At 73 years of age, I still have all my hair. Not only is it all in place, but it’s also solid white, luxurious, and flowing. I use a secret shampoo from ” Dr. Squatch,” a medicinal shaman that lives in a remote mountain cabin above Colorado Springs. I have men, women, and barbers stop me on the street and comment on my massive amount of follicles. My wife says I have ” TV Preacher Hiar,” which brings me to this idea.
Since my rock band disbanded in 2019, I have missed playing music. A few nights ago, at a birthday party for our former drummer, Jordan, who turned 75, I approached the idea of making music again with him and our former bass player and singer, Danny, who is 77. Our good friend and guitar player, John, passed away a few years ago, but I’m confident he would be all in if he were with us.
They were mildly interested until I told them my idea involved playing on the sidewalks around our historic Granbury town square. The proper English term is “Busking,” which consists in playing and singing for money thrown into a jar, a bucket, or an open guitar case. They looked at me as if a third eye was growing in my forehead. I then dropped the bomb on them; I am becoming a man of the cloth, a pastor, a preacher, a sidewalk hawker for the almighty. It’s so easy; I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. My quirky sense of humor, skill as an orator, and perfect hair assure success in this endeavor.
Go online, send in your nominal fee, and receive a certified, stamped, and legal document, suitable for framing, that says you can perform weddings, funerals, and divorces, bless barroom fights, bless meals for family and strangers in restaurants, give pastorly advice, and heal people’s medical maladies. I am awaiting my credentials which should arrive any day now. My two friends and former bandmates have not returned my calls, but then at their age, they may have forgotten the conversation. I will send them a text and an email as a reminder.
Combine my TV preacher hair and my pastorly presence with our three-piece musical trio, and we should be able to draw a sizable crowd and make some nice donations for my mobile church, which I plan to christen; “The Church of The What’s Happening Now.” All proceeds will go to the “Mission Granbury” food bank and “Friends of Animals.”
Being a Christian, which I am, is advisable. But, if you’re going to spread the word of God, you had better believe what you are spouting. Atheists, Agnostics, and liberals would never make a good street preacher; they would be struck by a bolt of lightning from above and charred to a crisp right there on the sidewalk. God doesn’t watch CNN or The View.
I have better hair than any of those preachers on the TV set, so I should do quite well if my wife lets me out of the house and I can find my car keys and guitar, which I suspect she has hidden with relatives.
My father didn’t own a beach chair, nor did he want one. He preferred to sit on his haunches or stand when he fished. My grandfather, the old salt of the clan, felt the same; real men took their fishing seriously in 1957 and didn’t need such things. They smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes and carried a Zippo lighter and Barlow pocketknife in their pant pocket. If it was summer, my dad waded into the surf, sometimes up to his waist, which worried my mother; she feared a sand shark or a giant octopus would drag him beneath the waves and leave my sister and me fatherless. She fretted about the monsters in the ocean and would have a panic attack if she got more than knee-deep in the surf. She couldn’t swim a lick, thanks to her mother’s lifelong fear of water which she instilled in her children. However, my baby sister was fearless and would keep plodding headlong into the surf until one of my parents or I rescued her.
My family lived inland, four hundred miles to the northern part of Texas. The journey from Fort Worth to Port Aransas took eight, sometimes nine hours, but we could have made it in six if not for my mother wanting to stop for lunch at Franks restaurant in Schulenberg and a potty break every hour. The women in her family were cursed with an uncooperative bladder.
We were city folks, but our hearts and souls were one with the Gulf of Mexico and that small island village. I never considered myself a city boy; Fort Worth was where we stayed until our next trip to our natural home, the ocean. Home to me was Gibbs Cottages or the Rock Cottages on G street. Bilmore and Son’s Hardware sold tackle, bait, and gas, and the Island Grocery had the best baloney and rat cheese sandwiches in Texas. The only church in town kept everyone saved and signed up for heaven, and Shorty’s was the most popular beer joint in town and served ice-cold Pearl beer in dark glass bottles.
