Children often idolize their parents and love them unconditionally. As they grow, their feelings mature. This isn’t a story about a hero, a great man, or an idol. It’s an ongoing tale on accepting people for their flaws and loving them despite their quirks. It’s a story about how difficult that can be.
My father was, and is, very charismatic with strangers. You know the old idiom “he could sell ice to an Eskimo”? Well while that phrase is not p.c. now adays, every aspect of it fits my father (including the non p.c.ness of it).
Old Red Socks was a car sales man. He didn’t get his name from his favorite baseball team (in fact he hated baseball) but rather from the think red socks he wore (wears) every day of his life.
Charismatic he may have been, but also opinionated, judgemental, prejudice and boisterous. He didn’t give a rats ass to who he might offend with his backwards opinions about the world. Luckily we had a very down to earth mother to mitigate any permanent prejudice scarring, and the four of us grew up relatively normal and open minded.
My father’s favorite phrase (even to this day) was “Very few white people and no n*****s can do/see/experience this.” So that kind of sets the stage for you.
He grew up on a little farm in Maine with 8 brothers and sisters. His grandmother was from Germany, though the rest of his family was born in America. He settled in Florida after spending a tour in the army as a medic. This wasn’t to say he had any skill with actual medicine. He could wrap an ace bandage like nobody’s business and his miracle cure for everything was Raleigh’s Medicated Ointment.
I’m not sure how he met my mother, one of my siblings will have to fill that in if they know. She was eighteen and just out of high school. He was already 27. My sister came first, then my two brothers over the next 4 years. I was last, and I was adopted twenty years later.
Since my father was already fifty when I was born, he was already set in his way and close to permanently pickling his liver (he has since some this effectively and I have doubts that he’ll ever die as long as he keeps drinking). So I have some wild and crazy stories to share about this good ol’ yank who lived each day like it might be his last. My family has agreed to share a few stories as well of our childhood.
So keep your eyes open, pour yourself a shot of scotch and understand these are not my views or the views of my siblings, but the views of Old Red Socks. And try to keep an open mind.