Electric? What electric?

I get a kick out of all this fuss about electric cars. Electric cars are nothing new. I owned an electric car as far back as 1980. Well, it wasn’t really an electric car. If I tell you I had an electric car you might envision something like one of those really ugly things that promise you the sun and the moon until you try to drive it on the electric motor alone. That’s when you find out it only goes about twenty miles per hour before you have to go the old standby, gas. My electric car only carried one person but it was totally electric. There was no gas engine to take up the slack. I drove that thing all over Salinas back when the local policemen were one of your friends and they could understand a joke. It was not unusual to see me cruising up and down the two and three hundred blocks of Salinas.

I wish I could tell you that it was some sort of advanced technology that allowed me the freedom to jump on my electric, well; I guess I may as well tell you. It was an electric bar stool. Yeah, it wasn’t meant for long trips or for carrying any large packages. It was sort of a one person stool. I guess with all the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the roadside check points it would be folly to try and drive one today but there was a time when we used to race these bar stools. I actually found out about the whole deal from my older brother that used to farm cotton over in the San Joaquin Valley. I went by to visit him one day and when I walked with him out to his shop I saw it for the first time. It was painted red. Not that there was anything unusual about anything being painted red at my brother’s house. He painted every car, truck and tractor he ever owned red. The local body shop, run by the Lugo Brother’s actually blended a special red paint and called it “Roger Worthy Red.” They wouldn’t let anyone have the formula because my brother was such a good friend and a pretty regular customer.

Anyway, the way he explained it you would build one of these electric bar stools and race from one bar to another. Again, this was back when it wasn’t looked down upon to have a couple of drinks on a Saturday night. Or Sunday afternoon, or really just anytime you wanted one. You would start at one bar; usually the bars were located in Shafter California, and have a drink. Then you would turn your stool around and ride to the next bar, have another drink and take off again. Although you could do this with just two bars if you had to there were plenty of bars on the main street of Shafter back in those days. The first guy, or girl, to finish all their drinks and make it back to the beginning was the winner. If, in fact there was a winner. It was all in fun and nobody was hurt. Okay maybe the next day there were a few more headaches than usual but since they drove on the sidewalk and wore no seatbelts it was really pretty harmless.

What you did was build a barstool out of some pretty sturdy steel. (They had to be over built for all the “Gs” you would pull when you turned a corner).Then you would scrounge up and old car battery that would still hold a charge. A lot of folks were suspicious of all these car batteries being available when you could sell the lead in them for some good money but I prefer to think they were excess over the needs of the local farmers Then you would have to visit the local junk yards, (They are called auto recycling establishments now.) and pick up a good starter. These starters are still the same as the one in your car today. They haven’t changed an awful lot in the last few years of technology. You would weld a sprocket off a bicycle on the shaft of the starter and another on the rear axle of your barstool. If you were real smart you would put some sort of switch on it then because when you connected the starter to the battery that stool would take off like a scalded a, well, it would take off really fast. There was no slow gaining speed it was full on as soon as you touched the leads together. I remember the first time I saw one at my brother’s house. He had welded on some plates where you could put your feet. On each of these plates he had installed a little button. It was a starter button from a really old car. Back when you turned the key and then pressed a button to start your car. I asked him what the difference was between the right button and the left button. He said that the right button got the stool started and the left button stopped it. He lied. They both made the stool go. Really fast! Of course it threw me into the dirt. It was love at first crash. I had to have one.

He worked with me in his shop until we had a new one ready to go. I put it into the back of my truck and brought it over to Salinas to see if I could generate some races. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your outlook Salinas wasn’t into drinking and riding suicide machines. So I used it to make runs up and down Main Street, in Salinas, until I had been warned so many times that I thought it prudent to retire the stool to the back room. Then, I moved my store over to Park Row. Now we were talking. There was a big old parking lot right in front of my store. I used to thrill the kids and try to pick up girls by riding on two wheels and pulling wheelies right in front of the store. It was a great time. I finally retired when some moron who couldn’t read pushed the button, in spite of all the signs not to touch plastered all over it, and destroyed one of my showcases. When I moved up to Alaska I asked one of my good buddies to watch over it while I was gone. Of course I have yet to find him or my bar stool. Probably just as well. I don’t think folks are ready for home built technology that makes all these electric cars look like copy cats.

