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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hey there Daddio

  My Father is a complicated man nowadays. His mind isn't what it used to be. But I remember so many incredible stories he has told me over the years that made me look up to him as my hero. The kind that make your heart just wanna burst with love and pride. Since Dad's Day is near, I wanted to share one from memory so you can get a sliver of a notion of the bloodline I derive from. May or may not clear up some things.

 One Upon A Time/ When I Was 9

  Living in Southern California had many perks for me as a kid. One of the obvious ones was weather. Especially around my birthday which happens to be the first of May. Spring in the LA area was awesome. Not too hot yet but a far cry from here in Oregon where you know damn well it's raining about that time of year. Los Angeles has an abundance of parks where we lived and they were made up of vast rolling hills and paths and a few trees here and there. They were still really green right then which was nice because the brown grass in July and August really sucked. Every year we had my birthday party at the big park with all the covered table areas shading food and music playing and my friends would bring roller skates or bikes and we would have a few frisbee games going. Just the standard gamut of outdoor fun all happening with everyone we knew in one spot. Basically our herd took over. About the age of 6 I had really tuned in to the amount of people at the park celebrating with families and party foods and pinatas. I had also noticed they were all brown. ALL. We were just about the only white group of people in the whole damn park. That in itself isn't really a huge thing down in LA because I was one of only two white kids ( I was pasty white and he was a ginger so, poor us) in my first grade class and I was used to the super diverse population. But the concentration of Hispanics at the park was throwing me off at that age because I didn't have a grasp on what Cinqo De Mayo was yet. My Dad let me think they were all out celebrating that I was turning 6. And for many years I had just expected a pinata at my parties because of this fact. 


 The year I turned nine was crazy though. The park was just filled to the maximum and there were far less kids and far more drunken adults than I remembered in years prior. Crowded parking lots and super hot weather more than likely heated tempers and started what might have been the very first fight I had ever witnessed. My uncle and I had come upon a pair of guys breaking into his pickup truck and pillaging his tools. Naturally my job was to "Go get Mike" ( my Dad) and I did just that. I ran like the wind, up a hill and around clear to the other side of the green space and told my Dad to come quickly. He didn't say a word to me but turned back to the parking lot at full stride in a big lumberjack gallop. I went back to my party and matter-of-factly told my Gram what had just taken place and she hopped up fast for her self admitted old bones and collected my uncles and male family friends. No sooner had I breathed my sentences to her had the men hurried off to assist my pops in what would be a tremendous movie worthy battle. 


  I would only get to hear about the start of it from my uncle ( with the truck) in detail later when they came back and long after my birthday had died down and people left. My dad had arrived back at the pickup to find the burglars beating the shit out of my uncle and still gathering tools to steal. A little guy he was not and I am sure the bad guys took one look at the behemoth coming over the hill at a rapid clip headed right for them, and probably crapped themselves. I have only seen my father angry at a stranger a few times in my life but I have no doubt they saw it in his eyes right before he blackened theirs. The ruckus had gained attention from parties neighboring the parking lot and had a crowd was making it's way to back the two men robbing the truck. It was going to be a mess. What the angry mob of sun burned white surfers, actors, musicians and construction workers in route to our side of fisticuffs didn't know is that my mom ( a panic stricken worry wart ) had left the park immediately to call the cops the minute my Gram mentioned "fight". I jumped on my cousins bike and made my way the long windy path around the park to the south side of the parking lot to see what was taking so long for the guys to come back already. My jaw dropped as I saw the scene. It was definitely similar to the movies because I remember it with no sound for some reason and kinda slow motion. There were easily thirty men all punching and full on throwing each other around. But the wild thing was that the cops had showed up and were finding men being disarmed and detained more than anything. I watched a guy in a jean shirt/blue jeans combo and cowboy boots ( I still think of it as a Texas Tuxedo as my Gram always called it) pull out a pretty decent size knife and my dad had it out of his hand and on the curb in three quick moves and the guy knocked out cold in one more. I was scared and proud and terrified and exhilarated!  The good guys had done most of the work of removing knives ( and even a gun I heard ) from these drunks and basically had the two thieves restrained and ready to hand over. They had to call a police van to collect the group of men all handcuffed and lined up on the curb. Not a one was from our party. 


  I got to see my dad pull some serious Chuck Norris moves while out numbered and still keep it relatively classy. I also got to see my first nose being broken. The only bad part is that he lost his wedding ring in the fight. Which actually is how it came up as a topic he and I relived when I had just turned 29. He had never known I saw the end of the brawl till that talk. It was pretty cool to hear him tell it though. His version is much more macho and with more swears. He talked about his complete procedural combat moves like they were child's play. And really he had made it look that easy then. Knowing what I do now, he could have killed those men with the skills and training he has from the Army but only used the level of force necessary to control the situation.  


  It was amazing to me and still is. 


 When I asked him how he had thought that whole thing would end, like what was he thinking when he charged off to the truck, he laughed. "Your mother was bound to call the cops. It's her way." Then I laughed because he was totally right. 




1 comment:

  1. Not sure why an epic fight scene made me cry, but... that's one badass daddy. <3