I met her in the Spring of 1966 on San Gregorio Beach, which was a nude beach south of San Francisco. She had been brought there by her boyfriend, Garth Huddleston. He was in the Navy, stationed at the Naval Base on Alameda Island. We were all there for an outing organized by Richard Thorne.
I immediately made friends with Garth. He was talking to his girlfriend, Claire, about the fact that she was behind in the rent and was having trouble paying the rent. She had a small baby, five months old, named Michael Laxson. Garth suggested that I move in with her and pay half the rent, which would be $35. That way, she could pay her rent.
I was that time living with Ed Bogas, a chess player and a violinist with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra. Ed was all too happy to have me move out and in with Claire. By coincidence, both of them lived near to each other, on Fulton Street near Haste Street, which was just a few blocks from the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, so I did not have to move far.
There was one ground rule: Claire had her apartment because she was receiving money from the Welfare Department to take care of her baby, Michael. The Welfare Department was known for doing middle-of-the-night bed checks to see if the women on welfare were sleeping with men. Of course, most of them really were sleeping with men. If they caught a woman on welfare sleeping with a man, she would lose her welfare benefits. At any time of the night, there might be a knock on the door. In that case, I agreed that I would have to quickly go out the back door and down the back stairway, while Claire let the welfare case worker in the front door. Fortunately, her apartment did have a back door.
After I moved in, Claire told me her story. She was 19 years old. She had started having sex when she was 16 years old. She was not a bad girl. She just could not say no. She did not have the heart to turn anybody down. So, whenever any boy asked her, she would sleep with him.
Before long, Claire had become pregnant. She had an abortion. She always felt bad about that, that she had killed a small baby. So, when she became pregnant again, she decided to make it up by having the baby this time. She had the second baby as a way to make it up to the first baby whom she had killed.
She had been planning to give this baby away for adoption. However, a social worker had advised her against that. It would be better to keep the baby, the social worker had said.
I was very nervous about moving in with Claire because I had never done this before. The first night, after I had moved all my stuff into her apartment, I walked all around the Berkeley Campus for several hours nervously trying to decide what to do. Finally, I got up my courage. At about one o'clock in the morning, I came back to Claire's apartment, got into her bed, and had sexual intercourse with Claire. She helped me put it in. I felt the string of the IUD which she had inside of her for birth control.
After we finished having sex, she went to the toilet. She came back and got back into bed with me. She made a comment, "When I said that you could move in with me, I did not have this in mind."
I was going to say something in response, but I decided to remain silent.
That turned out to be the only time that I ever had sexual intercourse with Claire Laxson, although I lived with her for another two months. Part of the reason why lately I have been thinking about her every day is that I have been wondering how my life and her life might have gone differently.
She lived in a railroad-style apartment. There were three rooms, end-to-end. The front room was the living room. Behind it was a bedroom and behind that was the main bedroom where Claire slept.
The second night, I did not have the courage to get into bed with Claire, so I slept in the bed in the middle room, which was the first bedroom.
I have ever since felt that this was a mistake. Had I to live my life over again, I would sleep the first night in the middle room and the second night I would get into bed with Claire. It has been ever since my general policy not to sleep with a girl on the first night. Wait until the second night or even the third night, unless I am 100% sure that the girl wants sex.
However, this policy has often been a mistake. Many times, there was no second night. The girl gave me a clear opportunity to have sex with her. When I did not avail myself of this opportunity, she never gave me another chance. This has happened to me many times, and I have lost many girls this way. It happened again just recently. A girl gave me a clear chance to have sex with her. I did not make my move, thinking I would have another chance later, but that chance still has yet to come.
The third night I slept in the same bed with Claire, but she refused to have sex with me this time. I slept all night in the same bed with her, but we did not have sex.
On weekends, Garth Huddleston got time off from the Navy and he would come to sleep with her. Garth and Claire had non-stop sex. Claire could never get enough of it. I slept in the front room, alone of course, listening to the goings-on.
