Friday, October 27, 2006


Yeah, it's been done before. Looking at my own hands, reading my own story. Finished up at work last night at midnight, roughly. Had to be back at 0730. Only happens once a year, this was the week. It's cold on The Dock now, trucks run with the windows rolled up. Knuckles cracked and bleeding, time to get some new gloves. Fell today, from the racks, pallet slat broke, landed on the battery box. Tucked up to avoid hitting my head, took it in the back and shoulder, knocked the wind out a little. Jumped right up, I'm okay. Not wanting to let anyone think that it hurt. Damn sore now. Boss makes me complete an accident report.
"Just in case you wake up with a lung full of blood". Don't think that will happen, but it's a company rule.

Yeah, so I'm smokin' a cigarette when I notice my hands. Got some grease and hydraulic oil on them, line burst on a piece of equipment earlier. Murphy's Law kind of a week it's been. I stub out my smoke and head for the latrine to wash my hands. Industrial type hand cleaner, stings my cracked and bleeding knuckles. Have to help a couple of old guys finish up before we call it a day. I just want to get the hell out of there but I don't. I stay and help out. Old guys, yeah like in their fifties maybe. You can hear their knees creak and pop, better than sixty years on The Dock between the two of them. I don't want to end up like that, but I will.

Just took a break, had to take the dogs out. Cold rain falling, it's perfect. I keep writing the next few lines. I keep deleting them. Cigarettes, the downfall of civilization as we know it. Skynyrd on the radio...."Tuesday's gone with the wind".....Billy Powell ticklin' the ivory keyboard. Heard it said by some, Skynyrd's white trash Rock&Roll. Guess I'm white trash. It's a lot more day to day real for us, it says what it means without any bullshit. Fiction's just a fancy word for bullshit. After work today, I stop at the store. Want to hear the end of a Springsteen song on the radio, it just started. I park away, no other vehicles around. I light a smoke and kick back, diggin' The Boss. Should have seen the look I got from this smartly dressed low life yuppie couple who decided to park near my old Jeep. I realized it was the cigarette, got a little self righteous in my mind. The guy looked about my age, few years younger maybe. I'm thinkin' screw them. I'm thinkin' about how I served my country once. I'm thinkin' about Desert Storm back in '91. I'm thinkin' this guy was probably at some frat party lightin' his farts in a drunken stupor while we were moving north lightin' up the Republican Guard so he could put gas in the new Jetta his father got him for a high school graduation present. Then I start thinkin' about all that stuff I was thinkin'. So now I'm thinkin' about how stupid that all is. Now I'm thinkin', don't be a jerk Mr. Yuppie. I'm thinkin', why the hell did they park so close anyway? There was at least two dozen parking spaces closer to the store. Then it hit me. It's the new car he's driving. It's a friggin' Lexus, a real nice one too. He's parking away so no one smacks it with a cart or something. Now that makes sense, but still. Mr. Yuppie should know that there is a price to pay for everything. If your'e parking away, to keep your nice new car looking all nice and new, then your'e going to have to tolerate my cigarette and Thunder Road blasting out of the three speakers that still work in my old Jeep.

Yeah, I have to get some new work gloves, it's that time of year again.

Hey Tommy, how about it bro? You believe these people man?.........Yeah I know.........No man, those young guys at work said it's not going to happen...........No, they said they came up with lots of ideas. Some good, some not............Okay, what happened was this. They all got together like they said they were gonna..........Right........That's right man, he ain't gonna go for it. He said he was glad they were all tryin' to help but.........Yup, he's going if the army calls him back......Yeah I knew it too, had to let them try though..........Yeah I will.....Cool.......Okay, I'll give that a try. I'm still gettin' me some new work gloves though.......Yeah, same here. Later bro.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Yeah Bingo!

$460.00, that's right. Four hundred and sixty dollars. That's how much my wife won at bingo on Friday night. Got to the bank before noon on Saturday to deposit it. We caught up on some bills, wow, what a relief. She's going to go again next month, we don't expect that kind of return again, but wow. Yeah, that was cool.

