March 28, 2008
March 27, 2008
The Tabor’s house looked like it had been vacant for a long time but in fact was occupied by a family of four: a mother and her three children. The front yard was mostly dirt, scattered with weeds. Very few people had seen the backyard; the grass as high as my nine-year-old eyes. My little brother imagined jungle creatures living there and maybe a small tribe of pygmies with blow darts thrown in for good measure. Much later another son was born and it was rumored that Mama Tabor gave birth to him in the bathtub.
“What’s chicken?” I said. Harold explained “we ride our bikes at each other and the first one to turn away is chicken.” I’m not sure why, but I agreed. We rode our bikes out onto the street about 100 feet apart. Facing each other, Harold said “GO!” Off we went riding toward each other, Harold furiously pumping the pedals as hard as he possibly could. At the last second I turned away and Harold turned into me. Harold had wanted to crash from the start! We were lying on the street with our bikes on their side, the wheels slowing spinning on the bent rims. Harold got up with a smile on his face.
A 2006 mug shot of Harry Canary, aka 130759.
March 24, 2008
Tristan will be three years old this May twenty eighth, another impossibility. Tristan was born at Norton Suburban East at the Women's Pavilion, a name which I'm sure the Norton Suburban PR people think of as marketing genius but it sounds ridiculous to me. What would a men's hospital wing be called? The Men's Road House?
The first time I saw eleven pound six ounce Tristan, Abby was holding him, a huge grin on her face. I'm not sure what she was happier about, the tough pregnancy being over, or her new baby son.
After Easter Sunday services I went back to get Tristan out of the nursery. He saw me and raised his arms for me to pick him up. He buried his head in my shoulder and patted me on the back.
March 23, 2008
March 18, 2008
The unlucky file in. The judge is a grayed man in his late 60's and proceeds to give a short explanation of what the evening court is all about and the longer he talks the more nervous I get. I wish he would just shut up and get on with it. He didn't say his name but I imagined it to be Roy Bean. One thing he said was that in his experience people tended to make their plea the same as the previous person did, like lemmings. He said he sometimes referred to evening court as lemming court. I smirked to myself, "those poor idiot lemmings".
Judge Roy calls the first name and the clerk said the person is not present. Judge Roy scowls "issue a $500 bench warrant for his arrest". He brings his gavel down BANG! I jump in my seat. Damn, it's no wonder the prisons and jails are overcrowded if they can take you to jail for a traffic violation. They're going through the list and every person who is there pleads guilty and either wants to go to traffic school or just pay the fine and have points taken off their drivers license. Of course I did misunderstand Hardhead. His name was "Roger Hardetz" and he pleads guilty too.
"Barry McClain" says Judge Roy. By this time I'm so nervous and intimidated I can scarcely understand what's going on. Judge Roy says "you've been charged with disregarding a traffic control device and driving without a license. I'll dismiss the traffic violation, please show the clerk proof of your valid driver's license". I show the clerk my brand spanking new license. Judge Roy said "Mr. McClain, you should always have your driver's license with you when driving". I explained that I did have my license that night but unbeknownst to me, it had expired. There's my first admission of guilt to his honor. Judge Roy said "how do you plead?" and, lemming like, I replied "guilty". Since Judge Roy dismissed the traffic violation I thought the fine wouldn't be that much. WRONGO! the court clerk hands me a slip of paper on my out which explains I must pay the fine of $179.00 either downtown at the Hall of Justice or mail it in by April 23rd. If the fine is not paid by that time the court will issue a bench warrant for my arrest. BANG!
I'm an idiot lemming, show me to the nearest cliff so I can jump.
My daughter, Abby, pulled up to drop Tristan off before going to see a passion play at a nearby mega-church. Tristan's in full tornado mode, having just had his nap. My wife, Charlene, said wouldn't it be fun for Tristan to go with us to Lowe's to pick up a new toilet seat and more mill work? Barrels' full of monkeys fun, I thought. While there, you could hear the saw cutting lumber for custom orders. Tristan had to find out what that was all about so I took him over to the saw. The closer Tristan and I got to the saw the sound was ear splitting. They weren't cutting lumber, they were cutting laminated shelving. Tristan starting getting alarmed, saying he was scared, so we walked away. Now he wanted to see it again. We were like a pair of yo-yos. Thankfully they finally stopped and we got our stuff and left.
I set up shop on our deck, circular saw, table saw, etc. I strapped on my macho tool belt. Tristan was fascinated by all of this, at the same time twirling around on the deck, wanting to do everything at the same time. "let's swing papa", "let's watch my movies papa", "let's walk papa". I said papa's busy Tristan and you can watch! I go downstairs to make measurements and come back out to cut the millwork what seems like two dozen times and everytime Tristan says "I'll stay out here and wait for you papa". I cut with the saw and the end piece drops to the deck and everytime Tristan says "uh-oh papa, you broke it". He was having a grand time just watching me.
To Tristan, I'm the greatest person walking the face of the earth. I love him to death but by the time I had made bunch of little mistakes from hurrying through my work I was ready to punt, pass, and kick his little hiney across the road. It takes alot of patience with a child and I admire Abby, who handles Tristan with ease.
I put away all my tools of destruction/construction, clean up, and join Tristan and Charlene to watch Barney and eat popcorn. It doesn't get any better than this.
Tristan helping Charlene