Wednesday, March 25, 2009


OK...lets part of my Step 4, I am writing what amounts to my life story and the following is a part of it from when I was very young. If you have been coming around here for long, some of it may seem familiar. There may be only one paragraph of much interest to anybody and I have highlighted it in bold italics because it jumped onto the page in front of me and was a revealing when I wrote it.
My Dad was a well liked Businessman. He worked as Director of Public Relations for a large company. He had many colleagues, but until I wrote this I never realized that as well liked as Dad was he really only had one friend....Bruce Myers.
And that may explain why I am the way I am sometimes...I describe Bruce as being "jolly and exuberant", almost a harlequin of my fairly stoic father, and maybe thats why I am so goofy Dad's only best friend could be just that way sometimes.
I never really knew that, and I cried when I looked at that paragraph.
The story I have in rusted italics is one of my first posts.

I was born on a street named Carma.
I had a brother named don 16 years older than me. My first memory of Don was the day I was taking a piss off the front porch and he snatched me up and spanked me and showed me where the bathroom was. I have no other memory of Don on Carma, because when I was two, he was off at college. my whole life, Don was always off somewhere.

So I went to Swim lessons, and to Tap Dance lessons and also to a Nursery School called the Little Hoss Ranch. I remember being dropped off there, and there were chickens and goats and sheep in a pen, but we couldn't play with them. There was a big farmhouse, and us kids stayed in a big room where the TV played the 3 Stooges and Superman and Tarzan. some times we got to fingerpaint, I liked that a lot.
We got Orange juice and crackers and then we were supposed to take a nap on the floor and the lady would walk around and make sure we were trying to take a nap. i always sensed you would be in trouble if you weren't trying to take a nap.
Maybe just being quiet was good enough to stay out of trouble.
The best part of the nursery school was when we got to go outside and they had swing sets and stuff . What I remember the most was a little baby train track that circled a tree that we would walk on in a row like we were train cars. There was a man that stayed outside almost all the time; he had a kindly weather beaten face, and a gentle smile and he would watch us walk that track as he wiped his brow from the seat of his tractor. I liked going there, but I never made a friend there that I can recall.

Back then Mom and Lisa (my sister) were the people I was closest to. Mom didn't work and stayed with me most of the time. We would play things like Tarzan and I would save her from giant snakes (the Vaccum cleaner hose) and I would watch her run in place while watching Jack La Lane on TV.
Dad was at work all the time, and when he got home he would kiss me and I would always wipe it off because it seemed like a wet kiss. Dad never said a lot. When we sat down to dinner, if it was something I didn't like to eat, Dad would explain that it was all good food, and I had to eat it. He would try to bribe me to eat squash by saying if I ate it we would go down to the Crawdad Hole after supper.
It didn't help and I would sit for an hour refusing to eat greens, squash or liver.
I knew it disappointed him that I wouldn't eat those things.

Dad took me fishing a lot and camping too. He smoked big cigars and he would give one to me, unlit, for me to roll around in my mouth the way he did. I remember him going hunting with his best friend Bruce, and when they came home they had a bunch of dead birds and a case of Carte Blanca Beer. They showed me how to clean the birds and laughed with each other the whole time they were together. Always they had fun and laughing. I don't remember Dad having a friend other than Bruce, ever, but Bruce was such a good friend for many years that I dont know Dad needed another friend. There seemed to be no friend like Bruce for my dad.

I always knew that Dad loved me, but Dad never said much. He would dispense advice in a slow precise way. I would be riding in the car talking to him and he would say "Umm-Hmm" as being a yes, but in a distracted way and even at a young age I knew that he was only partly listening. Then finally I would say something that he could actually comment on.
One of the things he liked to say was to remind me I had come "From good stock". Even though I wasn't sure what that meant, I knew that if dad said it it must be so.
Dad never said anything that he could not prove or demonstrate, or back up with pretty solid facts.
Not that he didn't have a sense of humor, but you would never catch him just being goofy or silly.
I did not get that gene, I don't guess.

I wrote an email to Bruce a couple years ago to try to verify the validity of the following story.

