A life well lived? No, but it was interesting at times.

Some life trivia. The above photo is of a newspaper article in the Virginian Pilot from Nov. 23, 1989. Backstory: I needed a full time job while in college and a friend of mine's older brother said he could get me a job with a local private security company. I did not realize what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out 90% of their clients were local bars and nightclubs.

We worked everything. Biker bars, gay bars, dyke bars, squid bars, regular clubs, and black nightclubs. One of these was Studio 9, located in downtown Norfolk, VA. Before carrying a back up gun became popular, this was the only nightclub I worked where I carried two pistols on me. Somebody was always starting some shit at this club.

The club had four bouncers and from five to eight uniformed armed security officers. (in Virginia, properly licensed private security guards, while on contracted property, could make arrests, issue summonses and testify in court as law enforcement officers. This was thanks to the Retail Merchants Association in Virginia because shoplifting cases were constantly getting thrown out of court as a result of guards making citizens arrests. Spend lots of money lobbying and suddenly your guards become law enforcement officers who can testify in court and get convictions that stick.)

At any rate, the photo on the right shows one of our officers (Chris Rose) on the ground because he had been hit in the head with a beer bottle.His head was badly cut. Also pictured in the photo was our then chief of security Steve Mahanes, One of the Owner's, Preston Berry, Jr--I would partner up with his father for my gun business, officer Sweat and my field training officer Major Joe Catala. Our company had upwards of 150 officers and I eventually worked my way up to Captain. Joe Catala would die a few years later from diabetes related complications. Joe was a scrapper. He used to be a police officer in New York but had his career cut short when a bad guy stuck a straightened coat hanger through one of his lungs.

I frankly wasn't sure sure how I'd do in bar security as I wasn't much of a fighter, but Joe and I were working Knickerbockers night club on my first day on the job when I hear Joe call for help and turn the corner to see four British sailors had jumped him. I got two on the ground and cuffed and he go the other two cuffed. We called Shore Patrol and all four had a rough ride back to their boat.

Another bar we worked was El Hombre, we called it El Horrible. Klaus the owner would sell weed to the squids (sailors) up on the club balcony.The Mexican food they served was fantastic, but a lot of stuff happened at that club.

One night, we had a guy hide in the ceiling. He was planning to rob the place after we closed. Just before closing he fell through the drop ceiling in the women's rest room and landed on an Asian woman who was taking a shit. She had no shit left in her after he fell on her.

The El Hombre fun continued as another night I took a small handgun off a female who had been threatening a patron. Turns out she had been gang raped a year or so earlier and she thought she found one of her attackers. It was a really brutal rape and the bad guys had not been caught yet.

Then there was the night I was working the back door when a waitress let out the most blood curdling scream I'd ever heard. There were three of us at the club that night and we all immediately drew our weapons and headed up the stairs to the balcony. We all three were resolved to kill some asshole that night.

We get up to the balcony that overlooked the dance floor and we see a waitress with a horrified expression on her face and she was looking at a seated patron. We were either going to kick this guys ass or kill him until we found out what the deal was. The guy was drunk and whipped his dork out and started to piss on the floor. OK, whatever, until his piss spilled over the balcony onto the dancers below. It was all we could do to get him outside before the other patrons who got a golden shower got their hands on him.

I have more of these experiences and may post them if anyone is interested. I was also considering putting a roughly 10 year snippet of my life into an ebook or regular book in the hopes of raising some money so I can better care for my son who has Aspergers. He is high functioning but 80% of these people do not end up making it on their own. I feel my son could, but I need to get a few things taken care of so I can get him to a point of self sufficiency. So, if someone knows anything about how to go about ebook publishing, please give me some direction in the event I want to pursue this further.

Views: 156

Comment by Myriad on February 18, 2017 at 10:24am

Good luck - it sounds like you have some really interesting material.  Maybe an e-book tutorial by someone in the know would be helpful to others of us here. ## Hard to contemplate leaving behind a dependent child.  My younger daughter needs help and will be outliving me by decades.  Social services are of limited use.

Comment by Mike Shields on February 18, 2017 at 10:32am

Thanks for the comment Myriad. My son is really a kindhearted kid. As you know, none of our children  asked to be here and while I'm certainly willing to take whatever punishment I'm due for some lousy life decisions, I do not want to screw my son over.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on February 18, 2017 at 10:55am

Amazon has a format for self publication of ebooks:  Kindle Direct Publishing.  Good luck.

Comment by Mike Shields on February 18, 2017 at 10:56am

Thanks!! JMac.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on February 18, 2017 at 11:03am

Dyke bars?  Homophobe much???

Comment by Stephen Brassawe on February 18, 2017 at 12:15pm

A little peak into the netherworld of Norfolk from a safe distance never hurt anyone, I don't think.

I would have liked the piece for the title alone.

Comment by Mike Shields on February 18, 2017 at 12:23pm

Thanks Stephen.

Comment by Boanerges on February 18, 2017 at 2:10pm

Well hell yeah, we'd like to hear more. Maybe kind of retrospective series like JMac does so well.

Comment by nerd cred on February 18, 2017 at 4:08pm

I have a disabled 50 year old sister and social services are absolutely critical to her having a decent life. Luckily, we live in a place with decent services and support and we have met and been served by many excellent, committed people.

The kid next door to me (age 21) and one down the block (16) both have Aspergers and both get some level of public support. It's life-saving for at least one of them and a huge relief for the other's mother. The 21 year old is in college, paid by the public schools because that's an aid program here. The other kid, less severely affected, will also use that  program.

It took a long time to find the right placement for my sister and I'm still going to be doing some work on part of it. It's absolutely been worth it and her life would be a tragic mess without it.

I guess I'm just saying - look into it, especially if you're concerned about leaving them.

Comment by Drew-Silla on February 18, 2017 at 4:30pm

So let me get this straight - you get to beat the shit out of annoying people and you get paid for it? Sounds to me like a life very well-lived indeed. 


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