I hope that when I’m turning 66 like my dad, I have friends that are willing to drive 5 hours to share a piece of cake!
This is my dad’s dearest friend, Butch. He is my Uncle Butch, there’s no blood relation but that does not mean that he isn’t family. We’ve spent Christmases and Thanksgivings and Birthdays and Weddings together. They are our family, and we love them.
And this is Uncle Butch’s lovely wife, my Aunt Pat. You probably notice her comments on this site quite often. She is so supportive of everything I do.
I like to listen to my parents and their friends reminisce about days-gone-by. Uncle Butch laughed as I took their photos, saying:
“I wish I could find that picture I have of your dad at a race track in Texas. It was hot that day, wasn’t it Mike?”
My dad, “Awwww, it wasn’t too bad I don’t think…” He shakes his head and puts his head in his hands.
Butch, he laughs hardily, “Oh yeah, it was hot. 100 degrees or so. I told your dad drinking brown liquor in this hot weather wasn’t a good idea, but he didn’t want to listen. Oh he paid, he paid big time.”
Dad, “Naaaah. I was a real man, I could hold my liquor.”
I wonder what stories my friends will tell about me 30 years from now?
I know Susan will tell my college smoking story. I never knew anyone, other than my parents and their grown up friends, who smoked. When I saw Susan and a few of the other girls openly smoking cigarettes, I was mesmerized. Susan says I was like a little kid when I said with my hand over my mouth and eyes opened wide, “You smoke?”. I didn’t yet know that everyone at my college smoked. It was a pre-requisite I think.
In order to fit in, I made my way to the local convenience store. It was called, “Fast and Easy”. So of course we called it, “The Fast and Sleezy”. But I digress… I bought the only cigarettes I was familiar with, the smokes my dad chose, Winston Reds in a soft-pack.
I proudly approached the room of the older, wiser and way cooler Susan with my purchase. I nervously knocked on her door, ready to fit in with the smokers. Susan opened the door, a cloud of smoke following, and I waved my Winston Reds in the air proudly saying that I’m ready to join the club!
She laughed at me. HARD.
Susan, “Have you ever smoked one of those?”
Me, “This is what I always smoke.” I was lying. “It’s what my dad smokes.”
Susan, “You bought what your dad smokes? If you can smoke a whole one of those cigarettes you’re a better woman than me! Come on in….”
I was part of the crowd! I was a college smoker! Then I took a drag and stifled the cough. I raised my head to the ceiling to blow out the smoke, because that’s what my mom did… Susan laughed at me again. The second puff, cough. Third puff, gag-cough.
I finally had to admit defeat, Winston Reds had kicked my butt. I think I probably moved on to some cooler brand of cigarette like Virginia Slims or Misty’s – do they still sell Misty’s? When I was in college those were so cool…
Ahhhh, the life of a college student.
The story my Aunt Pat likes to tell is how she worried that my Uncle Butch wouldn’t go through with their wedding 39 years ago. He and my dad shared an old house on a horse-farm. It was nearing Super-Bowl season and my dad had the Color TV! But, lucky for her, and lucky for Uncle Butch, my dad gave up the Color TV so they could move forward with their nuptial and life together.
So what stories will your friends tell in 30 years?