The Third Christmas

Well, I promised THE Christmas story before I wrapped up for the year. Here  it is.

                              The Third Christmas
    Julie and I had been married just 3 years; the second for both of us, and this one was shaping up nicely. I had a good position with the credit department at a Waikiki hotel; she was working for one of the largest grocery store chains. The kids were aware it was Christmas so everyone was on their best behavior.
It was two weeks before Christmas, my wife and I had just attended a small Christmas/Housewarming party for two friends of ours. Times were hard and it was tough for two single women, one with a child, to find a house that would rent to them, let alone be one they could afford.
But our friends had worked hard, saved their money, and had finally managed to find a house not too far from where my wife and I lived with our 3 kids. The oldest was working that night so we had taken the two young ones, aged 5 and 6, to the party where they had spent the day playing with the daughter of our two friends.
On the way home, my wife had turned to me and said,
“They don’t have a Christmas tree or any presents.”
I told her how they had had to spend everything just to get the house rented and they were just grateful for the roof over their head. They told me that was the best Christmas gift they could have gotten. My wife just nodded and said nothing more.
The next day I received a small Christmas bonus from work and felt pretty good. So when I got home I gave it to my wife and “ordered” her to spend it on something she wanted.  And only on something she wanted.
Days went by, as they will during the holidays, full of busy things, and I gave our two friends little thought.
Until the Thursday before Christmas. I got home, took our oldest to work, and started dinner for the two young ones. By the time we were finished and I had cleaned up, it occurred to me my wife was a little late. Since she worked in a grocery store and it was the holidays, I figured they had just kept her a little late. I called the store and was very concerned when they told me she had left for home several hours ago. Since it was unlike my wife to be this late, and this was before cell phones, I was really worried. I called our neighbor and asked her to watch our kids while I used the motorcycle to backtrack her usual route. I was just rolling the Harley out of the garage when my wife drove into the yard.
I didn’t know if I was happy or angry. But as she got out of the car I just walked over to hug her. But, before I could she opened the cars rear door, and pointed inside.
There on the back seat was a small decorated Christmas tree and several small but brightly wrapped presents. I guess the look on my face asked all the questions so my wife simply said,
“You told me to spend that money on something I really wanted. Well, I really want Dee and the girl to have a Christmas tree and some presents. There should be a Christmas tree in a new house. And everyone needs at least one present, especially a little girl”.
I really didn’t know what to say. We got the two young ones out of bed and made the short drive to our friend’s new home. I honked as we pulled into the driveway and all three were standing on the second floor lanai when we all got out of the car. My wife and each of the two kids took presents, and me, I got to carry the tree up the stairs and into the living room.
We stayed only a few minutes and then headed on home. As we pulled out of the driveway, our friends and their daughter all stood on the lanai, yelling “Merry Christmas”, and not even trying to hide the tears of joy on their faces. Neither did we.

Our kids are all grown now; our oldest even has children of her own, my grandchildren. And it is my hope, that someday they will all understand the spirit of Christmas by the example my wife gave, that third Christmas, many years ago.

May you all have a happy and safe holiday. And if you can, do something for someone that needs to smile.

Dust Motes Floating In The Air

Check out Honolulu Civil Beat’s Danny DeGracia, his latest “10 Annoying things about living in Hawaii”. A really well done piece of writing. I highly suggest you check it out.

So the City Prosecutor, Keith Kaneshiro, has been sent a target letter from the FBI and refuses to step down. I would expect nothing less from this arrogant political game player. Let’s see how this one roles out.

I’m really glad Jason Mamoa is getting the accolades for “Aquaman”. I first saw him in “Bullet To The Head” with Stallone. But it was his Native American portrayal in “Road To Paloma” than showed me, he would be a star.

And under “you can’t make this up”:              Man Leaves Cardiologist; Has heart attack in the McDonald’s Drive Through.  Some people need to learn the hard way.

Okay, now the bad news. I’m headed home to Hilo until the seconds of Janurary so I won’y be posting anything. Expect this Friday, 12/21, I will be posting THE Christmas story. No not the one about Mary and Joseph, but the one about Julie and Storyteller.

So until next year, I hope the good Lord gives you joy,  your family health, and the New Year brings prosperity to all.

Thoughts for the day.

Be the reason someone smiles today,                                                                                                Or the reason they drink.                                                                                                                         Whatever works.

So Tulsi finally admits she is campaigning for the 2020 elections. That means she will be doing even less for her constituency, if that is possible. If you or I had a job we didn’t work at for the next 2 years, and we basically told everyone we would be busy trying to get another job, well we wouldn’t have a job. But Hawaii politics is different.                      (cue the singers) “In oh so many ways”.

