Wednesday, May 26, 2010

1949 Buick Roadmaster as WMD

I've used this photo for something else, but I needed it again

It's been a while since I've posted a family story. I still have a bunch of them, so I better get to steppin'...
----------------------------------------
The car in this photo is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster. It was given to us by the county of Los Angeles in an effort to "help" my mom get a "legal" job and to get us off of welfare. Up until that time we hadn't had a car since I was in Kindergarten. That's a period of eight years.  The car was in pretty good shape considering that it was free.  It was as solid as a Sherman tank but she very seldom drove it.

It was rare that we saw our mom at all on weekends.  Usually she took off on Friday and we didn't see her again until late Sunday night, or Monday when we got home from school.  

One Saturday morning, my mom was already home when I woke up. That was rare enough in itself and I was very surprised.  When my mom told me to get in the car, because we were going for a ride, I was flabbergasted.  As we were walking out the door the phone rang. My mom answered it and had a pretty intense conversation with whomever was on the other end.  Just before she slammed the phone down she yelled into the mouth piece, "I told you, I'll take care of it!"  She then nodded me towards the front door.

I had no idea where we were going. Maybe a Saturday morning breakfast? Not a chance, I honestly cannot remember a single time that I ate with my mom in a restaurant before the age of 16. Maybe a little shopping?  Nope! Remember, I was on my own financially as of 7th grade. I was baffled, so I asked her where we were going. She responded with all the motherly nurturing I was accustomed to, "don't fucking worry about it, just get your ass in the car!" I know this is nothing new to many of you, but I've picked up quite a few readers lately.  So to you new folks, say hello to my mother...

We drove down Atlantic Avenue and turned left into a shopping center. Near the rear was a bar called "the back door."  My mom drove around the lot as if she was looking for something. She finally pulled into a parking spot between two other cars. I started to get out, but she told me to sit tight.

She unlatched her door, but didn't open it. Instead, she slowly swiveled her head around, as if she was looking for somebody. Then, much to my surprise, she slammed her door into the car next to us. I wasn't expecting it and jumped in my seat.  She looked around again. Then she REALLY slammed it into the car. She did it again and again. I could see that the door of the car next to us was getting badly dented.  She must have done it 10 times as hard as she could!  I'm sure a lot of you (who've been around for a while) aren't surprised by this. I wasn't either; the lady was violent and crazy.

My mom surveyed the damage as if it was a work of art, put the car into reverse, and with a smile on her face, backed out of the parking spot. We were just about to pull away when she put the car back into neutral.  She took another look around the lot and when she was apparently satisfied nobody was watching, pulled an ice pick out of her purse and got out of the car. She calmly walked around the other vehicle and stuck the ice pick into all four tires.

I'm sure my eyes were as big as saucers when she got back in and closed the door. She put our car in gear and drove away, but not before admiring herself in the rear view mirror...

53 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

So nice Mommy could take you on this social call, isn't it? As painful as they are, I love these stories, Patrick, and always admire you for telling them with such honesty and flair.

Now I need to go choke a cat and then powder my face.

Nat said...

I'm flabbergasted! Shocked that your mother would behave like this, period, but worse, that she did so in front of her son....the son to whom she is supposed to be a role model!
But then again, after what you've told us about her, I should not be so shocked...

Pat Tillett said...

Betty and Nat - I should have mentioned that she had a smile on her face as we left. At least she only pulled an icepick out of her purse. She also kept a handgun in there. I know alot about the woman, but I'm sure there are many things I don't know.

Cara Smith said...

WOW! Any particular reason she chose to include you in this mission of destruction?

Maybe if she got caught she could have blamed you?

Ashley King said...

crazy! holy crap! no wonder you married mom. they DO say, you marry someone just. like. your. mother.
lol. KIDDING MOM!!!!! i should REALLY increase my weekly therapy to twice weekly therapy so that lewie does not marry someone like me. ugh. and so that taylor does not turn out like me. ugh. lol.

