You remember Ethel???

February 1, 2017

It is amazing the coincidences in Life….when something happens that you Do Not Expect….

Like my dear friends Jack and Greg…Jack had an abusive lover…Greg an unhappy marriage…

Greg grew up on a farm in Iowa…went to a one room school house where you pumped water outside and everyone shared the ladle to drink out  of the water bucket…he was put in 2nd grade as there were no students in 1st…his sister one year younger was put …(later when he went to another school)…with him  in the same grade….as  they did not let him advance….

In high school…he had   sex with another guy…but the kid announced to Everyone that he HAD  Greg and that Greg was a faggot…

Greg never escaped this shame….and was met by his priest who ???  and then sent to a counselor who told him the best thing for him was to take Valium and get married…which he eventually did…..

His wife had two miscarriages…he went to a junior college…

….he and Jack  somehow connected after all of this…..

They have been soo SOO Happy for well like 30 some years …it just amazes one…gives one strength in the belief of paddling on…toward the light that shines in the distance  for everyone….

You have to realize these guys are the Salt of the Earth…they are from the Midwest and will do anything for you

I was allowed the privilege of helping Robert write Richard’s obituary today ….and I cannot tell you how I treasure those moments with Robert…

as you have to realize when I first met Robert I was scared of him…he is so Elegant…has the finest understated  jewelry …extremely handsome in his (gasp) 70’s….always dresses so well…

But today that false view of him TOTALLY disappeared…after hearing his stories….his marriage…his wonderful daughter Heather….and meeting Richard….and Man …. their Life has  been sooo soo Wonderful….

I guess what makes me LOVE them more is that they both unknown to each other..in their teens….. use to pump gas back in the day when there were “full service” gas stations….

As a child I LOVED gas station attendants and LOVED the smell of gasoline….especially at Randy’s Mobil Station on County M near our summer house on Burgundy Point ….where we use to fill  up a gas can for our pump that supplied our  water up into a wooden tank way above the ground on stilts

…..Randy was soo wonderful….as I have mentioned before his wife…Gladys (?) had lost her hand…so had just a stump….but use to balance her dinner plates effortlessly on her arm at the Bobynn where we often dined on Fabulous Fried Chicken and homemade Blueberry Pie……looking out of the corner of my eye  for machine guns….and the remnants of Al Capone’s gang that use to visit Bob from Chicago during the summer

…I so wanted to ask Richard more of this period in his life…sit at his feet and take the stories in…..but Gosh Darn…he just took that flight out before I had the chance…..

Robert turned to me as we were leaving lunch at Manhattan’s….and said something that made me laugh as I knew what he was talking about

“You remember Ethyl…don’t you…and I don’t mean Ethel (Vivian Vance)….”

(sigh!!!)

2 Responses to “You remember Ethel???”

  1. Omar said

    I have to say this brought a tear to my eyes…..Let your life lightly dance on the edge of time, like dew on the tip of a leaf…..

  2. Jay Gusick said

    Robby: I finally got time to read this one… absolutely LOVELY. Your writing has actually made me think about renting a cottage on a lake in northern Wisconsin for a couple of weeks this July just to listen to the loons; sit by a bonfire at the lakes edge and swat mosquitos while toasting marshmallows; swim in that warm, clear-but-slightly-brownish-water stained by the roots of millions of Tamarack trees; paddle over those rippling lake surfaces; smell the pines baking in the hot sun as I ride my bike over miles of less-traveled roads that undulate over the hills.

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