Lots of crap about the old standard “Baby it’s cold outside”. How come nobody is upset about “Santa Baby”? I saw that cute little Darcie Lynn do it with her dirty old lady puppet Edna. It is cute when a 15 year old ventriloquist does it, but not when it’s played on the radio?  Did I miss something here?

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyful Festivus,

A Mote In My Ear

On those weekends I get to Hilo, I usually spend much of my time outside working in the yard. One of the joys of owning a home, is keeping it from looking abandoned. My weeds grow so fast that after 3 weeks I need 2 native guides and a gun bearer to find the front door. When working I like to listen to music, mostly country, so I have a radio/cd player in the garage.

During the years I worked in country radio, I had two “specials” I did every Sunday morning. The 6-7 am hour was “Country Gospel”. To me, it was a gentle way to start the day and there is no shortage of country performers and gospel music.

During the 7-8 am was my favorite time, it was “America, God I love this Country”. Country music that had, to me, a patriotic meaning.

I played John Wayne, Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford,Eddie Raven, Alabama, and many others. In fact, when I went off the air, the station got more mail, yes real mail, about the loss of that  hour than almost anything else. A lot of the songs were recorded during or about WWII , the Korean Conflict, and of course the Viet Nam War.  I scoured the labels to find songs that were kinda out of the mainstream and appropriate, sometimes they were the sixth or eight track down, but it struck a cord with me.

Just before I left the station I recorded several of those Sunday morning shows on cassettes, and a few years later put them on a pair of CD’s. Just the music, not me.

For years it was my habit to play the cassettes, then the disc’s, while doing the Sunday morning clean up of the shovel-head prior to the days ride. For some reason, I got away from that habit.

So last week, while doing the yard clean and mow, I put those cd’s on and once again listened to what I used to listen to every weekend. I had forgotten how good those songs made me feel, even tho’ many of them are not “happy” songs. Some them were 20 years old when I played them, and I played them 20 years ago, but they still stand up. They are as accurate and relevant as they were when they were first recorded. Listen to Tennessee Ernie Ford do “This Is My Country”, Eddie Raven “Somebodies Tearing The Flag”, Johnny Cash and “The Ragged Old Flag”, or Billy Ray Cyrus “Some Gave All”.

These songs speak about the right, and wrong, with America. And the images they compose are as accurate now as they were then.

Sometimes old habits are good to bring back.

A Christmas Story (not to be confused with THE Christmas story.)

It’s been a while since I posted a “story”. This one was 1983, I hope you enjoy.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

The Christmas holidays were never my favorite time of year. Since my first wife died they got even worse. Usually if I had the day off on the holiday I would trade with a married guy so he could be with his family and I didn’t have to be alone.

This year was no better or worse than any other. Same old traffic accidents, family fights, bar drunks, family drunks, and bar fights.

I’d just finished working an accident in an intersection. This required me to direct traffic, in the pouring rain, for 15-20 minutes. I was soaking wet and trying to sip a cup of hot dark water the drive through called coffee.

It was 10:05pm, or twenty-two zero five in cop lingo, and I only had 25 minutes left until I was done for the night, when the call came.

“427” (That’s me)

“427” Standing by..”

 

“427: Adult males drinking in a parked vehicle. Fronting 46-228 Luluku Road. Complainant is a juvenile alone at that address”

Great, just what I wanted before I go home.

The location was at the farthest end of my beat, about as far from where I was as you could get and still be in my zone. Since this appeared not to be a life and death situation I tried to finish the coffee before I started out the address.

Not to be.

“427”

“Standing by”

“427-second call…Same complaint…Appears to be getting concerned about the males…Says the radio is real loud.”

“10-4, dispatch…in route”

As usual I throw the coffee out the window. Too hot to drive with and I have no desire to pour hot coffee in a sensitive area of my anatomy. Since this wasn’t a hot call, no lights or sirens, I just took the quickest route to the location. It took maybe 7 minutes to get to the area even by the most direct route.

As I turned onto the caller’s street I could hear radio from the end of the block. I killed my lights and pulled to the curb a few feet behind the vehicle. First thing I noticed was the vehicle was parked on the wrong side of the street.

Of course, he was parked on the wrong side of the street.

The driver’s door was opened and a foot was propped on the hinge. Next to the driver’s side, on the grass, were several empty beer bottles.

As I got out of my vehicle I realized I knew the car. It belonged to one of our area burglars of little talent. I mean he keeps getting caught. I was sure he was presently on bail awaiting trial.

The music was so loud, or perhaps there were other reasons the two occupants of the car didn’t even hear me walk up until I “bumped” into the rear of the car causing the door to shut a little, pinching the occupants foot.

The driver, Tito, sat up and started cursing.

“HEY man, watch what you doing. You coulda hurt me,” then he looked up and saw who it was.

