My Father And Becky, And The Refinery.
Sunday, June, 3, 2012
My father, and old World War 2 disabled veteran loved Becky. In his troubled mind he managed to find peace in it for our baby.
Becky never understood all the stuff her grandfather talked about. Little Becky just sat in her wheelchair eating candy that her grandpa gave her. Like a little baby calf, Becky chewed on her little cud of candy while grandpa talked about the war, sometimes griping, sometimes complaining. Little Becky could care less about wars. The only thing she cared about was the taste of a soft candy bar, or a sip of delicious pop, or milk, and her grandpa's company. She loved her grandpa, and grandma.
I think paw paw got along better with Becky than anyone on earth. In his seventies he enjoyed rides in the old family station wagon as grandma drove by the river near our town, and parish.
My father loved the river. Grandma, and grandpa would take Becky with them when they took rides around town, or took rides wherever they had a desire to go somewhere for a Sunday ride.
My father use to really enjoy watching catfish jumping out of the water, high into the air. He loved the river, and the freedom to fish, and camp. Grandpa, and grandma would stand little Becky up on paw paws lap to see the beautiful river from a bridge.
I was always busy working. My father said that I worked too much. I pulled double shifts often as a guard. I worked so much that when I stood guard at some posts, I could sleep standing up with only one eye open , and with one eye closed. Sometimes I stood guard at posts with rain dripping off my hard hat. I wore something like a long black overcoat. It was waterproof.
I worked a strike for seventy two days straight with no days off. Men were coming in from other states to work as guards. Some were a motley crew of rough necks that only cared about the money. The picketers told me that I was working at the refinery at the wrong time. I told them I cared about the refinery, and about protecting their jobs, and welfare. I really only cared about security concerns. I took my job seriously. The safety of lives were my main concern, and the billions of dollars worth of refinery that provided the fuel for the economic well being of my state, and country, and I needed a pay check because I had a family to feed.
The picketers tested me. They asked me if I carried a firearm. I opened my overcoat , and showed them that I was not armed, or carrying any guns.
Seven men started saying things I did not want to hear. One called me a scab. I said, " I am not here to steal you're ridiculous job. I am here to make sure you will still have one when you're strike is over."
They cursed me, and I cursed them back. More picketers came toward me in a dodge charger, and that was when I said what I truly meant from my heart. I said, " I do not need a gun. Five men who will dare to put their hands on me might not live long because I am skillfully trained in self defense tactics. I could take out any one of you in less than five seconds flat , and the only thing any of you will ever need is , and appropriate funeral service. You decide how you want to go down because I am not afraid of any of you. And I will tell every one of you a little personal secret. I have a two year old sweet baby girl that I love with all my heart. She will never walk in all the days of her beautiful life, and I am in a real sore mood as a dad so I intend to cross you're lines any time I wish "
One man came at me. I picked him up over my head. My captain screamed for me to put him down so I slung him down hard on the ground.
The picketers stopped threatening me. I crossed their line. My captain, and other guards followed me to their jobs. In fact security heads put me in charge of crossing all guards across the picket lines on my side of the refinery. The picketers respected me.
The days, and nights were long. I patrolled twelve hour shifts. I was a loner. I did not want to be bothered by people very much. I guarded the north side of the refinery nearest the swamps.
All alone in my truck I traveled round, and round for endless hours protecting the refinery from sabotage. Security supervisors, captains, and security heads listened to all the guards by radio communications. I was Delta patrol, and once during every hour of my shift I would call in , and say, " Delta patrol to security six. My areas are secure."
I had my own gas pumps on my side of the refinery. By foot I checked , and examined millions of dollars worth of sensitive computer rooms, and televised devices, and equipment I cannot begin to explain what they did . They were the tools of engineers. I worked the night shifts, and the graveyard shifts.
I brought with me from home my lunch which was consisted of a brown paper bag with food . Joann would always fix sandwiches without mayonnaise so they would not spoil. Sure wish I would have had a cell phone. Can you imagine how wonderful that would have been . I could have listened, or talked to my sweet wife while I was near the swamps, or hear our sweet baby Becky talking. She probably would have said something like, " I miss you daddy. I love you. When are you coming home." But then again she was only two.
For seventy two days straight I patrolled. I heard the crickets in the swamps on the other side of the perimeter fence lines. With one eye open, and with one eye closed I would rest for one minute for around every six hours. I thought about Joann, and the baby at home. Our dog Wolf was their protection, and of course my dad , and mom living next door to our home. Wolf was our Siberian Husky. She was very protective especially for Becky.
You would never realize what one delicious minute of sleep is like unless you have not slept for days. Your mind gets weird. You talk a little out of you're head, and you might say something gross, or even nasty, or vulgar for jokes, or laughs , or kicks from other guards. You think of yourself as a fool for falling pray to the whims of your sleep deprived mentality.
Driving home was always a risk for me. My body wanted rest. My body was so hungry for sleep. I went to work very weak during the strike. I could not even make a fist. I had no strength in my hands. One night a guard gave me a headache pill which was a mistake I made by taking it.
I fell to sleep for only a few seconds ,and I crashed into a light pole. I totally destroyed half of my patrol truck. I was not injured, but very sore later. They gave me another truck, and a more expensive one. They gave me a fire safety truck. They were mad at me at first. They told me they were going to put me on foot patrol. I told them, " You do, and I quit. "
They did not want to lose me. I saved their refinery from getting blown to kingdom come so the least they could do was to give me a very valuable fire safety truck to drive. My best friend , a former police officer who received the medal of valor gave it to me to drive.
I loved breakfast at home. Grandpa, and grandma told me I worked too much. I made a fortune in overtime , and my regular earnings were something like only five , or six dollars and hour.
I took Joann, and the baby, and my mother, and father to great places to eat on my days off after the strike was over. I would buy lots of fried chicken. My dad, and family, mom, and Joann, and the baby loved good food.
When I paid for groceries I told Joann to buy two of everything. When I bought food, I bought enough for my mother, and fathers home too. And I never in my life ever ate out unless my family could eat with me. No one ever did without anything when I made money. I could be starving to death, but I will never put bread in my mouth unless bread goes in the mouths of my family first. If I had a piece of pie , I asked if the baby wanted it first. Joann, and Becky eat first, and always get first choices of everything before me. Even today Joann puts money in my wallet, but I never use it unless I am giving someone a tip at a grocery store. The only way I will ever eat anything without my family is if my diabetic life depends on it until I reach home to eat with my family.
God Bless Everyone .