The television show Dragnet opened with the LAPD badge. When I was a kid my dad would always point to one of the windows of the court house on it. “I used to live right there,” he’d say. He was referring to the jail.
He told me he was arrested for serving a minor. I have since learned he may have been incarcerated for stealing groceries from the back of someone’s car. He was young and starving in
Coincidentally my mother spent a good deal of her childhood in
When my father would come home to visit his parents it would be at the motel in Hardy,
My mother doesn’t want me telling this story but I think it’s incredibly romantic.
My dad picked up some kind of genital critters from a girl on the beach in
Hardy is a very small town. In fact it’s still dry. My mother’s folks still have to drive to
They couldn’t go to a doctor because it would cause a scandal. They ended up buying some kind of pet product and applying it to each other. It must have worked.
When my folks got married they wanted a small civil ceremony but all the relatives insisted on a church wedding. One was quickly thrown together.
They had to drive to
My cousin Joe sent an 8mm clip he digitized of the wedding. It gives me chills to see my parents when they were still in love.
They moved to
I remember waiting for the train at Union Station with my dad to go down to Hardy. This was before Amtrak and the trains were completely different back then. There were even bald porters in white coats. Picture the Uncle Ben image on a rice box.
I loved it down there. My grandfather had a kennel filled with beagles on the side of the motel. Every morning he’d go into the woods with a pack of dogs to hunt. I think the noise of the happy dogs scared away anything he might have shot because I don’t remember him coming home with anything.
The room my father and I stayed in had a large plastic cow just behind the door. It used to terrify me and still creeps into my dreams.
The collage shows my brother Patrick and me in the grass in front of the motel – my dad on the streets of Hardy (A giant among men) – my folks in January of 1958, my birthday – a matchbook provided by my cousins Joe and Mike.