The magic was always there, winter or summer; it never changed. The ever-shifting dunes and beach grass waved like grain fields in the southern breeze. The sea birds ran along the shoreline, paying no attention to us interlopers. The gulls would assault me if I had a sandwich or a bag of potato chips, and the brown Pelicans glided above the water like a formation of B-24 bombers. There were rattlesnakes in the dunes, but I never ran across one. I once disturbed a napping Coyote; it snorted and trotted off into the grasslands behind the dunes.
Memories come to me at inconvenient times. This one woke me up at 4:00 am, so I figured I had better write it down. Who knows what memory tomorrow may bring?
I haven’t ranted on anything of value lately, but the news on that flat-screen thing is driving me to something, and I don’t thinks it’s good.
Classified files at Trump’s art deco digs, Biden’s Deleware home, and now they think at his beach house and his “so called” private office. Now we have ex-VP Pence with papers at his house. To be fair, is anyone looking at Hillary’s, Obama’s, and Bush’s? Hell, my house could be next. The witch trials are on, and the minions are building the log fire and cross. Someone is going to burn for this one. Who will it be? Perhaps all of the above if justice is blind, which we know it is not.
I walk with a cane now. It’s not a fancy one like a proper southern gentleman would possess; it’s a shiny aluminum job from the Walmart. I used a few beautiful wooden canes that belonged to my wife’s late father, but I broke one and severely injured another. She has one left, and I won’t touch it since it’s an heirloom.
Since my back operation in August caused the drop foot and the unruly right leg, the cane is my savior. I’ve found it helpful on my shopping trips to H.E.B. with my wife. I’m not allowed to go on my own since I can’t drive with a bum foot, and she doesn’t believe me when I tell her that my cane acts as a good pusher for the accelerator. So, we go as a team. With my gimp foot and leg, I clumsily push the cart, and she grabs the stuff and fills the cart. I am also there as a moderator, keeping her from purchasing too many expensive goodies. Beef is $ 15.00 per pound, and Chicken is $16.00 per pound, so we eat pork or no meat at all. She slipped some New York steaks in the basket last week; hid them under some other items. I’m slipping.
Back to the cane, it’s also useful as a weapon. Any unruly shopper that bumps into me, or my cart, gets a whack from my righteous staff, with me yelling, ” I’m walking here,” the cane, and seeing I am a half-assed invalid, adds to the drama, which usually scares the poor offender into retreat. My poor wife has nothing to say; it would do no good anyway.
My granny, a Cherokee woman from another century, used to tell me, and anyone else that would listen, ” you’re only as old as you feel.” She had a good point. She lived into her 90s and seemed to feel good most of her life, even though every meal she cooked was in bacon grease and hog fat. She would take-back those wise words if she could see her oldest grandson now.
I stared at the reflection in my bathroom mirror this morning and said, “Dad, is that you?” Who is this old guy? My grandmothers’ words came back to me, but in this case, she is dead damn wrong.
I guess 73 years old is a milestone of sorts. I have already outlived my father, that passed at 72, so I got a year up on him. The odd thing is that I, or so folks tell me, don’t look 73. “Oh, look at yeeew, I swear yeeew could pass for 55 if not a day older; bless your heart.” Words like that make an old guy feel proud for a few minutes, nothing more.
My grandfather, my dad’s pop, passed on when I was ten years old. Born in 1891, he looked as old when I was a wee-one as he did when he left us. Early pictures from the 1930s showed him with white hair and wrinkly skin. The man was born old but never aged after that. Maybe that’s the gene I inherited. He came out of the womb with whiskers, white hair, and a Daniel Boone pocket knife used for whittling and sharpening pencils. Strange things like this happen in the south, especially in Texas. Our state is shrouded in mystery and could be a part of the Twilight Zone.
My wife, a few years younger than me, is of good German and Irish stock from the hills of Pennsylvania. She wasn’t born in Texas but got here as quick as she could via her wandering parents. She has but a little gray hair and very few wrinkles, and her eyes are bright, and her nose is cold. We’ve both had our medical maladies lately, each suffering through major back operations, cleaned-out knee joints, and other minor nuisances.
Speaking for myself, I may hold the family record if one exists; my sister is checking the family bible just to be sure. A case of prostate cancer back in 2019, and I thought it was clear sailing after that. No such luck. Now, the good stuff; three ear surgeries on both ears, a cute little prostate operation, as if the cancer didn’t do enough damage, major back surgery that included a lot of stainless steel parts, and next week major nerve and leg surgery to correct drop foot caused by the back surgery with all the parts. All of this is within a twelve-month period. Now, I will kiss your hiney and buy you a Whataburger if that ain’t a record of some kind; and I’m still ambulating, but with a fancy cane from the Walmart.