So Saturday rolls around and finally it's not raining. My wife and our younger daughter and me, we take advantage of the opportunity to rake the leaves out onto the street. Good thing 'cause the leaf truck came by this morning. So I got the leaf blower going, it's a hand held job, two-cycle motor, works real well. My wife and daughter are raking. I asked my wife if she wanted to use the machine. Told her it's easy, like a big hair dryer. That got me a look, oops. My daughter gave it a try, it's kind of heavy for her. Our older girl, she's runnin' out the door to go have lunch with two of her friends from the school paper. These guys pull up in an older four door VW sedan, black in color, got the thump-thump stereo crankin'. I give them the look, you know the look. The look lets them know, she comes back on time and intact or else. It wasn't needed, the look I mean. Good kids these two boys are. The one gets out and lets her ride shotgun while he climbs in the back seat. You can tell, good kids. I gave them the look anyway, just in case. Neither of these two boys from the school paper is her boyfriend, but they all know each other, all the same circle of friends. Yeah......... "The Kids Are Alright"............

So my wife goes to the grocery store on Sunday morning. We had Pot Roast and potatos for Sunday dinner, got some left over, eatin' good at lunchtime on The Dock tonight. So at eleven AM on Sunday mornings we listen to the Polka Hour on the radio. My wife, she's Polish. Her grandparents are right off the Perogie Boat. So wer'e makin' breakfast, goofin' out, havin' a good time. The Parrot starts dancing, he's on his perch with us there in the kitchen and he starts dancing. Boppin' back and forth, bouncin' up and down, totally groovin' on the Polka Thing. I'm thinking hey, I thought he's people come from Guatemala. What a pisser, there we all are bouncin' up and down in the kitchen while the eggs are sizzlin', the dogs are barkin' and the Polka music is Polka-ing. We were all doin' The Parrot Polka. DZIEN DOBREY!.....I think that's how you spell it.

Hey Tommy, bro can you believe it?.......I know man, four hundred sixty bucks. That kicks ass. Couldn't come at a better time too.....Yeah, she had that lag in paychecks between jobs......Yeah man, I like bingo. Hey Tommy, I'll catch you later, gotta go to work......Yeah, I'll let you know if those guys came up with somethin'.......Yeah I been thinkin' about it too.

Friday, October 20, 2006


So my wife is out tonight. She finished up work this morning at eight, I just got home myself. She met this cool woman where she works, the lady invited her to go to a Vegas Bingo night. I sure hope she's having a good time, she really deserves it. She's been bustin' her you know what at this new job. She likes it. Every morning, after we take the younger one to school, she's been filling me in on the doin's at the plant. What a cast of characters. Sounds like a good bunch of people though, hard working people. A couple of jerks, you'll get that anywhere. It's just real cool that this other lady, one of only three on their shift including my wife, asked her to go do something.

Tomorrow our older daughter is going to have lunch at a little known, and way off the beaten path Mexican restaurant. She's going with a couple other kids from the school paper. They want to begin a series of articles about little known, and way off the beaten path type places. Tomorrow night she's going to see a play, extra credit points are involved, A.P. English class. It never ceases to amaze us, my wife and I, how smart our two girls are. They both do so well in school, they both have such good hearts. Even though they are seven years apart, they are so close. You just know they will be successful in life, no matter what life throws at them.

A couple of the young guys at work were talkin' about this guy they know, tonight at lunchtime. Anyway, he's been to Iraq. He did a one year tour there last year. So he comes home after his combat tour and gets married, his four year enlistment is up, he's ready to move on with his life. He just got called back to active duty, still has a reserve commitment for four more years. He said the army told him he could be over there for as long as two years this time. The guys at work, the two young guys who know him, they say he's not doing well. They say that whenever he drives anywhere, he's always looking up at the roof tops. They say he's been chewing his nails down to the bone since he heard he has to go back there. His new young wife, she's twenty-two and he's twenty-three, they say she's losin' it. They say that the newlywed couple wanted to start a family, he got a good job driving a beer truck. These two young guys at work, they have concert tickets that were hard to get, concert's tomorrow night. They decided to give the tickets away, instead they're going to get all their friends together. Wives and girlfriends, their whole crew, and throw a party for the newlywed couple to try to cheer them up. I told them that was real nice. They also said they're going to get everybody together for this party, cook lots of good food and ask everyone, their whole crew, to come up with a plan. They want to help their friend figure out a way to get out of having to go back to Iraq. I hope they come up with a plan, I hope it's a good one.

