|Hoa had come back from his six month sojourn in Việt Nam and moved in with relatives in Louisiana |
where they passed him around from household to household until they were tired of it and told him to
go back to Panama City. Back here he called me on the phone and told me he needed help to apply
for public housing and to take him to some medical appointments. I told him I would meet him at the
housing office. He wanted to pick me up in his car but I was afraid of getting trapped with him
somewhere when I needed to get to work at two in the afternoon so we met at the housing office
and got all the paperwork done to get him on the waiting list. The clerk said it would probably be a
year before they had a unit..
Hoa had determined to go back to Việt Nam where he had a wife (the woman who left him got a
divorce) who thought he was going to bring her to America. He intended to go back for a year
as it would take that long to get housing here and he tasked me with the required updating of his
paperwork at six months.
Hoa's relatives had told him that I was responsible for taking his then three year old daughter Hồng
from him and I did arrange for the child's mother to pick her up from the day-care. Hoa was
conflicted because he thought he needed me to help him get through the bureaucratic things he
needed to do and I was always willing to help. When he would want to talk about it I would
misunderstand and change the subject. He finally decided that it couldn't be as his kinfolks were
telling him because then I would be his "enemy" and wouldn't be helping him out whenever he
needed it. Well, I wasn't his enemy. When he had Hồng with him I was the one actually taking
care of the child because he couldn't deal with her. He only knew to yell and hit and mostly couldn't
catch her because his 70+ bones wouldn't move fast enough. I was happy to leave it at that. I
actually liked the old man but I did not think he should be trying to keep this child who had a
perfectly competent mother.
We went to Hoa's medical appointment. He was getting a checkup before going back to Phan
Thiết for a year. I stayed with him to translate between him and the doctor and was alarmed he
was requesting VIagra. I knew his heart wasn't good and did not think he needed that. I suggested
(in Vietnamese) to him that perhaps he should be content with what God allowed him at his age
but he insisted and I knew that his mind would not change so I said no more.
Last Sunday one of the ladies at church told me that Hoa had died in Việt Nam. Apparently his
heart couldn't stand the Viagra or the activity. He died in bed, but not peacefully.
He had $20,000 in life insurance so now there is a transoceanic fight about who gets that money.
He has grown children here and his final wife in Phan Thiết and there is his now eight year old
daughter Hồng who is living out west.
At this point I don't care. Hồng is doing well. Her mother is remarried and living in Nevada. They
don't need it and probably don't know about it. I will not enlighten them. The relatives in Louisiana
and here are all talking to lawyers.
I miss the old man and pray for his soul.
|Long ago when motorcycles had spoked wheels I was driving my XS-650|
across swampy coastland in the middle of the night in western North Florida
near Perry when my rear wheel got wobbly and holding the bike on the
pavement became difficult. I gingerly maneuvered the stricken machine to the
side of the road, keeping it barely on the pavement to avoid sinking into the
muck, set it on its center stand and dug my flashlight and my tools out of the
saddlebag and, needing both hands for tools and the rim, I stuck the light in
my mouth and directed the beam with my jaws.
The light, unfortunately attracted mosquitoes. I am accustomed to skeeters
being a long time Florida resident but these were an unfamiliar and extreme
form of the pest. They were many times larger than the ones I knew,
large enough that I could clearly see the yellow and black stripes on their legs.
They got in the way, not because they were sucking me dry, they weren't,
because bugs, dogs, and small children don't bite me but they were blocking
They were so thick in the light of my flashlight that I couldn't see to fix the tube.
I turned off the light and did the job mostly by feel, only turning the light back
on very briefly to use the half second between "light on" and the the return of
the mob of skeeters to see where my tube patch had to go. I got the tube
patched and the wheel mounted and was back on the road once more.
|I don't normally have any interest at all in skateboards or magazines and videos about them. This link|
was sent to me by an American friend who lives in Nha Trang. It is very good. Makes me want to
do it, too. Unfortunately, at my age I am a bit brittle for such activity, even in Việt Nam.
Ông My thường thường không thích đọc tạp chí hay phim nào nói vè skateboard. Bạn của tôi là người
Mỹ ở nhà tại Nha Trang gửi URL này cho tôi xem thấy. Tôi thích phim này nhiều lắm. Phim này cho
tôi muốn đi skateboard ở Việt Nam nhưng mà hiện nay tôi cũ quá có xương giòn. Tôi không nhảy
lên như người chàng vào phim ở URL đây.
|I was going through some boxes that had not been opened in decades and found probably the only proper|
photograph I ever took. I shoot many pictures to the annoyance of friends and relatives but I am not a
photographer. I don't get good photographs, ever, except once back in 1969.
Hôm nay tôi lục lọi vào hộp cũ mà không xem thấy trong hơn hai mười năm rồi. Tôi gặp một tấm hình cũ mà
tôi đã chụpcó tốt.Tôi không là người chụp ảnh giỏi. Tôi chụp rất nhiều hình cũng luôn phiền các bạn và người
có họ mà không bao giờ chụp hình giỏi. Tôi được ngạc nhiên gặp một tấm hình cũ tốt.
Hi chú !
Cháu gửi chú hình Noel cháu chụp nhé.
Pls kindly open Att. to get Pictures so l took On Christmas at The Church, 8 District, Ho Chi Minh City.