Bruce Myers was my fathers very best friend while I was growing up which was just fine with me because I liked Bruce maybe as much as my father did. Where my father was dry and always under control, Bruce was effusive and jolly. They never spoke curtly to each other and always had a good time together. Their relationship was centered around fishing and Highballs……..and according to them this is how it all got started.
Bruce and Jack (my Dad) worked together for Hobbs Trailers. It was 1958, life was good and they were in their prime. Jack was a big time fisherman while Bruce was, well, I have no idea what Bruce was before fishing, except a really nice guy. Since they were going to be best friends for a long time it was important that Jack get Bruce onto the water in search of the big Bass or anything that would bite.

So Jack takes Bruce fishing, using all the popular lures of the day. Before too long, Jack catches a fish which excites the very excitable Bruce.
“What did you catch him on? “ Bruce wants to know.
“A Jiitterbug” replies Jack.
“Nah, now Jack, don’t go puttin’ me on” Bruce says, thinking no way could a Fishing lure be named after a 20's dance.
“Not a bit”says Jack and shows Bruce the lure with “Jitterbug” printed plainly on the lure.
“Well I’ll be”says Bruce”I want one of those”
Jack ties the Jitterbug on for Bruce to use. Before too long Jack catches another fish. Bruce is curious. “Whatcha catch ‘im on?”
“A Devils Horse.”
“Nah, now Jack, don’t put me on”
“Here it is written right on the lure, "Devils Horse!"” So Jack has Bruce tie on a Devils Horse.
Now Bruce is very intrigued about the names of these lures and wants to know more names so Jack begins to recite some Lure names to Bruce including the Classic ‘Hellbender’ and “Water Dog” and "Boy Howdy" which Bruce sees in the tackle box as being for real.

Jack sees an opportunity. He was very well known in Sporting Goods Departments as having names for Lures that did not exist. Names like “The Bottom Scratcher” “Doodlesocker” and “Gullywampus”. There was the "Rebel Yell" "Do-Diddler" and 'Who hit John" none of which were actual lures, just names Dad dreamt up.
Dad had a million or so screwball names for lures and Bruce is now a true believer and I’m sure he laid it on pretty thick. Dad used to call one ' Swivelhip Susie", probably the most risque' thing I ever heard him say.

The next day at work Bruce comes in, high on Fishing, and tells Jack that at lunch he wants to go down to Leonards Department store and buy a Rod and Reel, a tackle box and all those lures they had talked about the day before.
“Can you make me a list of those lures, Jack?”
“Glad to, Bruce”

Enter Bruce into the Sporting Goods Department. Friendly salesperson helps him find a Rod, reel and Tackle box. Now Bruce says “I’ve got a list of lures here” and hands it to the salesperson who studies the list for a moment then looks up to Bruce with a funny grin.
Like I said, Dad was famous for these lures.

"Is there something wrong?" Asks Bruce.
“No,no”, says the salesman, and with a chuckle hands the list back to Bruce

“But you must have been talking to Jack Renfro!”

Bruce wrote back to me thanking me for reminding me of his old friend Jack, and assured me that every word was true.
When I was growing up I must have heard this story a thousand times and never grew tired of hearing it. I'd give anything to be sittin' on a camp stool by a fire, listening to the two of them go on into the night with their friendly banter.

Dad used to ask me a question when we would be driving to a fishing trip, or when we might be discussing my future. He would ask
"Would you rather be a big fish in a little pond, or a little fish in a big pond?" and we would discuss the pros and cons of each.
As time went on my answer evolved into "I'd like to be just a medium fish in a medium pond" but I don't think I ever quite told him so.


GEWELS said...

Sounds like your Dad did have a great sense of humor.
You got that gene.

Nice memories- thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Great Dad. Lucky you.
Great story. Lucky me.


Barbara said...

At first I was going to say "Are you sure he was your dad?" But by the end, it was clear! Your fishing stories are the best.

bulletholes said...

Thanks ya'll for reading any part of a post that was way too long.
And that was actually "Part two" should see Part One!

Anonymous said...

Love always Dad!