We have a tradition down at The Dock. Whenever something's damaged, a case or container or a truck or piece of equipment, we yell "BINGO"! That lets everyone know something has happened, first thing is to ensure that no one is injured. If no one is injured, and usually no one is, then we have to determine who was responsible for the bingo so that we can all properly bust his chops without mercy. It's a guy thing. So tonight I was moving a piece of equipment, a machine that had no brakes. I didn't know it had no brakes. It had brakes ten minutes before, but suddenly it had no brakes. "BINGO" as it caught the edge of a safety rail with a very loud bang. One of the young guys, one who's friends with the guy who has to go back to Iraq, he gets an idea. He says he knows how his friend can avoid having to go back over there. He says he'll just have his friend hang around with me for a little while and he's bound to get hurt. Very funny. Yeah he's a funny guy. Having dished out my share of bingo abuse in the past, well I had to shut my mouth and take it with a grin. The P.A. system barked, the foreman announced the bingo and identified me as the bingo-er. Kind of made for a long night. It's all good.

Hope my wife has a "BINGO" tonight. That Vegas Bingo has cash prizes up to one thousand dollars, that would be cool.

Yeah Tommy, it's a hard thing to do. This young guy has to leave his wife behind and go back over to that giant litterbox. Remember flyin' into that back in '90? Yeah, kind of blows your mind when you first see it..........No man, your'e right. Those people ain't never gonna change, not as long as we got people there...........That's right bro..........Yeah, it's about time, I agree..........Your'e right, a draft maybe is a good idea. Then all those people in charge can worry about their own kids........I really don't know Tommy, but I bet not too many Senators and Congressman have any family over there. Bet there ain't no big time CEO's with kids over there either.........Yeah, that's right. All too busy makin' money in this booming economy we got goin' on here......Yeah, I'm makin' like the same hourly rate I made working construction when I was a kid twenty-five years ago.......Yeah it is a joke Tommy. What's even funnier is that they all still expect us to buy into their bullshit.......Yeah bro.... Hey I gotta go man.....Yeah she just called, she's on her way home from droppin' her girlfriend off, said she won a little bit of money.....Yeah that is cool. Catch you later Tommy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


So I'm at Wal-Mart the other day, had to get some film for our older daughter who is on a field trip to the Frank Loyd Wright house, Falling Water, today. She is very excited, she's glad she joined the art club at her high school. Anyway, I don't like going to Wal-Mart but, sometimes you have no choice. Seems I can never find what I want there, they space everything out to facilitate the impulse buy.

Right next to the photography department is the electronics department. I walk through the electronics department on my way to the men's room. Wal-Mart always makes me have to relieve myself, don't know why, it just does. I exit the latrine and turn the wrong way, end up walking through the aisle where they sell bargain priced music CD's. I can navigate cross country in a vehicle. I can navigate cross country on foot with a map and compass, but put me in a department store or a mall and I get lost. Since most of my favorite music is now played on the oldies and classic rock stations, it can be found in the bargain bins at the store. That's a bonus.

As I wander through the bargain aisle I see it. A David Allen Coe CD. Now, me bein' an old biker at heart, well I just love David Allen Coe. The first two tracks on this $5.88 CD are Cheap Thrills and You Don't Have To Call Me Darlin'........Darlin'. These days I'm a husband and father, economic considerations are such that I no longer have a nasty old shovelhead to ride, still got those faded old wings burned on my back though. Back when I did ride, and I did ride, I rode all year long. Rain, snow, sleet or shine. Didn't matter, nothin' like straight pipes and an iron block. I miss those days sometimes, wouldn't change the way things are but I miss them. I miss the biker bars, real biker bars. "Bad Food, Cold Beer, Ugly Women" read the sign over the door at one of my old hangouts. When I joined the cops I was invited to ride with the Blue Knights, a cop motorcycle club. Nice guys, organized rides, kind of like a rolling PBA meeting sometimes, lots of complaining about the job. I still rode with my old friends, if they smoked a joint they did it out of my sight, respected my position. I didn't really care about that, I partied a bit myself before I was a cop.

