Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Truth or Dare

Okay, it is time to 'fess up. View my last post: five things about me; one's a lie.

My former husband's army sargent, Harvey Llewellen, lived across the river from our town and was driving home from Alaska on leave. He invited us to ride along and share the expenses. As we had a thirty day leave, we thought it the perfect opportunity to go home and show off our new baby girl.

The maniac drove at 80 miles per hour down the winding, partially unpaved Al-Can Highway. A semi truck zipped passed, and the wind velocity or something, caused our driver's window to shatter. Bits of safety glass flew throughout the interior of the car like shrapnel. I protected the baby, begged him to stop at the first restroom (he wanted to keep driving!)and I bathed her. She broke out in hives, probably from the soap and cried for hours. So did I.

Once we reached the interstates, he kept the pedal to the metal 80-100 mph.
It was an ubelievable trip in the back seat of a 1969 fast back Mustang with a new baby in a pumpkin seat on my lap, and no room to stretch. I felt trapped and helpless.

I WAS shot AT at point blank range when I was fourteen. I was awakened during the night by the sound of someone trying to steal my dad's car outside our window. My dad ran out to confront him (we had no phone back then) and I ran after him. The night was dead still, car exhaust fumes permeated the air and neighbors were all asleep when the would-be car thief rolled down the window and pointed a revolver at me and my dad, and fired, CLICK! The gun misfired.

I pulled my dad away and screamed, "He has a gun!" We ran back inside. The man exited the car, staggered up the block and continued firing. One bullet lodged in a tree and the other was fired at random the police report claimed. Hours before, he had unloaded four bullets into the floor of a neighborhood bar.

My dad and I had to go to the police station to view the lineup. It was the longest night of my life and the loudest gun shot I've heard. It still echoes, CLICK!

Years ago, the inner-city school where I worked had originally been a K-8 elementary. They added a gymnasium, multi-purpose room and a very large preschool room. Years later the school was converted to a middle school grades 6-8, but the preschool was still housed there. Much of the student body consisted of 13-16 year old gang members, thugs, street-wise teens, fifteen year old moms who often stopped by to ask if I would take their babies in 'daycare'. The running joke was our school was the last stop before Juvenile Hall or jail. Nearly everyone was out of control, except my students who set good examples for the big kids. Faculty, staff and even administrators often wrung their hands, showed movies, passed time and socially promoted kids to move them on and out.

One disgruntled, expelled student (it was presumed) phoned in bomb threats. Every afternoon we had to evacuate while the bomb-sniffing dogs came through. After awhile they just called a code over the intercom and we exited the building. I think they quit calling the cops and the administrators did a walk through. It became so common place that we told parents/kids that the workers removing asbestos must have pulled the alarm, or the construction people were rewiring the building etc. I couldn't wait to get out of that school! On a side note, my daughter worked at a grocery store that had daily bomb threats. The store managers would do a walk through. Scary, huh?

When I was forty, and forty pounds thinner, I won twenty-five dollars in a hula hoop contest at a bar where one of our friends was the DJ. I kept that hula hoop spinning as I went down on one knee. Lucky my knees bend these days.

I never swam with the dolphins. That's the truth, er lie, um, the honest truth!

16 comments:

Sioux said...

Ooooh! And I was hoping the dolphin one was the truth, because I wanted to hear about what it was like. (I sat through the "Shamu" show at Seaworld three times, hoping they would pick me to come down and touch Shamu. Those nasty Seaworld employees. Each time they picked a kid, not a forty-something gray-haired woman!

K9friend said...

Gee whiz, and that's NOT the one I picked! Probably because I got to go into the water with dolphins years ago. I'm pretty unadventurous, so I figure if I did it, so did everyone else!

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

BECKY said...

Holy Smokes! No wonder you're a great writer....you've lived a crazy life!!

Joanne said...

Yikes I don't think I'd have gotten back into that Mustang with that pedal-happy Sargent! Fascinating stories, I'm glad they pretty much all turned out okay ...

Karen Lange said...

Well, you fooled me! I thought swimming with the dolphins was an obvious yes. Oh well. :)

Chatty Crone said...

Hey you're good - so the Dolphins - true or false?

sandie

Susan said...

That was good, Linda. I'm so glad that guy's gun didn't go off! Susan

Terri Tiffany said...

WOw!! I think this life you led is why you are a great writer today!

Odie Langley said...

Linda that was some facinating reading. Don't know how you survived a lot what you covered but I am sure glad you did. You really need to try the dolphins one day when you are not dodging bullets or bombs. Have an awesome rest of the day.
Odie

Val Thevictorian said...

Fooled again! If the teaching and writing don't pan out, you can become a professional prevaricator. ;)

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

You fooled me! You've had some harrowing experiences, Linda!

Lynn said...

Holy Cow Linda - obviously you were meant to be here! Just goes to show, when it's your time, it's your time.

Debora said...

My goodness, scary stuff! Especially the story about the car thief. Yikes! We had bomb threats regularly at my high school. It was when bomb threats were a relatively new thing; so students called them in to get out of class!

Peggy Frezon said...

Those are incredible stories, I hope they all make it into a book some day! And, I think you have to go swim with dolphins now!

Donna B said...

WOW...very interesting! Thanks for explaining each one...was I suppose to do that?

Tammy said...

Wow from me, too! Wonderful material, wonderful luck. I'm so glad you survived all of it!!!