Friday, November 24, 2006


With yesterday being Thanksgiving here in America, I took the time to reflect on the holiday. It's a celebration of family, as much now as it ever was. My wife and I didn't travel this time, work got in the way. We spent the day together cooking our feast and watching the Lions lose another football game. It's a tradition.... with the Lions that is. Never have so many sucked so badly for so long. Bill Ford ought to get a lifetime achievement award. Ahh I digress...
Anyway I got to thinking about my family and what they mean to me. As most of you know I have two kids, an ex wife, and a wife. I include the ex because you can never be rid of them when you have kids. My mother once told me that when you marry someone you marry the whole family. She was telling me I was making a mistake. I did much better the second time around. My oldest was taking her boyfriend to her moms family's house for the meal, I recommended that they stop and get him a bottle. He has no Idea what he is in for. So after to obligatory phone calls to the relatives I had time to think of my extended family. A bottle isn't needed with them in most cases. My family was blessed to have a small weekend cottage on a lake. Every once in a while we could get all of the friends I had to come and spend some time. That was special time for family. I liked to get up early and walk down to the water with a cup of joe just to watch God work his magic upon the coming day. It was just such a morning when I was joined by my lil brother Craig. He had brought his wife up for one last time. He broke the news of their divorce to me on that dock. I hugged him and told him we would get through it together as we had everything else. On another morning I was joined by brother Mikes daughter Rae. She was the first to hug me and wish me a happy fathers day that year. I can think of many people that I consider family from that place and time. My family is always growing, it now includes people that I've never actually met. I have a friend in Minnesota that I've never met, yet she always sends me cards and thoughtful notes that remind me that I'm important in her life. A couple more in Washington State, a bunch in Canada, Texas, and on the road. (Don)
I have a neighbor couple that I'm so close to that they just have to be kin! D and I along with Ted and Judy would sometimes spend the whole evening and half the night just puttering around the lake and chatting about everything. Ted is one of only two or three people that I would ask for advice on this earth, and is my only older brother. It is because of these people that the ship of my life can weather the storms that blow in from time to time. To all of my family, know that I think of you with love and hope the best for all of you during the coming Holiday season.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Blog that Bird

I got mine, how bout you?

Ten fortyfive AM The bird went on with lots of Hickory. Dinner will be in about three hours. Out door temp is 61 and sunny on its way to 70' F. Lake is going up and I'm happy!

Bird update! YUM!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lifes people #5

Well as you can see I'm still here so that means I didn't get up and start swinging. I did however get up and ask him what the hell he did that for! Turns out that while he was at Paris Island becoming a Marine his girl was seen with the neighbor boy....The one with glasses! Well dude I hate to break it to yah but you got the wrong one. I aint dating her! Period! Now seeing as your kinda new in the neighborhood, (only a couple of years) you might not have noticed that we all grew up together! Your girl and I have been friends since kindergarten! "Ohh sorry! Say, you wanna punch me in the face to make it even?" "No, I think I'll pass for now. They started to get in their cars when Richey came back. He came running down the street waving a three foot piece of pipe and screaming that he was gonna kill somebody! I then sent Craig to stop him while I reminded Jeff the Marine that we all were in the middle of a road and he was drunk! He and crew got into cars and split. We took a sec to get our wits about us when I heard the sound of hot Oldsmobile come skidding to a stop. Mike outs with a 16 gauge shotgun and starts looking for someone to shoot. Richey says "ohh yeah I went and called Mike." We then took Rich and Craig home and went to have round two with Jeff. Remember I don't use my fists when in a fight. Backing up a few years we have the event that shaped us as friends and neighbors for all time. Tom C had managed to get a date to the Junior High prom with the prettiest girl in school. (yes even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while) My hobby then was riding my dirtbikes and racing anyone that wanted a whuppin. One afternoon I had Rich and Craigs lil brother on my bike riding him around the field behind my house. He was six and kinda the neighborhood pet. He pestered me like all lil brothers do till I took him for a ride. I would put him in front of me so I could hold his helmet in place with my chin and off we would go. I then saw my Dad waving to me to come home, it was time to go get my shoes for the Prom. I dropped "Putt Putt" (we called him that because that was the noise he made when playing with cars) off and told him I would give him a longer better ride when I got back. He thanked me and trundled off on his bike making motorcycle noises. After getting my shoes we drove past the house to get some Burger King. Coming home the road was closed with emergency vehicles. I ran as fast as I could to see what was the matter. When I got to the scene Craig came running over to me crying that Putt Putt was dead. I looked out to see the sheet someone had covered him with and then I saw his shoes in the road. It seems he snuck off to follow big brother Rich to the convenience store across the busy highway. Rich had to turn and face the highway as he was going into the store. It was then that he saw Putt ride out into the first lane of a forty five mph highway. He had just enough time to yell for him to get back, then the truck hit him. To this day I wonder what kind of a man you would have grown into Dennis.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lifes people #4