Lets get back on subject here, Country. When I was a kid we had a radio station out of NYC that played great country music. 1050AM, I think the call letters were WHN or something like that. Anyway, I'd sit in my room with my old AM radio and listen to Bob Wills and Ray Price. That's probably why I dig the whole southern rock thing so much. Being that I lived in North Jersey, it was sort of my little secret. Eventually I found like minded people and we listened to the old country classic stuff together.........I just want to know, what the hell happened to country music?

We get some XM music channels on our Direct TV. They have a station that plays real country, new stuff, real country. Who decided that country had to become disco with a steel guitar? I mean, disco wasn't all bad. Well okay most of it was bad, except Barry White, maybe The Commodores and Earth Wind&Fire. I love Earth Wind&Fire. That stuff was more R&B though, real disco sucks. Living in a house full of women I'm really sick of that "I Will Survive" crap. I know, I know. It's like a chick anthem. Every time it comes on the radio or my wife pops in one of her mix CD's I pretend to dig it, just for the sake of harmony. Well I don't pretend to dig it, I tolerate it without making rude comments, that's different. Yeah, "I Will Survive". I'm hearing that and thinking "..judge a boy by his friends....and all of mine are trash". Yeah, I really like David Allen Coe.

I'm retired for over nine years now, got hurt in '97. The longer I'm away from the cops the more regular I feel. I don't think I was meant to be a cop. I like old burnouts and bikers. I don't care if someone wants to smoke a joint. I like down to earth blue collar people, I like the regular guys I work with down at The Dock. I like having a CDL so I can drive a tractor trailer if I have to. I like writing and reading. I don't like cheap commercial crap that some corporation tells me is country music. I don't like listening to the same song over and over, even though the words might change, it's the same damn song. I don't like the fact that musicians have to be young and pretty so they look good in a video. I like Ray Wylie Hubbard and Steve Earl. I like real country music, songs that make you think, songs that challenge authority. Music that says what it means, not just dance mix garbage. Buck Owens, he was good. Yeah, I really like David Allen Coe.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Roast Beef.

Reading my previous post. Buzzed blogging like drunk dialing, never a good idea. It reads like one of those old guys at the bar. "Let me tell you somethin' kid". At that point you have to figure out a way to politely excuse yourself. If you're lucky it's your turn on the pool table, maybe you can say you have to go to the bathroom or get your cigarettes that you left in the truck. Anyway, my apologies to all who had to endure the rambling nonsense. I'm not taking back what I said, I just could have said it better without the six pack of Coors under my belt.

So last night I catch the last half hour of a charity fundraiser show on Comedy Central, raising money for Autistic children, education. I saw John Stewart, the host, he asked people to pledge large sums of money. He said they wanted to raise half a million dollars in two minutes, money for a center at some college to train teachers on how to work with Autistic kids. He starts out the process by pledging fifty thousand dollars himself. A few people stood up in the audience and pledged fifty thousand also. Fifty thousand dollars, that's a lot of money. More people stood up and pledged twenty-five, then more pledged ten thousand. Finally, when they got to the one thousand dollar pledges a whole bunch of people stood up. I saw this one kid, probably twenty something, this kid stands up to pledge one thousand dollars. I thought about what I had written the night before, feel like a real jerk at this point.

I don't know who any of these people are, these good people who stood up in the audience and gave their hard earned money to help others. Like I said, feelin' like a jerk. So many people from all walks of life, from all over the economic spectrum, so many people give of themselves. So many people give their time and money, they do so quietly because it's the right thing to do. I blogged on Saturday night, I bragged about giving a stranger some gas money. I never should have said that, I never should have shared that. It's not right to do something right only to brag about it later. Still Feelin' like a jerk.

Yeah, I'm eatin' roast beef and drinkin' cold Coors beer. Washin' dishes in my dishwasher in the house that we own, well us and the bank but you know what I mean. I'm hangin' out with my healthy kids while others are facing real challenges, like Autism and a host of other afflictions. I'm bitchin' while our daughter's boyfriend worries about his father in the hospital suffering from multiple traumatic injuries, including a serious head wound. I've got nothin' to bitch about, I'm afraid I still will....... Bitch that is.

