I am listening to World War 2 Music & Variety when “If our will is strong enough, then nothing can fail. Germany, Sieg Heil!” is spoken by Adolph Hitler in his native German tongue. I am unwillingly yanked back to strange memories from over four decades ago, memories of my father and his world of Nazi war memorabilia and eccentric friends. As you can imagine, Nazi stuff attracts war nuts. This combination creates an assortment of scenarios, kind of like a Fellini movie. This one takes place in middle class white America in the 1970s, in a town named Lafayette. We came to call it La-Fi-Regret. I have no idea who started calling it that, but it has stuck all these years.
One of dad’s friends owned a leopard which he kept in a cage in his garage. I called this friend crazy Ken. He used to get in the cage with the leopard and wrestle it. One of Ken’s hands had just a few intact fingers amongst stubs from a fire cracker explosion. He liked to dress up in full Nazi regalia, go into bars, and start fights. I remember Ken’s high voice and his daughters, and the way that the leopard’s eyes followed my every move…
From research I did to write East Garrison’s cat scenes as accurately as possible, I now know that big cats have a fascination with little children. Invariably children are most vulnerable to attack.
End Part I