Category Archives: Vito’s Wine Bar

Scar Stories

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While at the wine bar last night, the group of eight were all getting to

know each other. I was meeting someone my youngest daughter just

started dating. My family members (my 2 daughters and daughter in

law) were meeting my ‘new guy’ Lenny. A dear couple, friends of youngest

daughter were there also to meet my youngest daughter’s man in her life,

Jeff. While shooting the breeze, an unexpected question brought up an

interesting subject matter. We may not have treaded on it had the question

not been brought up…

My oldest daughter (“matchmaker”) asked Jeff how he got a scar on his

face that looked to her like the heel of a beer bottle. It was two half circles

on the brow line. She then, to give him a feeling of ease, said,

“I’ll tell you my scar story, if you will tell me yours?”

My “group of four” (oldest daughter and daughter in law, Lenny and myself)

had consumed our bottle of Shiraz imported from Spain. Daughter and DIL

had ordered a chilled bottle of Moscata. The other group of four, youngest

daughter, Jeff, and her couple friends were drinking a beer, and 3 had had

bourbons from the bourbon bar downstairs. We all had removed ourselves

from inside and were sitting outside at black rod iron cafe tables. People

were streaming by, festive, several men and women wearing Santa hats

and Christmas necklaces. Downtown Delaware had done a great time of

advertising “Christmas in July.”

Once repeat drink orders were placed and I had ordered a hot artichoke

cheese dip to share on pita triangles and iced water, we were settled in

to hear the two stories, plus one added at the end.

Jeff said as a UPS delivery man, he ran into a wide variety of clientele.

He had been 22, eight years ago, and a blonde, pretty and young, 18 year

old, asked him to come back after his shift to “party with her and her

friends.” He came back being a red blooded male and thinking he would

not mind being an escort to these women.

While at a party he became in charge of a group or party of 4 women.

He made us laugh when he said, “You know they were like a gaggle of

geese, trying to herd them when we were going to take off to go to

another house to party.” I would get 3 by the door and one would

wander off seeing a friend to talk to, losing her in the crowd.”

Jeff said they finally moved to a less desirable neighborhood in Dayton,

and was concerned by the dark alleys. Probably had a premonition or

something because by the end of the night, he heard one girl being

molested and accosted by a bigger man. He approached, throwing

caution in the wind, totally weaponless, never carrying a thing when

he did go out, EVER, he said.

The buddies of the accoster/molester rounded their group up and

proceeded to drag him outside, beating, kicking and he was almost

passed out. He was finally discovered by the blonde pretty girl  who

emitted a shriek. She had seen his face bleeding and the gang of angry

men circled round him like a pack of wolves.

The young woman gathered her “gaggle of geese” and since the molested

girl was not among their group, hoped for the best in that situation. They

left the party, one of the girls apologizing for the beating Jeff had endured

and one dialing “911.”

We pondered the repercussions of staying, maybe pressing charges. We

all felt Jeff and his group could have done this, safely, but he kept shaking

his head. He wanted to tell us these men, did not use weapons, had kicked

so hard one side of his face that a rock had impressed the curves of the scar

into his face. It looked like hamburger or mush, he dropped his “charges”

safely at their homes, since they were only minors of 18, that was another

angle to fear him having to face consequences too.  He also felt the men

who were the perpetrators were “preppy UD college types, whereas I

was a working stiff.” (University of Dayton.)

The next day, Sunday, he showed up with his face being still red, bruised

and two moon shaped scars on his browline. “You wanna bet my Dad and

Mom were ‘hot!'” They were totally wanting to take him to the police station,

get his face photographed, and file charges against the young men. They also

felt it was not funny, when he was eating Sunday dinner, to keep pulling little

pebbles out of his face! Jeff never got stitches and that is the end of his “scar

story.”

My oldest daughter, matchmaker, said, “Well mine is not as exciting as all

that but I will tell you my brother’s story after I tell you mine!” (Brother,

my son, was at home watching his brood of four children so DIL could have

a rare night out.)

