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The Day I Almost Lost My Dad to a Convicted Killer

Updated on February 26, 2013
Northern Kaua'i
Northern Kaua'i | Source

Kaua'i in the Early Sixties

The Garden Island of Kaua'i in America's Camelot Era of 1960-1963, when JFK and Jackie graced the hallowed halls of Washington, D.C., and were as close to our surging country's version of royalty as we'll ever know, was a very laid back place to live.

Think Mayberry with sandy beaches and palm trees, and you'll come close to grasping what life was like for a 9-year-old Hawaiian Opie.

My father was a relatively new police officer, no longer a rookie but still on the lower echelon of the KPD hierarchy. Think Andy without sidekick Barney.

Every day, if Mom wasn't available at the time, Dad would ask me to box his shirt,, as he referred to it. It became a father/son ritual. Standing behind him, I would follow the pleats on the back of his uniform shirt. At the point of his waist, I would grasp any excess and squeeze it firmly, pressing the fabric with my thumbs against his back. Carefully, he would pull his trousers up, making sure that the shirttails were smoothly and evenly tucked in, and then ask me to press the belt area of his trousers against the fabric I'd been holding in place. He would then tuck the front part of his shirt into his pants, fasten the top button, and secure the zipper.

As complicated as it sounds, the live performance of this activity, once I got my part down, was efficient and flawless. A little boy doesn't think about the nuances of such a ritual at the time. The middle-aged writer, looking back, experiences the sweet nostalgia of such an intimate act of love between father and son.

The results were always impressive. Just a shade under six feet tall, my father towered before me in his spit-shined shoes. The olive-khaki color of the uniform, the leather belt and straps, handcuffs case, and holster, and the shiny silver badge contributed to the ambience of formidable island knight.

But, oh, the finishing touch of the policeman's hat, the visor worn low and shading his brown, squinting Hawaiian/Filipino eyes...Now that was a memorable coup de grace. It made the amazing transformation complete.

In those vintage years of island history, police officers used their own personal vehicles to patrol their respective shift assignments. My father thus made good official use of our 1961 Ford Fairlane.

I liked how the bright red and cylindrical spinning light sat on the top of the car, and I was especially fond of the brand new police radio that was attached to the dashboard just to the lower right of the steering wheel.

In his off-duty hours, Dad did his best to avoid police work whenever my mom, siblings, and I were in the car with him. Once in a while, however, when someone was recklessly speeding down the highway or weaving in such a way as to endanger the lives of others as well as his own, Dad would insert the male end of the police light cable into the cigarette lighter, flip the switch to the siren, and "flag" the culprit down.

He never had to chase anyone for long distances. The island lifestyle was laid back in more ways than one, and lawbreakers were apt to either be distantly related to or well acquainted with the respective officer.

Beach Across from Coco Palms Hotel

A markerWailua Beach -
Wailua Beach, Wailua, HI 96746, USA
get directions

"Dispatch, I've spotted the person of interest..."

Against the idyllic lull of pacific island rhythm, an incident occurred one lazy aftenoon that would be indelibly engraved in the walls of my remembrance but was of such a level of gravity that I could not write about it until now.

Dad and I were on our way from our hometown of Kapa'a to Lihu'e, the county seat of Kaua'i, to do some shopping. We were just driving by Coco Palms Hotel, an island landmark frequently featured in Hollywood movies. In fact, it had recently been the film site for a popular Elvis Presley movie, Blue Hawaii.

All of a sudden, my father pulled the car over to the left side of the road, next to Wailua Beach. He quickly reached for his police radio, flipped the switch, and called police headquarters.

After identifying himself and providing his badge number, Dad said in a tightly controlled yet authoritative voice, "Dispatch, I've spotted the person of interest."

Apparently, a convicted killer named Henry Kalihi (in honor of and respect for the innocent parties involved, I am using a fictitious name) had recently escaped from custody and was thus the subject of a massive manhunt. He was armed and dangerous and thought to be back on the island of Kaua'i.

Dad had spotted him walking next to some dense pohuehue, or beach morning glory, plants.

Dispatch announced that the closest available officer, Patrolman Kimo Kaui, could be there for backup in approximately fifteen minutes. He added, "Be careful...Henry is packing. It might be better if you wait until Kimo arrives."