I thought of building one when my boys came along but like a lot of other things that I thought of it never got done. But I have photos and my sweet wife remembers seeing me trying to kill myself when I was younger and more foolish than I am today. However I just thought you would want to know that it doesn’t take billions donated to your campaign contributors to get electric vehicles built. Just go up to any farmer, who have been doing so  much with so little for so long they can do anything with nothing and ask them to help. I don’t even think you would have to buy them a drink.

God Bless.


Epiphany!  Isn’t that a cool word? I’m sure I had heard it before I became a Catholic but probably hadn’t thought about it very much. It has become a very important word to me in the past few years as things happen and I immediately think to myself, “What an epiphany!” Let’s consider the holidays. I’m a big fan of birthdays. Not having birthdays. I’ve had enough of those but the idea of a birthday that we celebrate for someone that happens to be personal and for the birthday person only. Most all holidays require some sort of reciprocation except a birthday. I also like Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. That’s probably just my military background. I probably didn’t think much about them until I was in the service. As a young man Christmas wasn’t such a big thing to me. Folks in the same financial status as my family probably celebrated the same way we did. Oranges, nuts and new underwear. There was the occasional gift that was a surprise and some pretty special ones that we knew about but still made us happy. They were few enough that all these years later I can still remember the ones that were special. My mom really tried to bring her boys up to fear the Lord and to walk in the light but we were almost incorrigible.

I carried that sort of attitude forward as most of my Holidays were spent in the Army and alone or drinking with my buddies. Even after I got out of the military and suffered through a divorce it all seemed to me to be a lot of build up and promotion by the merchants for one anticlimactic morning. It has gotten a little worse lately.  It goes from “Trick-or treat” to Black Friday sale days. I read this morning that prices are artificially inflated as it gets closer to that sale day so the discounts look larger. Just a wee bit too much merchandising for me.

It’s getting close to the point where Thanksgiving is used as a tool for more sales days than a holiday to give thanks for all our blessings. Don’t get me completely wrong. I know that many of our friends who own stores or work at them make a good portion of their profit from this time of year so I think we should shop if we need anything at this point. And as for my, “bah humbug” attitude, I didn’t always think this way. A certain little Swiss lass came into my life and made a lot of changes. She still smiles and sweetly asks me to put up the outside lights for Christmas because she knows I’m not completely into that season and I love to give her gifts that I think she might like. Why, it was just last year I gave her that carpet shampooer. She seemed to like that. I think this year a new George Foreman griller would be nice or maybe one of those sticks that help her reach the cobwebs up in the corners. I know that whatever I give her she will like. She’s like that.

The biggest change in my attitude about this season of light in the dark days is my appreciation for the day we all get together and thank God for our blessings. I wasn’t crazy about that day either until my children came along. Even when Tara was small I was happy to take her over to Lorraine’s parents house, (we weren’t married yet.) and sit down to a big dinner and let Eric say grace. I was pretty thankful that I was there and her family really liked to get into the season. Being with my daughter and being around Lorraine was a good enough reason for me to be happy. Then, after we got married and the boys came along, things really started to change. The dinner got bigger. She changes around a whole room in our house to set up the table. I loved having more family around. Then we started to share with my brothers and their friends. That made for even more times of gratitude for our blessings. As time has gone along we have lost some of the key players in this tableau. Lorraine’s father is no longer here to argue with me about who sits at the head of the table and my brother’s have gotten to the point they don’t like to travel but now Tara has a family and has blessed me with two wonderful grandchildren and it’s treat that the boys come home from college I truly feel blessed when we all sit down to dinner. I feel such an immense welling of love at our table. Probably like your family we go around the table and say what we are thankful for and to a person it is always the family that comes first.

That is where epiphany comes in. I first recognized it a few years ago. I couldn’t really say what word would explain what I was feeling. Then, through The Church, I thought of the Epiphany. Having the word in my vocabulary seemed right for the feeling I was experiencing. I have never felt the love before that floats around our table on Thanksgiving Day.

So I have another favorite day to help me get through the circle of love and loss we all experience while on this old globe. I’m looking forward to this Thanksgiving as I never have before but then each one gets better than the one before. I hope your is full of love and happiness. I hope you get out your camera and make some memories that will last you forever.

God Bless.

Are You Thirsty?