“Tito. Tito. Tito. What am I going to do with you? You don’t live in this area and you don’t want to be pulling any jobs tonight. You don’t want to spend the holidays in the cell block”.

Tito looked about half bagged but still capable of some thought. Well, as much as Tito and his partner Bobby were ever capable of thinking.

“Look Tito, It’s late”, I explained.” I want to go home and you don’t want to go to jail. So, turn down the radio, pick up your bottles, and go home.”

“Naw man. You can’t tell us what to do. We got rights like everyone else.” Oh, Oh. The booze has made Bobby brave.

“Ya man. We got rights”. Tito was quick. Nothing gets past him.

So I explained to Tito and Bobby how easy it would be for them to drive away, and how hard it would be if I had to arrest and book them. I also explained how long it would take for them to make a phone call on a night their paperwork was “lost” due to the Christmas crush. And let’s not even consider all the paperwork for towing the car.

They both were muttering under their breath as they picked up some of the empty bottles on the ground. Some, but not all. I wasn’t going to push it; if they just left I wouldn’t complain. All this took 3 to 4 minutes, but that was less than the 3 to 4 hours the other alternative would have taken.

Finally they were back in the car and getting ready to leave, when I tapped on the window. Tito took his time in rolling the window down.

“Tito, don’t come back. Understand?”

He didn’t answer, just revved the engine a little and pulled away from the curb as fast as he dared. You know, maintain a little “face” and showing me how little he cared. I let him go.

It was then I noticed it had been raining for several minutes and I was wet, again. I got into my car and picked up the radio,

“427-Central”

“Central standing-by 427”

“427..10-08 (returned from call)..Subjects have departed area”

“10-04..427..10-1 (return to station)…2230 hours..All third watch units 10-1 and sign off..”

Well, I’d only be 10-15 minutes late.

I’d just started to pull away from the curb when there was a knocking on the driver’s door. I jerked my head to look but didn’t see anyone there as I jammed on the brakes. I rolled down the window as I spotted the small boy standing next to the car.

“Oh..Thank you Mr. Policeman….” a small hand reached into my open window and dropped a small candy cane into my lap.

“I was sooo scared. My mom and dad are down the street and I didn’t want to walk pass that car. Thank you Mr. Policeman.” He turned and seemed about to run away when he stopped, turned back to face me and yelled, “Merry Christmas Mr. Policeman. Merry Christmas.” And he ran into the house.

You know, Christmas that year wasn’t so bad.

 

Jeep 3 – Storyteller 2

Okay, we have an update on the accident.

Got a call yesterday from my attorney. All-State ‘s third adjuster has decided the first 2 were wrong and their client running me down in the parking lot was NOT my fault after all.  Not even 70% my fault. They are now agreeing to pay up to the limits of their clients insurance, 20,000 dollars.

The medical bills were $19, 680, my lost wages are $6,868, and now my attorney fee’s will be about $6,000. This leaves me just under $13,000 in the hole. Cant’s sue the driver, he has less than nothing.

I could have written off the lost wages had they settled for the medical bills right up front, but no, they had to be hardaxxed about it and forced me to get an attorney and that ran up at least another 6 grand in legal fees.

All this because some guy can’t look behind himself while reversing into the 7-11 parking stall. And there is something wrong with the legal system when the victim (me) ends up  in the hole due to another’s negligence.

 

See where Tulsi is speaking about being in the the N.H. primary? Told ya she was looking for that national name recognition. She has never had Hawaii’s interest at heart. We were just a stepping stoner for her.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Sounds like Hawaii politics.

Toys For Tots… and other motes

Today is the first Sunday of December, the annual day for the Street Bikers United “Toys For Tots” ride and collection.

I rode, or attended, every TFT from 1976 to 2007. In 1985 I sneaked out of Queens after back surgery just to attend. I was first rider in two (’94 and ’95) parades, helped organize and publicized many many more. I was SBU president 3 times, served as a legislative representative , and the voice of SBU so many years it’s hard to remember. But it was never about “me”, it’s always been about the kids the toys are gathered.

20180624_114236.jpg

Free Speech                                                                                                                                      There seems to be a lot of conversation about “free speech”. There is NO FREE SPEECH. There is a price you have to pay for everything, especially the words that come out of your mouth. Sometimes the price is just a little discomfort, other times it can cost you everything you hold dear. Remember that the next time you decide to “it’s just my opinion” something.

Recent Movies

Skyscraper ; The Rock as found his special niche in the movies. It’s a good mindless, action flick and a swell  way to waste an evening. No Oscar, but what the heck.                     The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ; borrrriiiinnnngggg.                                                               Hotel Transylvania 3 ; like Skyscraper a pleasant way to lose an evening. Funny, childish, and without world shaking political commentary.