Huey del Fuego
These days, Dad’s wardrobe consists solely of double denim and flimsy white tennis shoes, but in 1984, after watching Jack Nicholson in Prizzi’s Honor, he sported pink and yellow blazers. Dad had a museum of cowboy boots – about 20 pairs ranging in color and animal hide, and he liked big gold rings and chains, and wore a gold bull around his neck.
But behind the curtain of Dad’s eccentricity, was a loving father, the evolution of a man who grew up in Hoboken projects, unattended by his mother, while his father spent his life in a sanitarium. He was one of nine children, but only kept in touch with one sister and a long-lost brother his mother had sold to neighbors.
Family meant everything to Dad. He enrolled my sister and me in an expensive Catholic school to ensure a good education, and went to church with Mom every Sunday, not because he was religious, but because it made Mom happy.
Dad ran a tight ship at home, and there were severe consequences for bad behavior. Once when I was sixteen, I snuck out of the house wearing a leopard-print tank top and leather miniskirt and hit a night club in Santa Monica, where I drank, danced and smoked cigarettes.
The next morning, Dad approached me, “Did you wear that outfit after your mother and I told you not to?” I loved him too much to lie. He walked away with disappointment in his eyes. It turned out his adult entertainment attorney had spotted me at the club. Two days later Dad sold my car and grounded me for six months.
In contrast to my flashy father was his business partner Mac whose steroidal frame stood 6’7″. Mac and Dad met while on the California Highway Patrol. Dad quit the force after a nasty motorcycle accident, and Mac was fired for accepting bribes. Later on, Mac brought Dad in as a partner to run his strip clubs in Los Angeles.