Friday, April 6, 2012

A LONG POST, BUT SO MUCH TO REMEMBER Part I

Welcome to another Fishducky Friday.  I always look forward to Fridays.  Here she is, folks!  Oh, and don't forget to come back tomorrow for Part II.
    What is written here is not in any particular order, but then, neither is my mind!  Bud’s late uncle, Lee, was a lawyer & my husband’s first law partner.  Lee probably would have retired earlier, but he wanted to be able to train Bud as an attorney.  He practiced criminal law, but he wanted Bud to learn what the practice of law was all about & what options there were before he chose a specialty.
    In the early 1940’s he enlisted in the Army & was stationed in England.  Somehow he pissed off an officer—& for Lee, this was inevitable. He learned that if he were stationed on a ship, the Navy would have jurisdiction over him, instead of the Army, & he could avoid contact with this officer, so he got a job as an assistant ship’s librarian.  When the officer found about this, he had Lee transferred back to land & had him digging lead out of sand piles—literally.  (On the rifle ranges, spent bullet casings were dropped into piles of sand, retrieved, melted down & recast.)  He was less than thrilled by this new assignment.  Since he was already a successful attorney & was certified to appear in California & before the US Supreme Court, he had business cards printed.  He handed them out to his fellow lead diggers & told them that if they or their friends were ever court martialed to request that he represent them.  They did--& he did--& Corporal Lee won most of his cases against the captains & majors representing the government.
    Losing to a lowly corporal undoubtedly pissed off many more officers so Lee was sent back to the States.  He was ordered to run a rehabilitation fishing boat for ex-Army personnel out of Santa Monica, California.   This was a few miles from his home, so every morning he’d drive his Cadillac to the pier & take the boat out.  One day, someone fell overboard & Lee, who had worked as a lifeguard while he was a teenager, jumped in & saved him—no problem!  For this he was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, which was the highest medal you could get for bravery outside of combat.  They were catching a lot of halibut—much more than they could eat—so the entire crew decided to go into business.  They sold their catch to local fish markets.  Lee’s Army salary was about $50.00 a month & his share of the business was more than $50.00 a day.  The Army discovered what was happening & told them they were going to become a partner in this thriving new enterprise, so one day they sent out 2 men in a 2 & ½ ton truck to pick up the fish.  They loaded the entire day’s catch—somehow (?) it was only 2 halibut—into the truck.  The Army backed out of the deal & the next day they were back in business.
    After his discharge Lee wanted to let his clients know that he was out of the Army.  He didn’t want to send out announcements.  He reasoned that some of them might not be seen (if the client was in prison) or left unnoticed & unopened.  He had a typically brilliant Uncle Lee idea.  He ran for mayor of Los Angeles!  He wasn’t elected, but he didn’t want to be.  He figured that, for much less than the cost of printing & mailing announcements, people would read the newspapers or listen to the radio & say to themselves, “Oh, good!  Lee’s back!”
Lee once shot--& killed—his TV set.  He claimed he was cleaning his rifle & it went off accidentally, but those of us who knew him weren’t too sure he just didn’t like the program.  I think this was his early version of remote control.
Two car stories about Lee:  #1--He was rear-ended (by an escapee from the Camarillo insane asylum!) & the gas tank was driven into the back seat, where it caught fire.  The driver’s door was wedged shut so Lee climbed out the window.  He was lying on the street yelling, “My back!  My neck!  My knee!”, when he heard the other driver say that he hoped he wasn’t injured too badly because he didn’t have insurance.  Lee jumped up & said, “No insurance?  C’mon, help me put out this damned fire!”  #2—He had a model A or model T Ford—I don’t remember which.  He used to play with it as a hobby.  He took the engine completely apart & cleaned it.  After he put it back together he had 2 or 3 parts left over.  The car worked fine so he threw them away.
This is too long for one post.  Come back tomorrow for the rest.
----fishducky