I became frustrated and unhappy. Claire was ready to have sex any time, all the time, but not with me. I consulted with a friend, John Morrison, a Berkeley student who lived, as I recall, in Vallejo. John was an amateur tennis played majoring in Spanish and he always had lots of girls. John gave this advice: Eat her pussy! I had never heard of this before. I had no idea what eating pussy meant. John explained it to me, in detail. The legal term for it is cunnalingus. John said that if I offered to eat her pussy, she would be so tempted that she could not resist. Then, I could easily have sexual intercourse with her.
I tried this but it did not work. Claire never gave me a chance to eat her pussy. However, since that time, I have had a firm policy. I never have sexual intercourse with a girl, unless I eat her pussy first. The few times I have deviated from that policy have not had good results.
So, I am thinking, if I had eaten Claire's pussy before the first and only time I had sexual intercourse with her, we might have had a good relationship from then on and things would have been different.
Another reason I often think of Claire nowadays is because if her son Michael. He was born in Oakland in either December 1965 or January 1966. He should be 37 years old now. I have tried to find him on the Internet. I cannot find him anywhere, either dead or alive.
Michael slept in his own crib. In the night, he would cry loudly and wake us up. Claire would get out of bed and go and rock him to sleep. I was always thinking how horrible and unbearable was the cry of a baby in the night. Nowadays, however, I do not feel that way. I have eight children and I have heard all of them cry as a baby. I do not find anything unbearable about it. I am used to it. This is one of the many ways my thinking and my life has been affected by the two months I lived with Claire Laxson.
One night, I came home and Claire had some news for me. She had broken up with Garth Huddleston. He would not be coming to her apartment any more. Apparently, they had had a fight or argument. I never learned the reason. He never came again. I later on kept in touch with Garth however. In fact, Garth Huddleston was the very, very last person I was with before I left Berkeley to go to the East Coast in December 1967. I left with fond memories of Garth because on that occasion, in December 1967, he let me have sexual intercourse with his new girlfriend, who had blond hair, blue eyes and was stunningly beautiful.
I still would like to meet Garth again. I have searched for him on the Internet, and cannot find him either. I am so sad.
The night Claire told me that she had broken up with Garth, I naturally felt that this would finally be my chance to start having sexual intercourse with her on a regular basis. However, shortly thereafter, Richard Thorne just happened to stop by. He had obviously heard that Garth had broken up with Claire, and he was coming to get his. I wonder who told him, Garth or Claire. Before long, Richard and Claire went into the back room together and started to have sex.
I patiently waited for my chance, a chance which never came. The next night, Claire brought home a new boy, a boy she had just met. They hugged and kissed on the front couch in my presence and then Claire suggested that they go to the back bedroom. They did not come out again until the following morning.
After that, almost every night, Claire brought home a new boy. At first, it was a mystery to me how she did this. Claire did not really have a social life. I do not remember her having any friends. I guess I was her only friend. She never went to parties or events. She did not smoke or drink or use drugs. She was a nice girl who just stayed home and took care of her baby.
The only time she went out was almost every day when she went to the Laundromat. Back then, they did not have pampers. Michael wore cloth diapers. Michael used a lot of diapers and, every few days, Claire would go to the Laundromat to wash them.
When I asked her where she was meeting all these guys she was bringing home and sleeping with, the answer was always the same. She met them at the Laundromat.
Most guys I suppose would not have tolerated the situation I was in. I wanted this girl so badly, I did not know what to do. I had to sit there patiently as man after man paraded in and out of her bedroom. Just one time, I got upset and said the only harsh words I ever said to her. I asked her why she slept with them, but not with me. She said that she likes these guys. I told her that these guys never come back. What I said was true, of course. Of all the men who slept in her bed, not even one came back again for a second night.
Claire was very average in appearance, a Plain Jane. When I say "plain", I mean exactly that. She had an almost featureless though flawless face. I do not mean that in a bad sense. Often, when a girl is said to be "plain" what that really means is that she is ugly or unattractive. However, Claire really was plain. Still, she had the potential to be beautiful. Take a look at Princess Diana. Here we have an average girl with a million-dollar look. If Claire Laxson had the clothing, the hats, the hair-styling, the make up that Princess Diana had, she could have been just as beautiful as Princess Diana was. Instead of being famous for her beauty as Princess Diana was, Claire Laxson was a poor girl with a featureless, flawless face, who had me, Sam Sloan, living with her, because she could not afford the $35 per month rent.
