Now....see, it is a beautiful day. Sunny, clean.fresh and the Holiday tomorrow should show temperatures up close to the sixties. Maybe it is Indian Summer, though I am more inclined to call it Polack Spring as in when most of the white men around here totally forget what season it is and put there shorts back on. They say you can fool anyone once, but sure as I still like a good beer, the weather in Wisconsin can fool you ALL the time. But that is no never mind,see, and has only a passing role in what happened. Not so much that ANYTHING happened...it was just an email,see, but it offers a quality to my feelings and those are precious if you want them to be and I sure enough do.
So, as is my habit of morings, I check the email on my phone, I do it on the phone cause not only is it handier, but I do not have an internet connection at home. Now, I need to do this becasue, gosh, I may have won the Nigerian Lottery or something, but, as per usual I didn't and there was no notice that the rainbow got stuck outside my back door and all I have to do is go out and get that pot-o-gold. Nope, nonesuch. What he had sent was a chain email of sorts...forwarded from someone else...the gist of it was that on such and such time we should all raise a glass in memory of LT. If you want to participate send your phone number back and it will be blind CC'd to the others on the list and you can make a phone call or two or so and share LT stories, of which there are many, most intricate and ludicrous. Now, that did not strike me as such a bad idea. LT has been dead just a few years and it would be good to hear from some of those guys.....it was a strange collective of strange guys, the mid-70's being what they were and all and I think I am in on this.
But it got me in a mood. I just found out that Burkie died a few days back. I missed the news and the funeral and wake. Now, he was not a close friend, but I had hoisted a few with him over the years and shared some laughs. Sharing a laugh with Burkie was like sharing a ride in an old beat up car running down a gravel road on the way to a beer party. You never knew what was going to come out of his mouth....but it always seemed to make you grin with him.
So Burkie is now just like LT...dead and gone and here with us forever. And so is Bruiser and Spare Wheels, Kid Curry, Wolfgang, Red Fred, Mad Dog, Sweet Rohl, aw, shit..... it pains me. And that ain't no never mind either, I guess. The real deal is..... that you knew these men...and they were the fabricate of life that you wore, the wind that sailed around you and you always know that you were blessed to have know them. I am thankful for that. I guess that is what Thanksgiving is to me......just a goddam feeling in the bottom of my poscket that I can always reach into and grab and for that, I can never be broke.
So I went out today with a bit of a funk feeling. Thanksgiving had always been one of my favorite days in the past; the groaining board of food my mother and grandmother would assemble...the Packer-Lion game on TV...sitting in the leaf pile with Nancy in the moonlight under the oak tree..the arrivals and departures of family and friends who had gathered together to share....it was ....well it was and there ain't no mone to it than that. Now...well, things are different. Pretty much by choice I do not go anywhere. I'll make myself a bit of supper and watch football. The weather is expected to be good and perhaps I will fit in a bike ride or so. It ain't no deal. I talked with Billa Lang a day or so past...and the nub of that is, well...remember not what favors you have given to others, but all the good stuff that has been given, unasked for, to you. Not a bad way to think of things.
The days go on and we get old. There will be more family and friends that will pass away in the coming year....and I now resolve never to regret their passing as much as I will give thanks and joy for their 'forever presence. That would not be shabby. I got to thinking of a song my old buddy Lightning Dot used to love....a song written as a condensation of the Rip van Winkel story. Had not thought of it for years. Still good.
Ya'll be good...and remember phone calls from the heart, in the heart....are cheap and valuable.