the fathers day I remember most


My Father 1922-2007

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I did not know it was any date in particular.
All I know was that I was at a going away party for someone from the high school I once went to who was going away to Florida. I keep chasing my memory-but damned if I ever can recall if I knew the guy…but it did not matter at the time.

Earlier that day I had been interviewed by a police officer at my job-which was as a broom operator at a local department store. The interview was about some stolen money and other objects. I had stolen the money-and the objects,but never gained by any of it. My reason for stealing was because someone was strong arming me into doing this for them.

I was used to being strong armed to do things for others. I had only recently taken this job as the only thing available since my discharge from the U.S.Navy. I had been discharged from a detention barracks known as barracks D.
As this whole story is about-I was raped and repeatedly made to do things a person would not normally want to do…which in other words-I was repeatedly assaulted.
There in barracks D I was an 18 year old kid-120 pounds and not at all accustomed to being locked in with other men in a detention facility.
After the rape my daily routine was being led about by my initial attackers often with my arm twisted up behind my back as if it was a switch of some kind that could be moved and orders me to comply.
At the department store my sole fellow employee managed to find that switch.

So the police officer that interviewed me promised me another chat-he first was going to chat with the man I had ratted out on….ratted out? I ratted out the person that was forcing my arm behind my back that made me empty purses and cash drawers and sneak audio equipment out to behind the dumpsters for him to retrieve later. I knew sitting there listening to this policeman saying if I told I would be treated differently….but I knew that was a lie.

I had expected the following morning to resume the questions-I also knew I would be confronted with the other man…that I had no idea how to do.
I had no plan. My mind was mentally trying to return to accepting what the officer told me at barracks D the morning I was raped….he said to get used to it-and me thinking that the next day I was going to be confronted with the other culprit-my strong arm boss…and we were to jail together. I was trying to imagine what ‘getting used to it ‘meant for me in a jail,or even a prison.

I did not know the guy who was going away to Florida. In those days in that area if someone you knew knew someone who knew about someone at a party then you were admitted and no one really cared. It was that kind of a situation for me…I was with someone who knew someone.

I swear-it was angels that opened that car door for me.
I have no clue as how my moments at that house were my freedom from the following day and most likely days and days following that.
It was Ford station wagon-one of those old classic styles that had the wood trim look about it…a surf board on the top.
We were going to Florida.

The following morning-indeed,it was that fast a drive,we entered Florida.
It was about then my driver filled me in that we were going to have to separate because he was gathering some cousins to continue on to a beach camp the family had near Flagler Beach….I was not invited. So we managed to figure out that I could be taken as far south as Gainesville and then they could east towards the beach.
So…off to Gainesville Florida we went.
The intersection where the surfers cut east and we separated had a cemetery on one corner.
That is where my first day in Florida was spent. I had only what I was wearing and about 60 cents.

The cemetery was the only choice. The neighborhood I was in was kind of the edge of town-although I hardly even knew there was much much more a few blocks west.

Angels arranged this.
The cemetery was a refuge-I was absolutely not disturbed at all…almost as if I owned the place.

I managed to make a collect call to a man I knew from the church on our street up home…I am not sure why I called him,yet I believe I recalled him once saying he had a brother who lived in the city where the University of Florida was. That’s where I was.

The brother lived in a town south of there-a place called Micanopy. I waited in that cemetery until nearly 10 o’clock that night feeding mosquitoes and ready to eat just about anything myself. Wade showed up and then began the rest of my life.
He was an older hippie-much older…and the town of Micanopy had been taken over by this amazing group of hippie folks-but in general the group where all artists of do some sort of art work or another-sculptors,painters poets and musicians. Good people-soft gentle persons of peace.
Wade apologized for being so late to pick up someone he had no idea he was going to be picking up….it was ‘fathers day’,he told me-and everyone had been to the beach.

In the Psalms it says that we have angels camped around us.
I really love that thought.
The strange thing-this past week or so ago I met with a ‘seer’ and the woman told me there was man behind me….she described my father-she told me wanted me to know the pain in his stomach was gone (he died from colon cancer and complications there of) and she said he wanted me to know he sees everything now….that he knows about everything now. How my father could work his way into a camp of angels I am not certain…I have no idea how the rest of it works-I just know it’s good.

I am going there today-to the graveyard!
I have tried to do so every year since arriving to this place-to celebrate in a quiet way with the past and where it has brought me. I like to sit there on one of the benches and listen to the traffic and the birds compete and look across the street-the only remaining building from that time still stands,a former gas station. It was there I used the pay phone to call Wades brother.
There is a good feeling there-the memory of what has gotten me here is non-ending. I will never forget barracks D,and I will never forget how it is that I got here to Florida…and I will never forget that fathers day.
Fathers Day 1970!

One Response to “the fathers day I remember most”

  1. zewaffit Says:

    Thanks for the post

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