THE CRAB DIARIES: THE RED MOBILE

THE PONTIAC LE MANS STATION WAGON

pontiac-le-mans-station-wagon

Well…I think we all grew up with things that astonished us and stuck in our minds as something either amazing or carried enough negativity that it can’t be washed away from our minds.  I believe I had mentioned in a prior post about my father once owned a Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon, and how I thought that was probably one of the best vehicles he ever had.  I wouldn’t say this was the best one he ever had, but the Pontiac Le Mans Station Wagon is one of those things that sticks in my memorable portion of the brain.  I remember this vehicle pretty well, practically all red and brown on the outside and all red interior.  As far as I can remember the one thing that stuck out with me on this vehicle was the rear lights in the rear bumper.  I was so amazed by this and often wondered why would they stick rear lights in the rear bumper knowing that the bumper is to protect you and take the brunt of the impact.  This amazed me so much that I would catch myself comparing my father’s car to others and how many other cars would have lights in the rear bumper.  Needless to say I didn’t or don’t remember seeing a lot of other cars with the same set up.

I don’t have much to really talk about with this car, except that this car had been through a lot with our family.  Only God and my father knows how long we had the station wagon, and where it came from, however, I believe it was traded in for another station wagon at a later date.  I often wonder how many of you out there have your parent’s car in your memory and what happened or how important that particular car played in your childhood?

Henry Scott

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THE CRAB DIARIES: PRE-BASIC TRAINING

Baltimore-Annapolis Metro Area

I graduated Largo High School in June of 1997, and most of the people I graduated with went to college the following fall.  For me, I just didn’t have the desire to keep going to school after I just finished high school, so I took a year off to figure out exactly what I wanted to do.  The one thing that I was definitely positive about was joining the Maryland Army National Guard and begin my law enforcement career with the 290TH Military Police Company.  Unfortunately, I was not able to join the armed forces until March 1998 when it wasn’t necessary to have parental consent.  The previous year of my life after high school was just pure hell in trying to my father to sign for me to go into the army, but constantly pushed for the U.S. Coast Guard.  Well, all that finally came to a head with my mother and I will just leave it at that for now.

While that was going on, my mother discovered a school called Fleet Business School, based out of Annapolis, Maryland, that had a legal secretary program and that it ran all year round (January 1998 – January 1999).  I went through the financial aid portion of the application, and fulfilled all the necessary requirements to be accepted.  Although it was not the normal four-year institution that most of my high school classmates were doing, it fit perfectly into my lifestyle.  I’m glad I didn’t force myself to attend a four-year institution because I might’ve quit after the first year and not completed my education as I am now doing.  I don’t regret that decision at all!  However, while going to school, I believe it was my uncle and dad, that purchased a late 1970’s Dodge Dart for $300, pea green exterior and interior, slant six motor with a carburetor.  I’ll admit when I first saw it I wasn’t all that impressed, but slowly I began to accept it.

To be quite honest I don’t quite remember if it was the Dodge Dart I had or the Plymouth Valore, but I’m almost positive it was the Dodge Dart I had.  Well, one morning while I was on my way to school, running late during the fall-winter season, I was hauling ass down U.S. Route 50 heading towards Annapolis.  Since the car had no workable heat, I only got warm by opening up the vents and allow the engine heat to come through, which at times took a long time to warm inside the cabin.  Also, my car had issues of keeping oil in the engine and I had to make sure that I refilled it every week so the engine wouldn’t seize up or give me major problems.  Apparently, this particular time after I had checked the engine stick, and although it showed sufficient amount of oil in the engine, I should’ve checked it again to make sure a couple days later.  As I am about ten minutes outside of Annapolis, near the Prince Frederick exit on U.S. Route 50, suddenly the radio stopped working.

Then I started to feel the car slow down, and as I stepped on the gas pedal it wasn’t increasing in speed; everything got suddenly quite.  So I quickly pulled over on the right shoulder and stopped when I thought it was safe to do so.  Got out and opened the hood and didn’t notice a hole through the gasket and hood until I had it opened.  It was at that point I realized that I had just lost a piston and had no clue where it went and where it might’ve landed.  I was just hoping that it didn’t land on someone driving behind me causing them damage, but I never heard anything.  So, of course, I called my dad and told him about the situation and shortly afterwards I called the school and explained to them about my situation; obviously they knew at that point that I wasn’t going to make it.  Hours later, my father and tow truck showed up, or just the tow truck, but either way I had to have it towed back home, which my father ended up paying for.  I was just a broke college student and couldn’t pay for a tow that last nearly 50 miles.  Once we got the car home, maybe days later, we took a look at it and quickly discovered that it could be fixed, but the money to fix we didn’t have.

