Saturday, July 3, 2010

I'll be productive tomorrow. I have done nothing today but watch the L Word. Disappointing turn of events for Alice and Dana, tell you what.

So ever since I grudgingly replied to my father's facebook friend request (it just felt weird), I have been eagerly perusing all of HIS friends' profiles. People so tightly involved with my childhood, none of whom I have seen in years. I was so happy that friending my dad allowed me to see the photos of his gentle giant bff, Big Don.

Big Don is about 6'7 and at his largest weighed about 400 lbs. It wasn't fat, though. He was simply a wall of man. He frightened people everywhere he went with his bald head, chest-length black beard, biker attire and, of course, general stature. This is made all the more enjoyable by the fact that he is the most polite and charming man on the planet.

For years, we spent most Saturday nights at his place. The kitchen table was picnic style, a massive slab of rough-hewn wood which was always strewn with food, bike magazines, antique guns and whatever other ephemera he was playing with at the time. I would sit at the table, 6, 7, 8 years old while my dad and the other guys drank and talked. Sometimes they would lower their voices or break into code while I sat there trying to stack cards or bullets into pyramids. Don's kids were either much older or much younger than I was, so there was no one to play with.

His garage usually contained more of the same, plus bikes, antique maps, animal skins, and, once, a bucket containing 4 deer legs, salted where they had been severed. Horror. He had purchased an old Wurlitzer from a flea market at St. Francis where it had been used by the nuns. It was dusty and grimy and I taught myself to play easy songs on it during the long summer nights. One night I learned Dixie, and played it jauntily once I had figured out the keys. Don perked up and said, "Yer playin' my favorite song!" I love him.

All culled from the FB:

Big Don in the 70s.

My parents in the 70s.

Early 90s. This is the Big Don of my memories.

My godfather in Vietnam. Unfuckinbelievable. When I learned what godparents were supposed to signify, I prayed nothing would ever happen to my parents.

Chas and one of Don's kids. I had a crush on him. He rode an Indian, smoked Kools, dressed like a greaser, rolled his packs in his sleeve, and slept with high school girls.

Chas again. I hear he's rather lewd and misogynistic, but he treated me with such courtly sweetness that I simply can't imagine it. Although, come to think of it, I do seem to recall his regular reminder to "call me when you're 18." I suppose I would have been about 8 at the time.


mle jean said...

sounds like you have great memories. my dad's bff was Buster, handlebar mustache, black wifebeater tanks and a big man too. funny to think what little kids must think of our guy friends these days.

meyerprints said...

Haley said... got Chas' phone number?... haha juuust kidding. ;)

Brittany said...

Haley...I'll ask my dad to hook it up. Ha!

t said...


Zito said...

wow - killer stuff right there! that knuckle & indian are so sweet.