Part I, BOOKS
Today I got books (cause it’s Father’s Day), one by Robert B. Parker, his latest book, even though he’s dead. The book Lullaby has been written by Ace Atkins (cool name huh?) cause the Parker family thinks Atkins can ace old Robert B’s style and carry the torch of the Spenser series. I’ve only gotten into Chapter 2 but Spenser seems is there. That’s Spenser with an S, like the English poet.
Along with B. Parker’s Lullaby I was gifted the new novel by our local literary hero, John Sanford. That happens to not be his real name. His real name is John Camp. What’s wrong with Camp John!? It don’t matter and I don’t really care, at this juncture I’m just trying to catch a word tide. Trying to cop a flow or better yet, make one.
What I do care about is that I got two books I specifically asked for as told to my wife I asked her too fervently convey this message to the kids—get these books for your old man! Please understand that this book collection fetish goes deeper than baseball cards or model cars or vintage guitars. I currently have an up to date collections of both Spencer and Davenport. It’s important. Books matter to me in a big way.
There’s really no big deal that my kids didn’t get off their asses and go into a book store and purchase these books with their own money and with warm feelings of ‘I love my daddy’ (I’m 64, they’re 41 and 26). I knew well enough if I wanted these books my wife needed to be informed, and, I even sent links to pictures of the covers because a picture is worth 1,000 words, (not to me), she was told—I got the books. Happy Father’s Day Dad, la de da! 😉
It was she who went into B&N (long live paper) and bought these books, wrapped um, carded them with cards that said ‘we love you dad, especially on Father’s Day. Don’t misread me, I love my kids, I love my wife, I say prayers for fatherless children and fathers who’ve lost children and I know of what I talk about.
Books to me are like power tools, or 24” chrome mag backward spinning Spree-wheels on overpriced phallic machismo machines some guys die for, literally. In my office I’ve got 18 shelves holding my book collections. My collections are fewer today than ever before because lately I’ve been bagging books authored by the likes of Flynn, Tanenbaum, Cussler and giving them to the Washington County Jail library.
My best friend is living out crime and punishment, his, not the one by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and to my way of thinking, punishment is compounded if I just give a book that’s a part of a series. How thoughtless to give these readers their escape, a road to freedom (if you will) jinxing by the breaking the sequence in the series. If there is anything I am not, it’s thoughtless. I would hope that statement stands on it’s own by this effort here, along with talking about Father’s Day. I’m trying to keep in mind that that’s the subject here class.
People, (yes, regardless of crime, they are people) in jail are generally pissed off by lousy food and the humiliating loss of control of most everything in their life, including, in some cases, bodily functions. Books mean freedom in a bigger way than the free can imagine.
Father’s Day, Part II GUITARS
A small confession here: I did get a power tool!!!! of sorts. Because of momma’s efforts again I received a powered by battery peg winder for guitar strings when dead strings must go and new ones put on my guitar. For 50 years I been changing strings by juggling the guitar on my lap, cutting and hand winding the 6 string at a time on to the string pegs. and I, being ever anal about the string wrap I needed to make sure as to not let the string it cross over on itself. Guitar strings must be layer’d just so to keep the slippage at a minimum when it’s time to tune up. Now, at long last, the annoying torturous dreaded duty of hand winding is a thing of the past with my handy dandy Ernie Ball Battery Powered String Winder, $16.99+tax. Who knows, if this keeps up next fathers day I’ll get some Spree-wheels for my 15 year old Chevy.
Fathers, children, gifts that moms buy dads to cover their kids asses, alas, this exercise in writing could have been so much more meaningful if I had a point to make, a point sharper than the fat end of a bat.
Lets try this as a point. As a writer I will never be a Robert B. Parker, or a John Sanford, or even allowed into his Camp (get it? huh?). Just as a guitarist I will never be Joe Pass, Jimi Hendrix, or Carlos Santana, but I will never stop writing because writing, and reading, is what I love. It is passion!
I’m hot for watching the letters fall on to a page to make words that gently ignite my mind and pull me from the dark pit of depression and getting older, of being slower, of loosing guitar chops and loosing a voice that could at one time sing a high C in straight voice. This passion, which is not painless, is God stuff. God, Grace, and Guitars, and books and words and family all fit together to make my life live, alive, like a novel that should be written but will just be cliff notes of a life lived.
Father’s Day Part III LOVE
It does not end there. Also on this fathers day I received 6 Red Velvet Cups Cakes made by my 88 year old mother, from scratch. She forced them on me to eat with my milk. I did as she asked. I watched my grandchildren, Gianna 21/2 and Lily, 6 months, play and laugh and bring something that the books and the food and the cup cakes could never bring but reflect quite well—it’s love; brothers and sisters, it’s love!
Hot Damn! I’m love’d, and today I know it, I feel it, and I give thanks for it and ask forgiveness for the million times I’ve forgotten it and pouted in selfishness and sponsored My Pity Parties and dragged others in to suffer with me. My sufferings are just a another form of a power tool for self punishment. That power tool I don’t want or need no more, it’s Fathers Day, 2012.
Today I got the power of love, as well as my Ernie Ball Battery Powered String Winder.
Fathers Day—deep as a well, sure as a book you can make book on. Get your money, bet the farm—shame the devil and grab the bull by the horns. I’m cruise’n my way through this treatise and making this Fathers Day of 2012 one to remember.