In the story "Demolition Derby Race" DeSai describes the time her father, Amos, entered the family's pristine, candy-apple red, four-door Dodge into the local demolition derby. "No Sure Winner" tells how twelve-year-old D.J. learned a hard lesson about money and gambling. And "Saved by the Hood Ornament" narrates thirteen-year-old D.J.'s experience being hit by a car.
From heartwarming to heartbreaking, More Dory's Stories represent a lifetime of down-to-earth lessons learned-some difficult, some unpleasant, and others that are simply fun. The stories reveal the works of God and serve to communicate that life is full of adventure and opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
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MORE DORY'S STORIES
By D.J. DeSai
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 D.J. DeSai
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDemolition Derby Race
A surprise can be described as happy or sad, It can also leave us feeling glad or mad.
Have you ever known a person who is very adventurous, and seemingly afraid of nothing? I have, and this special man is my daddy. Even though he passed away several years ago, I will always have many reasons to think of him. He was so amazing. I define him as being "one of a kind," and there is not one single day that passes by when I don't feel a great love for him. However, there have been times when I did not always agree with his decisions and actions, although I tried to understand them. This story is a perfect example of what I am referring to.
One sultry summer day, around four o'clock in the afternoon, I sat on the front porch of my parents' home with nothing much to do. It was too hot to play any of the games that my friends and I enjoyed participating in outdoors, so I was very excited when my daddy staggered up the sidewalk and asked the entire family if we wanted to go out and have a little fun that night. He had a smile on his face and a daring look in his eyes that told me he was all but sober from the alcohol I knew he had been drinking. I screamed out, "Yes!" with joy in my voice. He looked at me and laughed. Then he said, "Go get ready, Dory." After being so bored, I couldn't wait to leave the house.
My daddy, Amos, didn't mind taking us to the car races, horse races, and music events. These three hobbies were what he loved the most, and I was just thrilled that he was in the mood to go somewhere that night. Anywhere was fine with me.
Ever since I can remember, the rest of my family, including myself, had grown fond of all my dad's interests. Of course, he loved the car races because he built and raced his own cars; he loved the horse races because he owned a few of them; and he loved music because he was an excellent guitar player. He also had his own band, and the band members loved playing in the nightclubs, for private parties, and at family reunions.
Leola, my mother, started getting ready. I could tell she was very excited about getting to go out somewhere because I could see a glow all over her face. She worked very hard every day of the week, so she deserved some time out. We were all entitled to some fun together.
Around seven o'clock that night, we piled into our beautiful, four-door Dodge and took off down the road. I loved that car so much. It was a pretty candy apple red color, and it did not have a scratch on it. It was also the newest and shiniest looking car my dad had ever owned, although I had overheard him complaining about several mechanical problems he had been having with it. No matter; I felt very proud to be riding in it.
My dad drove a few blocks down the road before he turned into the Motor Speedway's parking lot entrance. This told me without a doubt that we were headed for the car races again, but that was okay. I just wanted to get out of the house and do something; I didn't care what it was. After we arrived inside the gates and had sat down, I heard the announcer speaking. I heard him say that it was Demolition Derby night, and the races were scheduled to start at eight o'clock. I was sure a lot of fun was headed our way, just as my dad had suggested earlier that afternoon. Demolition Derby races were always very thrilling. During this event, each driver gets to test his car wrecking skill by putting the pedal to the metal while crashing into all the other cars. The last car left running is the one declared the winner of the race. Actually, I was fonder of this type of race than the drag racing my dad usually participated in. There was seldom a dull moment watching all the cars get smashed up, while drag racing seemed a little less exciting.
Dad gave Mom some money so she could buy some popcorn and drinks, and then he told her that he would be back shortly. His leaving the family during the races didn't surprise me much. He liked socializing with the other race car drivers and pit stop workers. He knew most of them fairly well from being involved with the sport himself.
A few minutes later, I looked out on the track. Oh, wow! I thought. I was very startled. Directly in the midst of all the banged up and beat up looking demolition derby cars sat our nice-looking family car. I wondered in the world our car was sitting out there with all the others. It really stood out among the race cars because it was such a newer model with no exotic paint or number on it, nor had it been wrecked numerous times before. At first I wondered if my dad were going to drive someone else's car in the race. I watched every move on the track as my heart thumped with excitement and fear. Soon, I saw my dad get into our family car at the same time all the other drivers got into their own. Then I heard the announcer speaking through the microphone, saying it was time for the drivers to start their engines.