Claire had a mother, but no father. Her mother lived in Richmond, California, which is just north of Berkeley. Her mother came by to see her a few times, but had a life of her own. I believe that Claire was illegitimate, in that her mother never married her father. I do not know whether Claire knew who her father was or not.
I was wondering how intelligent she was. At first, I assumed that she was rather dumb. Then one day I decided to teach her the rules of chess. To my surprise, in only five minutes I was able to teach her how all the pieces moved. After another five minutes, I was able to teach her enough so that she could play a reasonable game, at least for the first ten moves. I was impressed by this. Even some of my very bright students do not learn to play chess this quickly.
Then, there was another question: How bright was Michael? For obvious reasons, Claire could never be completely sure who Michael's father was. However, she was living just four blocks from the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, where some of the brightest minds in the world reside. These guys she was picking up at the Laundromat, who knows who they were? Just some worthless kid, or some future winner of the Nobel Prize? All I knew about any of them was they had dirty clothing that needed to be washed, and therefore they had come to the Laundromat.
Claire was more attracted to Navy Guys. It did not seem that she was attracted to men who were intelligent. If given a choice, she would have had as a boyfriend another guy from the Navy like Garth Huddleston. However, she did not have that choice, so she just took whomever she could find sitting in the Laundromat, waiting for his clothing to wash or dry. From this sort of relationship came the DNA of Michael Laxson.
You must be wondering what happened to bring this story to an end. What happened was, I was invited to a party given by a chess player named Mark Eucher, who lived on the North Side of the Berkeley Campus. There, I met a girl with whom I instantly fell in love. Her name was Annalies Rainer and she was from Vienna, Austria. I was completely enthralled and infatuated by this girl. I could not sleep that night thinking about her. The only problem was, she did not live in Berkeley. She lived in Reno, Nevada. The next morning, I caught a bus to Reno. I found her quickly. She was living in a rooming house. I rented a room in the same rooming house next to her room. I had just turned 21 years old, so I went out and got a job working for Lincoln Fitzgerald in the Nevada Club in Reno as a roulette dealer. When I applied for the job, Lincoln Fitzgerald did not ask me to fill out an application form. Instead, he asked me just one question. What is 17 times 17? I thought about it and did the math in my head, an ability I have from blindfold chess. I gave the correct answer: 289. Lincoln Fitzgerald raised his hand and signaled to his wife. That was the signal that I had been hired.
I soon found out the reason for the question. In roulette, if the player bets 17 chips on two numbers and wins, the payoff is 289. At the Nevada Club, the players often bet huge piles of chips and I often had to figure out the correct payment.
I worked two months at the Nevada Club and I learned from Lincoln Fitzgerald a lot about business. Fitzgerald was the richest man in Nevada and his club had the biggest bankroll in Nevada. The club was small and run-down, but it had the biggest money behind it. It was the only club anywhere in Nevada at the time where a player could bet one thousand dollars on a number. One thousand dollars meant nothing to Lincoln Fitzgerald. His net worth was more than one hundred million dollars. Other clubs, bigger in size, operated on a shoestring. Yet, every morning he came down from the cubicle where he slept inside the club behind the cashier's box and counted the slot machine nickels. This taught me a valuable lesson I have never forgotten. If you want to have one hundred million dollars, you have to count the nickels.
After two months of working at the Nevada Club, I decided to play in the US Open Chess Championship in Seattle, so I took a bus to Seattle, Washington. I started well in the tournament, winning my first few games, until I ran into Peter Cleghorn who trounced me thoroughly. Cleghorn followed up his victory over me by defeating Grandmaster Pal Benko. I then went downhill, losing even to Robert Erkes when I overlooked an easy mate, so I finished with a bare plus score in the 13 round tournament.
