Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The old barn

I drove by that old barn last night, late, when I was coming back from curling in Windsor, Ontario. I needed to be sure she was secure, and she was.

That old barn means a lot to me. Me Grandpa Joe, he rented it first, back in 1960, the year I was born. Later, he bought it outright. It had been a stable back when actual horsepower still drove the world. It had then been a mechanic shop, then an auto detailing shop. Then a place to store welding equipment and pipe threaders, things necessary for fabrication in an era before prefabrication. Things me old grandfather owned and rented.

There was many folk what worked there. Some was relatives. Some were neighborhood friends, some were folk who needed one more week of work to make their full Social Security. Me Grandad, he did that for an old friend from Illinois who for whatever reason needed one week of work to qualify for a whole Social Security check. Miles Fitzpatrick his name was. Grandad helped his old friend from Jacksonville earn his full Social Security with the one more week of work he needed to collect before earning his whole Social Security.

Me Dad, he brought me in there when I was 13 and expecting a whole summer off schoolwork. Baseball and all, you know, what kids then wanted to play. I still remember Pops knocking on me door at 7:30 on that Monday morning after seventh grade let out and saying simply, 'Marty'. I was up straight off, and soon into clothes I didn't mind ruining, and went to work. I can honestly say I have 42 years experience in the business. It was me Pops what saw to that.

It was in that old barn wheres I learned to appreciate them folks around me. Grandpa Joe, we lost him in Nineteen Ninety One, two days before his eighty sixth birthday. We lost Pops in Twenty Thirteen, on the Twenty Fifth of June. I learned what great guys they were whiles workin' in that old barn. Now, that old barn, it's mine and me brother Phil's.

And it's secure. And I'll go to sleep being secure myself tonight now.

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