Growing Up in Alameda: The question is, could Dave be a werewolf?

Growing Up in Alameda: The question is, could Dave be a werewolf?

Dave LeMoine

I had just attended the first showing of “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” at the Alameda Theatre, which birthed another great idea: “Let’s get some glue and hair from the local costume store and make up as werewolves to scare the girls!”

The glue and hair worked well – until removal time. There must be a better way.

Back to the store, where we found clear, form-fitting masks – just the ticket! We created masterpieces and only had to pull them on. We bought cheap silver, synthetic wigs and, with black spray paint, blended the colors.

At that time, a group of 20 to 30 kids from Encinal and Alameda high schools hung out at Rider’s Drive-In. The gang of guys and girls would sometimes hike the Oakland Hills at night. (This was before real gangs took over.) We would walk through the trees with flashlights, laughing and talking.

Red Dog and I decided to mess with the group, so one night, bowing out from the romp in the forest, we stayed home … just long enough for me to don my football shoulder pads, Pendleton shirt, werewolf mask, and wig. Than Red drove me up High Street – the back way – and into Tilden Park above Skyline Drive, just ahead of the unsuspecting group.

Positioned about 50 feet above the trail and behind a tree, I could hear the gang coming, flashlight in hand. As they got near, I rustled the bushes and heard someone say, “Did you hear that?”

The group stopped to listen, and then resumed walking. Again I rustled the bushes, this time peeking out from a bush just long enough for a flashlight beam to hit my face. Then I darted back behind the tree.

A couple of girls screamed and a guy said, “Did you see that?”

“What?”

“Something crazy up in the trees!”

“Ah, you’re seeing things.”

This time I moved out into the light, resulting in screams, and a few people started to run. Then the scene changed. The guy got bold and started up the hill, which caused me to run. Soon yours truly, alias the werewolf, was on a dead run downhill, in the dark, in the trees, laughing, with 10 football players in hot pursuit … until I stepped into a two-foot hole and felt my knee crack as I went down in agony.

That night has stayed with me all of my life. You ask why? Well, because of another stupid move, I have had an ACL operation, an orthoscopic procedure, and finally, a full knee replacement. I’m probably the only werewolf in history to go through three surgeries to have the doctors ask, “You were doing what?”