And Then We Went Fishing

This book is deeply personal, written in Dirk’s usual thoroughly engaging style, and provides us a glimpse into the inner workings of the man on the occasion of the birth of his son.

“A Story Of Fatherhood, Fate, And Forgiveness”
By Dirk Benedict
Audio Excerpt
Narrated by Dirk Benedict
Windows Media Player or Real Player
Written Excerpts
Chapter Two
“Friday, February 26, 1988. The birth of our baby is imminent. Nine days overdue according to the experts. But who listens to them? Certainly not me. Because most women do not know when conception took place (some aren’t even sure with whom), doctors use the date of a woman’s last menstrual cycle as the basis for predicting the birth date. My wife, being a responsible woman, knew exactly when our child was conceived…June 1st. And where…in the Bahama Islands. And with whom…me. By my calculations, March 1 is the date this soul will be born. You figure it out.
One thing is certain, overdue or right on schedule, our baby is very very close to his planetary entrance……..”.

Chapter Four
“I know what it means not to want to miss a good party. The Saturday night before my Father’s Sunday-morning demise there was a helluva beer party that I just had to go to. I’d been working all day stacking bales. I was thirsty. For beer, for my friends, for fun, and most important, thought I didn’t admit it, for relief from the pressures of having a Father who knew too much.
It was 1963, the summer before my freshman year at college. Cynthia, my high school sweetheart, and I were separated by 150 miles, as her parents had moved to Billings after our high school graduation. We hadn’t seen one another all summer. She was in town. It would be our last weekend together before we swore eternal devotion and went off to separate institutions of higher learning. All our friends would be there. All the hits of this pre-Beatle summer would be playing on the record player. Dancing, drinking, romancing, escaping…I couldn’t wait……..”

Chapter Six
“It is early August. Her parents are away. Cynthia has a small party. I drive down for it. A chance to meet some of her new friends from college. There is music, laughter, dancing, and lots of sharing of college experiences and touching and kissing and finally Cynthia and I are alone. The circular drive is empty. (Except for the Chrysler 300 with the small backseat.) The beer is gone. The lights are low. The music is Johnny Mathis. The ice maker is out of ice…things are heating up. And the inevitable happens…….”

“….Four years of foreplay have led to this moment in this living room on this couch on this hot Montana summer night as we wrestle with our coital karma. Johnny isn’t helping things, as his sensual tenor croons to musical climax. The couch on which we writhe is wet with moisture from orifices we never knew existed. Her no’s, now a continual primitive chant, have become her sexual mantra. She waits, eyes closed, for me to seize the moment and take her, take us, into our future…..”

Chapter Eight
“I enter the bedroom. Something is wrong. Toni sits on one side of the bed; the “professional” reclines on the other. My little snack must have really hit the spot because she’s sleeping like the baby we are desperately trying to have. Upon my departure for a much-needed nap, the attendant lay down on the bed, presumably to rub Toni’s lower back, and went promptly to sleep. Toni has been alone all this time! She didn’t want to wake me because she knew how tired I was. Toni tried moaning a little louder than normal during contractions to rouse the pro, but evidently Grandma’s party was very tiring.
Toni has a contraction. I let my voice project as I begin to coach her through it. (After all, I am a classically trained stage actor. I know how to reach the balcony). Lo and behold, the Rip Van Winkle of home births raises her sleepy head from her pillow. I’m embarrassed for her. She isn’t. She seems quite content with herself, unfazed by her lack of professionalism in going to sleep on the job. If this were the military and she a sentry, she would be shot. I considered that option. She better not ask for dessert! She’s fortunate that I’m too tired and busy taking care of Toni to do anything but ignore her. She ignores us! Is she waiting for me to tell her what to do? Evidently not. She goes downstairs. That is, after all, where the refrigerator is. Is this a raid? I feel a tinge of anger. Let it pass…..”

Chapter Ten
“When they met, my Mother was twenty, a beautiful farm girl from north of Havre, struck by my Father’s vitality ( as she soon will be again ) and his brilliance. He was twenty-six, blinded by her beauty and ignorant of his own strange, unshared dreams of a life no one had heard of or cared to know or believed was possible.
“I do”, he said. And it would take him twenty-six years, but, by God and in spite of what he must have know was waiting, he would.
“Til death do us part,” he said. But death parts only the spirit from the body. It leaves all the conflict, rage, fear, and resentment just where they were–in the hearts and minds of the living.
My heart and mind resist, but my body follows my Father. I leave the backyard where we stood and follow the trail of his rage. To the back door of the house, through the shattered window of forced entry. Forced entry into the future and the bedroom and the blur that would become Me. I have followed him ever since. Through other shattered dreams and bloody broken windows of opportunity. Through heartbreak and carcinogenic nightmares……..”.

Chapter Fourteen
“My mind enters the “Imaginary World of Dr. Wu.” I envision the other end of our Glendale connection. Dr. Wu is not gone but stands next to the Lisp, who has me on the line.
“Who?” asks Wu.
“Dirk Benedict. He theth your hith emergenthy backup,” says the Lisp.
“Been waiting for this phone call. Tell him I took a slow boat to China,” says Dr. Wu.
“I’m thorry, Dr. Wu ith out of town.”
“I said slow boat to China…Kick that arrogant Kamikaze Cowboy sonofabitch in those balls of his that he continually rubs in our faces. The two that got away! And now he wants us to deliver his baby?”
“If he’d lithened to hith doctor he wouldn’t be in thith meth.”
“That’s right. No balls, no babies. Tell him I can’t be reached.”
“Thorry. Dr. Wu didn’t thay where he could be reached.”
“Let’s just see wht those balls of his are made of.”
“Too bad. I loved that TV theries he did.”
“‘The A-Team’?. A cartoon. Wuss show. No one ever even got shot. No blood and no balls!”
“A wuth show? Gee, Dr. Wu, I thought he…it…had real ballth.”
“Get rid of him.”
Didn’t Dr. Wu get it? I was on his side. That is, the side of his forefathers. The side of Chinese medicine, with its Ayurvedic Indian roots and it’s Zen Japanese branches. Ah well, never trust an Occidental Oriental. They know too much. And anyway I’m making all this up, letting my imagination get the best of me. Maybe it is the best of me. Except…
Dr Wu is gone and he took the Glendale Hospital with him. I assess the situation. The situation assesses me, which is what situations do: assess us, appraise us, diagnose us, evaluate us. Tell us things about ourselves that, more often that not, we don’t want to know. Or remember…..”

Chapter Nineteen
“I know something is happening here that has been going to happen for decades. This is the moment I have dreamed of in all my childhood nightmares. I have spent my youth pricking the bubble of violence as it grew, but it has grown nonetheless. I want it to stop. I know not how. Where to start. Console my Mother, disarm my Brother, protect my Father…save my Self? I stand rooted in the impossible options of my cowardice.
“Put down the gun.”
It is my Father’s voice……..”