The Hollywood Patch
Originally uploaded by artist in the ambulance 190.
My dad is a reformed adrenaline junky. I suspect that he was a wild man in the seventies, but by the time I became aware of him as anything other than my Daddy, he had acquired a bit of control, and dare I say, polish. (He probably learned that from living with my mother for Forty years.) When I grow up, I want to be like him.
My dad found his calling in emergency medicine in the late sixties/early seventies. At the time, people still used those funky station wagons as ambulances. My dad had to campaign long and hard to get his employers to run with the idea of converting a bread truck into an ambulance, so they could carry more of the good stuff.
The other thing that my dad pushed was EMT's as opposed to nurses to man those bigger ambulances. So a large part of my childhood was spent around my dad's EMT classes. He taught for years through the local junior college. I think I've written about the weekends my brother and I spent climbing into wrecked cars at the junk yard, and my dad challenging his students on how to get us out.
My dad was looking to supplement his retirement income a few years ago, and went to the junior college to approach them about teaching a few classes. The head of the nursing program smiled condescendingly and warned my dad that the standards had changed since he last taught, and was he sure he was up to it? My father agreed that maybe this was not his opportunity, and left the building.
The reason that I want to be like my folks when I grow up is for all of the things my father DIDN'T say. That condescending prick that my father decided he didn't want to work for failed to notice who WROTE the new standards and Statewide guidelines that he threw in my dad's face. My dad has learned enough of diplomacy not to point it out to him.
I'm trying to learn. I take the high road, and my God, there are days that I think I'll CHOKE on it. I know that it drives the Honey nuts that when I complain, I do it quietly. I just don't get fired up over most things. When I do, a call to my folks usually has me screwing my head back onto my shoulders. I try not to be gasoline, more like the blanket you throw over the flames. Except sometimes I forget to get it wet. I think I forgot to get the blanket wet at work the other day, and I have to say, I enjoyed the results immensely. I still have a little ways to go before I approach the calm self control of my father. But it was delicious. I could have enjoyed it with fava beans and a nice Chianti.