A noteworthy event was, during the tournament, the Beatles played their next to last concert directly across from the playing hall where the chess tournament was being played. Tens of thousands of 14 year old girls came to the chess tournament to hear the Beatles play, sometimes even running through the chess playing area to get from one side to the other of the open-air theater where the Beatles were playing. One of the chess masters in the tournament picked up one of these 14 year old girls, spent the night with her in a hotel and then spent the following night in jail, and was lucky to get out, but then won a top prize in the chess tournament.
After the tournament, Chess Master Ronnie Gross gave me a ride in his camper back to Berkeley. Also on that trip were a kid named James Tarjan and a chess master named George Saidy from Iran. James Tarjan grew up to become a famous chess Grandmaster. George Saidy went back to Iran where he was killed in the Iranian revolution. Ronnie Gross still to this day drives around the country in his camper playing in chess tournaments, when he is not speaking on the phone to his friend Bobby Fischer.
Arriving back in Berkeley in September 1966, I found that Richard Thorne, a big organizer of sex orgies, had abruptly left town and disappeared. He had gone to Mexico and did not return until long thereafter. With the help of Jefferson Poland and with the small amount of money I had saved while working in Reno, I restarted Thorne's Sexual Freedom League. Soon, I had more women than I could accommodate. Over the next year, from October 1966 until December 1967, I slept with or had sexual intercourse with more than 50 women, almost all of whom were either students at the University of California at Berkeley or who lived near the Berkeley Campus. I was booked to capacity. I turned down more women than I accepted. I kept a notebook and wrote down the name of every girl. I am still friends with or am in contact with some of these women to this day. One recently ran for elective office in San Francisco but was defeated.
The great Sex Revolution of the 1960s had started, and I was riding the crest of the wave. Even the history books will tell you that it started at the University of California at Berkeley. They neglect to mention that I, Sam Sloan, started it.
Then, in December, 1967, feeling the heat from the police who were following me everywhere, hoping to catch me in some infraction, I abruptly left Berkeley on Christmas Eve 1967 and went to Hoboken, New Jersey, were I played on the Berkeley Team for the US Intercollegiate Chess Championship. Our team won the national championship.
I never again even entered the State of California until 14 years later in 1981 when I took my new Pakistani wife Honzagool to visit there. It is likely that my daughter Shamema was conceived in California on that trip.
A funny coincidence which I just thought of: The first girl I ever had sex with in Berkeley was Claire Laxson, who was the girlfriend of Garth Huddleston. Also, the last girl I ever had sex with in Berkeley was another girlfriend of Garth Huddleston. Garth was a good man to know. I organized a Christmas Party, 1967. Garth brought this stunningly beautiful girl to the party. I do not remember her name but I sure do remember Garth's name. I had sexual intercourse with her first. Then, after me, every other guy at that party had sexual intercourse with that same girl. During this time, I was talking for a while with another girl, until I picked her up, carried her to the bed, and had sexual intercourse with that girl. She was very nice. (Sorry. I do not remember her name either and I sure wish I did). Then, when none of the guys were able to have sex with Garth's Girl anymore, as they had all run out of stream, I went back and did it with her again. Just then, after having sex with Garth's girl for the second time, the scheduled drive-away car came to pick me up. I got in the car and we drove to the East Coast. I did not return to California for the next 14 years. Rumor had it that I had been run out of town.
But what ever happened to Claire Laxson? What about her? And, what happened to her baby, Michael Laxson?
After moving to Reno, I had seen Claire three more times, and this is one reason why I have regrets and second thoughts about this.
A few days before I had gone to Reno Nevada to chase after Annalies Rainer, whom I did not get, I had had a little conflict. Claire had let two other girls move into her apartment. They were sisters, aged 19 and 15. They had just arrived from Seattle Washington, but I believe that Claire had known at least the elder one before. The two sisters were professional thieves. The elder one told me how they did it. They would go into a clothing store and try on a new dress in the dressing room. Then, they would put their original dress on top of the dress from the store and wear both dresses out the store.
