He and dad didn't get along. So after we moved out, Deej and I took the old Elco and gave him a lawn job. Deej was hanging out the passenger door tossing eggs like the hammer brothers on Mario world.
|Looks about right|
Anyway, that had nothing to do with my dad. He sure as hell approved of it though when I told him. He was into mischief of the innocent variety. When Deej and I were young, we turned everything we did into an incursion behind enemy lines. Like the time we were throwing water balloons at cars that drove by. We drilled this clown in a drop top Jeep. He slammed the brakes. We retreated to the green zone, which was the bushes of the house across the street. Jeep guy came charging back and asked my dad, who for all I know was watching and laughing inside the house. "Hey! Buddy! Did you see a couple kids? They just got me in my car." My dad was like, "I don't know man, I saw a couple kids going into the school a second ago. So, they uh, got your car huh? Looks like it was just a water balloon. You'll be alright." The guy left and we emerged. I wasn't sure how much trouble I was gonna be in, but I thought I'd be in some. He started laughing and called us little shits. Then he called the guy driving by a pansy or something. And he tousled my hair. Ah Tor man.
I know what you're thinking. Irresponsible parent. Not so. Just measured and deliberate in his meting out of discipline. My dad had me sooooo checked when I was a little kid. I don't know what it was, but he could get pissed and put the fear of God into any kid. And not just those of us who got spankings from him. The kids he coached on my little league teams were equally checked. Except Deej. Deej was beyond checking. The rest of us knew to always hustle on and off the field and throw the ball overhand. Some one needs to bottle up what my dad had.
Hopefully I will. In my opinion, his combination of discipline and freedom was the perfect mix for me growing up. There was something good inside of him. A dear friend said simply, "Hey. Corey, man. Your dad wasn't a hater." Well said Larry. My dad was not a hater. He was clear like water and cool like ice. My dad was a beautiful character. I don't say character lightly. Stories could and should be written about him. It seems they are.
When he died, my brother and I both agreed that he lived his life on his own terms. Though it wasn't played out the way anyone would draw it up, it was well played. Those who knew him loved him. Those of us who love him miss him. And even as we miss him, he still makes us smile.
PS-Now that I think about it, he was an irresponsible parent. He shot my brother with a bb gun. Ha! Sorry Buzz.