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True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons)

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Ruzious
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#81 » by Ruzious » Fri May 22, 2020 3:45 pm

doclinkin wrote:[

Sigh. Anyway, its late, I’m going to go to sleep. So, you know: Good night. Sleep tight… And you know the rest of that incantation…

=================================

That's a snippet of chapter 1.

I didn't get the rest of that incantation until I fell asleep, and then it was too late. Gotta wash the blood spots out. Put on new sheets. Should be fine tonight - I'll be ready.
"Look, you never know when you may need to borrow a cup of sugar, maybe some milk or a handgun" - Dan C. from Texas
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#82 » by dckingsfan » Mon Jun 8, 2020 12:25 am

I am grumpy. I can feel it... part of it is being old, you know the old where you use hydrocortisone on your shins. You have to sleep on one side because of your hip. You have those bouts of arthritis and you back is never quite right. That can make you grumpy.
I want to go to this March. It is the right thing to do but... COVID.

I want to go to this March but... it is going to be hot out there with a feel like index in the mid-90s. With a mask. Yuck. I am wallowing in my misery when I hear from the first floor, ready to go? My wife of too many years beckoning me with a happy whistle. I bristle... but silently. I have always been the outgoing one. And she uses that prodding me to introduce her to folks at a party. To go to city council meetings and report back.

I look at my inbox - plenty of work to do here. I have a ready excuse. But that is really it - I have an excuse, I have work and that is the worst excuse. I close my laptop and get up. And yes, everything still hurts. Down the four floors I go, stopping on the second floor to grab my clear glasses, very broad hat, two masks and a water bottle. Good enough, I have my phone, a bit of cash - good if I need anything.

I get to the ground floor where my wife is waiting for me backpack in hand. "I don't need that" I say. "Take it anyway, better to be prepared." I look in the backpack, two insulated water bottles, two Dasani water bottles, err - she knows I like to use reusable bottles. A small umbrella - really, it isn't going to rain. Hand sanitizer. A package of cookies (sugar, very practical), okay then. I put my water bottle into the backpack and go into the garage and climb in her car.

My wife gets in the car and goes over the directions, where she is going to drop me, how to get to the start of the march. Where she is going to pick me up. Practical. I am silent. That grumpy silence that no one deserves. We are close so it only takes a couple of minutes to get there. She stops the car to let me out. "Be nice - make a friend". I nod and smile.

For many years she has kept me out of trouble. Kept me from doing the stupid stuff. Be nice is good advice for me right now. How many times did she ask me, "do you really want to do that"? "What is that going to get you"?
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#83 » by dckingsfan » Mon Jun 8, 2020 12:26 am

I arrive at Discovery Green. Damn, this was only supposed to be a couple of thousand people. There is fifty thousand here if there is one. And they are chanting. Without masks... I am really happy I am double masked with the sealed clear eye-glasses - Magid makes great stuff. I am going to keep my social distancing. Yeah, that makes me a participating non participant?

I get there in time to take a knee with everyone. I notice the diversity of the crowd. Every ethnic group is spoken for. "Brown Lives for Black Lives”, “Asian Lives for Black Lives”, lots of white brothers here too... And into the water they go. Did I say it was hot...
Finally, the march starts... and it starts slowly. I am hanging back. Did I say they were chanting without masks? Well, that was mostly at the front. I am about to start walking and then along comes a bunch of horses. Okay, this is Houston. I get it. But horses, really. So, I hang back a bit longer - I realize I am in now the back. I don't know why I am impatient; this is only a mile walk. How long can that take. I am a walker a 5-mile walk is right in my wheelhouse, even in the heat.

I start, immediately a black woman falls in front of me. I hear my voice, "go around, don't get stuck..." and then, "be nice". Sigh. I look around, no one is stopping for her. I walk over and extend my hand and help her up. She stands up and grabs my arm. And adjusts her mask with her other hand.

She is wobbly, she is drenched in sweat and she doesn't let go. I figure out she isn't going to let go. I ask her if she wants to sit down. "Oh no, if I do that, I won't make the walk". She maneuvers and she know has my arm like you do when you are walking together. "Okay, I am ready", she says.

