I want to begin by saying that my father, aka my Dad’s life, would make a fantastic mini series or a film. He has gone through an incredible amount of things during his life. He has loved and suffered through enough to equal what others would take multiple lifetimes to go through. And while I do have plans to one day write a formal book, or produce a film series on my Dad, I wanted to get started with that project here.
And you may be asking yourself why something like this belongs on a Confessional Lutheran blog site. Good question, reader! My response to you is that my Dad’s life is a true story of childlike faith in God. My Dad’s story is a testament to innocence and faith.
I will begin this mini-series with a story from my Dad’s teenage years. This series will bounce around chronologically, but I feel it is necessary to start with this part because it demonstrates a key point going forward.
My Dad’s life has some really scary and super extreme moments. And there will be several times that I use some harsh language, as it was part of the story he told me and I feel it is necessary to include.
A note going forward: my Dad only has maybe a 6th grade education, maybe less. I have been unable to confirm. But he did not graduate from middle school. This is important going forward, especially into this story. Also, my Dad is 80 years old. He grew up in a different time and had very, very different standards. Some of the stories may be the very opposite of political correctness.
I will be expanding upon the stories my Dad has told me, aka embellishing upon them for dramatic effect and writing in a style vaguely similar to screenplays or stage plays. I hope this will be an entertaining read and will help you look forward to the next piece.
Setting: Michigan, Mid-Summer, 1954, Somewhere in the Detroit area
The O’Reily House. 9:04 pm.
Begins with Interior shot: A crowded house, filled with teenagers, primarily white, drinking cheap beer and booze, loud music plays on the record player, most likely Elvis or Carl Perkins, or maybe even Buddy Holly. It’s hard to hear through all the commotion. Most of the teens are chatting away. Some are dancing.
A young man, age 16, lean, but well-muscled, leans against the stair banister. His hair is greased back and swooped up in the pompadour style. He stares into his cup, questioning if he should drink its contents. A woman walks up the stairs, passing by the young man, smiling as she does. He nods at her and smiles back.
Voice: Larry! Hey, Larry!
The young man, now identified as Larry, glances through the hallway crowd and spots the source of the voice. It is his brother, Coke. Literally named after a Coca Cola sign that their parents had seen on the way to the hospital as Coke was due to be born. Coke is older by a few years. His hair a bit more laid back but still stylized for the time. He is smiling from ear to ear, his cheeks rosy from the night’s selection of beverages. Coke makes his way through the crowd and pats Larry on the shoulder.
Coke: Boy oh boy! I got a surprise for you!
Larry: What are you goin’ on about?
Coke: Well… (soft belch) Did you see her?
Larry: See who, Coke? The house is jumping with all kinds of dames.
Coke: That girl who went upstairs, stupid!
Larry: Don’t you go calling me stupid, Coke, or I will punch your lights out. (Balls up his left fist.)
Coke: Hey… hey… I didn’t mean anything by it. Be chill.
Larry: Well, you best watch it, Coke.
Coke: Sorry, sorry. Anyway… (drifting off in thought) Where was I…
Larry: That girl. On the stairs.
Coke: Yeah. That’s right. Well, I got her to agree to go up there. And you are supposed to follow her up and sleep with her. First time for my little brother!
Larry: First time?
Coke: Yeah, first time you get to sleep with a girl. Take her to bed.
Larry: But the party isn’t even over yet, Coke.
Coke: So? You go up there and sleep with that girl in that bed, and…
Larry: And where are you going to be?
Coke: Uh… (his face rosy and confused) down here… waiting…
Larry: The whole night?
Coke: Yeah. Until you come back down. Now get up there! That bed ain’t gonna warm itself!
Larry swiftly downs the contents of his drink and heads up the staircase, looking back to see Coke drunkenly smiling and giving a thumbs up. Larry enters the bedroom and sees the woman already in the bed, her clothes scattered on the floor. Larry smiles politely and closes the bedroom door.
Setting: Michigan, Mid Summer 1954, Somewhere in the Detroit area
The O’Reily House. 7:00 am.
Interior shot: Coke is sitting on the bottom of the staircase. The house is a mess. Nick O’Reily is desperately trying to get the house clean before his parents arrive home in an hour.
Nick: Coke, you lazy freeloader! Why don’t you help!?
Coke: ‘Cause, Nick… I ain’t feeling my best. Drank too much. Plus, I gotta be ready to go when Larry gets up. Our Dad is gonna kill us if we ain’t home for chores by 7:30.
Upstairs, the bedroom door opens, and Larry begins to descend the stairs.
Larry: You really waited all night?
Coke: Well, yeah. Wasn’t gonna drive home. Was too drunk. Slept in the basement next to the load of sheets.
Nick: More like on them sheets. My mom is gonna be pissed. You upchucked all over them, Coke!
Coke: Chill down, Nick. Anyway (putting his arm around Larry) how was it?
Larry: It was great. Slept great. Much better than my bed at home. The mattress was softer than a pile of fresh hay.
Coke: But how was she?
Larry: She slept fine. By the time I was done getting undressed and washed up, she had fallen asleep just fine. Matter of fact she is still up there sleeping now. Nick, want me to get her up?
Coke: Wait… You didn’t sleep with her?
Larry: Yeah Coke, that is exactly what we did. We slept together.
Coke: (utterly dumbfounded) What? No. I mean, you didn’t bang that girl?
Larry: What the hell are you talking about?
Coke: You know… put your pecker inside her?
Instantly Larry balled up his fists and punched Coke across the room.
Larry: What a disgusting damnedest thing to say to me! You go to church, Coke. Ain’t God intend for people to be sticking their private parts into each other!
Coke: (trying to staunch the stream of blood flowing from his broken nose) Larry… what in the…
From the family room Nick’s laughter exploded through the house.
Nick: You mean to tell me… (gasping for air) you don’t know nothing about sex? Larry… Oh my gracious!
Larry: You both are some immoral degenerates. I am walkin’ home.
What is the point of this story? It was to establish my dad’s ignorance to acts of adultery. My dad’s lack of proper education led to many situations throughout his life that are very similar to this.
This is all to build towards a narrative of childlike faith in an adult. This will come closer and closer together the more I write. In the next episode, we will discuss the abuse my Dad endured as a child… I realize that is a dark topic, but that is why it is all the more important.