My father is a Marine, a retired police officer and a Vietnam Veteran. He is 6 foot 2 inches and over 200 pounds on his good days and one of the bravest men I know. I’ll be sharing plenty of stories from his days as a police officer and a few from his military career, but today I’d like to introduce you to seven year old Richard aka Butch (more on that nickname later).
Butch was a thin kid with big eyes, big ears and spindly limbs who was best known for having two trouble making older brothers. Well my dad’s brothers got him into more than a few scrapes in their day, but if they were there the other children knew better than to pick on my dad. Only they were allowed to pick on my dad as far as they were concerned.
Well one day on the way home from school, once my dad’s older brothers had moved onto higher grades and different buildings, the few boys in my dad’s class decided it was the perfect time to teach him a lesson. Well as soon as the first punch hit my dad collapsed and didn’t move. Worried the children nudged him and poked him, but he didn’t stir so they fled.
My dad didn’t move for a long time.
Not until his brothers found him a while later and asked him why he was laying on the ground.
His response, “I was playn’ dead.”
Still do this day my uncles tease him about ‘playn’ dead’ and we, as his sometimes intimidated children, get to watch as my dad becomes somehow more tangible and real. It’s refreshing and highly amusing all the same.