la Ketch

my life story

Thursday, August 25, 2005

the first part



Ok. So this is the story. I’ll probably tell it in parts because I find it necessary to tell the entire thing, which means I have to give you the background. Which means that I will probably tell you my entire life story in the end…. oh well!

When I was fourteen years old, I moved from Costa Mesa, California (aka the “OC”) to a very small, dairy farming community about 45 minutes south east of Seattle, Washington. The name of the city is "the claw" (aka "home of the evil spirits"). It sits at the base of Mount Rainer and it’s very beautiful there but I didn’t want to move there for many, many reasons. The reason we were moving was, my mom got remarried and the reason my mom got remarried was because my dad had died and she was trying start over but she was really running away from all the pain she was in and the reminders of our happy past-life.

I had an extremely happy childhood. I grew up on a culdesac in sunny So. Cal with a pool in my backyard. My parents were very happily married. I lived in the same house from the age of two and we knew all of our neighbors. My mom’s brother and his wife (my aunt) lived right behind us with our two cousins and we were really close with them (still are). I have a sister too. She’s one year younger than me. One year and five days younger. My sister is very sweet and funny and cute.

My dad was a police officer and my mom stayed at home for the most part. When we got a little older, she started working from home. She ran a sort of neighborhood day care, watching kids in the neighborhood while their parents were at work and then later, she taught swimming lessons in our back yard. Finally, when my sister and I were in the sixth and seventh grades, she went through a training program and got a job as a reservation agent for an airline called “Air Cal” which is no longer in business. She worked nights and this is where she was when she found out that my dad had been killed. She was on a break and it came on the TV in the break room.

Now, this isn’t the story. The story is coming up. The homecoming queen who dropped acid and had to resign as the student body president of the hick-town high school she hated story is coming up I promise you but this is part of it. There isn’t anything particularly funny about this part of the story, it’s pretty sad actually and I don’t mean to start off this blog with such a big, “oh isn’t this sad please feel sorry for me” story but it’s part of it. It will help you to understand where I was at later on…

So what happened was, my dad was killed in an accident. He flew helicopters for the Costa Mesa Police Dept. In Southern California, it’s very common for the police department to use helicopters to patrol most areas because everything is like a big messy grid and very flat and when they are chasing cars with cars they can talk to the cops in the air and the cops in the air can tell them where the cars are going. It’s easier to catch them this way. That’s what my dad was doing when his helicopter crashed. He wasn’t flying at the time, his partner was. Everyone in my family is always very quick to point this out when they talk about this. They worked with partners, just like car patrol cops do and my dad was really good friends with his partner. Some people in my family like to think that if my dad was flying, they wouldn’t have crashed. Personally, it’s neither here nor there. They did crash and that’s that.

It was a really freak thing, two helicopters crashed in mid air. They were chasing a stolen car (my dad and his partner) and the car went over into the neighboring city, Newport Beach. It’s procedure to pass off the pursuit but when they were doing that, as the Newport Beach Helicopter swept down to take over chasing the car, instead of flying off to the side, like they were supposed to, they turned back and the Newport Beach helicopter came down on top of them. No one knows why they turned back. The two officers flying the Newport Beach helicopter survived with injuries but everyone in my dad’s helicopter was killed.

I say “everyone” because at the time of the crash there was someone else in the helicopter with my dad and his partner. This is the saddest part of the story. There was a mechanic with them. He was one of the mechanics that worked on the helicopter in the hangar where it was kept. They were giving him a ride. I guess he had always wanted to go up and take a ride with them. They had been promising him they would take him up and this was his night. This wasn’t so uncommon, I had been up many times myself with my sister. This helicopter had four seats and it was brand new - a very cool machine. So this guy goes up and he’d never been in a helicopter before and it crashed and he died. He was recently married and he had a newborn baby. This to me is the saddest part because my dad and his partner, they were cops, they knew what they were getting into but this guy was just going for a ride. It’s a major bummer.

I’m going on too long now, this is a huge entry. I want to stop for now and continue later but I feel like I can’t possibly end on such a sad-ass note.

I will tell you that it’s okay! I’m fine! My mom is fine and so is my sister. We miss the guy like fucking hell and we wish he would come back everyday but you know what, people die. They die all the time and there’s nothing entirely special about it. I consider myself very lucky actually because as far as tragedies go, mine is so clean, so easy to talk about. I know people who have such horrible tragedies, suicides or molestation, etc. It’s hard to get that shit out and deal with it because people don’t really like to listen to it. My tragedy has fan fare. It’s had bravado. An accident! A little girl! A police officer! There were motorcades and ceremonies and draped flags from the president and twenty one gun salutes and there were newspaper articles with photos of my sister and I with our little white dresses with pink bows and blonde French braids and little white gloves. It was very big and very public and I was getting A LOT of attention for it for a while. If you continue to read this blog you will see that attention is something that is very, very valuable to me.

The thing that really makes it okay and I will leave you with this, is that I had my dad for 12 years and he was a very wonderful man. I was close with him and he really loved me and my mom and my sister very much. This is more than most people can say. It sounds totally cheesy and very obvious but he’s with me all of the time and he lives through me.

My dad was a cool guy. I will post a photo of him when I figure out how to do that.



I promise, the story gets less sad and more funny! Stay tuned!

la Ketch

3 Comments:

At 9:28 PM, Blogger tina said...

I'm so tuned I can barely tell you.

TUNED.

STAYING.

 
At 9:29 AM, Blogger Brikin Blog said...

Me too, totally tuned. Please keep going.

 
At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Langus said...

It took me about 4.5 seconds to figure who la ketch is. It is made funnier by the fact that I was wondering about you and your sister the other day.

I just moved back to this little hick town and I wonder often if I romanticized it a leeeeetle too much while I was gone.

I am not going to tell you who I am, but I will tell you this, there is no shame in your game, spill it sister. I am infinitely curious as to who M.G. is though! I am older than you but one year younger than T.E. and my best friend will be in attendance at K.E.'s wedding, all the way from this booming metropolis!

 

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