Sympathy or donations via the mail is not the goal of this story but letting other readers know what the future holds if you’re a young whipper snapper. Better start saving your cash, suck it up and get ready for the big show. The good news is; I still have all my luxurious white hair, which makes me look like a TV preacher. Amen, brother.
Things in Washington are screwed to the max. Old man Biden is being eaten alive by the press that ran interference for him all of his 40 years in office. Secret documents stashed next to his hipster Corvette. Home Depot boxes are full of “for your eyes only” secret squirrel shit. Was it Dementia or everyday stupidity? The newsboys smell blood in the dirty Potomac. The low tide stinks of scandal, and Watergate boys are considering coming out of retirement for one last show. Old NBC Lester sees his chance to win a Pulitzer, that’s if he can beat out that green-eyed devil bitch on CBS news, and that metro-sexual chap on ABC. With some form of grace, the only way out for Biden is to politely expire at the podium; at least then, he would get somber news coverage and a state funeral, and his son would take the rap for the corrupt family. That smiling Chinese dictator devil would send a lovely flower arrangement and a few million bucks to his widow, Not A Doctor, Jill. He will be elevated to sainthood if the old Italian deviant in red shoes approves the anointment. It’s about time we get fed the real deal.
The makeshift sunblock my father had fashioned from a tarp and four cane fishing poles wasn’t beautiful, but it worked fine. Sitting under the contraption was me, my little sister, my mother, and my grandmother. I was eight years old. He and my grandfather were not far away, holding their fishing rods after casting into the rough surf. Whatever they caught would be our supper that evening. I wasn’t invited to fish with them; I was too young, and the surf too dangerous. Besides, my small Zebco rod was only strong enough to catch a passing perch.
The visit was our annual summer fishing trip to Port Aransas, Texas, a small fishing village on the northern tip of Mustang Island. I don’t remember my first visit, but my mother said I was barely one year old. After that, the Gulf of Mexico, the beach, and that island became part of my DNA.
I’m an old man now, but I can recall every street, building, and sand dune of that small village. Over the decades, it became a tourist mecca for the wealthy, destroying the innocent and unpretentious charm of the town. Gone are the clapboard rental cottages with crushed seashell paving and fish-cleaning shacks. Instead, gaudy stores selling tee shirts made in China sit between the ostentatious condominiums, restaurants, and hotels. I prefer to remember it as it was in the 1950s when families came to fish, and the children explored the untamed beaches and sand dunes.
Born in 1891, my grandfather was an old man by the time I was eight. Tall and lanky, with white hair and skin like saddle leather. He was a proud veteran of World War 1 and as tough as the longhorn steers he herded as a boy. He lost part of his left butt cheek from shrapnel and was gassed twice while fighting in France. Nevertheless, he harbored no ill feelings toward the Germans, even though he killed and wounded many of them.
On the contrary, he disliked the French because they refused to show proper gratitude for the doughboys saving their butts from the Krauts. As a result, he wouldn’t allow French wine in his home. He preferred Kentucky bourbon with a splash of branch water or an ice-cold Pearl beer. His hard-drinking days, he left in Fort Worth’s Hell’s Half Acre decades ago. He told a few stories about the infamous place, but he was careful to scrub them clean for us youngsters.
His one great joy in life was saltwater fishing with my father, playing his fiddle, and telling stories to whoever would listen. The recounting of his early childhood and life in Texas captivated my sister, cousins, and me for as long as the old man could keep talking. He told about being in France but never about the horrors of the war. He lived a colorful childhood and, for a while, was a true Texas cowboy. Half of it may have been ripping yarns, but he could tell some good ones. My mother said I inherited his talent for recounting and spinning yarns. If that’s true, I’m proud to have it.
He could have been in a Norman Rockwell painting while standing in the surf, with khaki pants rolled to his knees, a white t-shirt, and a duck-billed cap. I was in awe of the old man but too young to know how to tell him. My grandmother said he was crazy for wearing his gold watch while fishing.