"No. I gotta go after him now. Otherwise, we'll lose him."

Dad shut the radio off. He looked at me and said, "Stay in the car. No matter what happens, I want you to stay here, understand?"

"Yes, Daddy," I responded, the rising fear in my 9-year-old voice quite evident.

"Joe Boy, listen to me, everything will be fine. Don't be afraid. I have to bring this man in before he hurts someone else. Just stay in the car, and you'll be fine."

"But, Daddy, I..."

"Don't be hardheaded. Just stay in the car!"

I wanted my father to know that I wasn't scared for myself. I was afraid for his safety. I was only nine, but I was old enough to know what Henry is packing meant.

Dad wasn't armed. His 38-calibre pistol was at home, secured in my parents' bedroom closet.

My thoughts were racing all over the place, temporarily interrupted only by the slamming of his car door.

My father quickly jogged from the dirt ridge where our car was parked to the sandy beach a few feet away. I kept my eyes on him for as long as I could, but soon the dense leaves of the lauhala (pandanus) tree hid him from view.

Is this the last I'll see of my father?

I didn't want to imagine it. Yet my whole being braced for the gunshots I just knew would be tearing apart the tranquil cast of the island afternoon. I didn't dare lower the windows, either, afraid that by doing so, I'd be disobeying Dad.

So I sat there, silently praying, cocking my head just so, straining to hear any sounds and hoping against hope that it wouldn't be the sharp percussion of a gunshot.

Suddenly, the Driver's Door Opened!

Seconds were like centipedes crawling across the grass.

Minutes were torturously long.

I couldn't bear to see what hours would be like.

Trying so hard to contain my wild imagination, I began fidgeting. I still had the seat belt attached, so I quickly released myself from its grasp, feeling somewhat guilty, like I was disobeying my father.

My mind, my body, my soul ached with the strong desire to open that stupid car door so I could find my dad. For a brief moment, I fantasized that I would be the one to heroically save his life by appealing to the madman holding him hostage.

My dad's stern look came back to mind...Stay in the Car!

What if something bad had happened to Dad? What would be the fate of my mom, brothers, sisters, and me? I'm only 9 years old! Why did he have to be a police officer, anyway?

What if I could have prevented something bad from happening but remained in this car?

When was the last time I told him I loved him?

God, please don't let anything bad happen to my daddy! Please, I'll be the best son ever. Just don't let the bad man hurt my dad!

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I'm not going to cry! I gotta be brave!

Suddenly, the driver's door opened, and I just about messed my pants!

My fear turned to relief when I saw Dad. Oh, thank you, God!

"Henry, This is My Son..."

There was someone else standing next to Dad.

Funny...the strange thing was that he didn't look at all like the monster image I'd conjured up in my mind.

He was younger than I thought he would be, maybe in his thirties, and while he had a nice, wiry build, he was definitely not as big and tall as I had pictured him to be.

I looked at Dad's face. Surprisingly, there was no sign of stress. There was no look of anger, like the look I've seen when I've been in trouble and was about to get a good lickin' from him.

And his voice...it was so gentle and soft when he spoke to Henry. Not at all like how the cops on TV talked to the bad guys.

"Henry, this is my son, Joe. Joe Boy, this is Daddy's friend, Henry. Say hello to Henry, son."

"Hi!" My voice sounded so weak and high. I can't wait until my voice gets low.

Henry didn't say anything, but he did nod at me.

Shyly, almost sheepishly, Henry, now handcuffed, got into the back seat of our blue and white 1961 Ford Fairlane. That's when I noticed that Officer Kimo Kaui was behind us in his patrol car.

When Dad got into the car, I saw that he was carrying something. It was a pistol. He opened the compartment in front of me and carefully placed the pistol in it and then shut the compartment.

I must have had bug eyes! But I held my mud.

Dad carried on some small banter with Henry on the ride to the jail. I had a ton of questions for Dad but knew better than to ask.

Even when we were alone, on the ride back home, we both sat silent, absorbed in our own thoughts.

It would be 51 years before Dad and I would talk about the incident.

