later, I started having a lot of trouble breathing out of my nose, which was making it hard to sleep. I was struggling with it for a while, so I went to an Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor. He did an ex-ray and said that I had a deviated septum and had broken my nose at some point. When he said that, I knew exactly when that had happened— at that Ramones concert! Even though I couldn’t tell my nose looked different, that skinhead broke my nose.

While this was happening, I started smoking a little less. It just started tasting bad to me. I had never wanted to quit smoking, or planned to quit. My father had been a smoker for like 30 or 40 years, and he let me smoke in the house and bought my cigarettes, so I never saw a reason at the time to consider quitting. If it hadn’t been for my broken nose making it start to just taste gross to me, I probably would have kept smoking and I would probably look a lot older than I do today! So, I believe that if it wasn’t for my love of the Ramones, I never would have quit smoking! It’s funny how a chain of events can affect your life, sometimes for the better.

*The above photos were taken 2-3 years after this story. I saw The Ramones more times than I can count, but this story was about the very first time.


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