Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Great Storyteller

Let me tell you all a little something about my father on this Father’s Day. During my formative years my father could string together quite a yarn. Here are two of the first stories I remember my father telling me as a young child.

When I was a young lad, around the age of five or so, I was in my parent’s master bedroom walk in closet as my father was changing his shirt. My brother and I noticed a large round scar on the side of my father’s abdomen and inquired about it. My father got a proud look on his face and continued to tell us a remarkable story. During the Vietnam War my father was a machine gunner in both the Huey Bell and the Chinook helicopters. He would be the soldier that would mow down the forest with a hail of lead as the other soldiers loaded and unloaded from the helicopter. During one of these missions my father was pierced through the side by an enemy bullet. He received the Purple Heart for his bravery. A true hero.

This is my dad if he was black and he was on a boat instead of a helicopter
and those were soldiers he was shooting at not planes.

Later, when I was a senior in high school, I was retelling the tale of bravery to my mother and noticed she had a blank look on her face. I asked her what was the matter and she informed me that the scar on my brave father’s side was a mole that had been removed because he spend too much time in the sun surfing. For those of you who have met my father, the thought of him on a surfboard is quite a shock. It would be like Dennis Franz hanging ten. To my disbelief I discovered that he was never shot while manning the big guns. He did, however spend some time in the hospital but it was because he burned his bare feet while running across the tarmac during a bombardment. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t told everyone I know how my father was shot in combat.

This guy spins wonderful tales. 
They are not as believable as my father's stories though.

Another time when I was around the same age I remember the family was driving down the street as I saw an odd light. On the end of the traffic island on the ground was a small cage with a yellow light in it. I asked my father what purpose did the odd light serve and he told me that the light was from the underground tunnel system used by the people who lived underground.  It took a few years for me to figure out why I could never see these people. Apparently they do not exist.

Apparently, according to my father, a race of dwarves live
below the greater Orange County, CA area.

These stories, like many, have become family legend and, of course, my father denies telling any of them. For those of you who know me, you may be thinking, “So that’s where he gets it from!” you would be quite correct. I get my gift of telling a fantastic story from my father. One of the great gifts a father can give their sons is an imagination and all those stories growing up really allowed me to think outside the box. Today that’s where I live. You may say that I live in the different zip code from the box… but I wouldn’t change a thing.

The great storyteller himself.

Thanks dad, I love you!

1 comment:

  1. Jason,
    Thank you for the wonderful,warm and touching words. However, I categorically deny that I ever told you those outlandish stories.

    Happy Fathers Day,

    The Great Storyteller