When I was a kid working construction, this old guy named Charlie said a little poem at lunch one day. We were all bitchin' about the heat, Charlie was just quietly sipping his ice tea and smoking a cigarette.

"As a rule man's a fool.......When it's hot he wants it cool.......When it's cool he wants it hot......
Always wanting what is not."

Well that's me. I'm the fool who can't see the forest for the trees. Still feelin' like a jerk.

Yeah Tommy I know......We go through this all the time. Guess I'm gettin' soft in my middle age bro. Hey, my anti-spyware program just automatically deleted a cookie!........I am not tryin' to change the subject, the thing just popped up on the screen and told me........Yeah I know........I know Tommy........I said I know, what the hell do you want me to do about it? I said I was sorry........Yeah, I could do that.... Alright man, I'll do it........Yeah I remember Panama City......No it was not like that episode from M*A*S*H, that was chocolate........Yeah it's the same idea.....Hey bro you gotta shut up now, you're makin' me talk about it......Well you're the one who said if we ever talk about it then it's no good.......Cool, I gotta go anyway. Have to put some dishes in the dishwasher and catch the weather report on the satellite TV before I drive over to the school in the Jeep and pick up my beautiful daughter, the older one gets a ride home from her girlfriend every day.......Yeah, life's a bitch man.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Livin' It.

Just finished three loads of dishes, last one is runnin' now. Washed a bunch of stuff by hand too, including the parrot perch of course. Our older daughter's boyfriend, he's a good guy. We had him and his little sister, who as luck would have it is around the same age as our younger daughter, we had them both here for the afternoon. My wife made roast beef with mashed potatoes and green beans. She also made a Jello cake for dessert. They were here for dinner last Sunday as well. It's like this, their father was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident about ten days ago, he's still in the hospital.

He works for a gas company, job takes him on the road a lot. He was driving, had another guy riding shotgun in the F-250 company truck. They were in western Pennsylvania when they struck a deer. A deer can cause considerable damage to a motor vehicle, even a three-quarter ton truck loaded with tool boxes and welding equipment. Apparently both the operator and the passenger were ejected from the vehicle. Based on the extent of the injuries reported I'm assuming the truck rolled over. It's obvious, based on occupant ejection, that neither the operator or passenger were wearing seatbelts at time of impact. Both were flown via medivac chopper to an excellent university hospital trauma center in Pittsburgh. It looks like both men will survive. Thank God for that. The driver, father of our older daughter's boyfriend, sustained serious head injuries. His recovery will be lengthy.

Just had to take a break for a minute, downed my second can of Coors. First beers I've had in weeks, who has time for that? Sometimes you have make time. So this whole scenario is hittin' me, hard. When I was a cop we dealt with that kind of thing all the time, seemingly innocuous situations that turn into a nightmare in the blink of an eye. You quickly learn how to turn part of yourself off, to detach yourself and get the job done. Firefighters and paramedics, soldiers and reporters all know how to do this. This is different, we know this guy and he's a real good guy. The kids seem to be okay, well the little girl is doing better now. She's a daddy's girl, it took a few days for her to adjust. The boyfriend, well he's bein' the man now. His dad will be proud of how well he's stood up. He really is a good kid, couldn't ask for more from a young man who's involved with our daughter. This horrible situation, and the way he is handling it just makes me like him more. I always thought no one would be good enough for my baby girl, I really don't feel that way now.

Earlier today, while my wife was cooking and I was helping her out in the kitchen, we heard this public service spot on the radio. It said that black men are twice as likely to have a stroke as white men. I know for a fact, in my heart, that's because African Americans still do not receive the same level of health care as white Americans do. I don't care what anybody says, that's a fact. So I hear this ad on the radio, I start thinking. I'm thinking about the hard working people I know. I'm thankful that we are fortunate enough to have health insurance included with my cop pension because my wife and I both work at jobs "that Americans won't do" for an hourly rate "that Americans won't work for". I'm thinking that we really are the lucky ones.