Epilogue

Yesterday, October 9, 2012, approximately fifty-one years after the incident occurred, feeling compelled to finally discuss and write the story, I called my father and respectfully asked him to fill in the blanks for me.

Surprisingly, he was willing to talk about it.

Apparently, when Dad confronted Henry, the convicted killer had pointed the gun at Dad.

But Dad reasoned with Henry. Dad wasn't a scholar or professionally trained to handle such incidents. What he did have was the island style for talking story with people, the Hawaiian way of casually connecting with others.

He told me that he also believed Henry to basically be a pretty decent guy who had been beaten up and shamed by a bully. In an act of angry retaliation, Henry had later found the man fishing at an isolated beach and had killed him. Dad said it could have happened to anyone.

In a simple and island-indigenous way, Dad was practicing restorative justice, a humane and compassionate way of treating victims and perpetrators as well as their respective families with honor and dignity. The ultimate hope is that at some point in time, when consequences and restitution have been made, bridges built upon the foundation of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration can contribute to the healing of the entire village.

In more ways than one, then, my father was--and is--a hero...my hero .

Wailua Beach--Site Where My Father Encountered the Escaped Convict

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @JayeWisdom

    Thank you for that great insight, Jaye! I do believe, in addition to the talent and skills one is blessed with, that a readership that feels connected to the writer by way of the characters, action, conflict, dialogue, and/or topic of a literary piece radiates something very special back to the author. It's a community impetus that--like an oyster secreting more lubrication because of an irritant--refines the primal imperative of the writer's muse and results in a wonderful and artistic creation.

    I have no idea what I just wrote there...I just wanted to spend a few more seconds "talking" with you. : ) Aloha, Jaye! You've kept me busy tonight! Lovin' it!

    Joe

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Joe...I think you inherited a wisdom and built-into-your-DNA kindness, consideration and respect from your dad. Your writings are permeated with that wisdom and your respect for all people. It gives your writing such heart, which is why your hubs are both enjoyable and inspiring to read.

    Jaye

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @JayeWisdom

    Not a problem, my dear friend! LOL! You spoke from the heart, and that is EVERYTHING to us writers!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @JayeWisdom

    Hi, Jaye! How very kind of you! Thank you so much. Yes, it indeed is a true story, And each time I've talked to Dad about this since my first recent inquiry, his responses have been very soft-spoken, low key, and always with grave respect for the young man he apprehended that long-ago island day. What it taught me more than anything is that the human heart has a measure of good as well as a measure of bad, and every day--as the native Americans believe--it's a choice as to which of the wolves we feed. From that wise perspective, I've learned not to look at people in black and white but, rather, in the manner of the rainbow and its wide spectrum of colors. I wish I knew what happened to that young man. My hope is that he served his time and went on to live a good life. I do believe, after all is said and done, in the good of mankind...even as horrendous crimes saturate the daily headlines. Thank you for your faithful support, my friend. Aloha nui loa!

    Joe

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Gosh! I forgot that my comment--which is full of SPOILERS--would show up on the feed. My suggestion is that anyone seeing this should NOT read my comment, but GO READ THIS REMARKABLE HUB! Jaye

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Joe--What a wonderful story, as well as a well-earned tribute to your father, who has obviously always been your hero. His ability to talk an escaped murderer into giving up his gun and allowing himself to be taken captive is the stuff of best-sellers. What I find even more remarkable is the fact that you waited FIFTY-ONE YEARS before asking your dad for the story. Amazing! Joe--you are one patient dude.

    From your creative use of metaphor (I'm tempted to rename you "The Metaphor Master & Simile Star" because you use these tools of the writers' trade so effectively that your words produce panoramic pictures for this reader) to the tender description of helping your dad get his uniform shirt "just right" to recreating a dramatic event through your ten-year-old eyes that it seems to be happening just yesterday, this is an exceptional story--all the more remarkable because it's true.

    Bravo!

    Voted Up, Awesome and Beautiful

    Jaye

    P.S. This is one I will re-read. It's too good to read only once.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @KawikaChann

    Good morning, Kawi! On Fridays, I check out a couple of cool places my wife and I can go check out as we do our buying of knickknacks for our respective eBay businesses. Trouble is, we end up with more coming in than going out, making us prime candidates for a reality TV show. Shucks, 'a's why hard, brah!