The timepiece was a gift of gratitude from his employer when he worked in California during the depression years. A simple gold-plated 1930s-style Boluva. It was an inexpensive watch, but he treated it like the king’s crown, having it cleaned yearly and the crystal replaced if scratched. He called that watch his good luck charm and wore it when fishing for good juju. It was a risk that the salt water might ruin it, but he took it. He caught five speckled sand trout and half a dozen Golden Croaker that day, so the charm worked. Add the three specs my father snagged, joined with the cornbread and pinto beans my mother and grandmother cooked, and we dined like the Rockefellers that night.
The next few days were a repeat. I rode my blow-up air mattress in the shore break and caught myself a whopper of a sunburn on my back. The jellyfish sting added to my discomfort. I was miserable and well-toasted, but I kept going, determined to enjoy every second of beach time. We returned to Fort Worth as a spent and happy bunch. The family would give it another go the following year.
Two years passed. One day, my father told me my grandfather was sick and would be in the veteran hospital in Dallas for a while. He mentioned cancer. I was young and didn’t understand this disease, so I looked it up in our encyclopedia; “An illness that attacks the body’s cells with over ten strains, some are incurable and deadly. One week he seemed fine, sitting in his rocking chair playing his fiddle and telling stories, and the next week, he was in a hospital fighting for his life. His doctor said being gassed in the war was the cause of his cancer. It was not treatable and would be fatal.
Near a month later, he was not the same man when he came home. His face was gaunt, his body, lean and meatless before, now was skin and bone. The treatments the doctors ordered had ravaged him as much as the disease. My grandmothers’ facial expressions told it all. There was no need to explain; I knew he would soon be gone. My father was stoic, if only for his mother’s benefit. His father, my grandfather, was fading away before our eyes, and we couldn’t do a thing to change the outcome.
A week after returning home, grandfather found his strength, walked to their living room, and sat in his rocking chair. He asked me for his fiddle, which I fetched. He played half of one tune and handed it back to me. I cased it and returned it to the bedroom closet; he was too weak for a second tune. His voice was raspy and weak when he spoke, but he had something to say, so I took my position on my low stool, as I often did when he recounted his tales. I noticed his gold watch was loose and had moved close to his elbow. His attachment to the timepiece would not allow removal. It was a part of him. He spoke a few words, but It was a painful effort to continue. My grandmother helped him to his bed. He removed his watch, placed it on the nightstand, and then lay down. He was asleep within minutes. From that day on, he would sleep most of the time, waking only to be helped to the bathroom or to sip a few spoonfuls of hot soup. I would visit after school, sitting next to him while he slept, cleaning his watch with a soft cloth, winding it, and ensuring the time was correct. I felt he knew I was caring for this treasured talisman.
I came home from school on a Friday, and my grandfather was gone. I could see the imprint in the bed where he had laid, and his medication bottles and watch were missing from the nightstand. Mother said he took a turn for the worse, and my father took him back to the veteran’s hospital.
The following day, my father came home and told us my grandfather had passed away during the night. I noticed he was wearing his gold watch. I thought if the timepiece was such a lucky charm, as I had been told all these years, why had it not saved my grandfather?
Life continued on Jennings Street; for me, some of it was good, a little of it not. Father wore grandfather’s watch in remembrance and respect. He waited for the magic to come. He gave me his worn-out Timex, which was too big for my wrist, but I wore it proudly.
The magic of the watch began to work for my father. He acquired two four-unit apartment houses near downtown, fixed them up a bit, rented them out, and sold them. We then moved to Wichita Falls, where he started building new homes. A year later, we moved to Plano, Texas, where he continued to build houses. It appeared the good luck of the watch was working overtime. I became a believer in this talisman. The hard days in Fort Worth were well behind us now. The future for our family was filled with promise.
On a day in 1968, riding with my father to lock his homes for the night, we had a long overdue father-to-son talk. I rarely saw him because of his work, so I welcomed the time. Had I thought about college? What was going on in my life? I played in a popular rock band, so that was a point we touched on. He didn’t want me to become a professional musician as he had been. I assured him this phase would end soon. He and my mother were worried I would be drafted and sent to Vietnam. We talked for two hours. He remarked that as long as he wore his father’s watch, everything he touched turned to gold. Father was successful, so how could I doubt his belief?