How are you feeling? Is everything okay? No night sweats, aching joints, shortness of breath? The reason I ask is that I have been feeling a little run down lately and looking for something to blame it on. Then while watching the electronic morphine I saw a show about GMO foods. There are these farmers in the mid-west that grow corn on their huge farms. They don’t want to pay the big price for seeds of GMO corn that is resistant to Round Up. Round Up is a weed killer. I use it around my house and maybe you do too. It’s poison to weeds. Now what it does to human’s I’m not allowed to say even if I knew. It’s just the idea of corn being resistant to the weed killer is a little scary. Anyway these farmers were just working in their fields and they noticed a much larger yield that usual. Turns out even if they didn’t want the GMO corn it was growing n their fields. Almost everyone admits it is because of the wind blowing pollen over the fields and that pollen made their corn resistant to weed killers. Monsanto, the maker of round up said, “Hey! You guys are hi jacking our technology. We want you to pay for the seeds that you are getting through our weed killer technology.” Even though everyone, including Monsanto agrees that the farmers didn’t steal the seeds the farmers had to pay and in a way we do too; by eating that corn. This was an excellent case of money buying the courts.

I then flipped channels as I was getting depressed and discovered that McDonald’s, everyone’s favorite gourmet restaurant was selling meat with pink slime in the patties of their hamburger. Don’t ask what pink slime is. You don’t want to know. Just realize that you are eating it and after all, the government said it was okay. Do you ever wonder what that cost, to get the okay to inject this stuff into our food? I don’t mean to sort out Mickey D’s as the only culprit. I only have so many words to put in this column but I will tell you about the most grave item that threatens our world. Yes, I said world!

Bottled water! I have lived a lot of years and I’ve never seen anything like this. We actually go into a store and buy bottled water. I think it was the French who brought us this terrible idea. Some say it is better for you. Well I happen to have the latest report from the city of Gonzales that proves that the water that comes out of your tap is just as pure and it doesn’t come to you in a carcinogenic bottle. A bottle made from petroleum. I would bet that if you quit buying water you would remember what water used to taste like. It’s not just the water it’s the money that you spend to drink what should be almost free and you wouldn’t be polluting the environment.

I better quit for this week. Maybe next week I’ll be able to tell you about the pollution these bottles have caused the world. Not just us but the world!

God bless

I was right

So I’m trolling through my FaceBook the other day and I see a video where the headline line is, “When you show her she’s wrong.” This lady is standing there with her arms crossed over her chest like Patton reviewing his troops and a frown on her face that would stop an eight day clock on the first day. When you hit the “go” button her husband, (I think, nowadays you can never be sure.) is laughing as he dances around her just having a great time. In addition to the fact that he shouldn’t celebrate a short lived moment his actions made me think; don’t you hate it when you are right about something but the results of your assuredness doesn’t make you happy but actually makes you sadder than if you were wrong. You might have told your wife that she should fill up the car with gas and she thinks she can make it to the cheaper gas station further down the road. She doesn’t. You were right but the celebration is not to be as you drive to her location and deliver enough gas for her to make it to the station of her choice. She sits there waiting for you to say, “I told you so,” and you know those are exactly the words you will be better off swallowing. Maybe your buddy decides he can drive home after a couple of cocktails and will not heed your warning that bad things could happen. You, of course, can guess the results of being right that time.
I was right about a much more serious matter but it gives me no pleasure. I would say to let me tell you about it but if you have been reading my scribbling for any time you already know I was right. Trust me that it doesn’t give me anything but sadness to see the truth. Let me tell you of my moment of clarity. The other day I was the tour guide for a local touring company that shows folks from all over the United Sates about our farming practices and our wine industry. We were sitting up at Paraiso Vineyards looking out over our beautiful valley. I was telling an interested guest that I really couldn’t remember anything bad about living here. I mentioned an occasional cloudy day or something like that. I don’t particularly care for the wind but if we didn’t have that we might as well live in the San Joaquin Valley as it would be a lot hotter. In any case the conversation, as these things will do, shifted to the point where one person asked if I had served in Vietnam. (A lot of these folks were my age or a little younger.)The reason he asked he noted was because he had seen a really good show on the History Channel about a series named The Sixties. He thought I might find it rewarding. I told him I was not quite a fan of the memories of those times. Don’t get me wrong, you know how proud I was to do as my Commander In Chief asked and went off to rid Southeast Asia of the communist scourge. I just don’t like the results of that fiasco. Too many didn’t come back and when you think about it, why?
Anyway the next night I remembered that I was recording the series. I had already seen the Kennedy assassination and President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act. Both of which affected me. So I looked into my DVR and saw that indeed I had recorded the show in question. I started watching and immediately began to feel, well, I can’t tell you exactly what I was feeling but the images of the carnage that occurred during those days were not sitting well with me. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was but when my Angel walked through the room she immediately suggested that I should not be watching that show. Maybe it was something she saw on my face. (Who knows how who loves you can see a problem before it occurs?) Realizing she was right I turned off the TV and walked out to my office and that’s when I realized I was right but this discovery came with little pleasure.
Quite some time ago I was writing about how some politician had said that the situation over in Iraq and Afghanistan was not anything like Vietnam. How I had said it is exactly like Vietnam. I also mentioned that the results could only be what they have become; the loss of our most precious resources for nothing. The slaughter of our children and loved ones for a reason no one can satisfactorily explain to me. The men and women that had died in the small town now being retaken by the armies we had fought were now back in town and back in charge. Just like Vietnam! I am still proud of my service to this wonderful country. I am blessed to have been allowed to serve. I ALWAYS say “Thanks for your service!” to any person I see in a uniform. They are the best and the brightest of our country. I don’t know anyone that can explain how events have led us to our present position.
I have changed my mind on a lot of things as I have grown older. The thoughts I had on war and financial matters have changed as well as my thoughts about the millions that come to our shores or borders looking for the dream we have been born with. The dream is not inherited it is worked for and achieved. I have also changed my mind on our politicians. I believe once you are elected to any position higher than County Supervisor you lose touch with the people you represent. I’m sure there are those that might say it happens even before then but I know most of our supervisors and they always seem to vote their conscience. When a person is elected to any other post they are consumed with being re-elected not the representation of their constituents. Their conscience can only be assuaged with a donation to their re-election. If I have offended you with my scribbling, good! Maybe it will make you look at what is happening to our country. Maybe you can write something that will change my mind. I have always thought the greatest honor my children could pay me or my country would be to serve it in uniform but no longer. Not until we have leaders who care about the freedoms so many have given their life for. Not until someone steps up and represents those who come here to live their dreams. Not until someone comes along who believes in America, the flag and what it has always represented to those who care.
God Bless.