I'm thinking that guys like the boyfriend's father, guys like the old Nam vet I share rides with to and from work, maybe guys like me. We are the lucky ones. We can look at ourselves in the mirror every morning without turning away, we know what matters. I look at my wife's hands, stained black from the presses she runs at her new job from midnight to eight every morning for seven dollars an hour. When she touches my face with those hands, when she cooks for her family with those hands, nothing but real love comes out of those hands. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about how much wider the gap between have and have not has become. You can have the have, my have not is more rewarding than all the have you can imagine. I'm thinking about that time at the rest stop just north of Chicago, this guy comes up to us, his wife and kids standing in the background. He says they have to get to DeMoines and they're busted. My wife gives me a look and I reach in my pocket, I got eighty bucks cash so I split it with him. I ask him if forty bucks will do it, he smiled and shook my hand. Forty bucks was enough to get from Chicago to DeMoines, not no more, the haves decided they didn't have enough. The haves never would have given half of their have to a stranger in a rest stop, that's why we have nots are luckier then them. We have nots don't sweat it, we know it all comes out in the end.

The have nots will prevail, we will never lay awake at night worrying about our have. We know that the hugs we get are real, we never worry about someone taking what we don't have to start with. We have nots will always give what we don't have to another have not, or even to a have. That's the difference, that's why we win and all the haves lose. Someday the have nots are going to tire of the haves. When that day comes the haves will be forced to fix their own toilets, mow their own yards, do all those jobs that "Americans won't do". Maybe they can fight their own wars too. That will be a hoot.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Yeah so,.......Just what the hell is goin' on lately? Okay, I know I said I didn't want this to "become a political blog" and I meant it. I guess I just can't help myself. I mean with these elections coming up, just can't get away from it. I'm not too worried about North Korea cooking off a nuke, I saw James Baker on The Daily Show, he said back when Ronald Reagan was president they knew the North Koreans had a small, crude, rudimentary device. That was news to me. What I don't understand is the outright, makes no sense, what do they take us for attitude from the White House. Yeah, everyone is saying it. Why did we invade Iraq just to let the North Koreans get away with this? Weapons of Mass Destruction my ass.

Yeah this Foley guy. To quote one of my personal heroes: "What an ultra- maroon". I can't believe what I'm hearing about this. These idiots in congress knew about this crap? The guy who is in charge of the page program, he's a Republican member of congress. This guy said that he found out about it a year ago, said that the kid's parents wanted to keep it quiet. Does he really think that's an excuse? He covered up a crime, he protected a criminal. All due respect to this kid's parents but they don't have the right to "keep this quiet". What the hell kind of a message is that to send to their own child? Somebody needs to slap them.

Okay, enough about all this crap. Can't wait for election day, I am motivated to vote. I'm going to vote Democrat right on down the line, these idiots need to be sent packing. After this mid-term election, and from here on out, I'm going to vote against sitting candidates. That's the biggest problem as I see it. These morons get themselves locked in and they just do whatever the hell they want to do. If anyone really believes that your representative really cares about you..........
Well okay, maybe two or three out of the whole rotten bunch really do try, but the rest of the greedy mother-----rs will never let the few decent ones get anywhere.......Now they say it's okay to detain people without charges, it's okay to hold them without trial, it's okay to torture them? I did not serve my country proudly so that one day our chicken---t congress could tear apart the Constitution and hand over all that power to one person. I don't want the president to have that kind of authority. I don't want ANY president we have ever had, or ever will have to have that authority. When I joined the army I took an oath, to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foriegn or domestic. I'm pretty sure that our elected representatives take a similar oath. They have violated that oath. They are failures, every single one of them. They made a deal, they struck a bargain to sell us all out. They have assaulted the Constitution. I will never, ever, ever, ever vote for a Republican again, for as long as I live. Shame on the Republican party for betraying this country, shame on the Republicans for insulting the founding fathers. Shame on the Republican party for betraying the Constitution.

Hey Tommy, you believe this shit bro?..............Oh yeah, I know what you mean........Gotta run, gotta go to work man. I'll catch you later.

Sat. 14OCT.06

Yeah Tommy Ithought about it. The only way to avoid voting for an incumbent while avoiding voting for Republicans is to vote third party. Maybe that's how we can break the the grip that the two party system has on us.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cool Old Man, Again.

So today I drove out the nice stretch of two lane to visit the Cool Old Man. Nice drive, early fall weather. Had the sunroof open on the Myrtle. Zep, Bruce, old Silver Bullet crankin' through the speakers. Black Dog, Thunder Road and Roll Me Away. Outstanding driving music, could have kissed the D.J. at that classic rock station.