I am momentarily frozen. It looks like I have a companion on the walk. "Are you okay?" she asks. I pull my backpack off and pull out a bottle of water. "I think you should drink this?". I look at her - I see a stressed person. She has a mask but no hat. I hand her the little umbrella. She takes both and has to let go of me... still wobbly.

"My grandson-in-law was going to meet me." She opens the water and takes a long drink. "But my phone died and there are so many people, wonderful isn't it". She puts the lid on and hands it back to me. I am thinking I don't want this back. I take it and put it back in the backpack. She opens the umbrella. "Would you mind walking with me?"

Damn, so much for social distancing. At least she is masked. I ask, "Would you rather use my phone and call your son-in-law?" She looks at me, tilts her head and says, "By the time he gets here, this march is over". She doesn't ask, she takes my arm again. "To City Hall!" she says.
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#84 » by dckingsfan » Mon Jun 8, 2020 12:27 am

"I do wish I had me one of those horses right now, I did so love to ride when I was younger." She had switched to a more informal language. "Back when I was a child there were places, I could ride my horse here. But that was before the population boom of the 70s. Now we are all built up."

I ask her if she thinks Houston will continue to grow. "My daddy told me it was a small town when he grew up. I think we are the sixth largest city in the country now." I correct her and let her know we are fourth and will be third after the 2020 census. She gives me an approving click of the tongue. "I think we will become the largest city in the US someday." I think there is no way we catch New York and its boroughs or LA County.

She changes subjects. "Did you see the turnout. Did you see the mélange of color? Black, Yellow, Brown, White. Houston makes me so proud to be a Houstonian. How many do you think showed?" She was on a roll now as we walk down McKinney and does most of the talking. She points out the buildings and what used to be there.

She lets me know that she is 80 years old. Born in 40. Here daddy made a good living working for The Brown Shipbuilding Company. She said that Roosevelt had made it possible for her daddy to make a good living. Something about nondiscrimination for those working in defense and her daddy had benefited.

She walks close to the side of the road and gives an approving nod of the head to the police officers lining the route. For the most part, they nod back. She calls to one of them by name. He replies with a broad smile. He scrutinizes me. I recognize that look - the "I don't trust you look". She walks over and gives him a hug while he continues to stare at me. They say a few words and then she comes back over and takes my arm.

I ask her if she will be voting for Biden. She shakes her head, "That is not a question". I want to probe further but don't. "What did you thing about President Obama?" she says. I respond, "I think he was a good family man, a good man and did pretty well as President."

"I trust Barack." She says. "He says that Joe is a good man. That would be an improvement over what we have".
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#85 » by dckingsfan » Mon Jun 8, 2020 12:28 am

We go silent for a bit. I guess we are both imaging what the future will hold around this next election. From the side of the road we hear, "Gammy!" There is a large contingent of what appear to be her family. I tell her that I enjoyed our walk and turn to go but she catches my arm again. "This is my grandson-in-law." I get the same look as I received from the police officer. She explains our walk, collapses the umbrella and hands it back to me. I put it in the backpack and pull out her water and hand it to her.

I say, "nice to meet you". Again, turn to go and once again she grabs my arm. "Show him the pictures of my great- grandchildren. She says to her grandson-in-law. He reluctantly pulls out his phone and shows me a picture, slides to the next and then the next. The last picture has my daughter staring back at me.

"How do you know my daughter?" Trying not to have an accusatory tone. "What?" he responds. I look again, there are two girls - the other has her arm wrapped around my daughter. "Wait, that is your daughter?" he says. We spend time untangling the web to find out that they are quartet partners at the Shepard School of Music at Rice. We talk about the school; we talk about music. We talk about how COVID has changed their respective trajectories.

The police are notifying everyone remaining, on loudspeakers, that the event is over. We aren't close to curfew but they aren't taking any chances. I extend my hand. And I am off. I text my wife that I am on my way, ten minutes later she picks me up.

Were you nice? "Yep." I respond. Did you make a friend? "Maybe." I respond.
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#86 » by bsilver » Mon Jun 8, 2020 1:15 am

True story about my short career as a drug smuggler.

It's the winter of 71-72. Recently out of college, living in Eugene, OR.

As planned, my friend Dan comes with his dog. The idea is to drive from Eugene to where he's living very close to Canada, in Bellingham, WA, and visit for a week. Unplanned, he has 2 women with him. He's promised to drive them, for some amount of money, to the ferry to Victoria Island, about 30-45 minutes across the Canadian border.

