Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Father and Son

Hi everybody,

I'm thankful for the positive response to my Presidential Trivia series. Rest assured that - yes- I will continue until every President has been addressed. But at present I find myself in an introspective state of mind, so I thought - for better or worse - I'd provide a rare glimpse of my serious side.

I don't have many memories of my dad, because he died when I was quite young. But from older siblings, mom, aunts and uncles, I've learned much about him over the years. I knew that he had a hard life, having not much of a childhood himself, and later on having to struggle often to provide for his family. I knew my parents' marriage went through many rough patches, and that mom even had to kick him out of the house a few times.

I discovered that his relationship with his brother was based on unhealthy competition rather than brotherly love. He could never measure up to his older and only brother, even though the man turned out to be a cold and calculating white-collar crook.

Perhaps this is why he drank so much. But he was my dad, and the adoring eyes of a son saw nothing but the good in him. Even today, so many years removed from my childhood and with the benefit of maturity and pragmatism, I can only remember the good times.

One father-and-son moment in particular still reverberates with crystal clarity in my mind. Dad had a rough week, having put in over 50-hours on a construction project through that Thursday. As if my prayers were answered, dad's boss gave him that Friday off, and - bless his heart - dad vowed to keep me out of school so we could have a "boys' day out".

Now, for my last birthday, dad surprised me with my very first hunting rifle. It was a rite of passage for many youngsters growing up in the south. But I hadn't been able to use it. Until this day. Because finally MY dad was going to teach me how to shoot. He would patiently show me how to calibrate the gunsights, account for wind velocity and direction, and gently squeeze the trigger in order to "maintain your bead on the target".

So we got in the car and headed to a railroad yard where we could line up a slew of tin cans along the top of a fence. It was perfect for target practice! Dad and I carefully placed the cans and affixed paper bullseyes to the fronts of each one. Then he and I measured exactly fifty paces from the fence line to our firing spot. I could barely maintain any reasonable semblance of composure. The anticipation was too much. I would finally get the chance to fire my weapon and show my dad what a naturally great shot I was.

Then the moment had arrived. I steadied myself and took careful aim. Slowly and deliberately I squeezed the trigger, and the first shot was on it's way. Then another. Then another. After that, it all seemed like a dream. I could imagine that the cans were more than cans. They were adversaries, and it was "kill or be killed". I convinced myself that there were screams as my shells found their mark. It felt as if each moment was playing out in slow-motion, frame by frame.

As I later found out, Dealey Plaza and - unbeknownst to us both - President Kennedy's passing motorcade lay just beyond that fence. One life touched many that afternoon. A rite of passage for one resulting in last rites for another. Needless to say, dad and I never spoke again of that day. And it would be close to 5-years before I could bring myself to shoot that rifle again, and only after departing the haunted memories of Dallas for new beginnings in Memphis.

I regret that I cannot admit to where I was and what I was doing when President Kennedy was shot, other than to say - proudly - I was with my dad.

.

67 comments:

GirlGoyle said...

President Kennedy was shot in 1963...you are THAT old? Then again I wouldn't worry about it. I've tried to fire a few rifles in my day and short of watermellon size, it's not easy to hit little targets at 50 paces let alone around and over and behind buildings. Your secret is safe with us. Mwaahhaaahhhaaa...

Little Lamb said...

You were alive and remember when President Kennedy was shot?

puerileuwaite said...

Okay, okay! You both just HAD to fixate on the age aspect, didn't you? Well I'm NOT that old. This was pure fiction. But I had you going, didn't I?

leelee said...

Oh you had me going as well, but not about your age...I was rather shocked that you.. the ever anonymous Pug was revealing such personal details...so you had me going all the way up to the Dealy Plaza paragraph...

You ARE a clever puggles aren't you!

/t. said...

hahah a ha haha ha ahaha haha hhah ahah ah ha a aha h a ha hah ahh ah ha hah ah ah h a hah ha hhah a aha ah ah ah ahah a ahahah aha ha ahaha aha aha ahah hah ahah ah ah ah ahah ah aha ahahah ha ha!

i just knew you would manage to screw it all up -- good one

/t.

limpy99 said...

Nice shootin' Tex.

she said...

grrherherhaha

sukka! ya got me. grrherhaha

Serena Joy said...

So, okay, you weren't really on the grassy knoll. But you CAN shoot, right? That much was true, wasn't it? True or fiction, truth or dare? I guess only The Pug knows. Brave little doggies don't have to give up all their secrets.:)

Pink said...

you and your dad weren't also john lennon fans were you?!?!?
xx
pinks

Little Lamb said...

