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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fable, Fantasy, Fiction and some Fantastic Truths

Shortly after my father died, I wrote an obituary that was, shall I say, a bit of fiction wrapped around the truth.   After several revisions, I had condensed it down to four short paragraphs.  I never published it nor did I keep the longer drafts. 

Natale "Nate" Aiello a.k.a. Nate the Destroyer, passed away April 9, 2012 under suspicious circumstances. Nate spent many years in covert operations for the US Military starting in Korean War. Nate continued operations for nearly 40 years before retiring as a civilian. After the Korean War, Nate studied radio and video communications becoming an expert in communications covertly over these mediums. 

Along with his work at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, he also later worked at various radio stations in the Monterey, CA area doubling as an agent and radio disk jockey. Under the pseudonym, Nat Lee, he worked closely with the special government agencies protecting the US coastline and transmitting information on communist activities and also spend his evenings spinning Big Band era, Rock and Roll PoP music. During this time, Nate also spend time in the California Central Valley investigating reports and sighting of unidentified flying objects for a specialized department of the Federal Bureau of Investigations later made popular by a TV Series called "The X-Files".

Nate lived a serious and devoted life dedicated to the country he loved so much. Though he dedicated most of his time to these tasks, he loved his time with his family and spent many great hours exploring and adventuring. A dedicated family man, Nate would spend a couple weeks a year camping in the redwoods along the Big Sur coast. Donning a tye-dye shirt, he would drink a beer and play horseshoes or sit around the campfire telling shaggy dog stories. He would take the family for drives along the Asilomar Coastline and stop for pepper steak sandwiches at a tiny food shack near the Monterey Wharf or a special night out at Zepeda's Mexican Restaurant. Some weekends they would visit family in Santa Cruz, CA and stop on the way home for chili dogs at a local street vendor in Watsonville, CA.

Nate loved food and cooking was was generally famous for his BBQ chicken, charred on the outside and undercooked in the middle. Nate had no fear of starting charcoal briquettes proving so by using ample and exceedingly large amounts of lighter fluid or occasionally, white gas. "Nothing starts a bag full of briquettes like eight feet of white hot flame" he would say.
Nearing his 82nd birthday, Nate took an unexpected fall while rescuing a kitten in distress and breaking his femur. Nate spent six weeks recovering but fell ill with the fever on the day he was to return home. Nate passed peacefully in his sleep a few days later, with family at his side.

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