One day when I was 15 years old my father called to me from outside our autobody shop.
I heard him holler “Barry, c’mere and bring a hedge-hanger!”
The c’mere part I got but the hanger portion seemed a bit off even in our wacky world so I jogged toward his voice to clarify the order.
As I rounded the side of our two car quonset I noticed a too well dressed man and lady standing with my father near the entrance to our storage lean to.
“Barry!” the old man yelled a second time as he turned his attention to the couple.
“I’ll show you how serious I am…” I heard dad mutter threateningly.
“Barry, where’s the goddamn sledgehammer I told you to bring?!”
I scooted back into the shop to locate a post maul while the old man was still chewing me out because I had seen this look in his eyes before.
It was a look of evolution on steroids.
Shit was about to change and no one was gonna be able to stop it, least of all me.
The lack of conversation outside hurried my hammer hunt inside and within seconds I was back giving the post maul to my father.
“I fucking told you. Didn’t I tell you?!” dad scornfully raked the mildly anxious observers over his coals as he raised the hammer and then abruptly handed it back to me.
“Bust up that organ,” dad directed, pointing to a restored pump organ beside me.
“This one?” I asked, nodding toward a prized family asset and realizing how much work he had put into it.
“Yes that one!” the executioner fiercely agreed. “… now!”
I raised up the post maul as high as I could and brought it down full force with a mighty crash upon the gleaming maybe real pearl keyboard keys and probably real oak knobs & definitely real solid wood keyboard cover which on the same beat exploded auditorially in a C sharp bellow, not just from the senseless destruction of a music-maker’s soul but accompanied by a chorus of exasperated gasps from horrified onlookers.
Yep, one solid stroke with a post mall and this previously beautiful thing was fucked.
“That one too,” the old man points to the one beside it.
Suddenly there were all kinds of neighborhood kids
around and everyone wanted in on the action on
account of if there was to be the wrecking party
everyone was hoping there would be, it would
be one to remember so nearly every neighborhood
kid would be complicit in the destruction of more than a dozen
restored foot pump organs because my father lacked the skill to counter offer.
Thank you, friend.
In retrospect I think the old man probably wanted us to cease an desist after destroying the second organ but by then it was mob rule and waay too late to stop people swinging hammers. It was wild friend, wild…
Cleaning up the destruction was terrible as we realized what we had done. Course, only a couple of the neighborhood kids were forced into helping with the aftermath and it was many years before I was able to realize the incredible forces at work that day. What an awesome and incredible lesson!
Plus, I just remembered. Dad didn’t help with the cleanup either. Mom did. The old fella’s soul needed the kind of soothing one can only get from a tavern from what I recall.
The Milgram Experiment – Obedience to Authority Experiment.
Stanford Prison Experiment (Documentary)