By Davy V.
Here is a preview of my first book which I am currently writing, and which I am planning to self publish.
If you enjoy the intro, and would like to support my work, and my book, please show your support by making a donation at the top right of the blog, by clicking the "Donate" button.
I hope you enjoy the intro to a book which means so much to me.
Please keep in mind it's a rough draft, so excuse any misspellings, run on sentences, etc. :)
Why I'm writing this book
My name is David Vara, but I'm better known as "Davy V.", or "Davy Vara".
I was born in Rochester, NY, but my family moved to Miami, Florida when I was just a few months old, where I lived until I was 9 years old, before my family moved back to Rochester.
My life as a young child in Upstate New York was not much different than that of any other kid, until I was 16 years old.
What happened to me at 16 years old?
Well, I will tell you shortly, but before I do, I first need to explain to you that my story, up until this very moment in which I am writing this, is in a way, a continuation of my father, Mario Vara's story.
My dad Mario Vara left his homeland of Cuba in 1968, two years before I was born.
In search of a better life for my mother and my 6-year old brother, my Dad did not hesitate when Fidel Castro's G-2 police officers knocked on the door one evening asking him if he still wanted to leave the country, as he had requested several months earlier.
"Yes", my dad replied.
That one word my father said to those policemen, set in motion a chain of events, which have led here, writing this book.
My father loved this country.
I remember how proud he was when he became a U.S. Citizen, as he smiled for the photograph with Judge Provenzano, and me.
Unlike many Americans who take their rights for granted, my Dad appreciated them.
He savored freedom, in every instance.
My father knew what it was like to live in a dictatorship where one could not openly voice one's opinion, or thoughts, without fear of retaliation, which more often than not meant incarceration.
But then something happened.
Something which would forever change my Dad's life.
On a hot summer day in 1986, an alcoholic next door neighbor who would regularly beat his elderly wife, called Rochester, NY police, and lied to them, telling them that my Dad had a gun in the house.
This alcoholic neighbor was mad because my Dad refused to give him money to buy beer.
***** Rochester, NY Police officers Randall Benjamin and Mark Mariano *****
I can still remember the sound of the wood on the front door of our home splintering and breaking apart more and more with each kick of their black boots.
From where I was, in the living room, I could see the front of their boots coming through the door panels, as the door shook in the door frame, after every kick.
Each kick seemed louder than the previous.
Certain memories of that day are forever etched in my mind, like seeing my mom crying, with a look of fear on her face.
I recall thinking, "How could this be happening? This is nothing like officer Friendly who visited my 3rd grade class."
It was the afternoon of a beautiful day in June of 1986, in what was our fifth summer in Rochester, NY, after moving from Miami, Florida.
I remember hearing my dad talking outside.
I also remember hearing the chatter of what sounded like police radios.
As I looked out our living room bay window, I could see Rochester police officers Randall "Rambo" Benjamin, and Mark Mariano, talking with my dad.
The officers were asking about a gun and saying "We need to come in."
My dad was shaking his head and telling them "You can't come in my home without a warrant."
Officers Benjamin and Mariano were clearly not satisfied with that and insisted on coming in.
By now, my dad had walked up onto the porch and continued to tell the officers that they could not come in without a warrant.
With the officers a few feet behind him, still at the bottom of the porch steps, my Dad walked in the house and locked the door.
And that's when it started.
They must have kicked that door for at least 5 minutes before it finally gave in.
Rochester Police officers Benjamin and Mariano came in with their guns drawn and pointed them at all of us.
They insisted on my father showing them where the gun was.
My father kept telling them, "There is no gun, you can not do this, this is against the law for you to come in my home."
They didn't care.
Benjamin and Mariano ransacked our home.
They overturned mattresses, pulled out and dumped dresser drawers on the floor.
Clothes were strewn throughout our bedrooms.
My baseball trophies, broken in pieces.
I was crying when the officers threatened to shoot our family dog, before officer Mariano grabbed me by my shirt, slamming up against the hallway wall, lifting me off the floor.
I remember officer Benjamin laughing in my brother's face, and asking him "Who are you, Perry Mason?", when my brother told both officers that they had no right to do what they were doing, and that what they were doing was against the law.
The officers never found a gun.
There was no gun.
What they found was a Crossman air pellet gun that my dad had gotten me for my birthday.
I would fill up 2 liter pop bottles with water and target practice in our garage.
When the Rochester police officers left our home, it looked like a tornado had passed tnrough the inside.
The look on my Dad's face as he tried to cover the huge holes the police officers made in the front door, as he held pieces of broken, and splintered wood in his hands, said it all.
It was a look of sadness and disillusionment.
It hurt my Dad to see that here, in the United States of America, the country he left
Cuba and his family behind to come to, that the police could violate citizen's rights.
That hurt my father so much.
After Rochester Police officers Randall Benjamin, and Mark Mariano illegally breaking into our home and terrorizing our family, my dad realized a very sad reality.
That here in the United States of America, "the land of freedom", "the land of opportunity", police officers, who swear an oath "to serve and protect", can, and do, break that oath, and the law, and violate innocent citizen's rights.