Wednesday, March 29, 2017


 This story has nothing to do with bugging any kind of electrical item like a phone or a microwave.  It is about my first apartment.
 After having been kicked out of the dorm at Southwestern, and then kicked out of the apartment that I was sharing for free with three friends, I had to find a place to live.  I drove around the neighborhoods near school, and I saw a rent sign on a duplex. 
 The duplex was just off West Berry and a block from Travis Avenue Baptist Church.  It was a one-bedroom with a living room, bath and kitchen.  The tenant on the other side of the duplex was a TCU student majoring in dance.  She had a big dog as her roomie.  I went to see the apartment during the day, and it looked okay.  It was $150/month.  I gave a check for the rent plus deposit to the landlord and moved in.
 It didn't have curtains, so I had to put up a couple of blankets in the living room over the windows for privacy.  The landlord told me that the other tenant put her dog out, when she had guests over to her place.  That was okay by me, as long as the dog was tame. 
 I went to work the first day in my apartment.  When I came home after dark, the dog was also outside.  It apparently thought of me as a threat, and it went into attack mode.  I screamed for the girl to come out and get her dog, so I could get inside, but she didn't hear me.  She was "entertaining" a male friend.  I had to wait in my car until he left, so she would bring the dog back into her place, and I could go into mine.  This happened frequently, as she "entertained" many men.  She seemed to be rather popular at night.
 When I finally go into my place, I found something that I didn't see upon first inspection.  BUGS!
EVERYWHERE!  Primarily roaches, water bugs, and moths.  There was a Mexican restaurant close by, which made the place smell good with fresh bread baking, but it also attracted pests.  Each night, I spent an hour killing bugs.  They were all over, but mainly in the bathroom's tub.  I couldn't take baths because of them.  The kitchen stove didn't work either.  The dials were melted to the frame.  So, I had to buy a toaster oven to cook.  I learned a valuable lesson with the bugs.  Always check out your apartment at night before signing rental papers. 
 I bought a fogger for my place to get rid of the bugs.  That didn't work.  Between the mean dog and the pests, I drank more.  I would put down a six-pack of beer every night just so I could pass out and sleep.  It was just too much to take.  I made a list of 21 things wrong with my apartment and asked the landlord to fix them.  He refused.  So, I told him after a month of living there that I was going to move out.  I asked for my deposit back.  He refused.  I learned another valuable lesson.  If you are going to rent an apartment, it is better to rent from a company instead of an individual, especially if you don't know this individual. 
 I kind of wished that the student would have invited me over to her place and "entertained" me, but I probably would have gotten some disease.

Friday, March 24, 2017

My Three Amigos

 I wanted to take a moment and tell you about three friends that I had while at seminary.  I said a little bit about them during the last installment of my blog, but I wanted to write a bit more about them.  Doug, John and Darrell were there names.  Doug and I were from SC.  We would refer to ourselves as "arteests".  We played a lot of Monopoly games during our down time in school. 
 When I had to move out of the dorm after the "witch hunt", the three of them let me stay in their apartment off campus.  I had a bunch of record albums, which I put in the kitchen next to the dining table.  John had his nephew come over one Saturday, while I was at work.  His nephew spilled red Kool-Aid over my albums.  I was very mad, when I got back from work and saw what the boy had done.  Some of the album covers were ruined.  John suggested that I not have them in that area anymore, so I moved them into the bedroom, and I had to crawl over them to get out of bed. 
 For my birthday, they got hold of a 16mm print of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and borrowed a movie projector to show it in the apartment.  They really surprised me.  We had popcorn.  It was just like being in a theatre.
 The VCR was being introduced, and John and I bought a Beta VCR.  We enjoyed recording TV shows and movies.  When it came time for me to move out (after the landlord found I was staying there unauthorized), John took the VCR, and I got the tapes.  This was a monumental event in my life, because it introduced me to home recording.  At one time years later, I had over 2000 hours of tapes of movies and music.  I later had the second-largest Beatles video collection in the world.  I converted all of them to DVD.  It took me three years to do that transfer.  All because of John and I starting out with a few tapes and a VCR. 
 One fun thing we would do was to go out to D/FW Airport and ride the free trams in between the terminals.  It was like riding a slow roller coaster.  We would also go inside a terminal and find a coffee shop.  We would then look for a guy sitting by himself at a table and then sit at the table next to his.  We would then talk about our trip to Vegas and how we won so much money.  It was all made up, but we wanted to see the guy's reaction.  One time, my friends brought cameras and pads to the airport and one of us would pretend to be famous and being interviewed while walking through the terminal.  Just to see the reactions.  We learned that anybody can be famous, if others believe it.
 After being with my three friends, I do not like to listen to Roger Whittaker or Johnny Mathis anymore.  That was about all that we would listen to in the car.  I can live without Roger and Johnny and still have a fulfilling life. 
 I don't know what I would have done without Doug, John and Darrell letting me stay there during my trials at seminary.  Thanks, guys.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Witch Hunt