In the summer of 1969, the band on the old watch broke while we were fishing for Kingfish in the gulf. While gaffing a Kingfish, my father bumped his wrist against the side of our boat. The watch fell into the water, and in a flash, it was gone. He said that if he had to lose it, this was a fitting end; lost to the water that his father loved so much.
When I first published this story, readers asked me if the characters were real or did any of it actually happen. Our neighbors, the Misters, were real folks and became our neighborhood mentors. Leonards’s Department Store Toyland in downtown Fort Worth was a sight to behold, and the attempted flocking and ruination of our Christmas tree is true. My father was able to negotiate peace with my mother, and my uncle delivered a new tree, so Christmas was saved. A flocked tree never adorned our living room, but we did buy an aluminum tree with a rotating color wheel. Years later, in the early sixties, I used that rotating wheel as part of a hokey light show for our rock band.
A personal recount of my childhood Christmas memories.
Riding a ceiling-mounted “Rocket Train” to nowhere around the basement of a department store doesn’t seem like a Christmas thing, but that’s what thousands of other Texas kids and I did every year in the 1950s.
Leonard Brothers Department Store occupied two square blocks of downtown Fort Worth real estate and was known as the Southwest’s Macy’s. They offered everything the big shot stores in the East carried, hundreds of items no retailer in their right mind would consider.
If you had a mind to, one could purchase a full-length mink coat with optional mink mittens, the latest women’s high-fashion clothing line from Paris France, an Italian cut-crystal vile of Elizabeth Taylors spit, James Dean’s signature hair tonic, Rock Hudson’s autographed wedding photos, a housebroken Llama, an aluminum fishing boat and motor, a new car, a pole barn, a nice two-story craftsman home “build it yourself kit” delivered to your lot, chickens, barb wire, hay, horses and cows, a 30-30 Winchester rifle, a 40 caliber autographed General George Custer Colt pistol, a bottle of good hootch and a Ford tractor. That’s about as Texas as it gets.
The Christmas season in downtown Fort Worth was internationally recognized for its innovative and wonderful decorations. The righteous city fathers figured the best way to outdo Dallas, a full-time effort, was to line every building with white lights from top to bottom and install large glowing decorations on every lamp pole, street light, and building façade available. If that didn’t make you “ooooh and ahhhh,” then you needed to go home and hide in a closet.
A week or so after Thanksgiving, my parents would take my sister and me downtown to see the decorations and visit the Leonard Brothers Department Store. Santa just happened to be in their basement, taking advanced verbal orders from every crumb cruncher that could climb the stairs and plop on his lap.
My sister always asked for the latest doll in between screams and crying fits. She was scared senseless of “HO-HO,” but she somehow managed to spit out her order. Like clockwork, every year, I asked for a Daisy BB Gun with a year’s supply of stainless silver ammo ( for killing werewolves), a full-size Elliot Ness operable Thompson Sub Machine Gun, or an Army surplus Bazooka with real rockets and a long, razor-sharp Bowie knife encased in a fringed leather holster. It was a 1950s boy thing; weapons were what we longed for. How else could we defeat Santa Anna at the Alamo or win World War II, again? Our neighborhood may have sported the best-supplied “kid army” on the planet, and jolly old Santa was our secret arms dealer; parents non-the wiser. I finally got the BB Gun, but Santy was wise enough to not bring the other request.
Walking down the stairs to the store’s basement was the thrill I had waited for all year. There, hanging above my head, was the beautiful red and silver tinseled sign, “Toy Land,” kid nirvana, and the Holy Grail all in one room. The smell of burned popcorn and stale chocolate candy wafted up the stairs, and I could hear the cheesy Christmas choir music and the sound the Rocket Train made as it glided along the ceiling-mounted rails. I almost pissed off my jeans.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of parents jostled down isles of toys, pushing, grabbing, and snarling like a pack of wild dogs fighting for that last toy; the holiday spirit and common courtesy were alive and well. The queue of kids for the Rocket Train snaked through the basement like a soup line.
