Monday, August 07, 2006

My dad was a bikee and other stories

(Photo by Allan Tannenbaum- and definitely not my dad! He wasn't South American for starters...)

Most of my readers (all three of you!) know that my dad passed away when I was very little. It's been an amazing journey getting to know him over my life. I am constantly learning new things. For a long time I only knew the 'Christian lived on an indigenous island /activist' dad but of late I have been introduced to the 'pre-conversion bikee' dad. The dad that left the navy (went AWOL), joined a bikkee gang, had a fling with the bikee gang leader's main squeeze, had a fatwah type thing put on his head (you find him you kill him in bikee language), worked (or more like hid) with indigenous people, met some missionaries and became a Baptist. One day I will write a book about it all as it's tragic and fascinating and is the kind of story that will one day be made into a movie. Maybe I'll have to veto that it never is. The blend of myth and reality is also fascinating as is everyone's version of events that are always tainted with their own 'stuff' (eg I was jealous , Iwas hurt, I wanted to be more/less like him...).

It has been my personal experience of history and how it works/ doesn't work; how it can not be devoid or detached from the humans that tell it/know it.

I wrote a letter to an indigenous friend of my dads recently wanting to know bits and pieces that were missing. I think I expected a three page historical account of all that was missing. But her response was so disappointing yet so beautiful " will come here and tell me story and I will tell you story. Some about Peter, and some other stories too".

I hope I can share stories with you soon Gunnipa/Dorothy.


Emma said...

Rach, Rach... write the book! You can fight the movie fight later...

How beautiful and "10 Canoes" is that letter??

(Sorry if likening that to "10 Canoes" is stupid and naive, that's just what occured to me...)

Rachel said...

Yeah remind me to show you the rest of the letter and to tell you the sureral story of how I found Gunipa.