I was fortunate to grow up in a rough neighborhood and to work in my father’s bar and restaurant as a young child after school. I saw everything one can see by the time I was 10.
My brothers and I often swept the place and it was huge. I also swept the parking lot with a push broom. The dance hall alone was as big as a supermarket.
I washed dishes, cut meat and swept and mopped the kitchen as well. We loaded refrigerated beer cases with hundreds of bottles of beer. We sold fifty cases of beer on a Saturday night.
Sometimes one bottle would break and the smell would permeate the area around us until we had cleaned it all up.
The four bathrooms were a totally different story. No need for much detail here, but just imagine what they looked like after hundreds of drunk men and women had used and abused them over the weekend.
We had fun while we worked as well. I rode the floor buffer as my brother buffed the floors and I also got many rides on the beer dolly when we went back for more cases of beer that waited for us in the storage room.
I can still remember the silhouettes of the many women who worked as bar tenders at our large complex as I was growing up.
They would sometimes stand in front of the rainbow colored lights glowing from inside of the jukebox and sway with the music. I didn’t fully understand why they fascinated me so much at eight or ten years of age, but there was no doubt that they did.
I passed through my childhood and on to being a young preteen until I finally understood.
I have fond memories of my first girlfriend whom I loved with all my heart long before I understood what sex was all about. It was a true and unadulterated love.
As time passed and I became aware of the differences in men and women, my life became more interesting, complicated and fun.
I can still remember one of our women employees asking me if I had ever slept with a woman before.
I was around eight or nine years old at the time and my answer was, “yes of course, my mother.”
I was working from a very early age and had less time for childhood activities than most boys my age. I was far more mature in some ways but like other boys, less so in some other areas.
I was exposed to most distasteful things early in life and figured out quickly how I would live my life. Many of my adult friends went to jail more than once and never figured out what I had figured out at around twelve.
Being locked up isn’t fun, doesn’t pay well and there aren’t any girls around.
Have you listened to my audio interview with firstname.lastname@example.org about this part of my life? The title is “Growing up with murderers.”
Come to my Instagram page at R. C. Hand to see my six minute winning video of me telling my true story at Malaineys Grill at The Long Beach Searches for The Greatest Storyteller event for March.
The finals will be on the first Monday of August at 7:00 p.m.
I am on Facebook at R.C. Hand.