My Father’s Child
Did I ever tell you about the time when I was taken to the men’s restroom at El Chcio’s because a waiter thought I was a little boy?
Not one of my finer moments.
If memory serves me correctly, I was around six-years-old rocking a fresh Dorthy Hammil haircut. I’m sure my parents were trying to implore some sort of independent will in their young first grader by suggesting I approach said waiter to direct me to the nearest water closet. I knew something was up when I saw the urinals on the wall. I used the facility, washed my hands, politely nodded to the baffled man entering upon my exit and returned to my nachos.
Exhibit A: Remove the Strawberry Shortcake doll and Smurf pajamas, and you are left with Nicholas from Eight is Enough:
I don’t blame El Chico Waiter at all for thinking I was a boy. It is quite obvious I am my father’s child. Locals and relatives used to call me Little Johnny.
When my boss first met my Daddy in person, he said, “It’s as if someone peeled off Johnny Ray’s face and put it on yours. You look exactly alike.”
To which I replied, “I understand. He’s one good looking human being.”
This is typical Johnny Ray.
Strong. Wise. Reflective. Respected.
To this day, the boys within two years of my high school graduating class still find him extremely intimidating.
[Aside: Johnny Ray also has a rattle snake band on his cowboy hat. John Wayne would be proud.]
He’s also the man who taught me about the importance of a life filled with hard work, integrity and a good pair of aviator sunglasses.
I’m glad that we share a face and would proudly agree to be his son for any and all the El Chico waiters in the world.