So the very little I know about the dark ages comes from my mother. Dad did not talk about it other than call it the dark ages.
So after he gave up custody, and the pure sight of his ex wife would send my father into seizures, he kind of wandered around.
Now, you may think I am exaggerating about the seizures, but not really. When my father was injured in Vietnam he came out pretty beat up. Lets say you break a finger you will be 2% disabled for about a week. Not enough for a handicap parking pass or anything. If you add up everything that is wrong with my father including, the traumatic brain injury (thus the seizures,) the missing eye, the blown out ear drums (which would eventually heal to be super sonic-trust me,) the shrapnel in his other eye, shrapnel throughout his body, and PTSD. He is well over 150% permanently disabled.
So with all of the above in the air over his head he did a lot of drugs with no intention of taking care of himself. He was told it would be unlikely he would live past the age of 30. What 20 year old kid wants to hear that?
At some point in this dark adventure he met a woman and married. This is his second wife. She also enjoyed drugs apparently. But I get the impression she was a good person otherwise. Grandpa never spoke ill of her. The 1 time her name was mentioned it was so say that she was sweet. She had a son whom my father was very fond of. I think he really loved that kid. Mom told me that he used to talk about him a lot. Maybe a substitution for his daughter?
One night she and my dad were driving around, I am not sure where. Maybe California somewhere? She was driving and my dad was sitting in the passenger seat with his legs on the dash, when there was a car accident. I don't know if she was at fault, or if there was even another car involved, but she was killed. My Dad broke both his legs in several places and again spend months in the hospital. He had to learn to walk for the 3rd time in his life. First being in toddlerhood, like all of us. Second, after his injury in Vietnam, because he was bedridden for so long. And this time because of the broken legs.
Now I do know that he claimed he also went to school under the GI bill. Grandpa never denied this, but I honestly don't know how true it is. He said he went to UCLA and received degrees in English and Psychology. Now, I know my dad had always been an avid reader and sure knew how to play psychological warfare with people. He was one hell of a sales man.
When he was 30ish he met my mom who was about 21. They were both dating other people at the time. But it was the end of the dark ages, he was the age they told him he would not live to. He had seen and done more than most Americans.