So, now once again I am without a car and in order to get to school dad had to take me, and I had a nice lady friend, name Veronica, who lived in Bowie, would drive me home in the evenings.  Nearly every evening of school she would drive pass her home, take me to my parents house, in Largo, and drive back to Bowie.  I offered her gas money numerous times and she denied.  At one point I either attempted to get with her, but she didn’t want me, however, when the tables turned weeks later, I was the one turning her away.  Once we all graduated from school, I lost contact with every single one of them when I got shipped off to basic training in February 1999.  Graduation from Fleet Business School was in August 1999 and I don’t know what happened after that.  Oh well, I suppose if it is meant for me to see them again I will; providing that they are still alive on this earth.  Sometime later after my Dodge Dart issue, I was given a 1979 Plymouth Volare, another pea green interior and exterior, for $450, from my brother-in-law.  Another story will include the things that car and me did, which lasted a lot longer than the Dart.  Needless to say it was an interesting period from high school graduation, June 1997, to the beginning of basic training, February 1999. Maybe another crab diary will fulfill that time period.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: 300

SOMEWHERE IN THE D.C. METRO AREA

Throughout my four years in high school, the first two years, I worked every weekend, all year round, as a plumber apprentice and nearly everyday my last two years during summer vacation.  At first I began this job only as a means of supporting myself financially, but it slowly became more than just any ordinary job.  I began to enjoy myself digging underground, into ceilings, digging up people’s floors and walls, but the part that sucked was repairing all of it.  However, I got to learn a lot about the job and until this day I can get around simple and some complicated repairs, but lack the tools and machinery to complete certain jobs.  Hey, at least I can save my family and household some dollars to a certain point, but I hopefully to be able to do more.  I’m sure that day is coming when it is suppose to come.

However, on this particular topic, I had a best friend, named Trey, and his father Rozier Sr., who we were both working for since Rozier had his own plumbing business.  I’ll admit dealing with measuring in fractions and certain mathematics just stumped me over and over and made me hate the work sometimes.  I definitely understood the frustration by my boss at times, but he didn’t have a lot of patience in teaching you math on the job so I often times would guess, and I would be right less than 50% of the time.  He easily caught on would often ask me if I was either guessing or did I know the answer.  Another frustration was that if I was right I often didn’t know if I was and I think that would make me doubt my ability at times.  Nevertheless, he kept me on for four years, and he had his own frustrations with his son, which he called us both knuckleheads quite often.

Well, one day all three of us had to work well together to complete on mission of the day, carry a 300 pound cast iron tub to the second floor.  One of the challenges to completing this was that there was not permanent set of stairs going up.  Someone made a make-shift set of steps that we leaning, some steps were not equally separated and to make it worse no handrails/banister was on either side of the stairs.  So when you are going up the steps you had nothing to hold on to, and if you looked straight down to the floor below, you could see a huge hole cut out of the floor, and looking through the hole you could see the gravel floor of the basement.  I would only estimate that we were probably a good thirty feet up from falling to our demise, no not really.  Anyway, when Trey and I found out that we were going to be moving a cast iron tub we didn’t know it was going to be to the floor above us until later.

After discovering we were going to have to move this cast iron tub to the top floor, the challenge was how was this going to happen.  The most obvious thing was that we couldn’t carry it with the legs pointed down with the concern with one of us losing our balance and plummeting to our unsure death or serious bodily injury.  So after some serious thinking the best idea was to turn the tub upside down and have two of us push with our boss pulling upward.  Of course, Trey and I had to do the pushing and when something went wrong we were the ones that had to figure it out.  After getting it up one set of make-shift steps, we had one more set to go and that is where our problems began.  Due to the fucked up steps the tub got stuck and of course our boss struggling to pull it up, even with help from the both of us pushing it with all we had.  Now, the decision had to be made to go on the other side of the tub to help our boss pull up the tub.  Well, as we tried to figure out how to get to the other side to help him, it was determined very quickly the only way this was happening is the one of climbed over top of the tub.

Of course, thinking about the scene that I placed about the tub on the steps earlier, and looking down to see the gravel floor in the basement, you could probably imagine my look of horror when I was told to get the climbing.  So I very gingerly and cautiously started to make my way on top of the tub and the whole time I was scared that the steps wouldn’t be able to hold my 200 pound plus weight and the tub at the same time.  I just had visions of the stairs cracking and breaking apart underneath me and just plunging to the basement with the tub in position to break my fall, or depending on how the steps would collapse maybe the tub would fall on top of me.and that would surely suck!  However, the whole time climbing and freaking out this would happen and with no way to prevent it from happening, it never came true.  I made it on the other side of the tub and we got it up the rest of the fucked up steps.  We felt accomplished after that, but our job wasn’t done after that since we had to connect the pipes so the tub would be operational at a later date.  Till this day that is the only time I can think of ever risky my safety and health for a job that could’ve been done another way.  Certain things you don’t risk your safety for and if I ever get back into plumbing I will do things smarter, but of course that was years ago! Oh my goodness! I’m old!

