Although not technically the longest day of the year, to me that summer’s eve in Colorado Springs of 1975 seemed like a lifetime. Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” was spinning on the AM station of my friend Paul’s turquoise-blue Karmann Ghia. Paul was eager to show off the fresh $89.99 special Earl Schrieb paint job on his self-refurbished car. Their guarantee, “Bring your car in by 7 and we’ll have it out by 9 the same day, held true.” You had to tape the trim and roll the windows up, or your car’s inside would be painted as well. The thick coat of paint covered minor dents, gravel and dirt.
“When you’re down and troubled, and you need a helping hand…” I sang the words out loud, feeling accomplished to have memorized the song.
Paul closely resembled Jim Croce: Italian olive skin, corkscrew chestnut curls, hopeful green eyes, and a handlebar mustache.
That night, Paul and I finished a juicy steak dinner with blue cheese crumbles, onion rings, and warm buttered dark pumpernickel at “Three Thieves,” a prominent steak restaurant. The flickering candlelight from our red glass table lantern illuminated our shadows on the dark wood panelled walls.
As the sky faded to dusk, Paul pulled up in front of the grey iron gate of the chain link fence surrounding our home, the green Sears and Roebuck sign prominently displayed.
I remembered Dad so proud of his new fence. He had yanked on the poles saying, “The guys did a good job installing this.” I snapped a picture of him that Spring day with my early birthday present from him, a Kodak Instamatic, as he leaned against our new fence, eyes squinting, the sun splashing off his gold wedding band.
Paul pulled the brake to park. Suddenly, Mom sh...
... middle of paper ...
...? A dizzying humming noise overwhelmed me I and could no longer comprehend the words coming out of her mouth. The room spun. First to the right, then to the left. The dusty brown carpet felt slippery underneath my feet, and I lost my balance. A flash of heat radiated upward beginning at my feet and escaped out my head. A cold sweat covered me, and I held my mouth shut to keep from getting sick, for fear of what the strangers would think of me.
Dad had been mutilated, and his life stolen. An intense feeling of discomfort came over me -- on that day my life would change forever.
I had always questioned whether or not G-d existed; now I was convinced. There was no G-d!
My cousin had once explained to me, “we don’t write G-d 's name in a place where it may be discarded or erased. Treating G-d 's name with reverence is a way to give respect to G-d.”
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- Almost Sixteen Although not the longest day of the year, that summer’s eve in Colorado Springs of 1975 seemed to last a lifetime. Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” spun on the AM radio in my friend Paul’s turquoise-blue Karmann Ghia. Eager to show off the fresh $89.99 special Earl Schrieb paint job on his self-refurbished car, he drove me around town. Their guarantee, “Bring your car in by 7 and we’ll have it out by 9 the same day, held true.” We learned to tape the trim and roll the windows up, or they’d paint your car’s inside as they covered minor dents, gravel and dirt.... [tags: Father, Mother]
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