It’s time to pull over and park this moving memory.
He’s driving down the street with the window down, his sleeves are short and the left arm is browner than the right. His Raleighs or Pall Malls are residing in his shirt pocket nestled next to a book of matches from the last truck stop he visited. He’s on his way to some destination, meeting his friend Butch Hobbs or some one else in the trucking business. He pulls in professional like across the stone gravel parking lot, with stones popping and crackling, coming to a smooth stop.. It’s time to grab the smokes, he has lots to talk about………
Dad, just like mom, I feel like I’ve exhausted all I know to say about you, some times I cannot put into words all I still have to say, this has been cathartic in my need to share to the world how wonderful I thought you were and how much I dearly miss you. But like all things it must end.
I’ve put the gear in park, if I smoked, the smokes would be put away, and my feet up. It’s personal now, no more sharing.
With a tip of the hat, a finger to the head in a salute, I bid you ..good bye…
and don’t forget …….I will always be bustersdaughter remembering………..
Nascar was blasting exhaust from the television as I lay on one of the sofas and my dad on the other at their house. I never thought it would be a common denominator between my dad and I, but as he lay on the other sofa watching, I knew this was more than Jeff Gordon creating a dizzing display of dust across the track.
I don’t have to watch the races any longer the sound transports me back to the flowered sofa watching dad try to maintain an air of dignity and muscle up to the the rigors of exhaustion due to chemo.
We shared a bond thanks in part to the race on the television , even though most times I would have rather been at the local antique shop, but rest assured I wouldn’t have traded that time for anything in the world other than to have my dad here and healthy. It will be nine years since you lost your battle with cancer, the pain isn’t as sharp as it once was and time has a way of reducing the sharpness associated with the loss.
I came back to look at the blog 8 years later, to update my grammatical errors, and maybe refresh what I had forgotten, but I still can’t get the lay and the lie right so bear me. Hard to believe it’s been 17 years since you’ve been gone. I was in Ohio at your gravesite on the anniversary of your death but you aren’t there, you’re resting in higher places with mom. ( Come to think of it, I’m sure mom’s keeping your busy lol)
Love you forever,
bustersdaughter remembering 8/13/17
I will always be bustersdaughter remembering…………….
I sat next to my dad listening to stories one after the other, thinking this would never end. You think like that when you’re a kid, or even a young adult, I would be sitting, half listening, blowing bubbles snapping popping pulling the pink stuff off my face and outta my hair while he is talking about driving down mountain roads that had these ramps of sand or dirt for truckers to run into if they couldn’t stop in time. I somehow knew as a kid I didn’t want to know this. No matter, he kept on talking because he had his audience.
My family is from a long line of tinkerers. Is that a good thing, I don’t know. He’d take out his pocketknife and clean the grease out from under his nails if he’d been working on his truck or he’d make gasket covers out of scrap with some kind of paper and his pocketknife came to the rescue once again. That was kind of gross, the nail part, I didn’t think a pocketknife should be used like that, but he was a guy and they do that sort of thing, gross things.
He was recycling before the big to do concerning our enviornment today. Just about all the previous generation knew enough not to waste and to fix something if it broke, not just throw it out and get another, the great depression had a lot to do with that.
He was very methodical in whatever it was, whatever he was working on. I was always fascinated by the way he fixed his plate at dinner time. If we had baked potatoes he would meticulously use his fork to mash down the potatoes in a way where they were all the same height. The butter would be evenly displayed and the salt and pepper was as tidy and even as a gardeners row of corn.
He was always busy talking or working on something but there wasn’t a moment that went by where he didn’t know what was going on. He may not be looking directly at you for the subject in question but he knew just the same. When they lived in Florida, he moved here with the mentality of Ohio and the dress code. No shorts, he never wore them, ever. Maybe the last time was when he lived with his parents. You can teach an old dog new tricks as long as the dog is hotter than blue blazes.
His legs were two sticks that had been bleached or so it looked, they were hanging out of a baby blue pair of shorts. They looked even brighter with the white socks and his dark shoes. Why he ever chose that color was beyond me, especially for his first pair in the sunshine. Me thinks my mother had something to do with this. He always wore a shirt with a pocket for his cigarettes, matches, and pencil and said if a shirt didn’t have a pocket it was worthless. Remember that Mr. Designerwear.
