Mentors

Bug

Silver and gold I do not have…but I have had the best four mentors imaginable.

I will tell you of them now.

Kevin Sinon O’Halloran took me under his wing when I was 16.

I was a scrawny kid who always came in last in running. I got beat up a lot. hey…I was 5′ 10″ and maybe 140 pounds soaking wet….

He was having his own rough-go. Just back from Vietnam his wife (who he dearly loved) left him. He needed a project and I needed a father-figure.

I shot up..and he beefed me up. No one has ever effed with me again. I mean…would you?

The Great One and I share this…he was bullied as a kid. Now we just bring the hammer….

I have always been a good photographer…so I helped him build a darkroom in his spare room. Then we played endless hours of ping-pong and darts. he used to take me to “The :Loft” in Piedmont…we would drink beer and kick every one’s ass at darts.

he gave me the gift that few people understand…he was the first man to actually take me seriously. And he took me from hardly being able to run four laps on the Clayton Valley track to running 7 miles a day…with him…and we would talk about life.

It’s breaking me heart a bit now because he has Parkinson’s and I just want him to live forever.

******

Louis Neely was my next mentor. Senior pastor at Warehouse and a bit scary to all of us (except Gildone) . He taught me more things than I can describe.

Thwy had free rock concerts at the Warehouse on Satuirdays. At 27 I was the fill in if Louis was sick or just worn out. I gave messages after keaggy, the 77s, The Rez band….and Louis ordered me to “not prepare.”

he knew I was too much in my head. So he ordered me (and he really did scare the crap out of me)…..to sit in the room off to the side and listen to the Holy Spirit and give that message alone.

I obeyed. And many were “saved.”

He was right. It was an amazing gift to give a young man.

I broke his heart when I failed in 1987 But seven years to the day we met and knelt together and prayed. God I love that man.

*******

In 1990 I had still not made peace with Louis or the Waregouse. I had hair down my backside and was …well scary.

I went to a Presbyterian church (Fremont across from Sac State) because …wll Presbyterians are liberal and don’t interfere….much.

Dr. Bob Ball was the senior pastor at the time. He is one of Doonesbury’s characters…”the Positive thinker pastor.”

I made the mistake of asking one question in a theoology class of his…he was on me at break like white on rice. “Who the hell are you?”

He was the second learned man to say “You are Hamlet.”

Well he left (had multiple affairs…geeebus)

Darrell Johnson was called to Fremont from Union church in Manila, he had been right in the thick of it…with Cory Aquino.

Darrell taught me non-violence. I have never met a more loving man – ever – and brilliant.

I was technically on his staff at the time (minor work with youth as they had killed off Larry Emery for loving skinheads and punks).

You shoukd understand…back then I was still really dangerous. Not now – naw. But in one meeting when a guy threatened another student I picked him up (mid air) and hauled him outside. he said “You can;t do this.”

“NO…I will kill you if you ever touch another person again.”

Eye to eye…he got it.

Drug dealers used to park in the far end of the Fremont parking lot. I would go over and lean INTO the cockpit “Hey…how you guys doing?”

Yeah..some part of me wanted to die..and i was angry.

Then darrell came. he changed me…week by week. One Sunday he stopped me outside Ferguson Hall and said “You know there is a new sweetness to you.” he was right.

We both had vision. I knew he woud go on to teach at Regent…I told him that before he knew.

When he left Fremont hw sat doown with us guys and gacve us 5 charges. I won;t tell you what they are…but one:
“The Church will always let you down”

True.

*******

My last mentor is Coleman Luck.

His series “the Equalizer” ithe 80s had a huge impact and I never forgot his name (it’s a pretty good name).

decades later I found him on facebook….e will be my last mentor. I trust him. he prays for me daily. he also gives me shit (in fun). He is a lvely man..who loves his wife….he is a man’s man. No qaurter…which I like.

The thing about mentors is we need them. Robert Bly talks about the “male mother.” personally…I like Goldman’s book better (a paraody of Sam Keen and Bly called “Fire in the John’)

Silver and gold I do not have and I’m prolly gonna be homeless again soon….but no man I know has had better mentors…better sons and better friends. I am truly blessed.

Ten there is Daughter…the “Little Jedi.” OMG. She always tells me the truith…then laughs. She is the most like me of all my kids….