"Oh my God," I whispered to Jesus. I could not believe my eyes. I wondered what my dad was thinking and what in the world he was doing out there on the track with our car. It didn't take very long for me to figure it out. Soon, he started ramming our shiny red car into every other car that got in his way. The other drivers were doing the same thing. I said a silent prayer while I sat there and watched in disbelief as our beautiful family vehicle quickly turned into a crushed up, piece-of-nothing-but-junk car in just a matter of a few minutes. Our car started smoking all over the place. Both sides of all four doors, the front bumper and grill, and the rear end of it were either completely dented in or ripped to pieces. I could see different parts of the car flying in the air or lying on the race track where they had just fallen off after being pushed around and rammed into so badly. I knew our four-door Dodge was living its last few seconds, and I still could not believe what I was seeing. Finally, it was over. The car could not or would not move anymore. It was definitely dead.
I looked up at my mom sitting there with her mouth wide open and a pale look on her face. She appears very faint, I thought to myself. Is she sick? Will she pass out? Is she so mad she can't see straight? I wondered. I thought I knew how my mom felt, but I wasn't sure. I was thinking that maybe everyone else was all having trouble believing what they had just seen, too, because I certainly was. Not only was our car a lost mess, but the whole family seemed to be, too. I was sure they all felt the same numb and sick feelings as I did.
Fun? I asked myself, as I kept remembering my dad asking us if we were ready to go have some fun earlier that afternoon. I was not sure the word "fun" was the most appropriate word he could have used, because it sure didn't look like Mom was having too much fun. It hadn't seemed like a very good time for any of us, for that matter. I couldn't help but wonder how entertaining it had been for my daddy.
The entire family, including my dad, had to be driven home that night by my aunt and uncle who happened to be there, too. I will never forget the silence in the car that night on our way home. You could have heard a pin drop. I was sure everyone, counting my dad, was thinking about the previously pretty red family car. Yes, it was completely totaled. I was also certain that no one, including the junk yard owner, would have wanted the car after that race. I still could not believe what my dear dad had done. I was sure I knew why, though.
Everyone, as well as myself, knew that Dad had been very upset in the past concerning the family car. He had tried to fix a certain problem more than a few times, but had no luck. No one else could repair it either, and he had spent a lot of money on it. I had heard him raise his frustrated voice numerous times concerning the car on a few other occasions. It had aggravated him tremendously, so I guessed he wanted revenge, or maybe he just needed to vent. Totaling the car could have been a stress release for my dad. I had also overheard him tell his buddies that he felt like running the car off in a ditch somewhere. I heard him say that the vehicle was not worth a dime. I couldn't help but think that our car would have been worth a lot more before then than what it was now. It didn't matter much, though. It was gone. Destroyed!
The next day Dad went out and bought another car. He drove it home, and no one ever talked about that Demolition Derby night again. I have often wondered, though, if he ever regretted demolishing the family car in a race that he never even won. I hoped and prayed he had. I have to give him credit for one thing though: he's the only person I have ever known to follow through with something like this. Most people only talk about it, but never actually do it. No matter what, though, I tell myself that he was sorry for it because one thing is for sure. That was the last time he ever put the family car in a "Demolition Derby race."
The Sound of Death
Listening close to every sound Can sometimes hurt and bring us down.
I know for a fact that it's a good idea to listen more, versus always talking. I also know that sometimes listening can get us into trouble, especially if we're not supposed to be doing it. This story tells about a very personal experience that took place in my life and has proven this certain point to me.
Around the age of eight years old, my family and I moved from a pure country farm life to a small nearby town. My grandparents still lived in the country where they owned farms, and I missed them very much. When they came to visit, I would occasionally get to go back home with them and stay overnight. Sometimes I would stay for the entire weekend. It was nice being able to visit with both sets of grandparents and take turns going home with them. This enabled me still to enjoy the sweet taste of country life, and also to see and talk to my previous friends who lived nearby.
After my parents moved from the country, I found myself sitting around reliving memories of my past. I longed to hear the rooster's crow in the wee hours of the mornings, and I couldn't forget the times I gathered eggs for breakfast with my grandmother. I also had fond memories of riding the horses and running wild down by the old barn. I loved climbing on the haylofts too, and watching my grandfather care for the animals and the farmland. My grandparents were always busy doing chores, but they still managed to keep their eye on me.
One afternoon my mom's parents visited with us. Before they left, they told me it was their turn to take me home with them since I was out of school for summer break. They also told me that I was welcome to stay the entire week if I wanted to. I couldn't remember which grandparents I had stayed with the last time, but I was always happy and eager to go home with either of them. I was so thrilled when my mom said it was okay for me to go. "Oh, thank you!" I shouted. I couldn't wait to get back to the farm and also to see my school friends.
After a couple of days of running wild on the land, I became a little lonely and bored. It was smoldering hot outside, and I wanted someone my own age to spend time with. Later one afternoon, I found myself inside the house trying to stay cool. I wasn't really tired enough for a nap, so I sat there on the sofa trying to think of something to do. My grandmother was busy with chores, so I didn't want to bother her.
