The Original Mack
This is a tale about the Original Mack…well not really a tale, just an acknowledgment of a man.
I’m not the Original Mack, I’m not even the second Mack.
There were two before me, my dad & my big brother…I’m Mack Hall Jr II
This is about my Dad. He was born on August 16th, 1949. My pops is the Original Mack & he was a walking quote, some of his quotables were less PC than others and most were not family-friendly, but that’s how he was…no filter.
In honor of my pops Born Day, I’d like to share a list of some of my dads’ favorite quotes & some stories…in no particular order.
My Dads' Quotables...
- Di-di Mau
Translation: Let’s go
He brought that home from Vietnam.
- Let me guess “not me” did it.
Translation: Somebody broke or snuck into something & no one would confess.
No snitching in our house.
- …ain’t no if ands or buts about it
Translation: No more excuses & no more procrastinating.
- I say what I mean & I mean what I say.
Translation: Stop asking.
- You run your mouth like a Japanese radio
Translation: You’re talking too much.
- That dog don’t hunt.
Translation: He don’t believe you, you need more people.
- …happier than a punk in a weenie factory.
Translation: No comment
- You can’t bullsh*t the bullsh*tter…I put the “B” in Bull & the “S” in Sh*t
- If that’s true then Popeyes a punk & Superman never got off the ground.
Translation: Again, he doesn’t believe you, but it’s a trick because those people don’t exist, so he’s giving you time to get your story straight.
- I don’t play games, games are for children. I quit school because they had recess.
Side note…this was his most repeated quote. Usually, it was said while playing spades or dominoes.
The Original Mack made sure that I knew how to cook, clean & sew.
“…so you won’t need a woman,” he said. So when I thought I was going out on a Saturday to turn flips on a pissy mattress with my friends he said, Nah…you’re learning how to sew today. I cried all over the sewing machine while my mom helped me make a teddy bear.
The Original Mack had way more faith in me than I had in myself. The first time that he let me drive was at night time on highway 635. He asked me if I wanted to go out with him to listen to some live jazz at a spot downtown, I said yes not knowing what he probably had planned all along. The band was outside at a gas station close to Downtown (I think it was on Harwood & Corinth), my pops drank beer while the band played. We just leaned against the car (slant back Lincoln Continental) chilling the entire time. When the jam session ended we hopped in the car & headed home cutting through South Dallas & when we got to the freeway, at the entrance ramp, my pops pulled over & said “…take me home.” I was like huh!?
With cars on the left zooming by, and cars on the right entrance ramp. I climbed over to the driver’s seat, and he walked around to the passenger side, reclined & closed his eyes. Again, I was 12/13 years old, Saturday night, 635…I was terrified, he was chilling…at least on the outside. He’d peek up every now & then to correct me, but for the most part…he just let me drive. As soon as we got home he walked in the door & said to my mom…your son just drove us home & my mom said what!?
The Original Mack was my security guard.
A couple of years after driving for the 1st time he had enough faith in me to run errands. My big brother came over for a visit & when he was ready to go, my dad told me to drop him off at the bus stop. Of course, I wanted to drop him off at the closest bus stop on Lake June & Masters, but my big brother wanted to get dropped off further down Lake June…by Jim Miller. I wasn’t familiar with driving on that side & I had a wreck, not a regular wreck…a wreck, wreck. Glasses flew off & everything. My big brother said “I have warrants, so I can’t be here when the police get here”
…I was like WTF!? Now I’m by myself, car f*cked up in the middle of the street. I go to the pay phone (yes payphone) & call my dad. Police are there, the people that hit me had some of their people pull up, I’m outnumbered & my dad pulls up. The cops are asking questions & 1 cop says to me “this looks like your fault” without thinking about the repercussions of cursing in front of my dad I said “How the fuck would you know?! You didn’t even see it!” My dad put his hand on my chest & looked me in the eyes, basically telling me to step back & calm down. Then he steps towards the cops & yells “How the fuck would you know!? You didn’t even see the wreck!” then another officer stepped in between my dad & the cop. I cried when I got home, but he assured me that I wasn’t in trouble & he wasn’t mad. Instead, he told me that he shouldn’t have put me in that situation & apologized.
The Original Mack both understood & believed in me.
When I came in late on a school night smelling like weed, I immediately said to my dad “I wasn’t smoking!” because I knew that he could smell it. He just turned, walked away smiling & said “I know YOU wasn’t smoking weed” emphasis on YOU. When I intentionally left my school badge at home because I didn’t feel like going to school. I walked all the way home just to find out that my parents were gone…so I tried to kick in the back door. When my parents got home & my dad looked at the dent in the door, he cursed me out from the back door to my room. Now, feeling even worse than I was before, he opened my door & said “I apologize, I was wrong, it’s hot outside, if I were you, I would’ve done the same thing” that changed my whole day around. When the Vice Principal said that I was in a gang & that I was skipping classes. I called my dad to come up to the school with me. My dad went in on him immediately. He asked Mr. Neal “I have on a Cowboys shirt, my favorite color is blue, does that mean that I’m in a gang?” Boom!, he couldn’t prove the gang claim, so he moved on to the skipped classes. With Mr. Neal sitting across looking at me, my dad leaned over & asked “son, did you skip class?” I said “Nope”, so Mr.Neal said, “how about we go ask Mr.Pettejean? The 3 of us walked to the back of the school to get Mr.Pettejean out of class to ask him. Mr.Neal brought Mr.Pettejean out in the hallway to ask him in front of my dad…”I see Mack was not marked present on this day” Mr.Pettejean said “oh no, he was here, he’s always in class, sometimes he sleeps in class, but he’s always here.” case closed…Not Guilty!
Mr.Neal walked away without saying a word, I & my dad looked at each other & smiled.
The Original Mack was the bravest & most confident man that I’ve ever met.
He left me with all of the tools that I’ll ever need in life.
1997/98 I was a senior in high school & 1 day he & I were watching Ricki Lake & he said, “I just want to see you graduate, after that, I’m good. I’m going to buy a motorcycle & me & your mom are going to travel.”
Shortly after that conversation, he wanted me to take him around the corner for some cigarettes, I thought he had stopped smoking.
He told me that he didn’t have a lot of time left & that he wanted me to do some things after he was gone.
I heard him, but I wasn’t listening. My dad was so tough, that I literally thought that he’d die when he was ready. He passed away less than a week after that talk.
February 28, 1998.
My dad was a Vietnam Vet & a Marine.
He didn’t have to go to Vietnam, he had 2 big brothers already over there. J.L Hall & Don Lee Hall.
He said he went just to get away from his dad. He enlisted at 18/19 years old.
He met my mom while they were young, they grew up together & when he told my mom that he was leaving he said she cried. My mom said that she didn’t think that he was coming back because of everything that she’d heard about the war. My dad said “your mom told me bye, I said no, bye is for dead folks, I’ll see you later, because I’m coming back”…and he did.
My dad was cool, ill-tempered, funny, intelligent, uncensored, protective, fly, witty, clever, stubborn, complicated, guarded, honest, a leader, a teacher…he was Original.
The Original Mack. 24 years before the movie.
Happy Born Day Pops! 8.16