Saturday, March 22, 2014

Las Vegas: I got beat up at the Airport.

In 1981 I had the opportunity to go on a Trip to Las Vegas!  I didn't have much money so I sold my 1976 Dodge Aspen, 2 door, yellow and gold. Man, that car was sweet. I had dual exhaust, 340 heads and a high lift cam put in that little 318. Had high ration gears so the top end was not too shabby.  A very nice little car. I sold it to this lady friend for $1500.00.   A great deal at the time. Her husband, a dink of a guy, bought it for her. He was a real prick if you know what I mean. Not nice to her. Anyway, we left Winnipeg on a charter company to Las Vegas. I think the company was called Lou Miles, but not sure. In Vegas there was a smaller airport terminal for charters, you know tour companies.

Vegas was awesome. I think we stayed at the Imperial Palace. The strip was not a crowded as it is today. So there was lot of sidewalk room and the hotels were not on top of each other. So the walks between hotels were longer and not as crowded.

I really liked Caesar's Palace (I guess the hotels' were all Palaces?) and the Forum Shops, the art galleries. Red Skeleton's art works were there as well as Anthony Quin. He is a great artist.
Forum Shops of Caesars Palace












I am not much of a gambler, but it being my first time to Las Vegas I tried it. Man, it can be fun. All the loud music of the machines, clanging and shooting out coins.  Good fun, especially if you win a little bit. In those days, the machines had real sliver dollars and fifty cent pieces. So that is what came out. I tried the silver dollar machines and won about sixty bucks at one time. Man, I was a king! 
Slot machines were called the "one armed bandit" No push buttons on them.


The dollar coins were nice to have. So I put them in my pockets. My two jean pockets were full of these dollar coins, pulling my pants down. I didn't know that there were little plastic buckets were there for your coins. Who knew, right?  So full pockets full of silver dollars. That is what I remember about the trip. It was fun. I even tried poker. I didn't win nothing. These old guys would just ante up into the game and fold all the time. And when they didn't fold after the ante, they won? Go figure that one.

Well the trip was three days, I think. Anyway, as it was time to leave, We went to the charter terminal. It was an old terminal, not very big, single story building. A few stores to buy drinks, magazines and that type of stuff. I went to get a magazine for my girl friend that time. We had two kids together but it didn't last. You know how it goes. Well I went to buy a magazine for her for the plane ride home. Its a three hour ride direct from Las Vegas to Winnipeg. As I was standing in that little open store and at the cash register, some guy slapped some coins on the table beside me. He was staying something real loud to the cashier. I don't remember exactly what it was; "I want...something". I didn't turn to face him or anything I just handed my cash to the guy and waited for my change. I felt the guy behind me blowing on my head. He was taller than me, I found as I turned and looked at him. He was kind of drunk. He then blew smoke directly in my face, and said "what you gonna do about it punk?". I smiled and said "asshole" and walked out of the store.

I walked over to my girlfriend and handed her my camera that was around my neck. She didn't know anything was going on. I looked at the store and the big fat guy came out, he looked mad and he looked at me. I smiled and waved. I said "Hi, Asshole". The guy walked over to me with his fist clenched. I knew he was going to try and hit. I could hear the girlfriend say "Steve?!?".  The guy walked over and proceeded to throw a punch.

He hit me hard in the head. I was about 20 that time and thought I could duck him. Nope, he hit me in the head. So I punched him back in the face. I figured I could drop that big fat bastard. Nope again. I was only about 145 pounds and have a small bone frame. So in my mind I felt I could knock him out. Except there is this math formula : According to Newton's second law, we say that a body has a mass m if, at any instant of time, it obeys the equation of motion;
f = d/dt(mv)
where f is the force acting on the body and v is its velocity. Let's just say I really don't understand the mechanics of mass, motion and volume.  But I do understand this. My hands are relatively small, my weight at the time was that of a 15 year old boy. So my mass meeting the mass of a much great object didn't defy Relativistic Kinematics equations. In other words, my small hands and small body, did not build up enough speed (vector quantity) to do any type of damage. Image if you will a fly that smashes into your forehead. What happens?  Exactly.  

Anyway, what happened next. Now this is where vector quantity plays out.  You know velocity. "the rate at which an object changes its position". Well next thing I know I am being tossed on the ground, picked up again and tossed onto the ground again. At a very fast rate I might add.