    I had a nice chuckle over your comments. It's good to know that things I grew up were shared experiences with other islanders. Held at gun point? Wow! That'd be a fascinating Hub...but maybe not, depending on the circumstances. You've been through some tough scrapes, too, and maybe you also can relate to the adage about writing being healing.

    Thank you for your loyal support and aloha, Kawi! Sounds like we got a lot of talking story to do! Take care, and have a fantastic weekend with your loved ones!

    Joe

  • KawikaChann profile image

    KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

    Joe, I have to crack up about the 'box' shirt - it must be an island thing - I had to do that for my older brothers... hated it! I had four older brothers!! What you say about appealing to human side of our family/friends/foes, is true - 'talking story' has given me a way out after being held at gun point and in other dangerous and dicey situations.

    I think it's a way that you can speak directly to the heart of a person, and not the body of the person. If you can convince the heart of a person, the body has no choice but to follow the direction of the heart.

    Nicely done - excellent imagery in your writing and as always, very entertaining. I'm glad you've found closure while your Dad is still with you. In all you do, have peace. Kawi. (One day I'll tell you why it's Kawi, and not Kaui...lol).

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Natashalh

    Thanks, my friend! The fact that you got chills reading it is essentially the highest form of compliment to me as a writer reflecting upon an incident that occurred over five decades ago. I am so very thankful that my father came through that experience unscathed. And you know what's really cool? To this day, my father has nothing but empathy for the escaped felon, giving me behind the scenes facts that lead me to have a second opinion and greater empathy myself for the events that led up to the young man's actions. As a writer, I wish to embrace the totality of the universal human experience, NOT further polarize good and bad. Thanks for taking part in this Hub experience, Natasha! I really like and appreciate the fact that you readily support your fellow writers here on HubPages. Aloha!

    Joe

  • Natashalh profile image

    Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

    Wow. What a story! It sounds cheesy, but I got chills reading it! I agree with Georgie - people tend to think of policemen as being the guys with traffic tickets and forget what the rest of the job entails.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @mercuryservices

    Thanks, Alex! I'll check it out. I appreciate your generous sharing of my work. Speaking of graphics, you may notice from time to time a local Honolulu commercial regarding solar paneling. If and when you see it, there may be three young boys, ages ranging from 1+ to 13 years...these are my grandsons. : ) Have a great day, Alex, and revel in the tradewinds for me! Aloha!

  • mercuryservices profile image

    Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

    WOW. Talk about a gripping story, Joe. You hooked me at the beginning with this one and kept the flow going all the way through to the end. Voted up, sharing, +1, StumbleUpon, everything.

    Your tale reminds me of classic moments between Rick and Carl in the Walking Dead graphic novel. If you haven't checked this out, I'd highly recommend it to you! The first issue is free: http://www.comixology.com/The-Walking-Dead-1/digit...

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @MartieCoetser

    Thank you.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

    Let me make it easy for you, hawaii - but this is such an issue ridden to death, and surely no longer undigested as far as it concerns me. Although reading this hub again might awaken all negative emotions. It was written in the beginning, so it might be properly 'favored' with grammar errors. (English is not my mother tongue - I have learned a lot since I've started writing in English. You know, it is one thing to understand a foreign language, another thing to speak it and quite another thing to write it.)

    You don't need to leave a comment on this hub - I prefer ignoring instead of discussing the event(s) that had ruined my youth..... But I am catching up; living what I have lost.... And so wonderful - with the wisdom I did not have when I actually needed it the most ~

    http://martiecoetser.hubpages.com/hub/Sexual-abuse...

