I saw someone drunk only once in my life before going to Mantoloking, New Jersey. On my first date, when I was 16 years old, the guy took me to a variety of places in "the big City" (we went to dinner, to the Church of Elvis, to a rose garden...) and ended the night by pulling me into a Greek bar where a male bellydancer with a turban on his head did a strip-tease down to his puffy pants, to the delight of a table of drunken folks and my utter shock; I remember watching an inebriated woman there lick ketchup off her table. I didn't see another drunk person until I was 18 years old as a nanny at the Shore.
The Thebaults were drunk after returning from a nightclub once or twice. Ken, one of the lifeguards, partied regularly. Ken asked me to meet him at his house and when I got there he was passed out. He lived with his parents during the summer and his Dad sort of ushered me in and kicked at his son, scowling about how he was drunk. I was stunned. A real-live-passed-out-person (boy, was the East Coast crazy!). Besides singing "Lyin' Eyes", the lifeguards loved to belt out Bruce Springstein tunes and Jimmy Buffet. I heard "Margaritaville" more than once.
For the entire summer, Ken and Kevin manned the beach until another female lifeguard joined them at the end. I don't remember her name. But she arrived about the time the husbands started making their weekend trips from NYC and mainland Jersey to join their families. Ken and Kevin talked to me more than anyone else on the beach, until the female lifeguard appeared. I noticed Ken watching me when I was getting out of the water one day and he was quipping about how "I'm going to put you on my lay-away plan". He talked about making me his "wife" after he had sown his wild oats. I was the sweet Christian girl, but he didn't ask me out until I started wise-cracking with him. I said, "I don't think your credit is any good," in response to his lay-away plan line. He laughed, looking surprised to find I had a comeback. So he said he would put me on his credit card and I told him he couldn't afford me. Then he said he would put me on his gold Mastercard and I said I only took Visa. As we bantered on and on, Kevin was cracking up next to him, ribbing him. After that, Ken asked me out.
Oh, but before he TOOK me out, he got permission from the slave-owners. Which really pissed me off (even if I didn't use that vulgar expression "pissed" then). He asked Brian Thebault if he could take me out, while I was standing there. Brian wasn't my father, and I was a grown woman (18 years old!). But I suppose Ken knew Brian would appreciate knowing where his property was going. Brian had a broad grin and wink for Ken. I think Brian thought we were all going to "score" or something.
On our first date we went to see the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day"--which is when I fell in love with...Bill Murray. It was love at first sight.
Ken kept falling asleep during the show. I was sitting on my hands because I figured Ken couldn't start anything that way. After trying to hold my hand and realizing I was sitting on them, he kept offering the popcorn and putting his hand in when my hand was in. So I went back to sitting on my hands. And then Ken gave up and fell asleep. He was snoring and when I laughed at something in the show, he'd say, with his eyes closed and head back on the seat, "Haha, that was funny." He made commentary the whole time, as if he was watching. He would jostle awake and then, clunk, his head fell back and he was snoring again.
After that he took me to meet his parents and family. At their house. We all went to church together. He said he didn't go to church anymore but thought I would like to go. I knew Ken really did like me, but I was very religious at that time, and Ken was into partying and it wasn't going to go anywhere. He complimented me, saying I was the most sincere "christian" he'd ever met. I can't remember if he stopped asking me out or if I refused him. It was amiable and mutual, however it was. I had actually been a little more attracted to the other lifeguard, Kevin, probably because he was always reading and I figured we had something in common. Ken was such a womanizer and was louder than Kevin. Now, I would probably go for Ken, and have fun. I actually think we stopped hanging out when I found Ken passed out.
Ken's family was very nice. His sister was great, and she liked me. I do remember being shocked by his mother. She was extremely high maintenance and looked it, with sort of a televangelist hair-do and lots of Tammi Faye make-up, and a pretty good body. Whenever I saw her she was wearing white.
I went to Kevin's pad once, which was a little beach shack rented by him and some buddies. There was a party and I was invited. I don't know if Ken was there or not. I felt intimidated because everyone was drinking and I didn't drink, and they seemed so much worldlier than I was. There were a bunch of guys and we talked a bit. There was another lifeguard, on an adjoining private beach, that I met and spent an evening with, and that's a funny story.
Kevin was Philip Thebault's hero and idol. Philip really looked up to him and was always excited to see him.
I still have a couple of photos of Kevin and Ken in their red lifeguard shorts. Whoo! I look at the photo now and think, "They are HOT!" I've wondered about them from time to time since.