Monday 2.11.13 (actually really late on 2.10.13)
Funny story, kind of…
I went to my Granddaughter’s 6th birthday party on Saturday night. My brother was there. I don’t see him often as he is in another state. When he does call me it is usually to tell me that someone from my home town has passed away. This is what happens when you get old.
I’ll give you just a little back story so it makes sense. When I was 15 going on sixteen and about to get a driver’s license… I bought a 1953 International pickup truck from a guy who owned a heavy equipment business in town. The truck had been sitting there for a while with a for sale sign in the window and I paid $180.00 cash for it. My first vehicle. It was awesome.
I did not know how to drive. I did not know how to drive a stick shift. I had not taken much of driver’s ed at that point. My mother did not know how to drive a stick and my parents were divorced so Dad was in another town. What to do…
One of our neighbors was a woman about my mother’s age or so and I knew that she had grown up on a farm. I knew her Mother and Father… had been to their farm many times and also knew that her Father was quite a character as well. He had a long time running gag with the mail man where they would prank each other all of the time. Once, he placed a plank inside his mail box at an angle and filled the mail box (one of those really huge farm boxes) full of little green apples. When the mail man opened the door to insert the mail, all of the apples rolled out into his car. Another story associated with this guy was that as kids they once were playing hide and seek… one of the other boys was a little slow and the rest of the boys suggested that he hide in a well that was being dug. No water in it yet, but kind of a deep hole. Somehow, the bunch of boys forgot he was down there and went home to do chores. It was hours before anyone found the kid. So… there was some colorful history in this family.
I figured that she must know how to drive a stick, being raised on a farm and all, so I called her and asked her if she could show me how to drive my new old truck. She said she could and off we went. This woman we will call Mrs. G. Well, Mrs. G. and I drove around town or around a few blocks close to my house and I thought I had a fair idea… especially on hills and such. A day or so later, Mr. G. called me up and told me that he would show me how to really drive the truck so we went out and drove it out of town. He showed me how to “double clutch” and pointed out a tricky piece of road to remain slow on or otherwise get killed by running off the road and into an underpass for the railroad.
Over the years we communicated, I went trap checking with Mr. G., we were back and forth. After I moved out of town, we kind of lost touch and I really have not talked to anyone in a long time. Mr. G. Passed away a few years ago. Mrs. G. still lives in the same house just a couple of doors away from my brother.
My brother told me that Mrs. G. calls him about once a week to complain about something in the neighborhood, mostly new neighbors burning stuff. Evidently you can still burn yard waste in town there. He said that in some recent conversation, she asked what I was up to these days as she has not heard from me in like 25 years or more.
My brother told her that I am still in Wisconsin and still make signs. Then he said “I told her about your photography… tying up women and stuff like that.” Her response to him was “Oh? Is he bald now?” Bald now? WTF? She went on to say that “those bald guys, you know that they are a bunch of perverts.”
Thankfully, I still have my hair. I guess I don’t qualify.
I do get in there and help out with all of the details of a shoot though…
I guess, in the end… People like Mr. and Mrs. G. helped me to become the person I am today. With hair.