Sitting on his mini-mountain top perch, sat old red-suited Santa Claus and his elfin apprentices, herding kids to his lap at break-neck speed. Each child got about fifteen seconds, a black and white photograph, and then it was off the lap and down the steps. Kids were fast in those days; we memorized and practiced our list weeks before our visit for maximum impact. “Ho-Ho” had better be writing this stuff down. Kids, don’t forget squat.
After two Santa visits, four Rocket Train rides, and three popcorn bags later, our family unit departed Leonard’s for the new and improved “Leonard’s Christmas Tree Land,” located across the street from the main building. Thanks to the demolition of several winos-infested abandoned buildings, the new lot was now the size of Rhode Island and held enough trees for every person and their dog in Texas.
Thousands, if not millions, of fresh-cut trees awaited our choosing. Father, always the cheapskate, chose a sensible tree; not too big, not too small, yet full and fluffy with a lovely piney aroma. My sister and I pointed and danced like fools for the “pink flocked” tree in the tent, which cost the equivalent of a week’s salary. My parents enjoyed our cute antics. The sensible tree was secured to the top of our Nash Rambler station wagon, and we were homeward bound.
Pulling into our driveway, it was impossible to miss our neighbor’s extravagant holiday display. We had been away from home for 6 hours and returned to a full-blown holiday extravaganza that made our modest home look like a tobacco road sharecroppers shack.
Our next-door neighbors, Mr. Mister and Mrs. Mister, were the neighborhood gossip fodder. The couple moved from Southern California for his job. He, an aircraft-design engineer, and she, a former gopher girl at Paramount Studios. The Misters reeked new-found money and didn’t mind flaunting it. They drove tiny Italian sports cars and hired a guy to mow their lawn. His wife, Mrs. Mister, always had a Pall Mall ciggie in one hand and a frosty cocktail in the other. Father said she looked like a pretty Hollywood lady named Jane Mansfield, but Mother said she resembled a “gimlet-assed dime-store chippy.” I got the impression that the Misters were quite popular in the neighborhood.
Their Christmas display was pure Cecil B. DeMille. A life-size plywood sleigh, with Santa and his reindeer, covered the Mister’s roof, and 20 or more automated Elves and various holiday characters greeted passersby. Twinkling lights covered every bush and plant in the yard, and a large machine spat out thousands of bubbles that floated through the neighborhood. This was far more than Fort Worth was ready for.
The kill shot was their enormous picture window that showcased a ceiling-high blue flocked tree bathed in color-changing lights. There, framed in the glow of their yuletide decor, sat Mr. and Mrs. Mister with their two poodles, Fred and Ginger, perched on their expensive modern sofa, sipping vermouth martinis like Hollywood royalty. This display of pompacious decadence didn’t go unnoticed by my parents.
Father hauled our puny tree into the living room and began unpacking lights for the decorating that would happen tomorrow evening. Mother hurried my sister and me off to bed. Visions of spying Elves, sugar plum pudding, and dangerous weapons danced in my head; Christmas was upon us.
Sometime after 10 PM, Father got hungry. Searching for sandwich fixings in the kitchen, he found a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon. Then he found a fresh half gallon of Egg-Nog, which he enjoyed with the bourbon. While searching for bread to make the ham sandwich, he found two “Lux Laundry Soap Flake” boxes with a dish towel in each one. Then by chance, he discovered the food coloring. This gave him an idea for our sad little tree.
I awoke with a start. The sun was shining on my face, which meant I was late for school. I ran into the living room and was stopped in my tracks.
Our formally green tree was now flocked in thick pink snow, as were the curtains, the fireplace mantel, two chairs, the coffee table, and my father, who lay on the couch, passed out, with a half-eaten ham sandwich on his chest. My Mother sat a few feet away, sipping her coffee and smoking a Winston; my Louisville slugger lay on her lap. I was reluctant to approach her, but I had to know.
I timidly put my hand on her shoulder and asked, “Mom, is Dad going to be alright?” She took a sip of coffee and a drag from her ciggie and said, “well, for right now, he will be, but after he wakes up, who knows.”
The latest in the battery of tests after my spine surgery is called EMG or Electromyography, as it’s known in medical circles. My surgeon said there may be a few more, but he didn’t want to worry me because everything involves needles and pain.