Henry Scott

 

 

THE CRAB DIARIES: OOPS! DID I WIN?

CHARLESTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA

My wife and I have made numerous trips to casino’s to attempt our fate in winning money, which at times works in our favor and other times it didn’t.  Of course, that is the change you take when you go to the casino, but how I won in West Virginia isn’t how you normally win.  On this particular day, my wife and I decided to try our luck at the race track in Charlestown and see what happens.  For our luck to work, we figured out that I did better on the slots and wifey did better on other electronic games; in Las Vegas, however, it was reversed.  When we started our mission to locate the most financial gain machine, we found ourselves on the second floor trying out luck there.  What we were not aware of is that a severe thunderstorm was looming overhead and how severe it was going to be until this particular situation happened.

As I was on the machine, one cent machine, I played maybe one to three lines at a time and in the middle of the roll the casino went completely dark.  All the lights and every casino machine in the entire building shut off. A few minutes later the lights came back on and random machines started to ring continuously, including mine for several seconds.  Of course, every person around me, including my wife sitting next to me, all drew their eyes towards my machine.  I’m looking around and seeing everyone looking at me, with my wife and I just amazed at how much the machine was calculating the winnings.  I’m watching this amazing situation unfold in front of me, worried about any of the casino staff coming around the corner and just invalidating my winnings.  I am just stuck and watching how long this was going to go while at the same time wishing the machine would hurry up and finish.  Not sure how long the machine went haywire, but when it finally stopped I quickly pushed the cash out button, and my wife and I calmly walked away and went downstairs without drawing attention to ourselves.

I just knew that it wouldn’t be long until one of the staff or security members catch up to us to hand over the winnings.  We hung around for maybe another few minutes or so and made our way out of the casino towards our car.  This is when we saw how heavy and severed the rain was and prepared ourselves to make a run for it.  Once we got our self prepared for the run, we took off out the door and started running for the safety of our vehicle.  We would normally park inside a parking garage, but this day we certainly paid for it.  While we are making a mad dash to our car, I heard my wife scream.  I turned around and saw that she lost her flip flops in the mud and ran a few feet barefoot.  We quickly saw how funny this situation was and both laughed as we continued to run to our car.  Once we got in the car we laughed and joked about the situation the whole way home back to Maryland.  This is one of our many adventures her and I have had in our life, something we will never forget and one more funny situation we can add to our joyish marriage.

Henry Scott

 

THE CRAB DIARIES: THE DATE!

BALTIMORE METRO AREA (BEFORE MARRIAGE)

Just like many people in the early 2000’s, I was involved in online dating since the schedule I worked was difficult to get out to just be around others besides co-workers. It was slow going at first because many people wanted to see your picture, but not sure if that would be a good idea because of my career choice.  However, just before I got deep into internet dating I was just coming out of a horrible, confusing relationship.  Not to mention that I had just arrived back home from Afghanistan in early 2004, and almost immediately got right back into working.  Looking back on it that was not a bright idea, but I didn’t want to wait another year before I could get my career started.  It just so happened that when I came home, I kept a diary of what I was doing and how I was feeling throughout the first years of my return.  I accidentally came across these notes prior to our move to upstate New York, and read them to see where I was at emotionally.  After reading my notes and seeing how detailed I was, where I was, who I was with, what we did in detail and how up and down I was, let me know that maintaining a relationship was very difficult.  So maintaining any type of relationship shortly after coming back, was going to be a challenge and continued to be that way for me until I was further removed from my Afghanistan tour.

Unfortunately, as this relationship began to deteriorate very quickly, where love turned to hate and dislike, and vengeance becoming a focal point where our jobs were being jeopardized. So when the time came for me to be able to either switch to a different shift, night shift, or join our specialized unit (S.E.R.T. Team) to limit my contact with this person, I jumped the chance.  Of course, the days and months dragged on as I waited for the response after my request was put in.  Then one day that call came in while I was in Virginia telling me that although my first choice wasn’t granted, my second choice for going to midnight’s was granted.  Hence began my adventure working at night away from the stupidity that was so dreadful.  I was so excited that this came through for me and I could get away from the toxic relationship that was bleeding over into our work environment.  It was good when it was good, but when shit got bad shit got real bad.  So now, I had the opportunity to start over again and give myself a fresh new deal on my career and life.  Almost immediately, I began to feel much better being on the opposite end of the work day, but it was still fresh when I would hear her voice on the radio as day work signed on.  Little by little things began to get better for me and I could concentrate on my job at night, which kept me busy and occupied from thinking about this woman.

