He once ran an under recovery service for the city of Saint Louis, Missouri. His team of divers had a huge telephone company truck that they had converted to carry all their equipment. They would recover cars out of water ways and bodies out of the same. Also he was once a police officer when he was a young man in Detroit, Michigan. When my dad drank, one of his favorite stories to tell was his description of coming face to face with Mr. White in the murky waters of a brackish lake. Mr. White was a drowning victim.
I saw the passion in my dad's eyes and I felt sad for my dad that my mother was holding him back from doing what he really wanted to do. I think my dad could have given my mother the good life that she craved, if only she had had the courage to let my dad follow his dream. But of course that is a fairy tale on my part. Given his bi-polar disorder and the lack of mental health care it's a miracle that he never killed any one, and I'm not sure that he didn't. My dad was always prepared for trouble.
Grandma Lucy always told my mother how stupid and rebellious I was. She was like my dad and she was free with the word nigger. My grandfather Bryan drove his own school bus on Saturday's, stopping and picking up all of the black farm folks who lived between Scotland and Morrilton, Arkansas.
I was once dropped off among the black folks where I was required to pick cotton. I was less than one quarter of the height as the cotton bag, which was at least eight feet long. I spent the whole day picking cotton. At the end of the day I had picked only a little bit. I was playing a game called cotton picking. The black folks were picking cotton for their lives, yet they tolerated my childish effort.
Grandpa Bryan would do his business in town and bring everyone back home again. My grandmother hated him for that. I heard her complain many times about my grandpa, his niggers, his school bus and his determination to keep the bus going on Saturday's.
After my parents divorced and my dad disappeared, he finally got his dream job. He became a diver for an oil company laying pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico. He was crushed by a section of oil pipe in a diving accident and he was seriously injured. The doctors told him that his blood held traces of strychnine. His body had encapsulated it to prevent further poisoning.
When Delonda grew up she had many children by a man who was twenty years older than she was. The last time that I saw her she was dressed like a slut in a short skirt, and a low cut blouse. She had several young children surrounding her, all of them were begging for her attention. She had become a baby making machine.