Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 62

   My Dad worked for a guy that knew how to make money. Marvin befriended an old man that was on his last legs and when that old man passed away, Marvin inherited a warehouse full of old pluming supplies. Marvin didn't know much about the hands on end of the business, but knew my father did, so he talked him into working for him. Marvin was ruthless, and why not? That is what business is to him. If you're short on payments for your big boat down at your second house in Florida, you lay workers off, so what if it's a week before Christmas? My father took me to Marvin's house one time and I saw how the hall ways where lined with expensive statues of horses rearing up magnificently and lions roaring with raised paws, trimmed with gold accents, like a storage room in the back of a museum. We hung out with them once down ion Florida where I got the tour of his small yacht of 45 foot. I never liked the guy and his gaudy dressed girlfriends, I never understood how his wife put up with him.
   Years later I'm washing clothes at a laundromat, talking with the Muslim owner about life. He and I didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but we could have deep discussions on them. Looking back I can see he was being diplomatic, I came in and made him money every week, so he took everything I said with a grain of salt and let it go. In our far ranging discussions I let on about how I would go to the gun range from time to time, and he started acting unusual. He started dancing around some thoughts... how a girl he knew had something wrong done to her, what would I do in such a situation. A while later he steered it back to that idea and how someone could make some money with a gun... when it dawned on me he wanted me to be that someone that rights a wrong for the girl, I had to get my stuff and leave, fast. He came out to me in the parking lot, laughing in a queer way, saying that is not what he meant and not to worry about it, but I just got in my car and never went back.
   That was too bad, I enjoyed our conversations. he was rather new to this country and I helped him understand some of our ways. heck, there was a night when we where talking and I looked up at the TV that was always on and saw a familiar sight. It was a news report about a house burning down in a wealthy suburb, flames shooting out of big windows. In one of those windows was a statute, an ornate one of a horse rearing up on it's back legs, gold hanging off in tiny chains, the gout's of fire about to consume it. I knew exactly who's house it was, even though I hadn't been there in 20 years, I knew that horse! I called my dad as soon as I got home to let him know, and we followed the news for the next few weeks. Marvin finally learned the hardest way, that when you don't care about the people you step on, sometimes they kick back. Turns out it was a man that was a glass sculpture they had hired shot them and burned the house to try and hide the crime. Apparently he knew about the large sums of money the sometimes eccentric couple kept under rugs and in boxes. They were worth more than $10 million and had an extensive art collection that included a Frederic Remington sculpture, well-known paintings and even a doll collection, according to news reports. I feel bad for what happened... to the artwork.
 Lots of transitions here in the Pacific garden missions Bible program. You start out on a top bunk, exposed to the lights, climbing a ladder and having no where to sit normal. About a month in an lower bunks open up for you to move down to and then you can put up a tent and hang things to make space. Normally it's 6 to 7 months before they shift you over to dorm 3014, but now they are sending guys with just 3 months over here and jamming us up which is an irritation. Guys just keep coming into the program in huge numbers, and it's not even cold outside, so we are thinking the economy is worse than the media is letting on.
   Once you get to 3014 your on a top bunk again, worried that your feet might hit the guy in the lower bunk, lol. I was lucky in that I was only on top for a few weeks, but the new guys are looking at being up there for months if the graduates over in 3017 don't get jobs and move out. The lower bunk I got is against the wall, so in theory that side of me should be quiet. Unfortunately, one of the louder and more gregarious guys, Wayne R is now working in security, and they got tired of hearing him, so now he is stationed outside the mens main door, which is 3 stories below, and directly behind me. Yeah, I can hear him pontificate on everything all day long now, through a brick wall. I like the guy, but don't want to live near him ever again. I had to write him up once for being to loud in 3026, well, I should say he demanded it. Part of the responsibility of being an IC was helping to enforce rules, and so over in dorm 3026, when the volume started getting to loud, I'd walk around and see if there where any guys trying to sleep. If I saw guys laying with their hands half over their eyes, looking at me in a pained way, I'd seek out the loudest guys. The other IC's would just yell 'LIBRARY QUIET", which I thought was kind of backwards, but they didn't like confrontation I guess. Normally all I'd have to do was the hand motions of lower your voices and the guys where cool. They know some of us work nights, but just get carried away talking, no biggie. Wayne had a bunk way in the front of the dorm, mine was in the back, so he pointed that out when I was quieting some guys down. I replied to him, 'How come I could hear you from all the way back there then?" He got mad, started chirping about all kinds of stuff and in his blur of words told me I should just write him up. I sighed, went back to my bunk, sat down and got out my write up sheets. He had followed me back there, yelling about this and that, and when he noticed the paper, asked me what I was doing. I just looked up and told him he got his wish, I'm writing him up.  A lot of these guys got through life by doing what they call "a lot of woofing". I didn't grow up with that happening, so, like an insult from a different era, it doesn't phase me much. Call me "yellow bellied", I might laugh in other words. I have been here long enough that if you tell me to "move around", that can get my hackles up. I guess this old dog is learning new tricks, maybe even how to woof back.

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