Delroy and Vinnie Shannon sat in “The Sandpiper”, a bar off Laguna Beach, California. It was 3am and the barman Chuck, who was also the owner, was listening to the brothers talk. They were in their early 20’s and were discussing, or arguing, about whether they should return to London or stay illegally in the US.
Earlier that night two rowdy navy lads from San Diego got into a bust up over a surfer girl. Chuck was on his own, his business partner and brother Chip visiting their elderly dad in San Francisco. Delroy and Vinnie, who could clearly handle themselves, stepped in and not only threw the drunken marauders out, but they did so in such style that the navy guys almost thanked them. It was as if they accepted: ‘If these two throw us out, we probably deserve it.’
“Vinnie, if we get caught they’ll lock us up!” Said Delroy.
“No, they kick you out, fair enough, but they don’t arrest Brits.” Replied Vinnie, driving his finger onto the table like a judge hammers a gavel when calling order.
“So you know all about US immigration as well? Like you knew everything about friggin cancer?” Said Delroy spinning his chair as if to square up to his brother.
“What the fucks that supposed to mean?” Vinnie shouted, suddenly standing up.
“Lads, lads,” Chuck, who had been listening whilst collecting glasses, approached the two brothers who faced each other like two gunfighters a in a western movie. “Sit down.” At first they ignored, or rather appeared not to hear Chuck. “Sit down!” Demanded Chuck in such a way as the two brothers unconsciously thought of their old dad and obeyed immediately. Vinnie looked at the wooden floor and Delroy across the bar at the audience of liquor bottles.
“Look, I know what it’s like; me & my brother Chip love and argue with each other with an equal passion.”
No one said anything or moved. “Look, I heard you talking and well, I liked the way you handled those two earlier. If you want a job, you can work here. You can sleep upstairs”.
Today, my dad and his brother Vinnie call Laguna beach home. Uncle Chuck still pours the drinks and no one gets out of line in the Sandpiper. Not for long anyway.
©DMM #inspirational_photograph by @josiahq