Pug, I think you are that old and do remember the shooting of JFK.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

My dad taught me how to play America The Beautiful with my armpits.

Pink said...

Lambie - I agree. I think pug is an old puppy. He just likes us to THINK he's young and hip.
xx
pinks

Scary Monster said...

Best "Father's day" story me has ever read. As Me were readin Me be kinda wonderin where you were goin with it.

How do ya wear a holster? Or are ya simply into munitions based on length?

Scary Monster said...

P.S Me still thinks that /t. be doin whippets.

STOMP.

kate said...

Even if it was true you wouldnt be considered 'OLD'! Old these days is 80! lol Not that 70 sounds that much better... but 60 is the new 50... and so on!

I liked this post. There is a sensitive side to the ole dog!

puerileuwaite said...

Leelee - Life often takes a sudden swerve at some point. Thanks for the compliment!

***

/t. - Did I REALLY screw it up? Two of my shots DID hit A target.

***

Limpy - Just like the immortal Meatloaf sang, "Two out of three ain't bad".

***

She - It serves you right for trusting a Pug! Now watch, I'll end up doing a geniunely serious post and no one will believe it ... just like in the story of "The boy who cried Rottweiler!".

***

Serena - I suppose I can "hold my own" where aim is concerned.

***

Pinks - I was. But dad was more of a J.D. Salinger fan. You would think the two would cancel out. But unfortunately while I would while away the hours outside of The Dakota reading "The Catcher in the Rye", dad would be outside of Salinger's house listening to the White Album.

***

Lamby - Oh darn. You're on to me. But this walker of mine only makes it that much easier to go steady with the right gal.

***

Mighty D - I heard that's how Kate Smith learned God Bless America. Only her mom taught her, and they used another pair of instruments.

***

Pinks - Hey! My hips ARE young! In fact I recently had them replaced.

***

Scary - I wear my holster dead center for optimum support. But when I'm in the pokey (or visiting Greece), I swivel it around to the back for protection from ambush. And it's not so much the length; it's more in the aim and proper use.

***

Kate - Exactly my point. I am like cheese in that way (actually, I'm like cheese in a lot of ways). And if and when I ever do get old, I'll remember your kind words long after you and the other bloggers have passed on. And thank you for recognizing my sensitive side, and for noting that the Pug is not all glitz, glamour and excitement.

leelee said...

ya know..your comment section is more fun, then....well I just don't know what!

Pink said...

You know, its just like fathers and sons to miscommunicate like that.

At least you don't have a thing for Jodie Foster. Do you?

Do you??!!!

xx
pinks

puerileuwaite said...

Leelee - For me it's more like housekeeping, and cleaning out the cobwebs. And thank you for your restraint in not using the "barrel of monkeys" comparison. I get that a lot, usually in reference to my infrequent bathing and grooming.

***

Pinks - Well, no, not really all that much.

Sure, I thought her movie, "Contact" was about her attempting to make subliminal contact with yours truly.

Oh, and sure, I thought her character in "Nell" was speaking only to me.

And perhaps I did briefly have the impression that "Flight Plan" was an allegory about her search for happiness with the Pug.

I suppose I did even pose in the mirror on occasion as Robert DeNiro's Taxi Driver character, practicing my "Are you talkin' to ME? Well I'M the only one here." line in preparation for the violent rescue of Jody's character in Act IV.

Now if only I could think of an irrational and infamous gesture to execute in order to impress her ...

cathy said...

You had me going there for a minute! Makes a change from you thinking that my husband is in mortal danger.

puerileuwaite said...

Cathy, he IS in mortal danger as long as he stands in the way of our happiness together.

Little Lamb said...

I rated your blog at my blog.

puerileuwaite said...

Only an "R" rating, Lambycakes? I need to try harder!

Enemy of the Republic said...

I've never fired a rifle. What am I missing? And how come you get an R rating and I get an NC? Not fair!

Corn Dog said...

ha ha..you had be going, Pug.

Oh shooting is sooo much fun, Enemy. I haven't shot a rifle in years. I prefer handguns.

Little Lamb said...

Puggy, I'm sorry, but "R" is as bad as you can get.

Pink said...

No Pugsy, can't err think of a thing.


Since 1981 or so I hear she's really not been into that sort of thing.

xx
pinks

kate said...