I began my night shift, which would be my staple, in August 2006 and since then I have enjoyed working nights! Most of my arrest and crazy shit that I have gotten into have been at night.  Why would I want to change?  Some guys say they hate nights and like to sleep!  I’ve work days in both states and I still enjoy my night time work ethic.  Approximately four months later when I was getting deeper into online dating, True.com, I came across this woman’s profile and photo on her profile page.  I immediately was attracted as she stood there in her boots, tight as jeans, and this nice big sweater.  So I naturally sent a message to her, and didn’t say some whack at shit like, “Yo! My name is Dwight! Call me at this number!”  I actually sent a nice long message and waited for a reply, which I think came about two or three days later.  From that point on, December 22, 2006 up until we met for the first time on Super Bowl Sunday in February 2007, we spoke nearly every day.  I can’t tell you how many cell phone batteries we killed, data plan minutes were being murdered and it got to a point where I couldn’t get calls until after 7pm where it was free!

The talks we had for the couple of months leading up to our first date and seeing each other for the first time was exciting. At this time I had a silver Chevy Impala, and it was getting up there in miles and started to give me problems with some of the electrical issues.  This night of the Colts and Bears Super Bowl game, I arrived at her apartment in Laurel, Maryland and I was currently living Ellicott City, which is just thirty minutes or more north of Route 29.  My only fear was that I was walking into a situation where she looked completely different from her picture, and that I was attractive enough for her to be pleased.  Well, things we very well from the get go, and I prayed to God that my Impala’s heat would work properly since it was at the beginning of February.  The Impala didn’t disappoint and decided not to mess up my game with this beautiful woman I just met for the first time in the physical sense.  We were going to a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house in Baltimore, Maryland and we had a wonderful time there!  Her thoughts pertaining to this situation is quite funny and you get to see how her brain works.  So I’ll let her describe her thoughts on that one!

So soon after the game was over, and I drove her back home, our relationship kicked off very well! About a year later after we first contacted each other on this internet site, we were married, and got married once again in front of family and friends the following year; and still here ten years later!  We aren’t going anywhere; at least I don’t think so!  Majority of the people that were at the Super Bowl Party no longer works at the same agency, with the exception of one man, who should be retiring very soon!  A.B.M. we call him! (Angry Black Man).  So every Super Bowl day is our anniversary of our very first date and has been a special day for us ever since.  One of these days I will get a Super Bowl day off from work, but who knows.  By the time you read this I might’ve already had that day!  Till then!  See you next time!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: SNOW ESCAPADES

HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND

Long, long, long time ago, sometime prior to 1988, my immediate family lived in the town of Hyattsville, Maryland, which is only minutes from the Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C.  Living next door to us was a white family, and one girl I remembered named Maggie, who I just had little kid feelings for, but it wasn’t meant to be. On the other side of our property was another neighbor, who was just as creepy as the tall white guy that flew around on his make-shift plane in the movie Mad Max.  If you don’t understand or know what I am talking about, go find a clip or watch the movie, Mad Max, and you will understand what I am talking about.  You will just need to pay attention to the guy that flies his stupid little helicopter.

Across the street from us was a neighbor who had a beautiful dog named, King, and he was exactly that, a King.  I can’t remember what kind of dog he was, maybe a Husky or mixed with at least Husky, but he was huge and when he barked it sounded like it came from deep within the loins.  We lived on Buchanan Street, closer to the main road of Kenilworth Avenue, and the closer convenient store to us was a 7-11.  On this particular day, I can’t remember if we didn’t have a car available or it was missing somewhere, but my mother and I had to go to the store for some items we needed.  Whatever our transportation issue was at that time, we couldn’t use it and had to trump it out on foot.  However, the challenge was that a Nor’easter or just a heavy snowfall that day, was coming through the area and had dumped numerous inches and feet.

I remember as my mother and I prepared to trump out on foot, we had to make sure we bundled up and kept asking each other are we ready to go? Lol! We made our way out of the neighborhood, which wasn’t that bad until we hit Kenilworth Avenue where the major issues with our trip started.  The plows didn’t come through our neighborhood for a long time and struggled with keeping up with the storm, but the knee deep snow made the walking to the store adventure quite fun and challenging.  As I said before leaving our side street wasn’t too bad, but once we hit the main road things changed completely.  I think we were heading to 7-11, and my mother had on her long burgundy-black coat that I thought only she owned in the world, and walking along the shoulder of the highway was an added challenged as the piles of snow were angled and extremely deep.

I don’t remember how many times we stumbled, fell and got stuck in these mountain reigns of snow, but it was fun and made us laugh the entire time.  Numerous times my mother would think that we should turn around and go back home, but she wanted to keep going so she could get this errand completely finished.  I don’t know how long it took us to complete this endeavor, but we made it there and back with no problem.  After that I had always wanted to repeat that same trip, but each time it would snow heavy we had no reason to go out and repeat the endeavor so it never happened again.  However, it was something I would never forget and always cherish!

Henry Scott

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