I love You

When was the last time you said, “I love you?” It‘s pretty easy you know. It’s one of my most favorite things to say. I don’t say it quite as much as I say “cool” but it’s pretty close. I had a person on my Facebook page say that it has almost lost its meaning. That people say it too easily today. That it had almost taken on the same qualities as hello. I would beg to differ with that person. I love you is one of the nicest things you can say to someone. This person that posted on my page would agree with my conclusions yet they might add, “If you mean it.” I’ll admit I’m a pretty testosterone fueled guy. I love adventure and facing danger but I have been brought to tears more times than I like to admit by someone simply saying to me, I love you. I know also that I have made a lot of folks happier in their daily grind by telling them I loved them. On Sunday, in church, the Homily was about the blind man who has his sight restored by Jesus. Like a lot of things in the Bible the story took on many different meanings. It was pointed out that we are never sure how much time we have here. Sometimes folks live to a hundred and sometimes they never make it back from the hospital. Has anyone gone to their Maker saying, I said I love you, too many times? Sometimes we don’t look around at the beautiful world and realize that the ones we love are what make the world beautiful. Who hasn’t suffered a crisis in their life? Be it money, or time or injury. There are lots of people with lots of money that couldn’t bear to stay with us anymore because no one told them they are loved. It is a healing phrase.
I lost a friend this last week. I loved this guy. I didn’t know him as well as many others might have known him. I never heard of anyone saying bad things about him so I believe he was a great guy. He always went out of his way to say hi, he always brought a smile and he let me know I was his friend. I will miss his smile and his jokes. I will tell his family and tell anyone that asks that I loved him. Is it so difficult to believe that I could love someone that wasn’t part of my family?
In my careless youth I used the words many times and was even called to task by some spurned young ladies. “You don’t know how to love anyone.” I was told with venom on their lips. Perhaps I didn’t love them in the way they wanted but at the time I said that I loved them I surely meant it with all my heart. So I guess there were times that I used the word in less than a sterling fashion but it was still love. I warned my daughter that guys do this. That is not to say that they wouldn’t believe it when they said it. She just has to know that she is in love with them. I also impressed upon my sons how powerful the word is and is not to be bandied about without true feelings. They have a responsibility.
In my family the word love is used all the time. We don’t end a conversation; hang up the phone or go to sleep without saying I love you. Sometimes Lorraine and I will be watching a movie on TV and we will just look at each other and say I love you. I have a shortcut on my phone that allows me to put the words “I love you.” on the end of each of my texts. I always use it when texting anyone in my family. Today even my three brothers respond with the same salutation. It means something special more than ever.
Saying I love you is a difficult thing to say without meaning it in some way. It’s kind of like I end my column by saying God Bless. Even if you don’t believe in a higher power about all you can say is you don’t need God’s Blessings. Both I love you and God Bless cannot be taken as an insult or put down. It cannot be said with darkness in your heart. To tell someone that you love them never makes them mad; at least I have never witnessed it if it did. God gave us Ten Commandments. They pretty much spell out the way life should be lived in a civilized world. Of all the ten it was pointed out that love was the most important. Just because someone does you bad and you can pretty much figure that they don’t feel love for you it is their burden not yours. You can always lighten your load by just telling them you love them.
Just as Jesus wiped mud on the sightless man’s eyes and had him wash away his blindness we need to get over our blindness, or should I say, hesitation, to telling someone you love them. It is the cheapest therapy you can get. Don’t let the day go by and then the evening without saying it to someone you love. Just as sure as a person never goes to meet their maker telling themselves that they over used the word there are many more that leave us saying they should have said it more.
God Ble

