Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jackie-O's Part II

You may recall from previous stories that Padre is filled with colorful people and colorful addictions. How I came to be surrounded by such charming spirits (if by charming you mean strung out derelicts and frightening) was a combination of lack of funds and....that was it really. I guess there's no combination for it at all.

In any case, the day after Crack-head Mickey came over and tried to rob me of my Apple Jacks, the Landlord changed the locks on his apartment. As it were, it wasn't even his apartment. He was staying there because his girlfriend--a gal that my landlord said (and I quote)-- " had been put to bed wet a couple of times, if you know what I mean". **Chuckle chuckle** in response. Although deep down inside....No.? I don't know what that means. Was she known for getting drunk and falling into the bay? Perhaps, like me, she had an affinity for the beach and passed out there frequently--only to have the tide come and get her wet. I'm not sure. But she was my true neighbor and her crackhead boyfriend was house sitting while she was on vacation in Seattle.

When the landlord locked the door on Mickey, he started sleeping in the apartment complex laundromat (that is to say, in a garage with a washer, dryer in it).

Two weeks past and not a stir from the apartment next door. At 2:30a.m. I woke up to a pounding next door. It went on for 5 minutes. Silence...but not lasting silence. A calm before the storm silence. CRASH!!! Hooray, I was correct! A storm was brewing! Not only was I entertained by the breaking and entering taking place next door via the broken sharded kitchen window...I was also in fear of my life, thinking I would be next.

After calling the police and the landlord, we found out that it was the maiden who owned the place (own = rent). She had just gotten back from Seattle. Instead of going straight home and unpacking, when she arrived, she headed to the local watering hole, got drunk, and came home to a locked apartment and soon found out her keys no longer worked. Logically, she broke the window to get inside so she could sleep (but I didn't check to see if she was wet).

She was evicted the next day, but her boyfriend continued to sleep in the garage.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Boat Show

In those days, Coffeyville Kansas was a small town that didn't ask for much. Aside from a demolition derby here, and a reenactment of our towns' folk killing bank robbers there, we didn't have much for entertainment.
So the perplexing question my father must have asked himself daily..."How do I entertain these 5 kids of mine?"

What better way to bond with the family, than to load into an aerostar, drive 1.5 hours, to look at boats inside a convention center. (There is no water inside this convention center. The boats just sat there lifelessly).

I was four. In my lust for boats at that age, I must have gotten really excited by all the boats...or shall I say, mom and dad must have gotten really excited by all the boats, because the only true memory I have of that boat show is being carried by a man in a cowboy hat to the lost and found children (apparently cowboys don't like children wondering around boat shows unattended).

I was put in a play pen with other kids whose parents too, had been caught up in the hype of a still boat on concrete. Later I was reunited with my family.

The next day I was given a friendship bracelet from my mom...It looked like any standard velcro, wristband, bracelet of the decade...except this bracelet was extra special. For this bracelet had a curly chord (like that of a telephone) which connected to moms wrist. At four years old, I had never been so embarrassed.

I looked so uncool playing in my front yard with (literally) a leash tied to my mom's arm.

The leash came in handy later though when we all played house. Naturally, I was the dog.
In today's society, neighbors might frown on children running around in the front yard, while tied to a tree.

But in those days, they smiled and waved as I barked when they went by.