Of course, the clothing stores were on the lookout for this, and so they had other ways. One favorite technique was to walk into the store completely naked except for a rain coat or a long coat on top. Then, they would put on the dress in the dressing room. When walking out the store, if the store clerk noticed that they were stealing something and they would be stopped, they would claim that they had brought the dress previously. As proof, they would show that they had no other clothing on. They were naked underneath, except for the store dress. The store clerk would not be able to guess that they entered the store completely naked. Probably a few store managers realized what they had done, but were afraid to order an arrest.
At that time, I was making my living playing at the Oaks Club in Emeryville, a poker club. After playing poker, I would walk home every night, four miles to Claire's apartment in Berkeley. I made a point of walking home every night, regardless of whether I won or lost. Tom Dorsch who also played there would take a taxi home when he won and when he lost he had no choice but to walk home.
One night, I won a hundred dollars at the Oaks Club. I walked home as usual. I made the mistake of telling Claire and the other two girls that I had won $100. Later that night, the eldest of the two thieving girls told me a sad story. She thought she was pregnant. She wanted me to give her $20 to go to a doctor for a pregnancy test.
I did not give her $20. I told her that I would take her to the doctor for the pregnancy test and pay him the $20 myself. She did not seem to like that answer.
That night, I slept with my wallet under my pillow. The next morning, after I woke up, I counted my money. Twenty dollars was missing. I decided that in the night she had removed the wallet from under my pillow, taken out a $20 bill and then replaced the wallet. I immediately accused the elder sister of stealing the money.
This is one of the great unsolved mysteries of my life. Did she really steal the money? Or, did I simply miscount my money, or had I forgotten about something I had bought?
If I had to live my life over again, I would say, I am living with three beautiful girls. Sooner or later I am bound to have sex with one or with all of them. I still have money. At least she did not take all of it. What is the big deal about $20?
Still, I did not feel comfortable about living in an apartment with a girl who might steal my money. This affected my decision to go to Reno.
A few weeks after starting to work at the Nevada Club in Reno, I had two days off, so I went to Berkeley and I went to Claire's apartment. Claire still had two other girls living in her apartment. They were surprised to see me. I had just disappeared. When I had gone to Reno, I had just gone for the day. I had not planned to get a job and stay there. They had not known what had happened to me. They told me that they had called the jail, the morgue and the hospital looking for me. I was nowhere to be found. I was touched by all the effort they had made to find me. I had not known that anybody cared so much about me.
I was very tired. I was still legally living in Claire's apartment, as I had paid the rent. I went to sleep in a big arm chair in her living room.
What happened next I shall never forget. However, if you have been reading my website, you are going to know what happened next. There was a knock at the door. Claire opened the door. It was three guys from the Navy. They said that they were friends of some other Navy guys who knew them. I did not pay much attention to the conversation.
Claire invited in the three sailors from Alameda Naval Base. They came in and sat down and started having a friendly conversation with the girls.
I was really tired. I had just come in from Reno. I nodded back to sleep, still seated in the arm chair.
I woke up later. I do not know how long it was. Claire and the elder of the two sisters were sitting on the couch across from me, each hugging and kissing and making out with one of the Navy guys. This was a very familiar situation for me. Many times I had been sitting in that same chair while Claire sat across from me making out with a guy she had just met at the Laundromat. I knew what was going to happen next. The two girls invited the two guys to go back into the bedroom. Meanwhile, the younger sister sat in the arm chair to my left making out with the guy she was with.
I dozed off to sleep again. The next time I woke up, the younger of the two sisters was on the couch across from me having sexual intercourse with the Navy guy she was with. The other two girls were obviously in the back room with their guys.
This time, I did not fall back to sleep. Soon, the Navy guy across from me finished having sexual intercourse with the girl he was with. After he had finished, the girl got up and went to the back room. Then, the other two Navy guys came out, preparing to leave. On their way out, they looked down at me. I was sitting in the same chair, having hardly moved or spoken a word in the entire time that they had been there. One said to the other, "What about this guy?" "Hold down the fort", the other one said to me. Then they all three left.
