Every word of this is true and if anyone else says otherwise they are a liar. The blog has changed….big smile…..My thoughts on the love train are much more relaxed these days… which is just fine….there are other long overdue priorities… My kids deserve a lot more than they ever got from me so there is much to say, much to reveal, much to apologize for….and so I have to start at the beginning…before they were here. But that will change once I stop blowing my own horn. Because a real man knows it’s not about him but his family too…and I miss them very much.
Now I cant take credit here.
Youre just a young child
You been runnin awhile
You saw the bright lights
And honey they amazed you
Brite eyes indeed. I understood much about my parents by looking at their past. Understanding why they were the way they were. Life was tough for them. But it was revealing to me as to why I am the way I am…. what motivates me and why its so sad that my kids never got what they deserved. Hopefully my children too will understand more about themselves through their mom and dad….. So here tis……….part 2 of many more chapters to come.
When I was very young my backyard was an apple orchard and I used to go pick apples, peaches and raspberries there….before ikenberry orchards became just another subdivision. Tinker mountain was always in the distance…and we could drink honeysuckle for lunch... life in the summer was very fun and I was always outside playing.. Remember back then there was no real TV like there is now…. there were just three channels and not much for kids to watch. There was no cable ….just antennas on the roof to get a signal. My dad used to have me stand on the chimney top to adjust the antennae while he held my feet. I was not pleased. Truth was he wasn’t man enough to do it himself so he bullied me into it. I remember we had video of him trying to put me into a cannon in Lexington..he was having the time of his life laughing, trying to scare me and I was just a kid freaking out. I had my favorite shows Gilligans Island the Brady Bunch and definitely Star Trek was my favorite.. The only time there were cartoons on TV was Saturday morning between eight and 12... I would play with matchbox cars and marbles or jacks (if you even know what that is) and sometimes just make little rivers in the mud. In the spring I would make my own kites and fly them until you could barely see them they were so far away.
Roanoke back then in 1969 was nothing like today. No Wendys, burger king, or Hardees. There was a chain called Kenny burger. We would go and get a Kenny burger and French fries. ( bobbie Jos in salem still has them and I urge my kids to go get one and see what was the only fast food around except mcdonalds.) There was no valley view mall, walmart, or even tanglewood mall. Only crossroads mall and the Roanoke salem plaza. The music was Stevie wonder, Gladys night and the pips, and the beach boys.
I remember my dad didn’t spank me in public. Instead he would take his class ring, spin it around on his finger and hit me flat square on the top of my head. The pain was so bad and quick, you stopped whatever you were doing immediately because everything went black and you couldn’t focus. His other attention getter was to twist the inside of my upper arm so hard I couldn’t speak. It paralyzed your mouth and body so he could just drag you around wherever he wanted by his fingers with your eyes rolled up in the back of your head until he saw fit to let go. Eventually the blood came back, your eyes would open...and you realized.....oh....we're at the car now.....and you didnt remember the last 5 minutes.
I want to pause here to say something about my parents. My mom was a nice woman she cooked, she cleaned but I remember coming home many times from school and finding her not there. So there were many days where I would be by myself when I got home from school and I'm not sure where she was but I know that she wasn't home. I would get a snack and then go outside. My dad was …on his best day an absent father….and an asshole when he was there. He would come home frequently drunk or not come home until very late. My mom would fix a plate for him and he would not show up for dinner. I would ask where he was and mom would say she didn’t know….and she would put it in the oven for him to eat later but he did come home he would say things to me like “what have you done for your country today?” Are you serious???? I was 9 years old. When he showed up for dinner he always asked that…then it was onto “did you do everything I told you to????” Which meant ….did you do everything around the house that needed to be done because…. he wasn’t going to do any of it…….after that he just got pissed off because I couldn’t answer “what did you learn in school today?” I always brought home bad grades but my parents never did anything about it. They would just look at the grades and say as long as you tried and you did your best. I would bring home a B a bunch of C’s sometimes D’s sometimes an F…..or 2 hehehe .. Later on my dad told me he failed 7nth grade ….on purpose …..so he could play basketball again in junior high school…. Are you serious? OMG!!!! Do you REALLY think ANYONE would believe that???? I got a similar story from him years later. My dad said he didn’t understand where I had learned to do so many things…. electrical, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, spark plugs, carburetors…I told him I raised myself. He answered….”I was never around because I wanted you to learn those things for yourself.” OMG!!! What horse shit! You were drunk on the golf course ya moron!!! hahaha
I was growing up on my own with no guidance but happy and proud of who I was... My parents struggled financially when the family was young.. My mom would clean churches and the first job I remember my dad having was night manager at a paper plant.. Then he tried hardware sales. I'm sure it was hard on their marriage....We would spend summer afternoons at the Botetourt swim club….the car had no air conditioning and there was only am radio. I would swim all day, play shark, and dive…. My dad entered us in the father son golf tournament and we won our age bracket. I remember it very well…..in fourth grade hitting my first ball off the first tee….. so hard …..the club of my driver flew off and went down the fairway like a rocket…..
For my daughter: The coming blogs may start out talking about me but you will soon see it is for you and your brother. I miss you very much. J and you deserve much from me. I understand why you won’t speak to me…I would be upset too.. …my dad wasn’t very caring (that’s a generous assessment) and so I had always hoped not to be like him and be there for you. It was easy to cut him out of my life as he wasn’t a father anyway. Trust me I learned a lot from that ….and it pains me to know that I never thought I would lose the fight to be in your life.
For my son: Hey buddy I’m so sorry I can’t be there for basketball and baseball. You know if I had ANY choice I would be there every single day practicing with you.
Brite eyes don’t cry
Bring it………bring brite eyes. I’m sure you can relate. I am not bitter about the past. I am not stuck there…. And no I don’t need to “let it go”. On the contrary, I’m proud of who I am. …..trust me. I hope my kids understand that they should be proud of who they are…..in spite of all the bad things that have happened. And yes of course …I have always loved you two and still do…….very much….big smile.