 I went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for three reasons.  First, I needed a Master's Degree in order to teach in a Christian college, and that was going to be at Anderson College.  Second, it was the school that both of my parents went to, and I knew many of the professors and staff.  Third, I was called by God to go there.  It seemed a perfect fit.
 One of the requirements for entry to the seminary was to take a personality test called the MMPI.  It was designed to weed out those people who were not mentally suitable for the ministry.  I answered each question honestly, as I thought that was what one was supposed to do.  Questions like:  "Have you ever smoked?"; "Have you ever drank?"; "Have you ever used drugs?"; "Have you felt like someone was following you?".  I answered "yes" to all of those.  I never heard any more about it.
 Also, one of my loves was James Bond movies.  I found a store in Dallas that sold old movie posters and bought all they had.  I put them up on my walls in my dorm room.  Each semester, they would have a contest as to which room was the coolest.  Mine always won.  The first Christmas I was there, I drove home for Christmas to pick up more stuff like records and posters.  As I was working the second Christmas, my boss didn't give me any time off, so my parents sent my Christmas presents to Ft. Worth.  I found a twig outside and decorated it.  I put on some Christmas music on my stereo.  I had one of the best Christmases for 15 minutes of it just being simple.  Things were good.  But then came January.
 I got the flu.  I was pretty sick and didn't feel like eating much, but I called down to the dorm office and asked someone to go get me some bland food.  This guy brought it up to me.  He had never been in my room before, and he saw my posters.  He immediately got offended by the movie poster for "The Spy Who Loved Me".  He told the Dean of Men, who had been in my room before, that I had pornographic posters on my wall.  I should note here that the seminary had changed from a moderate environment to a more conservative one, as it came to religion. 
 Things went from bad to worse.  Students, who had been in my room, were now putting messages under my door saying they were praying for me and praying that the demons would leave me.  The Dean of Men recommended that I be kicked out of school.  In fact, one morning I was asleep because I had an 11:00am class.  He walked in without knocking and woke me up.  His question to me was "Why did you come here?"  I told him that I was called by God to be there.  He walked out.  The Dean of Students was an old friend of my father's, and he was trying to keep me in, but there were several hoops I would have to jump through to stay.
 Meanwhile, the Dean of Men went to the girls' dorm and asked them one question:  "Have you ever been out on a date with Walter Durst?"  The questionnaires came back that no one had.  Many of the girls were in seminary to find a husband, so they could be a preacher's wife.  They didn't bother to ask me who I had dated, as I was very seriously dating Kare.  She was someone I worked with and not affiliated with the seminary.  In fact, Kare was an atheist, and she kept me grounded through all of this mess.  So, based on the question, I was branded "anti-social" and "gay".  I had had the "gay" label put on me before, even though it has never been true. 
 So, the hoops were established.  I would go to a psychologist for a month.  I would take down all of the posters off of my walls.  I would retake the MMPI.  And, I would have to meet with the seminary president for him to make a final decision to my fate. 
 The school had a psychologist on campus.  I went to see him.  In five minutes, he found there was nothing wrong with me, so we talked Dallas Cowboys football the rest of the time. 
 I did take down all of the posters on my walls.  It amused me that one of the posters was the Farrah Fawcett swimsuit poster, which a lot of guys had on their walls, but mine was offensive.
 I retook the MMPI.  I answered no to every question, where I had answered yes before.  The test came back, and they determined that I must have misread the questions the first time.
 I then went to see the seminary president.  His name was Dr. Naylor, and I had known him since I was five.  He told me that everything would be all right, and I could graduate.  There was one more stipulation.  I had to move off campus.  So, I moved into an apartment with three seminary friends, who were supportive of this witch hunt.  I stayed there for most of the summer, until about a week before graduation.  The landlord found out that I was staying there without paying rent, so I had to leave and find an apartment on my own, which I will write about later. 
 When graduation came, my parents came to Ft. Worth.  I was in the hall of the administration building with my father.  He found the Dean of Students and the Dean of Men.  Both told my father that this was all a  "misunderstanding", and they apologized to me for any embarrassment to me.  They did that, because my father was big in Southern Baptist circles.  My father was pretty mad at them.  I got to graduate.  I have a Master's degree in Religious Education with a major in Communications.  I celebrated with Kare.

Monday, March 6, 2017


 My father was against dancing.  He was against other stuff like card playing and rock music.  So, when disco became popular, I was right there.  I loved disco music.  It made me very happy.  I sold disco music at the store.  I played disco music in the store, and we all danced to it.  It made time go by quicker.  We played disco music at parties.  It made drinking more fun.  In fact, when I got drunk, I did a mean impression of Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy".  Everything was disco.
 In Ft. Worth, all of the clubs played disco music.  There were two main clubs devoted to disco.  One was for the college crowd near TCU, and the other was for the upscale crowd closer to downtown.  I preferred the TCU club, but I took dance lessons at the upscale club.  When I would go to the TCU club, I usually went with someone else from seminary.  Because we went there to drink and watch the dancers "dance", we would bring pocket Bibles and Christian pamphlets with us just in case someone from the seminary saw us coming outside.  We could say we were witnessing to the clubgoers.  We weren't though, and thankfully a confrontation never happened.
 Another club that played disco a lot was the bar inside the mall where I worked.  Kare and I went to that club a lot, and they took requests.  My go-to request was "Macho Man" by the Village People.  For the first 50 times, the DJ played it, but then I started noticing that when we would come into the bar, I would see the DJ hide the record and then tell me he didn't have it that night.  I'd get drunk and yell out "Play Macho Man"!  I got a bit obnoxious. 
 It was a party  every night.