Tough Times In Life Does Not Mean Hard Times.
How interesting the folks we meet along the way.
Sometimes things just come together to cause a perfect storm of serendipity.
(names left out and timing altered and somewhat embellished for effect)
So on a fall day when my wife was overseas burying her father, I got the notion to be a gardener. I mean, work hard outside, creating and supporting plants, what could be better, and I was sick of my work in insurance.
So I went to my local itinerate worker hang out and waited for the gardening trucks to come by. 3 days and I did not get a job, with either the Vietnamese immigrants or the Hispanics. The fourth day I guy I recognized pulled and said get in. His name was Senor Senor. As we headed toward the community of Rancho Santa Fe, he dropped of workers and told me to stay in the truck. Then off we went to the next job. I hopped right out with him and started to unload a mower and a blowers, and a big burlap tarp for my refuse. Senor grabbed my arm and said NO NO NO! Come with me. I tucked my gloves in my back pocket and followed, whereupon he got angry and said to walk with him not behind him. Kind of strange for a Jeffe. Then he told me he would pay me a full days wage but not to touch his equipment. Strange indeed!
Don't think twice
Do not look for what you expect, expect what you are looking for.
As we were clearly walking toward the mansion, he began to fall back, then he told me that I was his partner and to talk with the Patrona. The son of a bitch just hired me as a white guy front for his operation, smart. Needless to say that was my last attempt at being a gardener after being told middle aged white guys can’t garden.
Senor Senor was blinded by his clipboard.
Senor found me a few weeks ago through old connections and hearing of a white guy preaching to a Vietnamese church. He knew it was me and sent his eldest daughter. I went to find Senor in the hospital with two broken legs. He had rear ended a car while going way to fast. He needed my help. And he handed me an envelope with a stack of bills in it.
This is where reflections come in.
On reflection, Senor did me a big favor, and pointed me back to the executive world where I belong.
On reflection Senor realized that he did not and could not see the car in front of him at all, let alone in time to stop. You see Senor, had placed his clipboard on the dash in front of him. A change in angle made the sun hit it so hard that the reflection in his windshield blocked his view.
I suppose, there is a moral here: Perhaps you can tell me one.
Some times we just scratch our heads and wonder.
Have you ever had something good you did come back to you?
When a Flag means more than just a Flag.
There is extra credit if you keep reading.
Part II, The Marine
Sometimes things Just strike me as wrong, so I lend a brother a hand in straightening them out. There was a huge property boom going on. “Developers” were building 3k square feet houses at five thousand units at time. They built in phases, and intentionally manipulated values. HOAs were owned and operated by the developer who was also the real estate agent.
At the time I was a pimp operating out of La Jolla CA. Fancy office with two thousand books and rooms with beautiful (all be it gaudy wainscoting). Oops did I really just say “pimp”? I meant lawyer. Well somehow this newly retired Marine comes into my office. A referral from a panel at the JAG office on 32nd street. Elmer just bought one of the aforementioned houses. Elmer served several tours and stayed in the Marines after gaining his citizenship some 15+ years before. Elmer wanted to put up a flagpole in front of his house and raise old glory, the California flag and of course his Marine corp. flag. Well the HOA would not let him and even got an injunction against, on the basis that it would lower home values.
I called a buddy/adversary who was counsel to the developer and who was a Marine like his father before him. He hung up after telling me it was all about appraisals and money. So I sued the bastards for Elmer for free, well really not for free as much as for freedom.
That suit cost me over twenty grand. But it is now unlawful to prevent the display of an American flag here in California. Elmer was ecstatic, my wife was livid, she divorced me, and Elmer started a new career in customs and immigration. That man loved his country for all that it stands. I had not spoken of Elmer for going on 20 years. I reflect on him a lot. And if taking on lost causes at the cost of my marriage was worth it. Read on.
And you should see her beautiful Beetle
My 2nd wife marries me, I want to move to Vietnam, of course she wants to move here.
We got married down on Coronado bay by an old judge friend of mine. Then we got married again in a 3 day ceremony stretching from the countryside of Cu Chi to the Saigon Hotel where the ugly American was shot on scene. So then my wife’s plan is to immigrate to the US., buy a Volkswagen beetle and have a son. It takes about 4 years to fully immigrate and you have to prove a bunch of stuff and go through interviews and it is all very expensive and time taking. But in just a year and a half, we were summoned for an interrogation/interview, probably something to do with my international shenanigans and my victory over the IRS. So we arrange for a whole day off, load up the car with proof, and head down to the bureaucrats, to stand in interminable lines.
Quicker than normal we are ushered to an office, oh my goodness it was some ex-jarhead hard ass ready to investigate us and pound on us. He explained that there were difficulties and we would have to wait longer and explain a lot. Then the government creature lifted his head from his desk quite quickly and with an inquisitive yet far off gaze asked if I was any relation to an old attorney out in La Jolla. Of course I squeamishly said that I might be. In that moment our eyes met. By golly it was Elmer, he stood promptly at attention and saluted me, saying “LT you look great sir.” (LT is short for lieutenant – I was not one but that is the rank for a JAG officer) Elmer processed us so quickly that we were able to drive to the social security office and get hooked up before any ink dried.
Now I reflect on why my bride of ten years still loves me, her beetle and our son, in reverse order that is. I am proud to be an American.