After the surgery on August 31st, I’ve been dragging my right leg and foot around like the Frankenstein monster, an after-effect that may or may not cure itself. However, my wife said I had it down pat if I wanted to try out for any film parts.
The walker from the hospital was a cheap affair with the tennis balls that kept getting in the way; it was so 1980s, so I purchased one of the new walkers with four wheels, a seat, and hand brakes like the old English bicycles from the 1940s. Now I could obtain a speed of at least 5 mph, and dragging the leg and foot didn’t matter.
The older people on the square seemed impressed and gave me a thumbs up when I whizzed by. Next, I challenged an old lady with a motorized electric scooter to a race and beat her to the stop sign. She was reluctant to part with the $20 bet, so I let it slide and bought her a gin and tonic.
While lying on the exam table, I noticed the medical gown had a pleasant aroma of lavender which helped soothe my nerves.
The young technician said the electrodes might hurt a smidgen and make my muscles react involuntarily. Unfortunately, she was correct; as the electricity increased, I jumped around like a frog in a 7th-grade science class hooked up to a 24-volt battery. However, the pain wasn’t too bad because I had taken a 50 mg tablet of Tramadol before the visit, so I was a bit loopy and perhaps more compliant than I should have been.
After twenty minutes of shocking me into submission, she unhooked me and said the Doctor would be in shortly to administer the needle test.
” He’s going to stick needles into me?” I asked.
No one said anything about needles; by now, after 3 years of operations and cancer, I should be used to needles; but I am not.
The young Doctor came in, asked me a series of questions about my spine surgery, then said, ” well, let’s get this over with.” How comforting.
I looked him dead in his highly educated eyes and asked, ” is this going to be a bit uncomfortable,, or will it hurt like Hell?” “Oh, it’s going to hurt like Hell,” he said. At least he was honest.
The first needle was about 6 inches long and went into my calf. It didn’t hurt too bad; the second hurt like hell, the third even worse, and by the time he stuck me with the last one in my lower back, I was telling him I would give him a hundred bucks to stop. Obviously, he doesn’t need the money.
He called my wife Maureen into the exam room and told her everything because she is a nurse and won’t forget. They did their “secret medical handshake,” and we went home.
I got a message from the surgeon’s office this morning that I need to come in next week for some more tests that involve needles and other machines.
As a kid, I remember reading Life and Look Magazine about the new Camelot and the youthful president and his family that occupied that white castle. Every woman on the street wore her hair like Jackie.
The Kennedy family was the national portrait of the nation; the youngest man ever to serve as president, rich and with a beautiful wife, and kids, it was almost like a Norman Rockwell painting. Life, Look and Newsweek magazines could report on nothing else.
Gone was the old bald-headed soldier and frumpy wife, FDR, and Trueman was but a memory, and the world had changed in the blink of an eye. The Cold War with Russia was running full speed as was the race for dominance of outer space. We were headed for the moon within the decade; and by damn he kept his word, even though he was not there to share the jubilance. The world was eaten up with The Kennedy family.
Enter 44-year-old Ron and Casey DeSantis and their three beautiful children. You could say “Camelot 2.0” has arrived, but DeSantis is a Republican, as Kennedy probably would have been if he were governing today. I wonder if DeSantis has checked on the availability of the old Kenndey family yacht.?
The Republicans need to huddle and consider this one. Lightning can strike twice and Camelot 2.0 might not be a bad idea.
The current president will soon be cabbage soup and Trump will turn eighty in office, so old does not make one the best candidate. Pelosi will be president within a year, and that was the plan from the get-go.
The poor Republicans are stuck in political Hell and can’t find the ladder.
Now I’m sounding like my grandfather ” remember the good ole day’s” for whatever point he was trying to make. Now I am him.
Remember the good old days when people actually took the time to set before a keyboard and answer your emails instead of using one word or a stupid little picture of a beer or a heart or some other useless bullshit like that.
I send a lengthy email to a few friends of mine. Nothing that was a novella or a short story, just some questions, and recollections. What did I receive, ” an emoji and “sent on my iPhone” I almost had a stroke. I spent thirty minutes composing an easily readable, edited, and entertaining email, and I get a thumbs-up crap from a smart-ass phone.
No more; I will send one word or a cute little picture and let them figure it out.