Next thing I know I see, from my peripheral vision, a large mass flying through the air, and landing on my opponent. It was my friend, Perry. Perry was sitting close by with his wife. He later told me he was counting money with his wife. I guess Perry seen me getting a heck of a good ragging", as its called. He decided the odds were not in my favor. Even though I didn't ask for any assistance. I thought I was doing good, after all I did connect the fat guy with a punch to the face. Perry is a big guy about six foot. At the time he was in great shape. You know one of those that ran miles and mile everyday. So Perry was good to go with my new arch enemy.  I don't know how fat guy became my arch nemesis in such a quick time, but he was.

The consequence of Perry's actions were quick. First thing was that the big guy was down on the ground. I was as well. You see, the big guy had me by my coat and by my hair. So when Perry bull dozed him.  The combined weight and force of the two ( mind you I don't know the mathematics of the action) pulled a big chunk of my hair off as I went flying in the air. I guess the big fat guy didn't have the good sense to let my hair go as we both flew in the air and down on the concrete floor of the airport terminal. 

I stood up and seeing an opening, I proceeded to kick the big fat guy as he was down. I had these nice little pointed brown sharp shoes. Sort of like cowboy boots without the tall boot. I think I may have kicked him the face as well. Just as I thought I was getting the upper hand I was thrown viciously to the ground. Some unknown aggressor jumped on my and body slammed me. Perry turned around a for some reason punched him right in the head. The guy started screaming "not me, not me". I guess he didn't want Perry punching him in his face again.  By this time fatty was up and ready to rock and roll. I think I was in over my head. Perry started jumping around and calling fatty to "go".  

Just then, two big, I mean big, cops showed up. And before we could say anything some older gentlemen started yelling, "I saw it all, these two started it.". He was pointing at me and Perry. Holy Shit! 
Now I was really scared. I was in the United States about to be arrested. I had no experience there. I had no money. I was scared. Perry went nuts. He started yelling at the cops. "GO AHEAD, arrest us". "I got money" "Go ahead arrest us". "We get this kind of thing happening to us all the time in Canada". 

Perry turns to me and says "Fix yourself up!".  My hair was all pulled out on the top of my head, My hair deshelved. My coat. My nice beige faux suede coat was all ripped up with one of my pockets on the floor. My shirt buttons were ripped off. I was thinking, "what?"   
I was styling in this coat. After all it was Vega 1981


Anyway the cops weren't interested in arresting these Canadians. They just wanted us on the plane and gone.

That was trip to the United States, Las Vegas Nevada.  I really really thought I could drop that big fat ugly drunken guy. Who knew mathematics  would be against me? 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Everyone can master a grief... but he that has it."

Everyone can master a grief,
But he that has it.
William Shakespeare


Winnipeg Compassionate Friends sends out newsletters every few months. This quote by William Shakespeare was in the news letter. It caught my eye and holds meaning for me. I guess because it is true.

This year we are not going to be hosting a Circle of Life Gathering for Survivors of Suicide. We did it for four years and have no plans to go on. We were hoping that out of the Gathering someone would host gatherings of support in their community or in the city. Perhaps people are doing it, I don't know.
I think the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre in Winnipeg, might be interested. I think Rose Marsden over there is a very good person and might consider hosting an event.

I am so glad to have gotten to know Compassionate Friends. This is a good group of people that are there because they know the grief. Simply put, they are parents who have lost a child. I think some or our communities could benefit from with having a support group like compassionate friends. 

 Have been struggling with life these past months. Everynight I am visited by overwhelming regret and sadness. It is the funny thing about depression. It is not strictly a sadness thing. Hopelessness is one thing, but the other is defeat. Feeling like  you are defeated is not a good way to be. That is the darkness that screws over your nights and your alone time. 

Been volunteering at a couple of places and really pretending the clown act as the days move into years. Not one day goes by without winning over the dread of defeat. Weird eh?

Am kind of low these days. The wife is good though, always watching me and supporting me. Many times I think I have her fooled but I think she knows. 

Be good people. Try to take the Teachings and make them more than words or wall slogans, make them into action. 

One of the Teachings my Mom always gave to us, is to feed people. Feed people. So that is what we should do. Feed people.