A few minutes later, Clair and the elder sister came out from the back. They were very excited to know whether the younger sister had actually done it. Sure, I said. She actually did it. Less than ten minutes ago she was having sexual intercourse right here on the couch and I was sitting here watching her do it.
Claire and her friend were very excited and happy about this development. They explained that the younger sister had never done this before. Not that she was a virgin, but she had never done it like this before. She had finally joined the club.
Then Claire and her friend started talking about their experience with the two Navy guys. After having sexual intercourse with them for the first time, the two guys had called out to each other that they wanted to switch partners. The two girls had not liked that. "I was satisfied with the guy I had", Claire had explained. "I wanted to keep the one I had too", her friend had explained.
I never asked and therefore did not find out the answer: Did the two Navy guys exchange beds and partners in the night? I believe that they did not and that they kept the girl they started with, but I am not sure. I am sure that the girls would have objected but only very mildly if the guys had switched beds. They would have had sex with the other guy after the switch with only a mild protest.
The next day, I left and went back to Reno. This is what I wonder about to this day. I was living in Paradise in Berkeley. I was living in the same apartment with three beautiful girls and all of them were doing sex and lots of it. True, I had not gotten any yet. But sooner or later I was bound to get some. I was not as strong or as handsome as these Navy guys, but still I was bound to get something sooner or later.
After returning to Reno and then playing in the US Open Chess Championship in Seattle, I came back to Berkeley in September 1966. I went to Claire's apartment, but she was not there any more. She had lost the apartment. I suppose that she had been evicted. Remember, I was allowed to live there because she needed me to pay $35 rent. After moving to Reno, I had not paid the $35 and she had lost the apartment.
I met her on the street and she asked me to give her $35. I told her that I did not have the money, which was the truth, but I still feel guilty about this. I should have begged, borrowed or stolen the money to give her. I really owed her the money. I should have paid her the rent even for the time after I had stopped living there.
In December, 1966, Claire came to one of my Sexual Freedom League Parties. She took off all of her clothing, as did almost everybody else at the party, but she did not have sexual intercourse with anybody as far as I knew. As she was getting ready to leave, she allowed me to kiss her. This was the only time she had let me kiss her after we had had sexual intercourse that first night in her apartment. I tried to convince her to come in the back room with me, but she declined. It would have made me very happy if she had granted me that one last favor.
The next and last time I saw Claire Laxson was in Spring, 1967. She was sitting on the street on the East side of Telegraph Avenue near Dwight Way with her baby Michael on her lap and her new boyfriend at her side. They were sitting on the sidewalk with their feet on the pavement. The new boyfriend was not a macho Navy type. He seemed to be a young intellectual. He was wearing a backpack as a school bag. They said that he was from Toronto, Canada. He was going to take Claire and the baby back to Canada. They were getting ready to leave soon.
Once again, Claire Laxson asked me to give her $35. Once again, I said that I did not have the money.
I never saw Claire Laxson again.
Perhaps you understand why I think about these events of 36 years ago almost every day now and why I felt compelled to write this story.
It could have been different. Claire Laxson was not a bad girl. She was a nice girl who just could not say "no" to any man who asked her (except to me). I could have stayed with her. She did not kick me out. She was wearing an IUD for birth control. She might have dispensed with that and had a child with me. If I knew then what I know now about women, I could probably had had sex with her any time I wanted. I should have been more warm and cuddly to her.
On the other hand, the great events of my life might not have happened had I stayed with Claire Laxson. The events I have just described were pivotal to my life. Any small change might have changed my life entirely.
I would really like to know what happened to Claire Laxson. I fear the worst. Perhaps that Canadian Guy took her to Toronto where she now lives as a housewife in a happy home. On the other hand, she was living on the street when I last saw her. Perhaps her baby died from exposure to the elements. Was it because of me that she lost her apartment on Fulton Street? Am I to blame for what happened?
Every word of this story is absolutely true. I really want to find Claire Laxson. If anybody sees her, tell her that I am ready to pay her the $35 I owe her, plus 37 years interest.
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