I would never call Pug, ' just another pretty face'! hehehe Ok and I need further qualification as to just which other ways you are like cheese!?!?!?!? OMG

Pink said...

if you want to get an nc 17 like mine, you've got to have several gays and a few asses on your blog for the ratings detector.

I don't want to get personal and offend anyone ;)
xx
pinks

Enemy of the Republic said...

Pink is right. Also lots of death, sex and more death. Words like shit don't seem to matter.

Since I got one, I am going to be bad to the bone! NC-17--you shall soon become too tame for me!

gautami tripathy said...

You write great fiction.

And I have tagged you...:D

puerileuwaite said...

Enemy - Not to worry. I'm not much of a gun nut myself. I find that simply being a nut is sufficient.

***

Corn Dog - (Continuing the thought from above to Enemy) Although on rare occasion I like to go to the gun range as well. Then I'm set for 5-years or so.

***

Lamby - I like to think I'm as bad as I wanna be.

***

Pinks - Women. They should just decide what they want, send out the memo, and stick with it. Sheesh. ;-)

***

Kate - In what other ways am I like cheese? Well ...

1) I am often spotted around "crackers";

2) I seem to be most popular in Europe (especially France ... this is also how I am like Jerry Lewis);

3) I had a problem with "cutting", like Maggie Gyllenhaal's character in "Secretary";

4) Some things tend to grate on me;

5) You'll often find me on a pizza.

There's more, but I don't want to go beyond my "family-approved" R-rating.

***

Pink - Wait. Are you saying even YOUR blog is rated nastier than mine? Those wankers rating our blogs are in for a good rogering!

***

Enemy - Maybe I need to turn to the Goth side. No more Mr. Nice Pug. In fact, if I knew how to quickly make a skull-and-crossbones out of Qwerty characters, that's what you'd be seeing right now.

***

Gautami - Hello there(!) and thank you for your encouragement. I shudder to think what I have been taggeg with. I shall go and see.

Pink said...

yes indeed - mine is nc17

and you still class me a white sheep?

;)

cathy said...

well if that's the way you feel you will love my latest post.

But when did this happen was it the karaoke dick or the swirly ceiling painters?

No? accidental dipping at dinner!
which reminds me we are owed some dating tips.

kate said...

ok cheese boy you get the distinction of being the only person ik that thinks of himself on par with cheese... ummm and is seen ON pizza! lmao

Hope you are having a good week!

puerileuwaite said...

Pinks - Maybe you have a point, since I have noticed that I'm more comfortable with a parent or guardian present when I'm reading your blog.

***

Cathy - I think it's all of the above, except for the accidental dipping at dinner (since I don't know what that means ... maybe it's a Mediterranean-specific custom). And your avatar certainly doesn't discourage my lustful tendencies either.

***

Kate - That's because a little humility is a good thing. I like to set the bar low. That way, if I ever run into you on the street, you'll hopefully see that I'm BETTER than cheese.

Crashtest Comic said...

I didn't know Pesident Kenndey was shot---

I thought he was stabbed.

puerileuwaite said...

Crash, you make an excellent point. I don't recall any mention of anyone checking the trunk of the limo for an assailant. Nor were there any photographs taken of the seatback or of JFK's buttocks. A well-trained Ninja with a Ginsu knife could've exploited a crack in security. I like the way you think outside of the bun, er, box.

Pink said...

I missed you! Thanks for coming by
xxxx
xxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxx
xxxx
xx
0

:)

puerileuwaite said...

Pinks - Thanks and ditto, babe. My current work schedule makes it way tougher to make the blog rounds, but it's not for lack of desire.

/t. said...

father
& son, eh?

kind of shoots
my theory of pugs as the unholy supernatural spawn of satan

/t.

puerileuwaite said...

The other adults would call dad "Stan". I always asked what "Stan" was short for, but no one would ever tell me. They also always wore black and decorated the same way. Except that they used the same vintage wallpaper that you have in their closets. A secret within a secret, I suppose. So you may be on (to) something with that theory of yours.

Scary Monster said...

Got any spare change?

puerileuwaite said...

Sorry buddy. King Kong was here not 5-minutes before you, hittin' me up. He even had this cute outfit, drum and tin cup ensemble. He looked like a furry Shriner. I just couldn't say no.

It's Me... Maven said...

Shit, pure fiction, and I was about to say how well written it was, and what a touching tribute it was to your father!

Tell me, is he still alive?

puerileuwaite said...

Hey there Maven! No, unfortunately the authorities caught up with him in the aftermath of our next father and son outing. He finally got that special plug-in chair he always wanted, but it wasn't the massaging recliner he always hoped for.

leelee said...

