We leased our building for several years without knowing about the exterior access to our attic. Some in the neighborhood found out about it and used it to their advantage.
Eventually someone used it to gain access to our building and had a few nice, free drinking events while we were away sleeping.
Eventually they were careless and left some damning evidence behind which led to their convictions for burglary.
After some time incarcerated, they were released back into the community and started harassing us again. We still didn’t know how they were getting in to the building.
One night they attacked my father with a knife as he came out to feed or watch dogs and tried to cut his throat. He put his hand up just in time and came away with a few slashes across the back of his hand.
We were now on full alert.
These phantoms sabotaged our vehicles so we couldn’t leave and would drop down from the attic in the far corner of the dance hall and toss an ash tray or beer bottle across the room to make a loud noise and then climb back up into the attic. The building was as big as supermarket so by the time we could get back there they were long gone.
My father was at his wits end. We had no idea what the heck was going on. This went on for months.
They even came partially through a window in our home only to be seen by my grandfather who had gotten up to go to the restroom. They escaped that time as well.
My father always had a gun at hand but didn’t want to fire it in the residential neighborhood for obvious reasons. My father was well liked by our customers as he spoke Spanish and was a gregarious and warm hearted man.
One of our customers suggested we wait out in front of our home behind the trees and shrubs, well armed and do what was necessary to end this ordeal. He volunteered to join us in that endeavor.
So, my father, two brothers and myself, along with this brave man sat armed and waited in the cold dark of night for these criminals to come back.
As we waited, a car circled the block more than once very slowly. It returned again and again until we decide to pounce.
All of us came out from the bushes, arms at the ready and stopped the car. We surrounded the vehicle and my father closed in with his pistol and a few questions for the driver.
It turned out that he was coming to elope with his girl friend that night who lived down the street. Bad timing on his part.
Thankfully my father was a prudent man and asked questions before using his weapon. That wasn’t the first or last time that his pistol would save the day, or night.
Those men were who were after my father were still at large, but that is another story for another time.
I suppose the man in the car has a great story to tell his children and grandchildren about the night he came to pick up his sweetheart.
Please come to my Instagram at R.C. Hand to see the video of my winning storytelling event at Malainey’s Grill in Long Beach Ca. for march. A new event is held on the first Monday of each month. The finals will be in August at 7:00 p.m.