Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Hey all,    My father was a man it took me a long time to understand.  He would get frustrated sometimes and lose his cool with an explozive anger that I had a healthy respect for.  His father was an alcoholic and my grandfather was not a kind man when drunk. I'm not making excuses for Dad, just cutting him some slack.  He learned to be a father from his father.  Which means nobody showed him much in the way of nurturing...............pretty much the opposite. "The sins of father will be visited upon the next generations". 
       It was a cold day in November at my Grandparents house.  We  three boys had spent the day raking leaves and other chores that Dad gave us.. It was getting dark as we finished up and Grandmom was busy making dinner. I could smell the aroma of home cooking as soon as I got through the back door.  Dinner wasn't ready yet so we all sat and watched TV with Grandpop.  He had a stroke before I was born and his right side was mostly paralyzed.  He usually would sit and smoke his pipe as he looked out the window across town or towards Buckingham Mountain.  If it was nice outside, he would sit outside as we worked on whatever the chores for the day were.  He never said much, but could utter curse words with no problem at all.
       Grandmom had the table set and she set up a tray for Grandpop, because with all of us boys there with Dad  there wasn't much room at the table and he couldn't maneuver very well.  He sat by the colonnade so he was facing the table and so he could take the meal with everyone else.  Grandmom called us for dinner.  Dad sat at the end of the table and Joe my older brother, was seated on his left.  Joe usually got to the table first at mealtime and usually was the last to leave.  There weren't any leftovers as a rule.  Dad had already started eating by this time and his head was down towards his plate, so he didn't see what happened next. I couldn't squeeze between Joe and Grandpops' stuffed chair.  Joe leaned back with his left arm and tried to move a tall stand type ashtray with a heavy metal tray in it.  He didn't do so well because it fell to floor with a crash.  The metal tray hit a gallon jug of Vina Duva red wine and broke the glass.  Wine was all over the floor.  Everything was silent for a moment.  I looked from Joe to the mess on the floor and back again.    He didn't make a move to clean it up, so I bent over and started to pick up the pieces.  That turned out to be a mistake.......................as far as Dad was concerned it was an admission of guilt.   The next thing I knew I was jerked backwards by my shirt and slammed into a wall.  I got slapped in the face a few times, that resulted in wetting myself.   I instinctively brought my hands up to cover my face, which only served to piss him off more..  He then hit me in the middle, so I dropped to floor and tried to curl up in ball.  That resulted in getting kicked. When this was done he grabbed me by the shirt collar and lifted so high that I had to stand on my toe tips.  I walked me to the back door that way and  had me open it.......I was then tossed outside.  He turned the backdoor light off and went back inside.  A few seconds later the door opens and he tosses out my winter coat.   That was considerate because it was snowing by then.   He ordered me to get in our car and stay there..........................  I did.
         When all this was happenning, I could hear my Grandmother yelling that I didn't do it.  I could hear my Grandfather too.  That in itself was unusual because of his difficulty in getting words out.  When they finally came out of the house everybody had their meal were quiet.  The ride home was just as quiet, not a syllable.  I wasn't guilty but I was the one to pay   Dad had great difficulty admitting that he was wrong and saying he was sorry.  I went to bed hungry and upset.  Dad was one for kicking your butt first and asking questions later and this was not the only time that someting like this happpened.   If I learned anything from my him,  it was "don't jump to conclusions".   I spent a lot of time trying to understand and please my Dad.  It took almost all of the time that I knew him to even get an idea. 
                Until next time...................God Bless.

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