Do you remember the sixties

Do you remember the sixties? I have heard it said if you can remember them you weren’t there. It was drugs sex and rock and roll. Turn on tune in and drop out. As the sixties progressed, social tensions developed that tended to separate the teens from their parents like nothing before. Generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, human sexuality, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dreams. Then there were of Kids that had never consumed anything stronger than orange Nehi who were suddenly being thrown together with drugs that had never before seen the light of day. I want to tell you about a show that was on CNN the other night. It was called “The Sixties”. CNN is showing different decades starting with the sixties. I may as well tell you that the sixties were when I became a man. Not just the early part of the decade but the entire decade. It started off with me going into the Army leaving behind all the hassle and just seeking adventure. I became a paratrooper, witnessed racism in the south, learned how to drink and dance with painted women, went to war, got married, learned discipline, and learned that I could keep going even when I thought I had no more to give. All these things were life changing to be sure but the one thing that I remember more than anything else was the music. Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone and Nat King Cole were out and Elvis, The Stones, The Animals and lots of music that moved your soul was in. I am a member of the “Baby Boom” generation. Actually I am a little older than some Boomers because dad never went to war. I just happened by circumstances.
The Baby Boom generation was and is responsible for more social change than any other group of people that have ever lived. We were just coming into our stride when the sixties started. A guy named Elvis was the guiding spirit. He was like no one had ever seen before. He sung the words to the music all right but he also showed what it was like to feel the music and to understand teenage angst. Our parents hated him. That made him much more attractive to the rebellious mind. The older generation would actually burn his records and any of the records that others like him we were using to allow us to feel. You might have heard the terrible names our parents called him. However all their feeble attempts to regain their authority over the teenage mind were for naught. We had Wolf Man Jack broadcasting with two hundred and fifty thousand watts from Southern California playing the records that local radio stations were forced not to play by the sponsors. I once traveled all the way from California to North Carolina and never changed the radio station. Like Satellite radio before satellites.
We were listening to music that had almost no audience before. The radio stations would not play any Soul , rock and roll or any records made by black performers. In fact the producers originally thought Elvis must be black because of his music. The black artists from the south and Chicago had to travel to England where they taught rhythm and blues to the teenage bands that were just starting out. They had Baby Boomers there too. (As an anecdote; I have some DVDs of John Lee Hooker, Howlin’, Smith, Willie Dixon and many others playing the blues in front of audiences where the girls wore flouncy dresses and the guys all wore neckties and they sat so reverently just listening to the music. Weird.) In fact all the bands that invaded the U.S. were taking these blues and putting their own twist to the music. Kind of like taking the music we sent to them and bringing it back. The Rolling Stones, The Animals, even the greatest, The Beatles were just playing our music back to us but it drove all the teens crazy. It’s hard to remember but all these bands were bar bands before they came here.
Music has this strange but wonderful ability to unite people and places and to make a sad person feel better. Someone said it starts in the womb when we hear the heartbeat of our mother. The rhythm of our lives starts there. The music of the sixties was the star of this TV episode of The Sixties. It was called the English Invasion. How music went from the basic rock with hints of teenage love and longing to the political stage where musicians were writing songs they felt would change the world. It was really a great TV show and a great time in my life and the lives of many I know. There will never be another period with all the changes that occurred like the Sixties. I was there, I remember the times and it was a heartfelt hour of memories for me to watch it. I wouldn’t change anything in my life but if I could I would relive the sixties.

