Well, we did not know that right away.
disliked him very much the first time I met George.
I had just hitchhiked home from the University of British Columbia, and
entered the kitchen carrying my usual armload of books. George was there, a short well muscled man, wearing khaki slacks,
and a white open shirt. He was totally unlike my father. Perhaps why my mother fell for him, on the rebound.
had short hair, clean shaven, and mom considered him to be handsome. His mannerisms were bossy, and his career was as
a ship's Chief Officer, on some military vessel floating in and out of Vietnam. He was conservative, like our rich California
who had introduced him to my mother. He had had already a failed first marriage, more violent than our own parents'.
sometimes saw his shoes left outside my mother's bedroom door, when they took an afternoon nap together. They truly saw something
in one another, as their destined relatiomship was to last over ten years.
He helped Mom with her legal case
against our father. Mom boasted he had a Yale University education, and was from a fine Virginia family. This meant
little to us in practical terms, as he was also quite cheap with money.
Which we sometimes needed quite badly,
as Dad was late paying bills, and Mom's job was only rock bottom minum wage at Eaton's Department Store on Hastings Street,
the watch and jewellery department.
He bought food just for himself, and kept this separately in a brown paper
bag in our fridge, separate from our groceries. He even took over our car, claiming he was owed money on some work he had
done on our house. I don't see how that happened, in retrospect.
One unforgettable moment, George driving
past us all, in our own car, shouting, "White trash," at my mother, after an argument. My brother, fifteen, when George
entered our lives, soon joined with me, in confronting this attacking of our mother.
An ugly fight occurred when George
told my boyfriend to leave our house for no reason other than he did not want any Alpha Males around. With the dangerous
life we led, I welcomed assertive men as long as they were with me and for me.
When Blaine resisted, George began
bravely attacking a larger younger man. He could do so, as he went right away for a danger point on Blaine, which my friend
warded off, because his father too was a military man.
When my brother and I learned of how close the risk was to serious injury,
we all went down to the local RCMP station, and filed assault charges. All three of our stories matched up, and they also
were just the plain and simple truth.
The court case came months later, and although the charges succeeded, George
had some magical legal protection with his own military and government to tenaciously find out our unlisted numbers, and to
re-enter Mom's life.
George behaved totally differently when he visited my rich AUnt Dorothy's
household years later in San Francisco. He spoke well of me, in front of my aunt. "She has the bone structure
of Vanessa Redgrave." i did not think that I had a long faced British look at all. He said of my mother, "She plays
her cards too close to her chest." I did not know what this meant, except that George was a card she should never have
"What do you think of the idea of George and your mom marrying," asked my aunt. I was speechless as usual, in total
shock. How could she even ask me that, did she not know that even his first marriage was scarred with violent outbursts.
had a bit of a bullet left in his brain, after World War 2," explained my mother, though she and my aunt turned on him from
time to time, writing to Immigration, trying to have him blocked from easy entrances to Canada.
My mother could be a real fighter,
but sometimes life wore her down. In credit to her, she succeeded as a friend, as an employee, as a Canadian citizen, and
as a wonderful mother when we were just starting off in life. Ours was the sort of family where things fell apart more
and more over the decades, and could never really be patched up again.
He corrected my speechpatterns withint
ten minutes of meeting me, making me feel chastised for talking to my ownmother in a slang-filled familiar way, that he considered
Talking to Mom like that was disrespectful, whacking her so badly that she would one time require hospitalization
All in all, after the divorce case, did we really need this?