One instruction that my father gave that was wrong, and I had to learn his wrongness the hard way, was to always run from trouble. If someone challenges you to a fight, my father said, run to the nearest police station and report the people who are trying to get you.
My father had a story about a crowd of kids who would follow him and his brother, Freddie, home from their school in Fremont, a neighborhood in Seattle. They lived in Interlake then in a tiny house that has since been turned into a storage facility for Ben Law Appliance. They lived near the dump that is now a mini-golf course. Every day these kids would follow him and his brother home. We started to run home. When the bell rang we were ready and we just ran home as quickly as they could. “Those kids never got us.” I tried to apply my father rule growing up.
In elementary school in Fall City I was the weird kid and because I’d grown up with those kids they accepted me for what I was: the weird kid. I wore a velour sweater in brown and orange colors. I had a massive Beatles style bowl cut. I wore a blue hoodie on the playground and played with my best friends Wyatt, an asthmatic, and Sam Sudore. Sam’s father was a hairdresser and owned a couple of hair salons. Wyatt’s dad was a dairy farmer.
Most of the other kids in the school dads fell trees for Weyerhaeuser. Their Moms’ worked as waitresses. That’s what my Mom did too.My dad was the local pot dealer. Our dad’s had the traditional non-traditional jobs of rural Washington State. Continue Reading →