Bobby Martinez, representing Bobby Vaughn’s FTW.
Soon an entire SWAT battalion burst in. Surreal. Helicopters of fully armed fully armored men smashed him to the ground, subduing him. He was taken to Los Angeles County Jail, Men’s Central, a notorious facility, and locked up with the worst. C-44 module. He was not allowed outside for six months and spent his days and nights with five other men, mostly murderers, in a four men cell. One person always sleeping on the ground. True hell.
He was charged with first-degree murder, a penalty that would carry three life sentences. His bail was set at five million. OJ Simpson’s had been set at 2.8 million. And he was left to rot with the lowest of the low. FTW for real, he thought.
His plea, of course, was self-defense but he had to stay in jail through the entire trial since he could not post bail. He was taken up to the insane floor after the warden discovered that he had killed his best friend. Straight-jacketed and not let out except for one hour a day. He had to petition the jail that he was not crazy. Finally he was let back into general population, which is only arguably better. He shared a cell with three other men who had just been given life sentences.
Every day that his trial was on he would go to the courthouse. Shackled. Onto the bus. Into the holding room. Into the courtroom. The jury listened attentively to the details of the killing. They watched as Bobby took the stand. And then it was time for them to deliberate. To hand Bobby his fate. They had heard the prosecution and had heard the defense. He was resigned at that point. For the first time in his life he felt everything was in God’s hands. On murder one cases it usually takes days of deliberation. Bobby was taken back into the holding room to get shackled to go back on the bus to go back to his cell. Right in the middle of getting shackled, though, a guard came in and told him the jury was out. They had his fate.
Bobby was taken back into the courtroom.
The jury foreman stood and read the verdict.
He broke down. His life was his again. His life was his.
He still had to go to Beverly Hills and fight another legal battle before becoming completely free, but the worst was over.
He had to go to rehab in Utah, too. The Olsen twins had gotten out of the facility right before he arrived. The Olsen twins. Brittany Spears. Full circle. But he met a kid from Jersey there from a well-to-do family who told Bobby that he had to come out and meet his dad. So when rehab finished Bobby went to Jersey and met the kid’s dad and the dad provided the financial backing he needed to get FTW off the ground properly. So much money had been spent in court battles. In defending his very life. And he needed proper backing. But he knew what FTW could be. He knew what it needed to be.
He got a place in Rockaway because he wanted to be near the surf again. Always his salvation. And the New York surf rats adopted him as one of their own. Soon a whole pack had moved into his garage and they would all surf and work on designs for the brand. Surf. Always surf.
He had another brush with the law, an unlawful gun possession charge and had to do some time in New York’s Riker’s Island but it was that charge, and the probation that followed, that kept Bobby in New York and kept the brand growing.
His office is now just off of Times Square in Manhattan. He has big, bold ideas of what he wants it to be. A real and authentic surf brand. A gangster equivalent to the blonde-haired, blue-eyed fluff that dominates the space now. He has Bobby Martinez.
And he has a drive that is almost unequalled. He was an orphan, a gangster, a businessman, a Hollywood fixture, a Navy SEAL, a prisoner, a killer, a felon. He is, above all, a dreamer.
FTW. Fuck the world. It sure doesn’t sound like the slogan of a dreamer, but Bobby Vaughn has never been regular. He says it can mean anything from Fight Terrorism Worldwide to Fine Tennessee Whiskey to Follow the Word. But it is best as Fuck the World. And Bobby Vaughn fucks the world with his own special blend of dogmatic, never-say-die, panache each and every day of his life.
An odd role model. The best role model.