Oh about 1959, my Jr. Year in High School, Castro was really stirring up things in Venezuela. There had been several incidents in Tia Juana. One involved an American who came home to find his A/C had been removed from the wall of his house and he stuck the upper half of his body through the hole to take a peek and was stabbed to death. Then there was the incident of a guy who on two occasions after he and his family returned from the movies, found his house had been broken in to and he lost lots of stuff.

So one day he decided to return home after taking his family to the movies and he hid in his house with a baseball bat and he greeted the three native robbers who broke into his house with the bat.

He chased them out of his house striking them as they ran away and he chased one guy over to the fence by the main highway and beat him over the fence. Next day, the Guardia National came after him. “The Mistake” -- he chased them out of his house. See, if you defended yourself, you could do it in your house not outside. He and his family were shipped back to the States.

Dad's Rule: 1. If you had to defend yourself, kill the bastards and head for Colombia. 2. If you came to a road-block -- run the bastards down and head for Colombia. So we kept razor sharp machetes in the jeep any time we left the camp.

Dad had purchased a 380 Browning Automatic which he hid in the linen closet. No ammo, though. So without consulting him I decided to bring some ammo home that summer. I carried the box of 50 rounds in my pants pocket when I boarded the plane in Miami. No problema back then. I knew that there would be a major problema if I were caught with the ammo by Venezuelan customs. So I went to the bathroom on the plane and dumped the box of ammo into the crotch pocket of my BVD's. They were new and I knew the seam would not rip out. They hung a bit between my legs -- “Is this how it will be when I am older?” I thought. “Cool”.

We landed in Maracaibo and as I walked down the aisle of the plane I notice my BVDs began to droop off my hips from the weight of the ammo. Panic set in!!! I held my underwear up with my thumbs as I went down the ramp steps and as I walked to the terminal I could feel the ammo swinging back and forth between my legs. “What did it look like if someone saw the bulge between my legs?” I broke out in a sweat and I tried to take smaller steps with my legs closer together and still with my thumbs holding up my BVDs. I shuffled along the walls leading to the customs agents so as not to be conspicuous. I knew that I had to resemble a stud bull with the bag swinging as I walked -- “I am not ready for this”, I thought.

Well, of course, I made it through customs because Dad paid them off as usual -- $100 Bs insured no bags were looked into.

We were heading back to Camp in what was supposed pass for a cab when I dug into my pants and pulled out a couple of rounds to proudly show Dad.

I thought the world would end that day!!