It’s always interesting when something triggers a thought or a memory, but the trigger had nothing to do with what you ended up thinking about. This Mother’s Day I woke up at my shop, Let's Get Famous Customs, where I call home. That’s right. I live at my shop full time. I have debated getting a “real” place, but to do that would mean giving up the shop to be able to afford to do that. To be honest, I would rather continue to pay the child support that I do on time so my kids have what they need, and to me, the shop is a part of the tv show that I feel is important. So, at 40 I find myself living in a metal building with no plumbing, driving a 12 year old car, and working my butt off for every dollar I can bring in.
Now before you start feeling sorry for me, know this. I am not a victim. I am not one of those guys wishing he didn’t have to pay an ex-wife so much money. In all reality I am more content and at peace with myself than I have been my entire adult life and after a day like yesterday, I am thankful for what I do have.
I went to Central Texas Harley on Saturday for the Jaime Padron Benefit. Officer Padron was an Austin Police officer that was killed in the line of duty last month after responding to a call near Parmer & I-35. After the funeral, the police escort of his body and all the news coverage quieted down, I began to learn more details about Officer Padron, who he was & what he left behind. He was a customer of Central Texas Harley-Davidson. In fact, he had purchased two bikes from them. He was also an ex-Marine and a father of 2 beautiful young girls.
When reading up on what happened that night, it becomes clear what type of person he actually was. Late one night he got a call that there was someone at Walmart that was intoxicated. When Officer Padron arrived, the suspect attempted to flee on foot. Padron tackled the suspect in the parking lot and the suspect pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and shot Padron in the vest and the neck. What I didn’t know is the suspect also fired shots at 2 of the Wal-Mart employees. Officer Padron died at the scene. Two Walmart employees, Lincoln LeMere and Archie Jordy, who helped subdue the alleged gunman, attended the memorial service and were applauded when APD Police Chief Acevedo brought them onto the stage to be recognized. Walmart reached out immediately and donated $50,000 to set up a trust for Padron's children.
After reading many of the stories I couldn’t help but relate to what happened. The night before this happened, I was working late and needed a few things. I went to that same Wal-Mart less
than 24 hours before the shooting took place. Had I been there one day later I could have been there at the same time this all went down. He was a hero that night and in my opinion, based on the
research I’ve done, he saved the lived of others that were there that night at the expense of his own.
Even though I didn’t know him personally, there were many similarities between he and I. Officer Padron was 40, rode Harley’s, he was divorced and had kids. That got me thinking about his 2 girls, which then made me think about my two girls. I get to go pick up my kids next month and spend a month with them this summer. I’m taking them to the beach, Lake Travis, we’re going to build some things at the shop and just hang out spending time together with me being their Dad and loving them…something Jamie’s kids won’t ever get to do with their Dad again.
And for what? Some punk kid who decided to pull out a gun and be a tough guy? The truth is there are plenty of punks in this world that have that mentality. I am thankful and proud to
know there are also people in this world like Officer Jamie Padron that will risk their own life to protect and serve all of us.
Through this tragic event, the Austin Police Department along with Andre, Ric, the crew at Central Texas Harley and many other sponsors & artists held an all-day fundraiser for Padron’s two daughters.
There was a silent auction with items donated personally including a signed guitar from Pat Green, merchandise that Ted Nugent himself sent down, a great friend of our show, Cody Rowe played for the crowd and actor Dennis Quaid stopped by and performed on stage with Dysfunction Junction. Over $20,000 was raised in one day to go towards a scholarship fund for Padron’s daughters. I was there filming a lot of it for use on an upcoming episode of The Bling Johnson Show and let me tell you, just being there was very moving.
So on this Mother’s Day when I woke up at the shop thinking about how some things in my life aren’t what they used to be I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such a great mom. I even thought
about my kids and their mom. Even though she and I don’t always see eye to eye on things, I am thankful that my kids have a mom that loves them and takes good care of them. I couldn’t help but
think how the daughters of Officer Padron are lucky to have their mom on this Mother's Day. Her job as a mother just got a lot more difficult and she will mean more to those two little girls now
than she ever has.
To donate online directly to the children of Officer Jamie Padron, visit http://www.100clubcentex.com/