The Cool Old Man got himself wired into the net, found out that he worked for the Signal Corp in 1934, he was in the army years before WWII began, at least as far as U.S. involvement. So this guy is into it, showed him Google today, found a website called, it's the official site for 101st vets. Talk about stoked, should have seen his face light up. We spent a couple of hours just goofing around, I listened to him share some of his stories. He talked about his wife, how much he misses her. He told me how he and another guy once had to draw a map of the east coast, D.C. area to Portland, ME. It showed coastal defense artillery positions at various locations and the routes between them. He said the map took up an entire garage bay floor.

At one point in the conversation this Cool Old Man got real quiet, looking off into somewhere else. His eyes were fixed on the wall, he wasn't seeing the wall. I think he was looking at something or someone who resides in that long ago somewhere else. I saw a flash of hurt, maybe regret, maybe anger or fear. Based on my own experience I'd say it was some combination of all four, kind of rolled into one feeling. Hard to describe, I didn't say anything, didn't move an inch, just waited while he drifted through that long ago somewhere else.

So I'll call him during the week, he asked me if I'd visit again, I said sure. He's got kids and grown grandkids, I guess they don't visit that often. Maybe they do, I don't know, none of my business anyway. I gave him my e-mail address, my other one, not the one I use for this blog. He said he'd figure it out, if he can't I'll show him how to do that next week. He did figure out how to buy stuff, already ordered a DVD of an opera. I can't remember the name of the opera, don't know a lot about opera anyway. I do have a favorite opera, the one with Elmer Fudd singing "Kill the rabbit.....Kill the rabbit". Yeah, I like that one.

Hey Tommy, my wife finished up her first week at her new job. Started her second week last night......She likes it man, learned how to read a micrometer......Yeah, well it's a good job. This time next year she'll get paid for holidays off, that's a good thing. She's lookin' forward to some overtime soon......Yeah, Saturdays at time and a half, just in time for Christmas shopping. Yeah Tommy, life is pretty good bro. Catch you later.

Friday, October 06, 2006

1981 BMW

So I got the old Beemer back on the road. She's a classic this year. I got her from a guy in Missouri, shortly after he sold me the car he got called back to active duty. He spent his second year in Iraq missing his wife and their one year old baby girl. She cried when he left, probably didn't know what was going on, she just knew everyone else was crying so she cried too. It's just sad. This guy served his country, left the army after eight years of active duty, like that's not enough, they call him back for more.

He bought the Beemer from a friend of his, dropped a new used motor in her and eventually sold her to me. He made money on the deal, I still got her cheap though. We have all the original paperwork, she was purchased new from a dealer in Myrtle Beach back in 1981. My daughter named her Myrtle. Everything has a name around here. Our old Jeep Cherokee came from a dealership in Philadelphia, hence the name Philly. I once had this old Dodge half ton cargo van. It had once been a delivery van for a local bakery and when the light was just right you could still see lettering where they had peeled off the decals that identified it as the bakery van. His name was Patty, not wagon either...... Patty cake patty cake bakers van..........

So I take Myrtle out for a spin, got her runnin' real smooth now. Man that old car drives nice, handles, you know? Got some old Springsteen on the radio, thinking about the guy I bought the car from. He really wanted to keep her. New baby, new house and the potential for some more active duty is what made him sell her. My wife and I have always said, if we ever hit the lottery or maybe I sell a book and make some money, (it could happen) then we'll have her restored top to bottom. Frame off restoration, new motor, the whole thing. We will put her in an enclosed car trailer and drive her back out to Missouri, give her back to the guy who sold her to us. Yeah, that would be cool. It's the least we could do if we had the chance. This guy didn't want to go to Iraq, he went anyway. An honorable man, duty first. Oh yeah, before he left for Iraq? He lost his civilian job, company moved the facility to Singapore...... God Bless America.

Hey Tommy, can you dig it bro? Wish you could see this car, maybe you can, I don't know. Yeah, this guy I got her from, he's an officer. He's a good guy Tommy, you'd like him. Catch you later bro. Got to get ready for work.