Ashley King said...

you know... i laugh about it now, but i'll likely be crying about it in about 5 years when she's 12/13....

i'm sorry you had to go through all of that.... and i'm surprised you haven't beaten the crap out of anyone.... lately.

although, i think mom should start a blog to tell the story about you guys in the grocery store and that poooor old man you almost kicked the crap out of.

Don and Sher Cooper said...

I always thought my mother was strange but now, nope she was normal.

Pearl said...

Having grown up in a series of trailer parks, it seems I've known a person or two like that, but never was I related to them...

Ouch. You poor kid.

Pearl

Jhon Baker said...

your mother reeks of style.

TS Hendrik said...

It's sweet really that she thought to include you in her goings out. What better way to bond then through the insane destruction of someone's car?

faye said...

WHOA... I might have jumped out of the car or slid under the seat...
I definitely would not ride with
mommie dearest again.

Ms. Anthropy said...

I am always in awe of your ability to appear normal, after being raised in such an abnormal fashion and having such an abnormal mother. To write about it, is more than inspirational!

Pat Tillett said...

Cara - She was crazy and she hated me. Maybe she wanted me to be even more afraid of her. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ashley - Maybe I'm the one who needs to go! I just read your commment to her and she's on her way to your house! (jk, she laughed).
My beating the crap out of people days are over (it hurts too much). And that guy in the store needed to have the crap kicked out of him. If he was about a foot taller, I might have...lol

D and S - My mom was far far beyond strange.

Pearl - Yup, it's a whole different ball game when that "person" lives in the same house. Somehow, we never lived in a trailer park. I wonder how that happened? Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jhon - She did indeed reek! Usually of whiskey or stale beer.

Lady Ren said...

totally crazy.
Nutz.
An ice pick that is so 'horror film'

Pat Tillett said...

TS - Wasn't it just? I often wondered what caused her to do it. Was she jealous of someone?
Was it a guy who pissed her off? They all did.
Really, it could have been anyone. It could have been for the most innocent slight, or unintended insult by another person.

Ms A. - Thanks! I admit it took a long time to get here.

Faye - At that age, not doing what she wanted, was not an option.

Pat Tillett said...

Lady Ren - Nutz is right! There was also a gun in that purse.

Copyboy said...

Whoa! I'm not sure what was more incredible – the story or the pick in the purse.

Jerry said...

Well...there has to be some good in this somewhere.....oh, she graced with an abundance of stunning stories to tell.

John McElveen said...

Whoa--Didn't see that left hook coming!

Amazing it is still that ingrained in your memory, or maybe not-------since it was different than our Saturday drives!
\
Great story Pat!

John

Ginnymo said...

What a memory to have. I'm sorry you had to have a mom like that. Is there more to this story? Did the car belong to a boyfriend or some woman she was pissed at?? If we can laugh at the past I guess it's a good thing. I can now. I did enjoy this post though. The old Buick Roadmaster caught my attention. I and my husband had a 1958 red convertible with red leather inside and a white top. What a nice car that was. Blew the motor a few times though. He was a mechanic so always fixed them.

Chuck said...

Holy shit! I am still amazed you didn't turn out to be a serial killer...good for you.

http://www.apackalipsnow.blogspot.com

Jimmy said...

Being raised in situations like this either make you a victim that falls right into it and repeats for the next generation or a strong person who knows better and makes a good name for themselves.

I too saw a lot of crap growing up and in my opinion most of it showed me how not to do things.

I see you as a strong person my Friend who is someone to look up to.

Joe Cap said...

Having read most of your past posts, I have to say I am not surprised...but why did she think she had to take you with her?
I bet you wish you had that car today!

Lindsay said...

Wow. Been reading you for a while now, but still get shocked. Horrible that your childhood was like that but good to know that you still grew up to be a good person and I'm sure reading your blog is like therapy for a lot of people out there with similar experiences.

Pat Tillett said...

