I remember my dad – he was an alcohol and drug counselor after he’d gotten out of the Navy – had his friend talk to me after I’d gotten into some trouble once. He was younger than my dad, long black hair, a mustachioed Mex, dressed real sharp, very bad-ass all wide, creased pants, shiny shoes, short leather jacket, like one of those Too Cool for School cats from an episode of Chico & The Man. He drove me around in his dropped maroon Impala with the rims and the banging stereo system, “rapping” with me (as was the fashion at the time). He planned everything so meticulously, so that he drove up to my school just in time for a change of classes, me hanging an arm out of the window nodding my head real slow and this tune thundering out of his Blaupunkt.

I just want to say what I no doubt neglected to at the time: Thanks, brother. I scored major points off that ride.

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