Monday, January 3, 2011

Memoir Monday: The Day My Dad Was A Superhero.



The year was 1996. I was 14 years old, and less than a year ago we had moved out of a 2 bedroom trailer and into a house. That's right, we had 6 people in a 2 bedroom trailer. A 2 bedroom ONE BATHROOM trailer. It got crazy on Sunday mornings, y'all.

One of the things the new house featured, aside from that glorious, wonderful, sent from heaven second bathroom, was a glass double door at the "back" of the house. I put quotes around the word back because no one ever came to our "front" door. It's like the thing had a giant ogre in front of it, yelling "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" over and over again. Or it could have been the fact that a colony of barn swallows spent the entire year making nests out of mud on our house and covering the front porch in poop. My dad spent many an hour outside screaming at them in anger and hacking their nests up with a broom, but they always came back.

Back to the glass double doors. One of my dad's favorite things to do was to sit at the table and stare out that door for hours, just watching things. He would watch people, cars, animals, and anything else that happened to be outside. As a matter of fact, one of our favorite winter activities over the next few years would consist of the entire family gathered around those doors, laughing at people trying to make it up the huge ice covered hill beside our house.

We lived in an area called Mallard Bay. Directly to our east was a part of the same community, only it was called Robin's Roost. They were referred to as "The Roost" and "The Bay." The Roost was not a place you wanted to live. Now, I know a lot of people reading this probably came from over there, but still. You know. You really wanted to live in The Bay. As a matter of fact, I had to have special permission to even ride my bike through The Roost.

So anyway, one day my dad was looking through those glass doors, and I was in the kitchen, making a sandwich or something. All of the sudden my dad jumps out of his chair, runs for the door, and starts running out the driveway towards the gigantic hill. He took the red path in the following illustration.


You see, the field behind our house kind of presented a problem. I'm pretty sure my dad was barefoot when he took off. I don't know that for a fact though, and that's how legends get started. Either way, there was a giant ditch he would have had to jump over, and he just figured the road would be faster. Watching my dad run was something else. He was about 6'1" and weighed about 280, and he had short legs like me. It was kind of like watching an old cartoon where the character's legs just sort of wound up and then they took off like a bat out of hell. My dad could MOVE. I don't think he even noticed the hill. 

What was he running to? Well, in the house just up from us, there lived a lovable transient gentleman with an IQ that was not up to the then current average. He raised fightin roosters. Picture the dude from "Of Mice and Men." We'll call him "The Doose." Apparently, this gentleman's brakes had gone out at the point illustrated above. Thinking quickly, he had decided that he could open his door and stop his truck...with his foot. While his vehicle was moving down a hill. He would not have succeeded if it weren't for a very large tree that his truck hit. The Doose was obviously shaken up, and the first person to reach him was my dad. I swear my father made it up the road before the truck hit the tree, but again, that's me making a legend. He got The Doose out of the truck and laid down in the grass while his family started to come outside. 

I didn't see the foot, y'all. But I heard terrible things. Horrible things. Ambulances were called, and The Doose was whisked away in a flurry of lights. And my family, sans my dad, spent the entire time watching the event from those glass double doors. 

notes about the picture:

1. Yes, we had a trampoline AND a swimming pool. Be jealous. 
2. Yes, we had them next to each other so we could do stupid things. 
3. That meth fire stuff is NOT exaggerated. 
4. That hill was at least a 40% incline. Might have gone 60. 
5. Yes, the road literally ended in the water. It's called a boat ramp. 

Other Trips Down Memory Lane This Week: (GO READ THEM.)