I found this old picture of myself from 1963 when I was 15. I was trim, a real sports jock, well haired and still virginally intact. Vietnam was only a rumor and the first Super Bowl was still four years away. This was during the time when the term, “dysfunctional family,” just meant everyone had diarrhea from Granny‘s chili. And, oh yes, those memories of going to Granny’s for chili night and then sitting around the rest of the evening as the geriatric ‘butt whistles’ when off causing my brother and me to tear up to the point of strangulation. Understand, back in the day, it was considered rude to comment on the farts of elder family members....bless their hearts, etc.
I had a pretty girlfriend and was very fortunate in that she had good teeth and was well breasted. A few years later we would be married and by that time Vietnam would no longer be a rumor, but, a destination for many young men like myself. Short years would pass and eventually we would have two legitimate children, a mortgage and car repairs.
Well into middle-age, we finally tricked the kids into going out into the world and claiming their God giving right to screw up on their own. In time, they gave us a herd of beautiful and, likewise, legitimate grandkids who more than once have had the opportunity to enjoy Grandma’s famous bean soup night followed by a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, butt whistled in D minor.
Time moves on, and now, in my golden years, I’ve been informed that I will be graced the venerable title of Great Granddad this Feb. When I look at the above picture of a very young lad, both courageous, proud and stupid, I’m in total admiration of him. Because, from him will come three generations of loved ones that I will count by blessings for every day. You did good, Charlie, real good.