While looking around in every room for something to pass my time, I ended up staring at the telephone. Back in those days, most people who lived in that part of the country had a telephone service which included two or more households sharing the same phone line. They called their phone service a party line. A one-ring sequence of the phone was my grandparents' ring. Two rings belonged to their neighbors who lived one mile down the road and I wasn't sure who had the three-ring series. That ring was probably for someone who lived within a two or three mile radius of my grandparents' home.
It didn't take me long to pick up the telephone. I decided to call my other grandfather, who was my dad's dad. I missed him, too. My plan was to talk with him for a few minutes, and then I would call one of my classmates. As soon as I put the receiver to my ear, I heard two female voices talking to each other on the other two party lines that my grandparents shared. I immediately hung the phone up. I sat there for a couple of more minutes before picking it back up. Still, the two women were talking a mile a minute. I hung the phone back up again. Thinking the two of them may be on the phone for awhile, I decided to lie down and take a nap.
After a few minutes of lying there with my eyes closed, I knew I couldn't sleep. I picked up the phone for the third time. Again, the two bodies were still talking. I almost hung the phone up once more, but I didn't. I decided it would be fun to listen to what the other two parties were saying. I knew it was wrong to eavesdrop, but there was nothing else left to do. I was so restless. Besides, they're hogging the phone line, I told myself. I can't call my grandfather or my friend because of them, so maybe if I stay on the phone, they will take the hint that I want to use it and hang up.
While listening quietly to the two women talking about a man who had just been killed on a John Deere tractor that same morning, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Evidently, the tractor had turned completely over on the man while he was turning it around on a hill. Wow! I thought to myself. The poor man had lain out in the hot sun for most of that morning and part of the afternoon while the tractor had lain on top of his face and body before someone had found him. Gee! I continued to listen closely to the two ladies as they described the gruesome way the man looked while lying there on the ground, buried by his own tractor. I heard them say they were not sure if he had died instantly or if he had suffered long. Both ladies said they hoped and prayed for the dead man's sake, that he had died instantly.
While sitting there feeling guilty listening to such a horrific story, and getting ready to hang up the phone, I overheard one of the women speak the name of the man who had been killed on the John Deere tractor. As I sat there in a total daze, my first thought was I cannot believe what I just heard. I also could not comprehend what I had just heard. I wanted to scream! Oh my God, I silently cried to Jesus, not wanting the two women to know I was listening to their conversation. The dead man they must be referring to is my grandfather. He's my dad's dad. He's only forty years old and way too young to be dead, I thought. No, it can't be him! I was just with him a few days ago. I was just getting ready to call him on the telephone. I wonder if there could be another man with the same name as my grandfather. This thought is my only prayer, I told myself.
Quickly and quietly, I hung the phone up as I sat there on the sofa in a child-like state of shock. Deep down inside, I knew it was my grandfather the two ladies were referring to. All I could do at that very moment was cry and reminisce about the times he had taken me for so many rides on that same John Deere tractor. Every time I would see him, he would pick me up and sit me up on his tractor. I would sit right there next to him, feeling very secure as we rode around enjoying the country view.
Each time my grandfather would take me back to the house and drop me off, he would pull a silver dollar out of his pocket and hand it to me before we said goodbye. I had saved each one of those silver dollars in a big glass jar. They were hidden under my bed for safe keeping. I was going to wait until I had enough of them saved up, and then I was going to buy myself a nice radio because I loved music so much. I couldn't wait to show my grandfather the radio I was going to buy with the coins. I wanted to let him listen to it too, while we were riding on his tractor.
Still, I could not believe my grandpa was really dead. He had to be though, because why else would the two women discuss such an awful event if it were not really true? No, it has to be real, I thought to myself, as bad as it feels.
Excerpted from MORE DORY'S STORIES by D.J. DeSai Copyright © 2010 by D.J. DeSai. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
ContentsDemolition Derby Race....................1
The Sound of Death....................5
Shoot and Kill Me....................11
No Sure Winner....................15
A Wrong or a Right to Vote....................24
Eaten by Two Sharks....................29
Saved by the Hood Ornament....................41
Someone Your Own Size....................46
Two Derby Jackpots....................50
Pregnant With Peeping Tom....................53
The Size of a Snake....................64
Two Dollars and One Ticket....................71
Cold Hard Cash....................88
Belly Button and Ear Piercing Deal....................93
Lucky, Unlucky Numbers....................102
What a Trip....................109
The Deceitful Seed....................119
Picked Three, Bet Two, 'n' Won Five....................132
Seven Days in a Bucket....................135
What Goes Around Comes Around....................149
Sick For a Fish....................174
The Winner's Circle....................179
Mom's Best Interest....................194