Twenty One

I don’t want to upset you but there is something going on you should be concerned about. I actually just started to be aware of this strange occurrence myself. You would think that I would be a little more observant of things like this. Like most insidious things it kind of slips up on you and before you know it you are caught by surprise. Oh, don’t be too disturbed. It has surely been going on for a long time. It’s just that this is the first time I was made aware of it within my own family. I guess I thought I would be special and things like this would only happen to other people but as sure as God made little green apples here it comes like a locomotive.
I happened to be at my desk when it struck me and of course, like all things that upset me, it came from my oldest son. I was staring at some of the more humorous videos that my friends send me. I tell you about them sending them to me because if they didn’t I would get a lot more done. “Hey check this out!” they write and like an innocent child I do what they tell me. These videos are Fritos, one is too many and a bag full is not enough. There are some particularly interesting called, “Amazing People.” These show what the human is capable of and what I wish I could still do. Oh, yeah. I was telling you about my oldest son and his phone call. Because the phone call is what tipped me off to what I can only assume is a very big conspiracy. I have never gotten the phone calls for money. My lovely bride gets all those phone calls, mine are usually of a much more serious nature. That’s what this call was about.
“Hey dad,” he said with all the love and happiness he can project. “I know what you can get me for my birthday.” He says this like I was going to get him a present. The car, the books, the school and the secretive extra infusions of cash my lovely bride slips into his bank account do not count to him when it is his birthday. He thinks birthdays are something made so he could spend lavishly and not worry about the source of the funds. We used to take him to The Red Lobster for dinner on his birthday. You know, just another way to spend time with him when he probably would have rather been out playing with his friends. However once the tab for these forced togetherness forays got over the two hundred dollar level I figured it would be just as well to stay at home and just hand him the cash. Have you ever known anyone as skinny that can eat two lobsters and two orders of Alaskan crab legs? I grew weary of supporting “The Deadliest Catch,” TV show.
“You have a birthday coming up?” I murmured with all the enthusiasm of the guy that was in that movie, Dead Man Walking “Another birthday?” It seemed to me he had couldn’t have spent all the cash he got for his last birthday yet.
“Yeah dad and it is a big one!” He sang out with gusto as if all the other birthdays I have witnessed with him over the years counted for nothing. “I’m going to be twenty one!” That’s when this conspiracy hit me. Twenty one, this can’t be. I looked up at the calendar in my office and started counting backward to his birth year. If this is not the first time you have ever read any of my pitiful scribbling you are certainly aware that I feel that time goes by with an inordinate amount of haste. But for my oldest son to be twenty one was something that I was only to witness far into the future.
This is the first born son, the boy that came to me with a frown on his face because he had to leave such a wonderful warm place and be shoved into this cruel world of light and noise. This is the one I watched and tried to see myself. That I read the Bible to each night, not because, well, because they say you should read to your son. That I read the book “Patrick Wants To Ride,” to a hundred times because he wanted to hear about a boy that rides his daddy’s motorcycle the first time. I taught him to ride a bike and hit a ball; I hid the tears when he left for his first day of school with such confidence I felt unworthy; a boy turning to a man when I bought him his first motorcycle; that I took photos of as he borrowed my car to take his date to the school prom and wore my black and white “Spectator” shoes so proudly. Twenty one. I tried to convince myself that this was a good thing. He could actually drink a bottle of wine with me, legally!
I know there is something fishy going on with time. It travels in a straight line but most of us believe that for us, well, we are special. Time is only passing for someone else. “So,” I said slowly, “What is this thing you think I should get you for your birthday?” I was sure it would entail some sort of revelry that would result in a visit from the authorities before the night was out. But again, as he has done so many times he surprised me.
“I want to go to Boston and visit Kellan.” Kellan was one of the posse that my son belonged to when he attended high school. I have said my high school days were not my best but this son had made friends with some of the best kids I ever knew. They all stay in touch and try to see each other often. Kellan has returned from Boston a couple of times and his parents are not any richer than I. Kellan was the guy that found every scholarship offered for any reason when he graduated and he applied for and received most of them. That’s how he went to Boston. So it was time for the posse to go to him.
So, long story longer I sent my son to Boston, to see his friends and keep in touch. I grew older and he grew wiser. To travel is to grow. He called me upon his return and I think, from the way he talked, that this was one of the best presents I ever gave him. He had the best time of his life he said. Not really realizing how I hoped that the best time would have been with me. Ah well, at least he let me pay for it.