Tomorrow is Father’s Day and it will be the third one for me to celebrate without being able to hug my dad. I hope the angels realize whom they have there.
My dad stuck up for underdogs. He was a sucker for the guy on the bottom. In fact, the guy being whipped didn’t have to be dad’s favorite, but he still didn’t want him to be belittled or taken advantage of. From sports teams to boxers to preachers, my dad was for the one that everyone was stacked against. He couldn’t stand a bully and I can’t either.
I remember when I was in the 10th grade I was walking somewhere during a class time. There were very few students in the hallways, and I happened up on Jimmy Cotton and his cohorts heckling an Asian girl in our school who was physically challenged. She walked in a herky-jerky rhythm and was easy to spot when she struggled through the hall. With no authority figure in the hallway during class Jimmy and his two punk-friends had surrounded her and had pulled her pants down a little showing her brightly colored underpants. They weren’t trying to rape her, they were laughing and trying to embarrass her and three guys against a challenged girl were odds that fit that sort of low-life perfectly.
I went berserk, ballistic and crazy. I started punching and hitting and screaming at the same time. I was so mad I couldn’t even feel them feebly trying to ward off the feverish maelstrom I unleashed. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not a fighter and I’m sure my hits weren’t well placed nor very impacting, but I was blind-mad at three guys scaring a defenseless girl. I was kicking, scratching, clawing and biting. The fight wasn’t long-lived, but it was full of passion. Jimmy and the jerks were taken back by the ferocity of my attack.
A teacher jumped into the hall and separated us, took us to the principal’s office and we were told we were getting swats and expulsion. They called our parents and my dad came striding through the school in just a few minutes. He gave me a rough look and then listened to the principal. I was so scared I could hardly breathe. Dad then asked me to tell what happened and I told him. I can still feel the tightness in my stomach now from what I saw my dad do then.
He looked at the principal and said, “Expel him if you need to, but you can’t whip him for doing what I taught him to do.” They then excused me from the room and I sat in the anteroom to the office thinking, “My dad is the baddest man on the planet.” When the door opened I was still in school, got no swats and was not expelled.
I love my dad and I still don’t like Jimmy Cotton.