Thursday, September 4, 2014

Compliments of Harvey Line - A Red Wolf Poem

Harvey Line owned motor inns back in the day as the ad shows. The poem is about an event in 1947.

Compliments of Harvey Line

In Long Beach she slapped
my Dad's face with her lawyer.
The papers said it:
dissolution comes
in motor hotels built near
world wide battle zones
just as easily
as it comes anywhere else:
"I'm kicking your butt
clean out of my life,
you bastard", she said. My Dad
got a bit upset
at this, so upset
that when I asked fifty-eight
years later, he blew.

‎September ‎4, ‎2014 2:29 PM

I am writing of a real situation but not of a real event. The couple who broke up at Harvey Line's is someone's mom and dad, not mine. The break up of my mom and dad was probably more civilized but no less difficult. How could it be less difficult with a child and a child's expense involved? And when I asked over a half century later, my dad was still burning with it. That was quite obvious. He offered to tell me his version of what happened but I figured any version for none of my business, so I backed away. A divorce is always unique in detail but shares much in common with other divorces as well.

Red Wolf


  1. True story as reply. When my grandfather was in his eighties I was helping him into the car one day when he paused... looked at me and said, "There are always two sides to every story."

    I nodded and we got in the car.

    He was an appalling husband, a useless father and yet grew up to be an excellent grandfather. His farewell was equally subtle. He kissed my hand as he said good night and we both knew. He was unconscious the next morning and passed on Nov 11. No doubt he picked the date. It was also Rhodesia's UDI (independence) day.

    Whenever I see a divorce, a fight, a war even, I think of grandpa saying there are always two sides to every story.

  2. As Michelle said, there're two sides to every story. I guess you would have your mom's version of it.

  3. I am exquisitely aware of the Janus faced shape of things. As for my own divorce, it occurred in the midst of a chaos that would be beyond my ability to parse completely and I can only say that we both agreed that at least one of us should survive it. So even in that divorce we were still behaving as a married couple in agreement as to what comes next.

    Sadly, only one of us survived it. My wife of over twenty years passed in 2001 of medically complicated issues, a life totally destroyed. Her death was really no interruption, even though she was too young.

  4. Love the beginning! And then
    dissolution comes
    in motor hotels built near
    world wide battle zones
    just as easily
    as it comes anywhere else

    Crazy good, Christopher. Good is always true, even if it isn't.

  5. I have had enough of divorce for one lifetime...from my fathers to my own they are the hard points in life where all of the plattitudes have special meaning


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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