Monday, April 24, 2006
My life growing up helped to form who I am.
During the time when Dustin was in the hospital, Wally had returned from Texas. He wasn't getting along with his real father and decided he wanted to come back. He and I began going with my father as he would rob various places at night. He had told us the most important thing was to never, never brag to anyone. “If you keep it to yourself no one will know but you", was a saying my father would repeat to Wally and me as we went with him to be his lookout. We were to look in opposite directions and watch for anyone coming and honk the horn if we saw any lights. He would steal batteries, tires, car parts, boats, boat motors, 3 wheelers, motorcycles, gas, cattle to butcher and anything else of value that we can across. When the eclectic and telephone companies came to put in new line, we went out several times stealing items they left laying around. He stole truckload after truckload of electric copper tubing. He would cut it up in long pieces and put them in the back of the truck until it was full. He would then take all the copper tubing and stack it in a big pile out behind the garage. Then he would dump gasoline over all of it and set it ablaze, burning off the outer rubber. Everyone would stand around and watch as my father would throw more gas on top, causing it to flame up really high into the air. After it cooled, we would all grab a piece and pull out the copper pieces to sell. We then loaded the copper strips back into the truck along with whatever else we had stolen, to sell at a place that recycled metals in Kansas. Once my father found out the type of things they were willing to buy, he began stealing more and more things. It became a regular week-end 'outing' to run to Kansas and sell the things we had stolen throughout the week.
One week-end as we were burning off some copper, someone from the sheriffs department showed up. He said he was just driving by and saw the smoke and just wanted to make sure there wasn't a big fire. My father told him we were just burning some trash out back, and he had it completly under control. The officer looked over at me and smiled. He was the same one who had come to our place after Dustin was shot. My father had talked trash about him after he had tried to talk to Richard about shooting Dustin. My father said the deputy had accused Richard of shooting Dustin on purpose and wanted to take him in for questioning, but my father didn't allow him. Now he wanted to look and see what my father was burning and again my father refused. "You get a warrant and I'll let you look, but until then I'm telling you, you better get your ass off my property". The Deputy looked at me, smiled again and then got back in his truck and left. Afterwards my father began saying how much of an asshole he was. "A man can't even make a living without some fucking pig messing it up. God damn places already have enough money", he shouted angrily then quickly went back to check on the fire. "If anyone ask you kids anything, tell them we were just burning trash. They don't need to be in our business, so keep your damn mouths shut", he said then he pointed at me, "and Tayla don't you ever let me see you looking at a cop, ever again. Keep your eyes to yourself until you can show them no fear. They can see in your eyes if you're doing anything wrong."
My father became paranoid after the deputy had came that he stopped stealing the telephone cable line and began stealing cattle instead. Just a few heads at a time. Most were young unmarked cattle from around in different areas. Some he sold for cash to friends, others he butchered and put in the freezer. We never got caught at robbing anything, so it continued for years, even after Dustin had gotten out of the hospital.