March 19, 1960 – April 8, 1968
I Miss You Buddy
I struggle, even today; I run, as we did then from each other. Who am I talking to, an eight-year old boy or a fifty-year old man? I see you, it’s early morning and we are running around in the meadow, playing hide-n-seek, and finally, both old enough to play catch together…with mitts and bats brand new during the Depression, but for us, no insulation left to keep us safe from harm…no protection from injury.
Such oddballs we are, two city kids living on a farm, believing that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, and everyone has a pinto pony like Little Joe. Philly cheesesteaks, trolley rides to the Ben and Benson, our village playground, fresh cookies from Mom Petrongolo, the Beeper Man, water ice, soft pretzels, are no longer a part of our lives. I really miss our step and curb. There isn’t a decent flat spot on this farm to hammer away at a 50ct roll of caps.
I asked Claude Dyer down at the General Store this week if anything ever changes around here, “Well everyday, in the evening…it gets dark”. Amazing! Sister Bob warned us…we are being punished for all those times we didn’t “keep it to a whisper” in the confessional. Instead of first and third being the nearest available car door handle or Brogan’s rose bush, we have to rely on a cow and a goat to stay in place long enough for one of us to get lucky and make contact.
Sigh…a huge sigh.
Mom and dad say that Martin and Bobby are two legs of a wobbly milking stool for change, you and me, our generation, the hopelessly lost critical third leg. Dad doesn’t hold out a lot of hope for us. Not everyone survives change of that magnitude.
Senator Kennedy didn’t make it past June and California, Dr. King didn’t make it through that week, and you couldn’t avoid that dam horse and pony on Monday. I miss you, more than ever today. I watched my youngest, Tristan, get on a bus, waved goodbye…just as I did to you.
He is my age in my dreams; I’m eleven and you are eight, we are playing catch and you can’t stop laughing as I chase that stupid goat around trying to stretch a bunt into a triple. He’ll be gone all week…I can’t wait for his return…and to see you again. Celtics won last night, but I guess you saw that coming before we did. You are in my prayers.
I miss you buddy,
Copyright 2010, James F. Ross
Written permission required to reproduce in any medium