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @MartieCoetser

    Martie, what a coincidence. My youngest sibling, a brother (whom I've hubbed about in two articles about his prowess as an octopus fisherman), is also ten years my junior...and, yes, I was a pseudo-parent to him as well, dirty baby diapers, bottle-feeding, rocking and lullabying him for hours, etc. Thank you for sharing...my curiosity, piqued by your last statement, will result in a careful review of your prior hubs in the next few weeks to see if I can glean either information I've missed about this unfortunate incident or look forward to reading about, perhaps, in one of your future hubs. If not, I would like to be one of many dear hubbers whose uplifting support here on HP can provide some measure of healing over time. God bless you, Martie, and I'll see you around the bend at the next hub malt shop.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

    Yes, I am the eldest of 5, the youngest (brother) 10 years my junior. I had to potty train him and change his damn messed pants. And I was not allowed to kill him. Lol! We are 3 girls and 2 boys, and both boys are the youngest. We are still very close, although we fought each other like cat and dog while we were kids, but, of course, only in the absence of our parents. We were not allowed to be rude to each other. I had a wonderful childhood, but unfortunately ruined by an outsider-relative....

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Martie, I am so honored. Thank you, too, for taking time to share personal memories of the dual experience of being frightened daughter and comforting sibling. Were you, like me, an oldest child, then? Isn't it amazing? In our lifetime, Martie, we have gone from mailing letters with postage stamps to instant connectivity via the internet. What wonderful opportunities await us this new year of 2013? One thing's for sure--we'll be busily hubbing about and sharing these experiences. Thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year!

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

    What an awesome story and heartwarming memory! I could see my dad all the way - He, too, always practiced restorative justice. My hat off to your fantastic dad. He is, indeed, the hero-type of the male Homo sapiens.

    I know that feeling so well - waiting in a car while daddy and mommy are doing something important - usually at the scene of an accident. My dad was (inter alia) an amateur paramedic - qualified, though, after he had passed the required exams. All those frightful thoughts also flashed through my mind, and oh, the relief when the doors opened and they were safely back in the car. While they were busy outside I had to keep my siblings good and calm, so on top of all those frightful thoughts, was the heavy burden of responsibility.

    Hawaaianodysseuys, this is an excellent hub, very well-written. Superb style of writing. Voted up and pinned in my personal library.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @NateB11

    Hey, Nate! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, this is one of my favorite hubs, and the writing of it was actually propelled by the emotions that came rushing back and, surprisingly, buoyed me until the final period. A note of reference--where my dad parked the car that day...well, right across the street, about forty yards or so, was the site of the old Coco Palms Hotel. You may have seen exterior shots of this hotel if you've watched the Elvis movies, Paradise Hawaiian Style, and Blue Hawaii. Anyway, I was an awkward, pimple-faced teenager standing in the gift shop where my mother worked as a clerk/supervisor when I happened to look over and see--yep, you guessed it!--the King himself. So that whole area is like a magnet for creating memories. When I make a solo trip to Kaua'i sometime next year for my mom's 80th, I am going to have a wonderful time visiting that particular area and soaking up all those wonderful memories that will potentially germinate into a few hublings. : ) Aloha!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @tillsontitan

    Mary, what an uplifting and refreshing comment, exactly the spoonful of medicine--and then some!--that I needed on a day when one thing after another went wrong. Thank you so much for taking time to read this true story from my youth. I saw my Dad, who now lives in Baltimore with my step-mom, during the Thanksgiving holiday at a family reunion in Forest Grove, OR, and he's still going strong. He grabbed my ukulele and started strumming and singing a few vintage Hawaiian melodies..a nice image for me to hang onto, ever grateful for a God who watched over and pulled him through so many close calls.

    Thanks for the blessing you are to me this evening, Mary.

  • NateB11 profile image

    Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

    Just very captivating and well-presented with a nice touch of Island wisdom. Loved it much.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    I almost didn't read this because I didn't know if I could trust "almost"...however, I am so glad I did. You have a wonderful knack for writing. You made this entire thing riveting from beginning to end. I can see why your Dad is your hero but I have a feeling there is a mutual love and respect between the two of you.

    You have been so blessed and we are blessed to have you share this beautiful story. It is beautiful because your father was evidently a true policeman who cared for the people he was entrusted to watch over.

    Voted up, awesome, beautiful, interesting and shared.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Good morning, SkeetyD!

    Thank you so very much for stopping by at this particularly favorite hub of mine. It brought back a mix of emotions as I wrote this, amplified over time as the adult considers what he, as a little boy, experienced at the time. Have a great day, my friend!