Hi Pug!!

Little Lamb said...

You're tagged.

puerileuwaite said...

Leelee - What's shakin', babe? You sound invigorated!

***

Lamby - You ought to know by now that I have a bad track record when it comes to tags (actually, when it comes to anything). Lemme go see what your tryin' to get me to do ...

Little Lamb said...

Yes, Pug, I understand, but I had to pick somebody.

leelee said...

Oh I am!! a bit of R & R can do that!! you should really try it sometime..

I just popped by to see how you were doing..

:-)

Crashtest Comic said...

President Kennedy was stabbed?

I thought he was choked?!

Could you imagine the limo rounding the corner, and someone jumping out of the grassy knoll & start choking the guy?

puerileuwaite said...

Lamby - Well the bad news is that I can't think of a single weird thing about me. I "tend to blend".

***

Leelee - Me? What I was doing? I'm just sitting here, enjoying a cool slice of Key Lime Pie, organizing my keys while listening to Stevie Wonder's Songs In The Key of Life".

***

Crash - I could see how you might have that impression, as frames 233-thru-238 of the Zapruder film clearly show him grasping at his throat area.

But my research has revealed that he actually snuck a couple of fried chicken pieces into his pocket, and THAT is what he was actually choking on. If you look at Jackie's facial expression earlier on in the motorcade footage, she is clearly irritated that JFK couldn't wait to eat until the luncheon to which they were enroute. It's as if he KNEW he'd never make it to the luncheon.

And if you've been following my "Presidential Trivia" series, this was the first confirmed example of a President who both "choked the chicken" and was choked BY a chicken.

RevRee said...

I just want you to know, I'm back!

*mmuuaaahhhhh*

puerileuwaite said...

Oh crap! Rev, you should've given notice. I thought that was our little arrangement. I would've cleaned up the blog, and gotten the hookers out in time. But noooooo ...

cathy said...

I'm hurt that you could have forgotten so soon!

cathy said...
If only I'd known that "accidentally" dipping my hand in the sauce then sucking my fingers was a waste of time and effort!

By the way have you googled yourself lately:)

puerileuwaite said...

Cathy - Ah! Now I remember. My obsession with some of the other female "accessories" temporarily led me astray. And when the cause is just, such as seducing the Pug, it's never a wasted effort (at least not for me).

I've been working on my flexibility, so I'm hoping that I can Google myself again someday soon. When one can do that, they're never truly alone!

Pink said...

hey hey stop 'googling' yourself (nice euphamism, by the way). This is supposed to be a PG blog!
xx
pinks

Little Lamb said...

Pinks, actually this blog is rated "R"

He's a pug, what more can I say?

puerileuwaite said...

Pinks - It's probably cheaper to outsource the Googling anyway. And Lamby is correct: I'm curently at "R" working my way to XXX.

***

Lamby - No more explanation is needed when it comes to Pug behavior. We're free sprits that way.

karla said...

I don't know why everyone is yapping about the age thing. I always suspected you were old as hell.

cathy said...

I've just tagged you, it isn't a euphemism but depending on your disposition it could be considered a pain in the arse.

Pink said...

Lol. I stand corrected.

I still got you beat.

DON'T go making an innuendo on THAT Comment!

I just popped in to say my ever so regular:

NEW POST!!!!!

xx
pinks

Pink said...

NEWWWWWWWWW
POSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!

/t. said...

yeah,
dropping in
to find you still
milking that father/son post

(please, please do not make innuendo here, pug)

i'm with pinks -- time for a new post...

/t.

Enemy of the Republic said...

65 comments! How are you, Pugster?

puerileuwaite said...

Karla - I forgive you for that remark. For you have understandably mistaken the "sadness and wisdom" I've acquired from repeated visits to karlababble.blogspot.com for age.

***

Cathy - I forgive you. Not only because Karla has put me in a forgiving mood, but also for no less than 2-other reasons:

1) The meme turned into a fun post* (* as "fun" as posting seems to get);

2) You are one of my favorite "Pains in the Arses"* (* which is both cute and endearing due to its spelling; where here in the U.S. the term "Pain in the Ass" is not nearly as romantic).

***

Pinks - Okay, okay! I just don't want you to think the new post was because of your pressure. Even if it was. Maybe.

***

/t. - Like the infamous www.despair.com poster says, "Laziness pays off now". But I suppose it's time ...

***

Enemy - Wha? YOU get 65-comments in a DAY! I'm doin' GREAT! And you?