I went was on staff at the st. louis org for a short while in the early 90´s before getting recruited to the SO. I didn´t last too long in LA. I´m sure you know the story, I thought I left because I was screwed up, but in reality the SO was screwed up. Anyhow, my story is one of the links in my signature.
I´m not sure if we would know the same people. I was in while the org was on Page Street before they moved to the ideal org.
Some of the old crew at Page moved to Del Mar, and I've met many of the St. Louis "Old Timers" at events and such. I imagine we know some of the same people.
I'll have to read your story!