During Thanksgiving, I interviewed my Dad about his arrest during Spring Break in Florida in 1962. People who know my dad know that he is a lot like me:
1. He asks a lot of questions, which sometimes get him in trouble.
2. He isn’t always aware of appropriate conversational filters and is honest to a fault.
3. He doesn’t understand the idea of, “Just cut to the chase” or “Just get to the point.” He would rather talk in circles, even though he HAS a point.
So please be cognizant of those characteristics that I share with him as you watch this interview.
My dad can’t get into a tavern without his friends. He is discouraged by the police from waiting outside the tavern, yet he is afraid of leaving the area because he doesn’t want to lose track of his friends. (On a side note, I think it’s odd that my dad calls any facility which serves alcohol a tavern–could be a bar, a strip club, a dance club–they’re all taverns to him.)
My dad makes a no-filter comment in front of the police which gets him in trouble. Dad, I feel for you, because this is totally something I would do.
The policeman hits my dad in the face with a flashlight and arrests him.
As I listened to my dad, it kinda struck me that we always laughed about this story when we were kids. Like, “Hey, my dad is a bada$$! He got arrested!” And actually the subsequent story of what happened to him in jail as well as in the courtroom when he plead “not guilty,” to whatever it was they even charged him with, is even more interesting. (My dad was sick the night I videotaped the interview, so I stopped him before we got to that part.)
However as an adult when I hear this story, all I can think about is “Thank God it wasn’t worse,” or “Thankfully my dad actually was acquitted in the court of law.” This story happened to a white man (well, he’s one- half Portuguese, actually) in another state and in another time. Yet, we are hearing stories like this involving youth today which are not that different, EXCEPT for the outcome is a tragedy, as opposed to my dad’s happy ending. Young men are being killed. And it’s 2014–not 1962.
Just something to think about.
And while you’re thinking, eat this:
It’s from the More with Less Cookbook. One of my dad’s favorites because it reminds him of his Portuguese-Hawaiian momma.