Monday, October 23, 2006


A while back I wrote of looking into the mirror and wondering whose reflection I saw.

Max found this photograph, scanned it and e-mailed it to me. It's of yours truly and Max's godfather, Jeff. It was taken at one of those bleary, suds filled nights while celebrating Octoberfest.

We all have an image of what we look like. I've never been able to shake what I think I look like and what I now look like. The progression from what I looked like then and how I look now has been rapid. In my mind, the picture is an accurate portrayal of me and how I look today. As it stands, this "accurate portrayal" is only accurate in my mind.

How did I change? What happened? Was it the water? Maybe it was the end result of eating all of the food that I wasn't supposed to eat? How about all of those nights "out" until all hours, drinking, dancing . . . or was it life itself that grew me up?

I knew that I had to grow up when Candace's father died. There was lots to do an no one to do the things that needed to be done so I did them. When Candace's mother passed away I grew a little wiser because of the even greater responsibilities placed on me. Ten days later Mom died. Mom's timing was never great and her passing was at the worst possible time. Making arrangements for two burials that close together was definitely a feat. After Mom passed away we began to care for Dad a little at a time and I became even more grown up. Dad died on the first Saturday in 2002. I knew then that the torch had been passed to the next generation. Tag, I was it. Grownup or not, there I was.

I've noticed by pictures in the family albums that it was during these periods that I changed the most from Bob in the picture to the Bob of today, grownup Bob. Grief changes you forever.

The saying, "The mind is willing but the flesh is weak"? I'll be in bed by 8 or 9 tonight dreaming of Where the Wild Things Are (about Max . . . remember Max?) and I'll be loving every minute of it.

If I could order up dreams, tonight's dream would be of Dad, driving somewhere, in the middle of a warm Fresno summer night heading out for a camping weekend at the lake - - -

because it was too hot to drive a long distance during the day in a 1952 Ford without air conditioning down Highway 99 - -

passing cars when he should not have been passing cars - -

sprinklers along the highway irrigating Oleander plants would hit the open windows of our car, soaking my brother and I - -

who were hugging the backseat floor the car knowing that if a head-on collision occurred because Dad was driving like a nut with that can of beer between his legs that we would be the only survivors - -

all the while listening to him sing at the top of his lungs "I'm too old to cut the mustard any more".

How's that for a totally run on sentence?

That particular song was a favorite of dad's, a real song you could buy today on I-Tunes.

As I close today's entry I cannot help but think that Jeff and I were toasting not the moment but toasting the future when we'd look back at that picture and say, "Those were the good old days." But ah ha! Today's grownup Bob would say, "These are the good old days, enjoy them!"

And I'm going to do just that! Oh Candace, let's go out and have some fun! Posted by Picasa


Max said...

I gave Una a nice hardbound copy of Where the Wild Things Are, and she loved it. She said that the Max in the book and I make the same kind of faces. Does Grace have a copy? They're cheap on Amazon. :)

Just added "Too Old to Cut the Mustard" to my download queue.

Oh, and Jeff's comment about that photo was something to the effect of, "that's back when I used to look Chinese". I'll have to send you a more recent photo.

Bob said...

I used to read Where the Wild Things Are to you frequently, Max. Remember those days in SLO while you were in college? You'd sit on my lap, we'd be drinking beer, eating chips and getting totally into this book. Ah, those were the days. Don't tell anyone but we used to do the same thing when you were a wee pup.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States