Hello Dot Readers!!!
After a short vacation, we are back in business. We made it through a hurricane, and to kick things off we would like to share with you a short story contributed by one of our own staff writers. In the meantime, don’t forget the upcoming elections we hope to see you at the polls!
For as long as I can remember, I have been delivering presentations with a high level of comfort. I was drafted by my dad into the position of being a spokesman for him at a young age. He called me his mouthpiece. After serving in the air force during the latter part of the Vietnam war during the early 1970’s, Dad was discharged, diagnosed with schizophrenia and manic depression, and ultimately declared “mentally incompetent” by good old uncle Sam. He had been stripped of his voice, and his social credibility by an organization that takes orders from no one except the commander in chief. I was born in 1975. When I heard the news a few months later, I stood up in my crib and cried. I might have wet myself too. Later on in life, dad became a preacher and he was the only preacher I have known that struggled to get his message of love and hope to the world because of a social hashtag. However, the truth was known only to him and I. He wasn’t crazy because in reality he was a genius. He was a writer, an artist, an inventor, an expert in masonry architecture, master aviation mechanic, a civil rights activist (one of the first blacks to choose to attend an all white school voluntarily in our community), and all around modern day renaissance man.
Before I could walk and keep up with him as he went on his adventures to change the world, he had me sit down in a western flyer wagon and explained everything to me when I was three. He said, “Son, I’m a jack of all trades but the master of none because of this label the government has put on me. People in this town will take a child’s word over mine so you are going to have to do the talking.” From that day on, Dad gave me the words, taught me his trades and encouraged my talents. He pulled me in the wagon behind him as we went to see poor people in the neighborhood and he ministered to them and then always ended by saying, “I just wanted you to meet my son, we will come back and visit sometime.”
As soon as I could write, he took my writings and typed them up with his own, and gave them to the people free as newsletters. Everyone wanted to read the papers that the “gifted young man” had wrote. He took money from his disability check, (which he loathed to live on) and bought food and clothes for homeless and needy people in our town. I was placed in charge of giving those things away from the wagon and we eventually wound up with a column in the local newspaper, a few paintings displayed on the local t.v. station, a couple of patents for those inventions and I even got a letter from the President through an award given to me by the American Legion. Later in life, I was able to deliver presentations in churches, radio stations, club venues as an opening act for major artists, television shows, bookstores as a published author and I even played as a black detective in an all Japanese movie, because of the things I learned while riding in that little red wagon. He finally got the last laugh on uncle Sam,
and the whole community by accomplishing his ultimate goal of helping people and showing them how to love and give through the words and hands of an innocent child. He said, “Someday all the secrets will be made known.” That day approaches quickly, but not as fast as that souped up, modified and air cooled 1963
Chevrolet Corvair that he designed with jet engine parts back in 1976. The troopers said they would have never caught him if they hadn’t shot out the back tires. God speed Dad, fly well. I hope I learn more about the power of the words dad taught me and ways to use them to speak life into people who have an ear to hear them as I begin this college course on presentations as well as develop the sense of urgency that dad had naturally. He knew that disadvantages don’t always mean destruction of dreams. The deviation from the norm is the only constant we have to create change. Once the world truly embraces its own peculiarities, it will be redefined and the quality and value of life will for all will ultimately increase; just like the market value on the Corvair. It was once called, “the car unsafe to drive at any speed,” and I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the value of those very same models at an all time high last year.