Copyboy - I think the pick was for that day only. She did, however carry a gun in her purse at all times. I'm really surprised she neve shot anyone (that I know of).

Jerry - Well, at least she left me something then...lol

John - Like it was yesterday. She damaged her door that day. I don't think she ever got it fixed.

Ginny - I have no idea to whom the car belonged. We didn't entertain question and answer sessions. I'd like to have your '58 convertible today!

Chuck - Well, not yet anyway! I did do a lot of stupid things in my life though...

Jimmy - I'm right there with you. It took me a long time to get my stuff together though. Thanks for the nice words!

Joe - Why she took me with her? Your guess is as good as mine. I think she just wanted to scare me. But maybe she thought she was teaching me something. I'll never know. I do wish I had that car. The interior was HUGE!

Pat Tillett said...

Lindsay - Thanks! I've done a lot of work to "recover," but it still feels good to unload more. If it does help anyone, that's a bonus...

DrSoosie said...

hi Pat...well all I can say is I see an Oprah book based on the early years of your life. Wow...do you think your mom was bipolar or sociopathic? It kind of reminds me of the stories my father-in-law tells about his mom. She used to tie him and his siblings up in a crib and leave them with dog food to eat...for days and days So many other stories as well.. Eventually he was placed in an orphanage where he lived until he joined the nave at 17. Of course his mom was still a live..
It is painful to think of children being raised by mothers like this! I am so sorry ...but at least you have some profound stories to tell..

Marlene said...

Yikes. Crap. Shit!

As one of your newer readers, I had no idea.

WOW. Just WOW.

Powdered Toast Man said...

Is there more to the story? Why did she do it? U could make a movie or tv show based on ur life.

Kimberly said...

What a rather warm & fuzzy feeling i get from this story... lol. So nice of her to take you on such an enjoyable adventure!

Ally said...

Wow Pat, that's unreal. Damn, I don't even know what to say. I thought I was an angry girl, your mom is, wow!

Cool car and cute kitty - though kitty looks like it wants to be left alone :)

FourthGradeNothing.com

SquirrelQueen said...

Hi Pat, it's my first time meeting your mom. I will have to dig through your blog and read more. Your mom sounds like a very scary person, not the type to raise a child.

DrSoosie said...

I am not sure my last comment posted..it was long-winded so i won't repeat it but I just want to say I am sorry you were"raised" if you can call it that by a person who sounds like she did not deserve the honor and title of mother. However, it sounds like in spite of her, you turned out to be an awesome person!!!

Tocalabocina said...

I love the final line. That image struck me for some reason.

Pat Tillett said...

DrSoosie - Thanks for commenting. I'm pretty sure she was both. I'm positive that she had no business raising kids. That's a terrible story about your FIL. I couldn't be better now. A long road...there's a lot of other stories here about her. the one that explains her the best is here.

http://patricktillett.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-mom-generally-speaking.html

Marlene - Yeah, she was a piece of work, that's for sure. Try the link above for a little better insight into the woman. There are plenty of stories about her here, and plenty more to come.

PTM - I don't know why she did it. To frighten me maybe, I know she hated me, so who knows why? I'm working at it. Trying to get the basics posted and then try to tie it all together. Not likely to happen though. I'm too easily distracted...

Kimberly - Although, I was amazed by what I saw, I wasn't surprised.

Ally - She was beyond angry. It was mostly directed at males. My mom named the cat "poor white trash." Isn't that ironic...

SQ - Judy, right? Check out family stories in my labels. You might want to start with this one.
http://patricktillett.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-mom-generally-speaking.html
She was indeed scary. Good thing she was usually missing in action.

DrSoosie - The last one did come out, thanks! It took some work!

Tocalabocina - It's still stuck in my head...

Pat Tillett said...

DrSoosie - come back tomorrow something for you here.

Shot 'n' Show said...

The header photo is amazing! it is the most beautiful picture of a subway station

Cat said...