We get to the border and Canadian Border Patrol officer asks, "why are you coming to Canada". We explain and he says, "That's not going to work. Dan's dog will have to go into quarantine for a week before returning to the US." The only option looks to be, Dan gets out with his dog and waits for me to return after delivering the women to the ferry.

By now, we're drawing quite a bit of attention from both the Canadian and US border patrol. I'm just about to take off and Dan pulls me aside. "I just remembered. There's marijuana in my suitcase in the trunk of the car. But it's not a lot." We decide it would look suspicious, with all the attention on us, to start rummaging through his suitcase to get the marijuana, so I take off into Canada to the ferry.

The women are delivered, and I head back to the US. To this day, I can't explain why the thought never occured, "get the marijuana out of the suitcase, and dump it. Drive back to the US without any worry". Obviously my brain is "on tilt". So I head back to the US full of dread. Will I be arrested and go to jail? I get to the border and say something like, "I'm with the guy with the dog - just returning from the ferry". US Border Patrol says, "Sure, go right through and pick up your friend".

Pretty good record so far. Smuggled drugs into Canada and the US, all within a hour. But that will be the end of my drug smuggling career.

Epilog: Two days later we go into Canada to sightsee in Vancouver, BC, sans marijuana. Coming back to the US were stopped for about an hour while my car is thoroughly searched with a fine tooth comb.
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#87 » by payitforward » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:46 pm

Ah youth....

I had an aunt who was a diamond smuggler -- for all the major jewelry companies. Long time ago....
Remember -- if you don't like the post above: blame Doc not me.
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#88 » by payitforward » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:47 pm

dckingsfan wrote:We go silent for a bit. I guess we are both imaging what the future will hold around this next election. From the side of the road we hear, "Gammy!" There is a large contingent of what appear to be her family. I tell her that I enjoyed our walk and turn to go but she catches my arm again. "This is my grandson-in-law." I get the same look as I received from the police officer. She explains our walk, collapses the umbrella and hands it back to me. I put it in the backpack and pull out her water and hand it to her.

I say, "nice to meet you". Again, turn to go and once again she grabs my arm. "Show him the pictures of my great- grandchildren. She says to her grandson-in-law. He reluctantly pulls out his phone and shows me a picture, slides to the next and then the next. The last picture has my daughter staring back at me.

"How do you know my daughter?" Trying not to have an accusatory tone. "What?" he responds. I look again, there are two girls - the other has her arm wrapped around my daughter. "Wait, that is your daughter?" he says. We spend time untangling the web to find out that they are quartet partners at the Shepard School of Music at Rice. We talk about the school; we talk about music. We talk about how COVID has changed their respective trajectories.

The police are notifying everyone remaining, on loudspeakers, that the event is over. We aren't close to curfew but they aren't taking any chances. I extend my hand. And I am off. I text my wife that I am on my way, ten minutes later she picks me up.

Were you nice? "Yep." I respond. Did you make a friend? "Maybe." I respond.

Great story! Really really great!

Come to think of it... write it up at about 2/3 the length -- & send it to the Washington Post. I wouldn't be surprised if they ran it.

If not... put it somewhere, man. Sign up at www.medium.com & put it there.... But, try the Post first.
Remember -- if you don't like the post above: blame Doc not me.
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Re: True story, swear to gawd... (prose and cons) 

Post#89 » by bsilver » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:00 pm

payitforward wrote:Ah youth....

I had an aunt who was a diamond smuggler -- for all the major jewelry companies. Long time ago....

Heard about that as a way to make some easy money, but didn't realize it could be for major companies.

Go to India. See the sites, come back with some gems, and profit a few thousand dollars.

Nowadays, with the sophisticated xray capabilities, probably couldn't get away with it.

In another smuggling story, someone, a long time ago, told me how they smuggled drugs from Mexico.
1) Be "clean cut". Short hair.
2) Go on "scuba diving" vacation to Mexico, with tanks that could be filled with drugs.
3) Come back to US on a holiday weekend, when lines at the border are very long.
It apparently worked, but for all I know, they may have been caught eventually and spent the rest of their lives in federal prison.

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