Friday, April 16, 2010

No Place for Old Men?

Maybe you saw the movie last year? This post has nothing to do with it except to make a word play on the title.

An old shipmate of mine made a facebook post this week lamenting the loss of a couple old men in his neighborhood. His recollection of time spent with them conversatin' and fellowshipping on the front stoop were really touching. Really got a sense of the local color and life added by a couple men that other folks might have just seen as typical grumpy old men.

He got me to recollecting and reminiscing about the neighborhood we lived in before our current home. After expressing condolences to my old buddy, I posted this bit of my own reminscence back to him. A bit "random" as my teenagers would say but still...

Yeah, seriously. I had a similar relationship with a couple old WWII tincan sailors. One across the street and another a couple doors down. Ozzie and Orrie.

Orrie was a Swede, the "silent waters run deep" type. When he spoke it had meat to it and there was a lesson to be heard. He and his wife Millie were great family people who took a real interest in our young family and their growth.

Ozzie was a light hearted, chainsmoking, yarning, seastory telling, lying son of a 5" gun. He was a tall (~6'3") barrel chested Spanish speaking native American with a heart the size of California that he wore on his sleeve. He lasted the longest. He was always around checking in on the kids or my vehicle or remodel projects and talking story the whole time.

There were a couple Viet Nam vets next door and across the street too.

I took to posting my flag daily in that 'hood. On holidays I'd get the kids (Gabe usually) to put the flag out right at 0800 and I'd blow Colors on my trumpet or bugle. The vets started expecting it and I'd go out at 0800 to see them all standing on their porches waiting for Colors. They'd render salutes. It go so that if I slept late or forgot the time they'd send one over to knock on the door and get me out there.

Old men are alright. If'n they leave their teeth in while in public. /heh

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