  • SkeetyD profile image

    SkeetyD 4 years ago from Barbados

    Wow! What a riveting, scary and heart-warming story. The bond between you and your father comes through so strongly in this story. And what a situation for such a young child to find themselves. Excellent, excellent story.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    Thank you for your kind comments, my friend. It is interesting how that which causes pain or angst in one's past can find a healthy catharsis through the channel of writing.

    I tend to write predominantly in an anecdotal fashion about ebay, but there are other kinds of tales cooking on the back burner all the same. HubPages is a great network for the creative expression of these adventures.

    Looking forward to reading your next terrific Hub! As ever, thank you so much for stopping by!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    You kept me glued to the end. Of course it is a relief to read the happy ending. Thanks for sharing your story my friend.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, toknowinfo!

    You raise a most interesting point and one that I completely overlooked in my Hub narrative. Yes, indeed, my father told me on the recent day when I interviewed him that my mother was very, very angry with him. This was yet one more scenario that added to the proverbial bundle of straw that would break the camel's back. My gut feeling is that policemen's marriages universally suffer the greatest casualties due to the stresses and temptations experienced on the job and the resulting fallout the spouses experience. No excuses being made here; just reporting my perspective on it.

    I am very grateful that you dropped by to read this article. Best wishes to you for your continued success here in Hubsville. Aloha!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, CrisSp!

    So good to make your acquaintance through HP! Thank you very much for dropping by to read my Hub and for leaving such wonderful comments. I am looking forward very much to reading your writing. I love flight attendants and thoroughly appreciate the great service they provide. My guess is that your profession adds a unique "edge"--that something very special--to your writing...not to mention the element of having all those beautiful travel experiences to add to your creative inventory.

    So, wherever you might happen to be in the world today, aloha and mahalo, CrisSp!

  • toknowinfo profile image

    toknowinfo 4 years ago

    The way you told the story was very interesting and very compelling to read. Your father seems like an amazing man. But as a mother, I would be angry with him for putting you in such a dangerous situation too. I am curious if your mother knew what happened that day, and what she would have said. Thanks for sharing this, is was a very good read.

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    What a great, quite thrilling story to tell and for us to read and appreciate. When I was younger I wanted to be a Police Officer but my parents, of course didn't agree with me -- not for their eldest beautiful daughter. Lol! Too risky, indeed! But, I always admire and respect people in uniform. Glad that everything went well for you and for everyone involved on that day. Otherwise, your story would probably have a different ending.

    I had great time reading your story. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and interesting. Salute to you and your dad!

    And by the way, I still ended up having a career in uniform. I'm a FA and a freelance writer, if not flying and I love what I'm doing. (:

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    Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

    No need to apologise for a barely delayed response! I'm glad you're finding hub pages a good way of reassessing things and sharing where you're getting to with them. You're absolutely right about how powerfully things from childhood can stick with us and shape us.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @nettlemere

    I am so sorry for not having responded to your most insightful comment. Been a bit disheveled since finishing Karen Hellier's Ten Hubs in Ten Days business while tending to my eBay business.

    You're absolutely spot on when you address the difficulty in living up to Dad's standard. The wonder of it all is that there were things that took place during my youth that fostered a love/hate assessment of Dad. He's only human, but a young boy/young man is as quick to see flaws as he sees merits in his parents. I suppose, in a way, that's a universal thing until the child gets into his or her young adulthood and begins to have his or her own life experiences.

    Perhaps I'm rambling, but the point is that Dad was not only a hero to me; at times, he was very disappointing to the entire family.

    That hodgepodge mix contributed to my own severe life struggles. I take full responsibility for my actions, but one's background plays a role in the assortment of choices one can choose from.

    Today, I am compelled to share how time and maturity, even if it takes five or six decades, mellows my assessment of people and events. I've discovered that HubPages is a wonderful forum through which I can accomplish this mission in the autumn/winter of my life.

    Thank you for stopping by for a visit, and I wish you continued success and wonderful experiences here on HP and beyond.

    Aloha!

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    Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    You are very welcome hawaiianodysseus! Glad I could help. Have a great week-end yourself! :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @sgbrown

    Thank you so very much for the helpful information! It indeed was easier to do than I'd imagined.

    Have a great weekend!

