Friday, April 22, 2011

Tennessee Memory




When I visited my folks in TN this past March, I spent time on the porch with my Dad. He has emphysema, weighs about 130 pounds and still smokes Marlboros and drinks Diet Pepsi. He wanders the empty farm looking for projects to remind him he’s a man but that aren’t too strenuous for him. A few times he'd start something like fix a fence or clean the barn before exhaustion drove him back in the house to take a nap. 

One night we sat on the porch and we talked about his younger days. He was a wild child motorcycle cop in El Paso, Texas who used to drag race with his partner while on duty with my mom on the back. He picked up Little Richard one night for vagrancy. He took no shit from anyone, wonders why I would. I watched him wince for minutes on end at his hands, clenching and unclenching them like pliers. He confessed he doesn’t miss much about his youth. He’d had a pretty good one compared to many. I told him I bet it he missed dancing with the women at the bar. It was nice to see him smile.

I wish I had written this for my father. I think he wishes he’d written it for his.

Whiskeytown beat us to it.


4 comments:

Rusty said...

Nice. Great song, too.

Leslie F. Miller said...

OK, this is what I want to read. You did it.

And I think it's time I wrote something for my dad, who is somewhere between 250 and 400 pounds, doesn't smoke anymore, and has COPD, along with whatever other ailment exists.

jco said...

I'd keep blogging news like this: Young love, beating hot and true. Este post sounds like the best of where y'all come from, hair on fire, up and down Mesa St. Blowing off laws like backfire, throttling up or down passing the Sun Bowl. As we all long to do.

Blogger said...

Are you paying more than $5 per pack of cigarettes? I buy my cigs over at Duty Free Depot and this saves me over 60%.