I have a picture of him engrossed in some project while sitting on his chair on the porch and while I was listening to him he would end the sentence with “Ya get me?” Huh? What? It was his catchphrase, Ya get me?
One time there was the story of how the man that started the Peterbilt trucks happened and I am ashamed to say I half listened. I couldn’t tell you anymore than I have already. Pathetic. I regret my attitude and now I am paying eternally for not listening.
I heard the story of the time he stood up to Jimmy Hoffa at a Teamsters Union Meeting in Michigan, and lived to tell about it. I sat in disbelief but knew my dad wouldn’t make that up. Maybe I shouldn’t remember that story anyway.
All these blips and blurbs are what we all do everyday. Do we take each other for granted in their little new isms? Of course we do. But if we are all wise we’ll record and file a few of the little quirks that make each of us unique. We will most likely regret not being available for a visit or that we didn’t listen to a story verbatim. We can’t be available all the time. And if someone else is sitting across from you-you can best believe they are doing just the same unless they are a journalism student, have a recorder or in a former life was a stenographer and an A plus shorthand taker, taking in what I just put on paper. But as for myself I will probably remember more than a portion of it.
5 gallon jugs, balloons, a bottle capper, and fruit, these are lovely combinations to the creative.
My dad was a creator of wine and beer, it wasn’t that he was inbibing in the off hours, he just liked the creation of liquid made to dull the senses and to test what nature had available.
Like one night we were all sleeping, my sisters, brother, and parents ,when all of a sudden it sounded like a shoot out in the OK basement. Something was popping all which way. I found out in the morning the home brew my dad careful capped with his antique bottle capper and placed lovingly in an aluminum tub with a cover over it to keep cool, were the source of calamity. There was glass inbedded in the comforter and it did smell like a beat up liquor store. All that hard and loving work gone up in a burst of glory. Tsk Tsk. His creativity amazed me, the things he would try, his tenacity and love of a creation.
In my brothers high school years (the 60’s) he tried his hand at wine making. In the northwest corner of the basement was a flavorful selection of fruits, as well as the dandelion variety of wine. I remember being allowed to taste the concotion and didn’t know what all the fuss was about.
It wasn’t surely about me, it was surely about him and all the different ways, he found to relax . Balloons and jugs and crocks and time all these trinkets pulling together for the amusement of buster and I was a spectator remembering
When I started Bustersdaughter I wondered how long it would be before my memories would start to fade or I used up all “the good ones”. It’s getting to that point and I need some inspiration from older family members. Even siblings would help but since my family is closer to the wall instead of each other it may be quite a wait in the process. I just thought at this moment to ask my kids and nieces and nephew of grandpa stories and hope to have more later on in the day, it doesn’t help that I am sad because I cannot squeeze out just one more, I probably can I’m just thinking on it too hard. I need some memory cables to jumpstart my canal of thoughts. With my index finger pointed up and my face in a thought induced position, I am bustersdaughter remembering………………………….
Dad drove on down the street after a long week driving truck. He pulled up in front of the the little white house, walked up the walk on Ash Ave., like he ususally did and after reaching the front door he thought something was very different. Jiggling the doorknob, and using his key, which was useless, he realized eating and “shooting the bull” with a neighbor wasn’t going to happen, until he could find his wife, furniture and everything else he didn’t see in the little white house on Ash Ave.
From one tree to the next, his new home was on Elm St.
He found this out from his former neighbors the Hagermans.
No bull was shot that night.
I loved the way he told this story, the pauses were all in the right places and he kept the right moments at a heightened suspense. One can only imagine what it was like when he drove to his new address, the conversation that ensued was a future story.
He was wearing a striped shirt with short sleeves and don’tcha know a shirt isn’t worth a thing unless it has a pocket? She was wearing pearls and a skirt and blouse. Her hair was feather fine and waved at him when he smiled.
This was the first time that I can remember them having professional pictures done and I can thank Tim Kelley and my ex for that. Some details are between a fog and a blur, but seeing my dad converse with a long haired man messing with cameras and such was a Mastercard moment, priceless. My dad knew how to tinker with tools, trucks and cars but this was a different horse altogether.
It was wonderful the tender way dad whispered to mom, or the little laughs and goings on with the different poses required for an infinite smile. When all was said and done and the film was put away, I have a moment in time I can gaze to while typing this memory.
And I can hear him say ” Hello Barbie Jo” and her say “Barb?”