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    Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    Hello hawaiianodysseus! To help you to incorporate charts, etc. into your hubs, when you are in edit "mode", look to the right side and you will find the buttons for charts, polls, etc. Click on the type you want to add to your hub and it will bring up the chart. Then all you have to do is type in the information. The "Learning Center" will help you with this too. I hope this was helpful! Have a great day! :)

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @sgbrown

    Greetings from Washington state to Oklahoma! Better SOONER than later! Setting for one of the greatest stage and screen musicals!

    I better stop before I embarrass myself. Ha-ha!

    I love your Hub recipe for potato salad. Because my wife and I both love ranch dressing, this will be a nice transition.

    How do you include the nutrition table in your Hub? I would like to learn how to incorporate tables and charts into my articles.

    Thanks again for stopping by!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @RTalloni

    Thanks so much for the kind feedback. Although this Hub was flagged for subject matter and the ads were removed, I'm glad I wrote it, and I hope they find my appeal to be reasonable. I truly believe I tastefully presented a tough subject. We'll see what the jury says.

    Glad you stopped by. I hope to reciprocate...the autumn chill is setting in, so it makes for the perfect ambience for reading. Aloha!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @wetnosedogs

    Aloha, wetnosedogs!

    You are very perceptive...it was a hard story to write on two or three levels. First, it's a tough subject matter, yet from a relatively different perspective. Do you know I got flagged for this Hub? I don't believe I should have been due to my earnest effort to present it in good taste. So I appealed to Simone Haruko Smith and sent an email to the Hub administration. Hopefully, they'll respond that the robot that flags this sort of thing was given an override by them. I can only hope.

    Thank you for your wonderful comments.

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    RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

    Your father certainly is a hero and your recounting of your life surrounding that incident is gripping…and beautiful.

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    Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    This is a wonderful story! I'm sure your dad is very touched by your words. Your dad is a hero! I doubt that anyone else could have brought Henry in without horrible confrontation. Your dad used kindness and empathy to do his job that day and that was what was needed. Excellent story, voting up and awesome! :)

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    Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

    Your father is really amazing to have been able to be open to how the killer was feeling and turn such a difficult situation around. I'm sure you must be very proud of your father, but I would also think it must be hard to live up to him.

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    moonlake 4 years ago from America

    Great story loved reading about your father and you. Very interesting. Voted Up.

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    Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

    I was holding my breath during the second half of this hub.

    It's written so honestly. And the way you described the ritual you and your dad had -- the details of boxing his shirt, as you call it -- and then your impressions of him from a nine-year-old view, had me feeling like I was witnessing it -- like a bird at the window, watching. And again, your dad talking story to the young man, I could see it so easily.

    Beautiful people and feelings of the locals of the islands....where talking story is the natural way of the day.

    Voting up, beautiful and sharing.

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    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    This is a brave story about a brave little boy and his police officer dad. It is remarkable how it turned out and surely glad it did.

    It seems this was hard for you to write and I appreciate your telling us this.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @carozy

    Thank you! Like you, I do a lot of traveling in the small town of Walla Walla with a backpack. In it is my trusty laptop. Between the machine and my brain, and a lot of heart and soul thrown in for good measure, some pretty cool stuff is produced.

    Thank you for stopping by check it out.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Georgie. Through you, Karen H. and I became acquainted with each other and our respective writings. Karen issued the Ten Hubs challenge, and I enthusiastically responded.

    Somewhere in the stress of having to dig deep for Hub fodder, this incident from my life jarred loose...you know, one of those things we all have that we push down so far and try to forget about.

    I'm very thankful things worked out for all parties that day, even "Henry..." He hated that other officer who showed up later. Conversely, he respected Dad. That in turn made me go, Whoa! and take another look at my father. Anyway, some of the story behind the story...

    And how are you doing, my friend? I'm praying that your health is improving or--at the very least--at a plateau. I appreciate you taking time to connect with me today. Have a great rest of the week and weekend!

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    carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Very touching story.

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    Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

    Dang. A lot of us don't think about what police officers really do. We just think of them as the guys that cost us a lot of money when they ticket us for driving too fast. Your dad was fortunate, it could have been a whole lot worse than it was. I'm so glad that everyone came out of that situation alive and in one piece.

    Thank you for sharing this story. :)

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