As bad as it seemed, rollovers and jeeps would have a place in my life at least once more. I was lucky. I remember being the kid with the self esteem problem in Junior high. It effected almost every facet of my life then. Girls were no different, though lord knows I tried. For some reason I was never able to see what others saw in me, only what I saw. What I saw was a scrawny half blind kid scared half out of his mind about everything. Most of the kids that were on my street were a year or two younger then me, least the ones that lived close. We were an exceptionable close group and will always be, even though we seem to have lost touch. I remember hanging out and partying one night after bowling league when one of the guys asked me for advice about something kinda personal in his life. I had no answer and told him as much. The dumbest of the bunch then piped up and said " What do you mean you have no answer? Your the big man! You're supposed to have an answer!" I've always thought of myself as one of a group and never knew how much I was counted on. "You never know just how you look through other peoples eyes." Again the song Pepper. A little about the one with the question I couldn't answer. He was the younger brother of two boys that lived down the street. We were always together, the three of us till the event. After the event it was mostly the younger and I till we grew up. We shared some awful and traumatic moments Craig and I. I love and miss him to this day. One of the first things I remember was him and a bully named Richard (I also knew) at the elementary school on a Saturday. Richard was going to kick his six year old ass just because he could. When I got there Craig was in tears and scared out of his mind. Richard was bigger then me but a year younger. I told him to go away before I kicked his ass. He listened, thank god! Craig was my lil brother ever more. It was him that skipped school and walked four miles to be with me on the day I had my worst fight. It was his voice I heard the day I had another bully in a Judo sleeper hold and was saying goodbye! Matt you owe your life to someone that you never even knew. One Friday night we went walking to the lil park not far from our houses when a car skidded to a stop and a guy got out and asked if I knew him, he then told me his name and punched me in the face, knocking me on my ass. I didn't know him from Adams house cat. Here we were, me on the ground with Craig on top of me whispering in my ear. He had seen my glasses go flying, and knew I couldn't see a damn thing without them. What he said to me..."Dude there's about ten of them and some have knives. Richie ran (his older brother) and its just you and me. Your boy is a damn U.S. Marine! If you get up were both dead but I'll put my back against yours as long as I can. He meant it! Continued.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Again lifes people.

So we've come a long way since then. There was a gun involved on that day, lucky for me it was a replica .44 semi auto .177 caliber bb pistol. Had it been real I'd be dead from a chest wound. As it was we were both kicked out of school. Him to return after an exam with a shrink because of the gun, me after my mandatory three day rest. I was asked if I might not be happier going to school somewhere else.....Please. I would rather have my testicles removed with a spoon than go back to school there, so off I went. First stop was a place called re-entry school. There were only four weeks left of the first semester and I needed credits. It was learn at your own pace which helped me to get the time I missed skipping school and getting high in the woods. In that four weeks I believe I read every thing William Shakespeare wrote! It was years before I could ever stomach the theater, but don't miss the Scottish play if anyone has the balls to perform it.
After Re-entry was a highschool for kids that got into lots of fights, and drugs, and alcohol, ect ect. It was run by of all things a Canadian, I think his name was Brian. We were in an old two story elementary school in the very center of town. (the ghetto)
The neat thing about this place was pretty much everything. You had to get past an interview with the Canadian to get in. Once in it was learn at your own pace and you could test through any class without taking it. At seventeen and working a full time job I was right where I wanted to be. It wasn't church. We had dope and whisky some mornings to start our day. We then went in and went to work. Real work. Everyone was on a first name only basis, teachers too. I find it interesting that for a bunch of thugs our chess club was full of the finest I've seen play the game. I was on the lower rungs of that ladder. One of the oddest things about the place was even our nerds could whip your ass. In the time I was there I never got into a fight. I never even saw a fight. I did see and help to defuse a situation or two, but never a fight. The leader of the kids in school was a Mexican (i think) named Bob. Big Kid with long black hair and a body the gals all admired. I remember him as the man that made the soup. On my first day there I got out of my car across the street and heard my name yelled along with a heads up! I looked up to see a football coming right at me from about fifty yards away. I caught it and then walked toward the guy that threw it. I threw it back when I was close enough not to embarrass myself. I then asked how he knew my name. He told me that Brian, the Canadian had told him I'd be coming that morning. He never let anyone enter the building without feeling welcome, every morning. One morning early in my senior year I got to school and there was no Bob. We were met by Brian and asked to go to the student lounge. It was there that we learned that he had been killed in an accident over the weekend. He and friends were out getting high and four wheeling and rolled a Jeep. Bob was in the back without a seat belt. He fell out and was crushed. The whole damn school played football that morning, and cried. Continued