“I was four years old, Mom was working at the battered women’s shelter,

The Lighthouse in Lancaster, Ohio. We had a very nice, elderly babysitter

who lived out in the country. She had a lot of animals and a friendly collie

dog. We rode that poor dog, along with the goats and other animals. One

day, my babysitter whose grandkids were over also, gave the dog a big

meaty bone. I made the mistake of trying to take it to throw it, like we

did with other things, ropes, balls, and sticks. The dog turned and bit

a big chunk of my browline skin off, you could see the bone!”

She turned to me, saying, “Finish the story, Mom!”

I told our gathering that it was sickening when I got to the hospital to

meet the babysitter, daughter, son, and the two visiting grandchildren.

I picked up the big ice pack and saw her brow bone exposed. There was

very little flesh remaining there. When the ER surgeon came in, I took

one look at his youth and requested him to please call a plastic surgeon

and they sent for one in Columbus.

I turned to Vermeal, the babysitter, saying, “No offense and don’t worry,

things like this happen, I am not mad. I would like to know how good is

your house insurance?”

She agreed, the plastic surgeon and the repair work would have to be

covered. She was very apologetic, saying, “I should have put Chrissy

outdoors with the bone and had the kids sit at the table for lunch. Giving

the dog a bone while she was hungry and the little ones around was a big

mistake. I am so sorry.”

I sued and got a second amount of money ($11,000) that was an award

given to my oldest daughter in a trust fund to be used for further plastic

surgery, smoothing out her then, arrowhead shaped scar that is pointing

towards her eyebrow about 3 inches with two sides. She chose to buy a

car and did not get it fixed. The family did not hold it against me, nor I

against them. We continued to be friends and exchanged Christmas cards

for years.

The story about Jeff and the attack, reminded both my daughters and my

son’s wife of his efforts to handle a “damsel in distress.” My son was going

from one bar, Clancey’s to a bar three doors down, the Backstretch while

accompanying a girlfriend, the one before he married my DIL.

In between the two bars there is a Subway, all on South Sandusky Street.

In front of Subway, a man with a wild and threatening pose was facing

my son and then girlfriend. He shouted from a few paces away moving

quickly toward my son, “That’s my girlfriend! Give her to me!” No matter

what, in three other circumstances in my son’s childhood where people

hurt or hit him, I taught him repeatedly never to go full force and act

tough back. He had to have stitches while in elementary school when a

big boy who was in special education classes hit him over the head with

a backpack full of large books. While getting stitches and filing a police

report at the hospital, the police officer reaffirmed my request not to

defend himself while in dangerous situations where he knew he was

not big enough to end up safe and sound.

In this case, it was night, not an alley, lots of people around, but still

my son put his hands down, palm side down pushed backwards to

look as in supplication. His girlfriend, Danielle, stood behind him and

the wild man drew a large knife, looking crazed and swinging it, still

repeating his earlier shout. My son used a calming voice, saying,

“Hey, Man, I know how it is, women are always breaking up with me,

this is a small town, you run into them with a new guy and you want to

get even.”

The man screamed at him, “You don’t know how I feel at all!” while

lunging forward and slashing his chin, drawing blood that poured out.

People standing in the window of Subway had called the police, they

arrived to approach just as the knife was wielded. Man was put into

custody, either drunk or needing some kind of psychiatric care. I was

called, since he was still on my medical plan, met him at the hospital.

The cop there taking down the notes, turned to me, saying in a very

respectful way,

“Your son did the right thing, M’am. He did not lift a finger or use any

aggressive moves at all. I have six eyewitnesses to this scene. First of

all, you raised him well. Second, it is useless when someone is using

physical and verbal abusive language to try and fight back. Thirdly,

he protected not only the girl but a knife would have done serious damage

to his hands.”

I smiled and my son laughed. He said, “I took Tae Kwan Do and all I could

think of, on this hot, sticky summer night, was ‘Why in the world did I have

to wear my flip flops?!”

The police man, son, and I (proud Mom of a pacifist) all laughed! The image

of him kicking his foot up and pivoting, with a flip flop flying through the air

gave us a funny picture. No protection there in those ‘fighting feet  of steel!’

This closes the three scar stories told at Vito’s Wine Bar. All parties walked

home safely and no one was harmed in the writing of this tale.