I'm guessing that your Mom took you not because she wanted to scare you, but so that she could have a cover...you know, 'nice Mom out with her little boy' if anyone happened to stop her I'm sure she would have expected that you back up whatever story she would have given as a reason for doing the damage she did.

So sorry for you. The damage she did to the cars was intense and violent - so was the damage she did to you...only car doors and tires can be fixed or replaced..your heart and soul can't..they can only be healed with love and time. It sounds as if you have had both. I'm glad. Continue to find love and happiness because if anyone deserves it, it sounds like you are the one.

Cat

Margaret Benbow said...

Holy crap! I wonder what she would have done to the car if she'd been REALLY angry at the owner??

Your account is so clear-eyed. I'm sorry that you had to go through so many maniacal scenes like this. You must have had a lot of strength to grow up to be well-balanced and successful human being. That is what counts.

altadenahiker said...

You tell your stories so well, and they're made all the more chilling by the dispassionate tone of voice.

We all take a lifetime to get over our childhood, but I wonder if in some cases a lifetime is long enough.

Sarah said...

Wooah..your mom wasn't big on revenge, now, was she?! Did you ever find out who that car belonged to?
(PS:I think the picture is really cute!)

Pat Tillett said...

Shot n show - thanks! Also, thanks for inviting me to your photo cooperative site. I'm flattered. You can weed out the text entries if you go to the "photographs" label on the right side.

Cat - That might have been it, she never told me to be her cover, but of course I would have (or been killed). Say, I didn't know you also had a photo blog about cats.
Also,
check out my latest entry, there is something there for you. If you are interested in such things. If not, no problem at all...

Margaret - Not so sure if it was strength, or the ability to totally disasocciate...

Altadenahiker - I think the voice was caused by having to disconnect from my feelings so many time. Either that, or I've read too many detective novels...LOL


Sarah - Nope, didn't find out a thing. I loved that cat!

Ann Best said...

As I commented on the above post, I just found you through Karen G. Wow. You do have stories to tell. I'll be back to read more.

Pat Tillett said...

Ann - Hi there and thanks! One think I have is a lot of crazy stories. Comes from having a crazy mother...lot's of earlier posts are about her.

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

There better be a follow up to this story Pat! Did you ever find out why she did it?

Pat Tillett said...

ABAO - It's all speculation at this point. She wasn't the type to explain anything. Especially not to me.

Jerry said...

No better way to bond a mother with a son then a quick drive to vandalize someones car.

Too bad you don't know why she did it. Would be an interesting story.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

So...did you ever find out the motive behind this physical tirade? Or was she just randomly taking something out on whoever's car happened to be there?

All this and yet you turned out, ok! Well done!

Pat Tillett said...

Jerry - Yup, makes ya all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

TVA - Thanks! I can only assume by the phone call she took where she said "I told you I'll take care of it," had something to do with it. Maybe somebody told her to do it, I have no idea. My mom was mixed up with some unsavory types, so it's really hard telling.

Johnny Rojo said...

Wow! And all this time, I thought my father was an only child! Your mom could have been his sister. My kids read my blog, so I don't put his antics up on my blog-- he's turned a big corner, and I get along with him fine now. But back in the day...

Pat Tillett said...

Johnny - If your dad was anything like my mom, I feel for you! I'm glad that you get along with him now. Unfortunately my mom had no corner to turn, she was just nuts! And I mean that in a clinical way... nuts and untreated!

The Empress said...

Oh, boy, twins separated at birth.

I've had such a colorful mother, too.

I read what an editor said once, and I loved it. "Show me the kids in the guidance office today, and I'll show you tomorrow's writers."

So.very.true.

Lovely to meet you, came over on a recommendation...and they were right.

Pat Tillett said...

Empress - I feel you pain...Mine was a real piece of work. If my childhood took place today, my mom would have been instatutionalized for sure.

Do you eve write about your childhhood on your blog?
thanks for the nice words! I'm off to check you out...