Why I'm a Hard-Ass

I'll tell you why I sound like I know so much when, in reality, I'm trying to pass along succinct thoughts while bypassing bullshit and saving time. I hate to repeat myself. I have never told anyone about any of this except for my wife.

I am a hard-ass, so there must be reasons. I look at life as if the next instant could be my last because it could well be. I can see bullshit a mile away, sometimes even in writing. When possible, based on past experience, I can take a few thin strands of weak information and formulate a reason why someone would try to pass it off, and identify agendas. Don't ask me how, I just do. It's not a gift and it does cause some crap from time to time, so I don't have too many friends that can handle my "attitude." I can handle it.

I have a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks. No one can think like me because I am the only me. But I am not unique. I ain't no big deal.

This is how it all started. It seems like a thousand years ago . . . In 1956 we lived in Los Gatos, California. I had just turned eight. We had a great life.

Dad had just bought his first new car, a '56 Chrysler monster. He brought it home from Santa Cruz as a surprise for Mom. So, in celebration of their anniversary and the new car, off they went to Santa Cruz for a special dinner. The traveled via a mountainous, 21-mile, two-lane road called Highway 17. It was afternoon and Grampa and Nana were at our place to watch us monsters.

A half hour later Dad returned with a policeman. He gathered us in the road out front. As Nana hugged all three kids at once, Dad told us there had been a bad wreck up by The Cats. A drunk had nailed them head-on at 80 mph and put them into the base of the chopped hill. Many large boulders came down and crushed our new car. Dad emerged without a scratch; Mom was crushed yet alive. Turns out she had every bone in her body broken in at least two places. She thought she was in Gabriel's flaming chariot when she was taken to the hospital.

That crash pretty much wrecked our family.

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