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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Today In History

March 3, 1991
Motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police in a scene captured on amateur video.

I could hear my mother's raised, distinctly Brooklyn, voice as soon as I opened the back door - oh, Gaaad!  She was mad as hell and verbally trashing - well, it had to be my father!  There were generally two targets of her anger:  me and my Dad.  Feeling guilty as hell for leaving him alone, I ran up the couple of stairs into the kitchen and

Ran right into my Dad ;-

"She's not yelling at you?!" I was stunned

 He was equally stunned.  "No!  She's on the phone!  WITH HER BROTHER!"

"NO WAY!" I yelled at my father - my mother's brothers - well it's all part of a much longer story that I'm not going to go into right now, but -- suffice to say THIS:  the sun rose and set on them - there is no way in the world she would be --

SHE WAS!

I stood in the opening between dining room and living room, staring at my mother sitting in her usual chair SCREAMING AND TRASH TALKING like I was seeing a pod burst open with an alien creature - and - I essentially was! because I had never, EVER seen her talk on the phone to her brothers LIKE THAT!

My Dad couldn't help:  he had been napping, if I remember correctly, and awakened by the YELL

When she got off the phone, I (bravely!) ventured forward -- "Mom?  Mom, WHAT HAPPENED?!!"

I couldn't even imagine!!!

My Mom had been sitting in her burgundy recliner with the cane inserts along the sides ("it gives your body good air - yeah, Jeannee!")  watching tv and rolling her therapeutic thing that basically looked like silly-putty, that she had used since her stroke a decade ago, which worked out the muscles in her hand and sat on the little table next to her chair, which also held the phone and her water, that she drank out of a measuring cup ...a very normal, typical day for her, in her housecoat and shell-pink lipstick and 80s oversized round glasses... and the Rodney King video rolled into her suburban living room --

Three of her brothers were retired LAPD.  She called one now, screaming and yelling -- YOU GANGED UP ON HIM!  HE WAS DOWN ON THE GROUND AND YOU CONTINUED TO HIT HIM!!!  --

Now, I've cleaned that up (TREMENDOUSLY!) but that was the jist of it :  my mother was outraged and triggered, from her own earlier life -- a life of deprivation and abuse that she had shared w/ her brothers as they were all growing-up -- 

And maybe it wouldn't have been so bad, and maybe she wouldn't have yelled so long and so hard IF my uncle had only said -- "Gee, Steph, that's outrageous!  That's rare!  Those are rogue cops!"

He didn't.  He didn't see anything wrong with it.  Possibly, he may have even admitted to doing the same ;-

Here's what really stuck with me that day, and has stuck with me ever since:  My mother saw a wrong.  She got upset and talked about it to someone - and not 'just' someone : someone who was in the same pool where this happened.  And the person essentially told her to get over it, go fly a kite.  AND MY MOTHER DIDN'T BACK DOWN, OR CHANGE HER MIND, OR MAKE NICE:  SHE STAYED TRUE TO HER  GUT FEELINGS.

Thanks, Mom <3

So, yeahhh ... I surely remember this (and not just for seeing him on Dr.Drew, either!) - for this, and for another incident that mebbe I'll share at another time .... God bless your soul; may you rest in peace, Mr King... and if there is a heaven, Mr King -- I hope you've met my mom!!! 

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