Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Roots and Wings
The lovely Cherry Pie has requested 5 facts, mundane or profane, about me for the benefit of who knows who. Who could refuse such a request? So here's a peek at my upbringing and family:
1. My father was Italian American and made it to fourth grade. He owned his own business as a bricklayer and mason, with unlimited pride in the permanence of his work. He could fix, build, make, configure, assemble, and disassemble just about anything.
2. My mother is French Canadian and made it to sixth grade. She worked as a cashier at a local supermarket until she got her big job as Head Seamstress at a state school. To this day, even though she has about zero working memory, she is a bright and vibrant woman.
3. My father picked up junk cars, rebuilt engines, and gave me at least a half dozen of his reconditioned junk masterpieces. The first was an Austin (before Healy) that had little lit arms extending as directionals. He specialized in Ford Falcons and Comets. But the very best was a little yellow Metropolitan, with a bench for a back seat and a zip I cherished. Despite his generosity, I was only allowed to drive within a certain radius, predetermined by my father.
4. My godmother Marie turned 90 last weekend. Her friend Dennis picked her and her assumed lesbian partner of 30 years up in a rented limosine and they drove 75 miles to Providence, where they had all-you-can-eat lobster at a local buffet.
5. For four months I helped my father die at home. Until the hours before his body started shutting down, he got up every day, put on his plaid flannel shirt and work pants, and sat in the same chair with an intravenous hookup and a spartan dose of tynenol every four hours dispensed by my mother. When he died, I felt a distinct strong and fresh breeze cross from him and his bed to the open window.