Sunset at DoubleM Systems (DBLM.com), Del Mar, California

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Origin Story


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This is a true story, and it began exactly 80 years ago today.
No April Fools hijinks involved. All true:
You've probably asked yourself, more than once, over the years: "Where did FastMikie come from? How did he get here?" It's something I hear a lot, and to put the question to rest, I present this story, the first part penned by my little brother Jimmy Jim McCafferty, the historian of the family, and the second part of the story penned by FastMikie, yours truly. And now to our story:
Picture it: Monday, April 1, 1940. The world is at war but not in this hemisphere. Germany rolled its Panzer tanks into Poland 7 months before. They were occupying North Africa and the Middle East. Britain was being bombed and the Japanese were crawling all over the South East Asia. Russia was holding the eastern front. And in Northeast Philadelphia it was a warm flowery spring morning. On Gillam Street, a beautiful, young 23 year old secretary to the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police was getting ready for work. She had to hurry, one bathroom afforded her precious little time to make herself into the serious career woman her employer expected, and she had to fight for that time with her 3 sisters, parents and little brother.
Across town, in the Roosevelt Boulevard row home of his parents, a successful young used car salesman at the very well known John B White Ford dealership was getting ready for work and coming downstairs for breakfast. He had whittled all the girls of Northeast Philly down to 2 and last night he decided which one of the 2 he was going to marry. He just needed to iron out a few wrinkles. Like, asking her. And getting her to say yes. And funding. And all that other stuff. Being a used car salesman in 1940 was akin to working the short con as a grifter, and it had all the prestige of that career path, and her parents were not happy with her having anything to do with him and were blissfully unaware of how far things had gone.
Everyone in America knew we were not going to avoid being dragged into this European war, it was just a matter of how soon, and the foolish ones thought if we could just drag our feet maybe Mr Hitler would settle down before we got sucked into Mr Roosevelt's war. But none of that was in the minds of these 2 young people when Maggie McCafferty, (Dad's Mom) asked him if he had time before work to run down the grocery to pick up some bananas for his father's cold cereal? Sure he did. Maggie gave her son the only bill she had, a Five, a lot of cash in 1940, and she admonished him to bring her the change!
AH! 'twas SPRING! and in Spring, a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of LOVE! And the cherry trees lining the Boulevard were blooming pink and white. And the sun was shining and the boulevard was bustling with folks on their way in their busy lives, and "Chick" (Dad's nickname, real name Charles) jumped into the driver seat of that '37 Ford and drove right past the grocery store and a few blocks beyond he was in front of the Gillam Street home of Mr. Frank C Meier, the accountant for the Boulevard Pools and full time U S Treasury Agent. But it was Mr. Meier's daughter Verna, the serious Career Girl he was looking for, and trying very hard to avoid Mrs. Meier's attention. She thought her daughter was worthy of far better than the likes of him. As young and beautiful Verna stepped out the front door, she saw him flashing that used car grin, the engine of the touring car running, and she fairly flew down the steps from the front porch to the street.
'Wanna get married today?' he asked her. Well, he overcame all her objections, called into work, drove to Elkton, Maryland. and the deed was done. My parents got married 80 years ago today. Quite the love story and it has been passed on now for decades.

--------- end of little brother Jimmy's story
--------- begin FastMikie's story

Fast Forward to December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked, that horrible Day of Infamy, and the very day Mom and Dad conceived me. I can only imagine what was going on in their minds, knowing that the world was destroying itself.
They must have known it was their duty to bring new life into the world, to bring forth One Who Would Save Us All, and exactly 9 months later, September 7, 1942, out popped ME! (See photo, taken a couple years later. I must have been an exceptionally ugly baby because this is the first surviving photo.)
Well, they gave it their best, so you can't really blame them. In the fullness of time, the war ended, so I wasn't needed anymore. Instead, I devoted the rest of my life to preparing myself to be Global Dominator, if and when such a thing were necessary. From all that's going on right now, I could be called up for duty any day now. Stay tuned...