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More of lifes people

I remember leaving the small confines of our little school for a major high school. Went from a class of less then twenty to a class of over 1200 kids. With that many people it takes time to work your way around the pecking order. What I found out was one hundred fifteen pound half blind kids are pretty low on the order. I could hardly stand to go to school because every day was going to be a fight. If you didn't stand and fight you simply got beaten for the fun of it. Anyone that knows me knows I don't back down even when scared so I gave some lumps as well as got. One day in the locker room a kid threw a stick of old gum that hit and stuck under my left eye. It's the only eye I got left so I went over to have a word of prayer. He was a good bit bigger then me and willing to have at it right then and there. Some of his friends intervened, telling him I would be to easy and not to hurt me. It pissed me off to be thought so lightly of but hell I didn't have to fight that day. Turns out he used to run a small gang uf hoodlums in Junior High. No body with sense messed with him. I don't remember how it happened but we somehow became best friends. Our friendship has had many ups and downs over the years, I even worked for him on a few occasions. Almost thirty years I've known him, sharing our hopes dreams fears and tears. In a couple of weeks He and his wife will drive the thousand miles to spend a lil time with my wife and I over Thanksgiving. I love you Mike.
Some of the kids I fought with were never going to be friends, they were mean and way beyond cruel. I can remember how badly I wanted to kill some of these jerks. One day I got into a fight with one of these clowns for stealing a purse from one of the girls that used to hang around Mike and I. Mike as usual asked me if I wanted him to handle it. I said no. One must remember that after breaking my hand on Rodney's head years before I didn't hit people with a fist. I let him start it and then damn near killed him. That started another phase in my life with some real characters. Continued

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lifes people

I don't mind the sun sometimes. The images it shows. I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes. Cinnamon and sugary like softly spoken lies. You never know just how you look through other people's eyes.
Words from the song Pepper. By the Butt Hole Surfers.
I got a letter from an old school mate today. Got me to thinking about my distant past and some of the people that inhabited my circle then. I went to school with this person in Junior High. I was the boy your mom always warned you about back then. Second best wrestler on the team, (I wrestled High School in Junior High) Smoked a lot of tobacco and weed. Drank what I could get my hands on. Spent a lot of time around second and third base. I don't remember having been much of a humanitarian in those days. Hell I even remember going after those that annoyed me because I could. I remember one kid in particular that used to pick at me and then run like hell. He made a fool out of me many times. He had my help. One day I finally caught him and made him face me. I told him I wasn't going away til he made me. He said "Alright but you've forced me!" He then knocked me on my ass and ran. I was up and caught him in about four steps (don't know how that happened) spun him around and laid a haymaker on what was supposed to be his nose. He ducked his chin and I heard my right hand break against the top of his head. I think about him on and off over the years, and remember the lessons he taught me. Some I didn't understand til years later. When last I heard from him he greeted me as a friend. I'm grateful for his forgiveness cause it was more then I deserved. Knowing what I know now, I'd have found another way to deal with his obnoxious behavior. There was something wrong between his ears and I didn't take the time to deal with it. Rod I'm sorry. Wish I had it to do again, I'd have left smaller footprints on your lawn. Hindsight is hell. So I get this letter from a gal I went to school with, and in it she thanks me! Thanks me for the kind words and support I gave her when things weren't good for her. I remember some of our talks, but god knows there should have been more. She hung out with among others the boy I mentioned earlier, and a few other kids that were at best weird and at worst nuts. Looking back on it I could have been a better friend. I'm sorry to you as well Beatrice. Continued.....