You will always have less trouble with a snake in a towsack than a man in a robe

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s Your Daddy?

Like many people raised by foster parents I don’t talk a lot about my childhood, at least my interactions with the two people who took me in. It wasn’t always always bad, it could have been worse, etc etc.

This couple, who for many years purported to be my parents, weren’t, yet their names appears on one of those “Delayed Certificates of Birth” that has been part of my personal record my entire life. The man who I thought was my father (and who obviously didn’t like me very much) turned out to not be related to me at all….relief!

I was nearly into my sixth decade on the planet before I discovered my original certificate of birth and another father. Wait! Not related to me either! At least they had my mother on there correctly. This man was a “stand in” so my unwed fifteen year old mother would not have to birth a bastard. No comments from friends or family on this one please!

This number two bogus father was a thirty five year old local “cowboy” (read alcoholic living with his parents) who, in 1947, was paid three hundred dollars to get my biological father off the hook. If you are picturing a fifteen year old girl, still in love with the boy who impregnated her, living with a middle-aged lecherous derelict then you see the sacrifice she made to insure there was a father of record on my certificate. She left him as soon as she came home from the hospital with me.

Well so far that accounts for three fathers and two birth certificates. But wait! In the process of unraveling the mysteries of my biological family I met the man who was my mom’s second husband and partner for life. So now I also have a step-dad and I like this man! He is the father of my half-brother and he has spent a lot of time telling me stories about the mother I never got to meet.

Okay that is two fathers of record, one biological father I actually did meet before he passed, and one step-father! Were any of these men actually “real” fathers, you know, the guy that goes out and throws a frisbee or baseball with you, checks to make sure you did your homework, goes to your ball games and teaches you the life skills of auto mechanics and carpentry? Not really. Darn!

Did I go through life without a father! How could I have so many, and yet none? Well as it turns out I had several “part-time” dads. I had my Scout Master, Harvey Brau, my Explorer Adviser, Bill Mantis, My best friend’s dad, T. O. Williams, Scout Executives Cap Blood and Jimmy Johnson, a French Canadian friend of my foster parents who came to Winter with us for several years, Art Marrot, Roscoe Lyons, (the husband of the black cook in our cafe) who would let me sit on his porch in “that” part of town while we listened to blues and he regaled me with stories of people he had met and things he had done.

As you can see it is actually a long list of fathers and I didn’t even cover them all. So many men took an interest in my life, helped mold me and countered what they must have realized was a bad home environment.

I wish them all a Happy Father’s Day and encourage each of you to think back to how many fathers you had growing up, and how many boys or girls you may have influenced, standing in for an absent or disinterested father!

Happy Father’s Day to you too!


The passing of Dale Rowe

I went to the Austin area this past week to visit my Dad. He has been on dialysis for a little over four years and his health had been fading progressively over the past month. We visited twice at the hospital but he was in such discomfort that he had a difficult time staying awake. Yesterday (May 31) I came home. That afternoon he was transported to the nursing home but he only lived for about an hour once he arrived.

As a person Dale Rowe was a painfully shy individual and he found it impossible to develop or maintain deeply personal relationships. Void of either a capacity for malice or intimacy, he spent his life mostly alone with few friends and no known enemies.

Having discovered his existence almost four years ago I had hoped for some type of personal relationship but, due to his limitations…and mine I guess,…that wasn’t to be. To his family who knew him he remained a mystery throughout his life, rarely voicing opinions or recriminations. To my mother, he was her first love and the father of her first and second born children. Once she realized her love would not be returned she moved on with her life and married the man with whom she spent the next forty-eight years. In talking with her friends I learned that she had confided an enduring love for her childhood sweetheart despite his having abandoned her at the tender age of sixteen.

Dale Rowe’s lineage goes back to two of the first three hundred families who settled Texas and fought for Independence. His ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and there has been a Rowe (or in my case aka Brockett) in every war since, up to and including Viet Nam. My Dad was a tank commander in Korea and spent nine months on the front lines, often engaged in combat activities. One of Dale’s brothers was shot down over Austria in a P38 while escorting a bomber squadron. He survived despite being wounded twice during the dogfight and having to bail out of his plane.

Dale’s union with my mother, Martha Brown, produced two children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Additionally, he fathered another boy and girl with his wife, Edith.

On the morning of April 4, 2011 Dale will be laid to rest at Taylor, Texas where he spent most of his life. Although his life’s journey was witnessed by many, his personal perspective shall always remain a mystery.

David Brockett (Edgar Dale Rowe)

First Meeting

Goodbye to Dr Dodds

Alice seemed like a nice chick. She chattered a bit too much for my liking but most people did. I figured the noise was just her way of dealing with life down the rabbit Hole. Now me, well, I was used to the Hole. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. The Other world, you know, the one up Top, was way too noisy and full of busy-work and people and their stupid lives, and expectations. And bright! Way too bright! Not down here in the Hole though. Not ever! Down here you didn’t have to see nothin you didn’t want to or hear nothin either.

Not until Alice fell down the damned Hole. Yammering and stammering about this and that. As if it really mattered down here..humph! What did she know anyway? She was nice enough alright, but noisy. Always trying to get me to do stuff or say stuff, and all those damned questions about why I liked the Hole so much! Man! Even when she wasn’t chattering in my ear I could hear her inside my head. No peace down here no more so I burrowed in deeper. Dug me a few more tunnels but there she was, at every turn, chattering away. I was about wore out diggin.Life was gettin hard down the Hole! All because of Alice. Didn’t she ever sleep? Always picking up this and sweeping that and asking those damned stupid questions.

She was a nice girl alright but I had to leave her.

The Hole just wasn’t what it used to be.

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