Thursday, July 22, 2010


Mikey was the son my dad never had

I should clarify, I guess. My dad had a son, Billy, who was the apple of his eye. Mikey worked for daddy from the time we were in high school (we were in the same grade). He became my dad's right hand man and in many ways he treated him just like he was one of his kids.

Mikey was with my dad more years than I can remember and he ran the show when daddy wasn't around - even if one of us kids was working for him. At first he didn't care for me because I was the "bosse's daughter". Later he told me that I was nothing like he expected and we became close friends.

Mikey got the same Christmas presents we did. He got the same amount of money for his birthday. He got the same time off for his family that we did too. He got the same wedding present we did and when his daughter was born daddy paid the hospital bill in addition to giving he and Mitzie presents for the baby.

He started out as a lot boy. He became the chief detail man (which was a rare job to have back in the 70's and 80's) He did the job right too - down to the buffing and polishing of the cars. He could make any car shine both inside and out. Now if you go get your car detailed it basically means a good cleaning. People don't really know what a good detail man does. They can take the biggest junker in the world and make it look fresh off the factory line.

Mikey became an expert in all things car. He also became a good friend - not an employee. I can't count the times he bailed me out of situations with cars as well as personal stuff. One time I rented a mustang convertible and came to WV from Florida. I scratched the fender and I knew if I went back to the rental company they would bill me thousands of dollars. I went straight to Mikey. When he heard I scratched the car he laughed at my predicament and once he saw the scratch he started laughing even harder. He went into his shop (he owned his own place by this time). He got 50 cents worth of rubbing compound and a rag and poof, 3 seconds later the scratch was gone. He saved me a couple thousand dollars!

He also helped me countless times after I left my husband and when I was taking care of my dad (when my brother wouldn't lift a finger for daddy). Mikey's a great guy. Some woman will be lucky to get with him someday.

I Ran Away From Home...

when I was in the third grade. I had packed some clothes and as many toys as I could carry probably weeks beforehand, but I could not wake up in the middle of the night like I planned to actually do the running. One day my mom discovered my packed clothes and asked me about them and I told her that "I was running away to where nobody would ever tell me what to do." So she told me that I had to either go right then or I wouldn't be allowed to go. I chose to go.

I took my little sister with me (she was 5) and we left in the rain to run away carrying as many toys as we could. We made it all the way to the big curve before we decided that maybe this wasn't such a good idea and we turned around to go back home. Unfortunately my mom and dad locked us out of the house and wouldn't let us back in. We banged and banged on the front and back doors but they yelled out and told us they didn't have any daughters anymore.

Finally we had to climb through the broken window pane into the basement (which unfortunately led into the scary room) We NEVER went in the scary room because there was no light in there and it was scary, but it was the only way into the house. We went to the top of the basement stairs and begged to be let back in because that door was locked too. They finally let us back in and my dad gave us a huge whippin'. and sent us to our room. We were so grateful to be back home we didn't care.


my mom used to call me "albuno" - short for albino

when I was a baby, she called me "fatsyrump". (self explanatory)

my dad used to call my brother "horsehead" and "loggerhead"

my granny used to call my sister "meechie" and "my little monkey"

I used to call my nephew "Pedro". This would send him into laughing fits and he would exclaim that his name was not Pedro, it was Arny. Then he would usually give me one of his flying hugs that were reserved only for me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Death in the Rearview Mirror

I'm having truck trouble again. I went to visit Logan the other day and I pulled up to a redlight and as soon as I stopped I heard a very loud POP. I was hoping it was the coal truck behind me but as soon as I pulled out I knew I was in trouble and I was 60 miles from home. It sounds like something is dragging the ground and my brakes are not working right, so I went to find a mechanic. 2 guys I knew weren't home but another friend recommended someone else so I went to his shop.

He drove my truck around the block and came back and told me that some sort of spring to the brakes in the back was broken. He said it was expensive to fix and I asked him if I would be OK to drive home. He told me to use the brakes as little as possible and to drive slowly, so I set out for Charleston at 30mph on Corridor G. (a 4 lane highway)

I stayed on the berm as much as possible because it is just as dangerous to drive too slowly as it is to drive too fast. Unfortunately I reached a point on the highway that the berm was so rough that I had to get in the slow lane - still driving 30mph. I DID have my flashers on the whole way but apparently that didn't matter.

I looked into my rearview mirror to see a coal truck speeding toward me. He was still far enough away to slow down but coal trucks are infamous for not driving safely and I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach but I was still hoping he would slow down. He didn't.

I looked into the rearview mirror to see him hitting his brakes hard and I turned 6 shades of pale as I yelled out, "Jesus Christ!" I had to decide if I was going to stay in the lane or pull onto the berm but I knew as I watched the truck start to jackknife that his only hope was to go to the berm himself. I had to hold my ground as the truck quickly filled my rearview mirror and I watched my impending death coming straight at me.

At the last second he managed to swerve to the berm - narrowly missing the back of my truck as he did so and almost careening into the guardrail as he went past me at full speed. My fraction of a second of relief ended when I saw another truck speeding behind him who did not have the benefit of seeing me from a long distance and I didn't think he would be able to stop either. Fortunately he was able to swerve to the left into the other lane. As he went whizzing past me I saw yet a third truck barreling down my ass!

He had to swerve into the fast lane of the highway as well because he didn't know I was there either. In the space of less than 5 seconds I almost had 1 coal truck (who had plenty of time to slow down) and 2 semi trucks that had no idea I was there almost kill me.

Only by the grace of God am I alive.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Things My Dad Told Me When I Was A Kid

That is my dad's eye over the pyramid...

this is my dad's picture on the $50.00 bill

I'm Not Much On Babysitting...

...actually I'm not much on kids in general. That's why I don't have any. With the exception of my niece and nephew I haven't done much babysitting in my life at all. (I think I have only changed 2 diapers in my entire life!) I am childless by choice and I have spent my entire adult life basically enjoying myself.

Some tell me I'm lucky, I say "if you leave it up to luck, you'll have kids everytime!"

When I used to babysit Becca and Arny, my brother and his wife would insist on paying me - at first anyway. I kept telling them that I didn't want money to watch my own niece and nephew, but they kept leaving me $40 and $50 everytime I would come to watch them. I would take the money and my niece and nephew and we would go out to eat wherever we wanted and what ever the balance was we would head to the nearest store and blow it! We would bring home our bags and dump it out in a huge pile of the biggest waste of candy and toys that any kids could want! We had candy and gum and crayons and jacks and toy guns and movies and whatever we saw fit to blow that money on. We wouldn't leave the store until every penny was spent (and then some usually).

Billy and Lisa got fed up with this huge waste of money eventually and learned to leave us enough for a pizza or something. Becca and Arny and I always had a good time though. We really didn't need money to have fun. I tried to always go out of my way to give them the aunt that I never had. (in defense of my aunts and uncles, they are the basically the same age as I and always felt more like cousins to me anyway.)