3.08.2006

Porch Supper with the Characters

Hidy-do, yya'll!

It is jes' a glorious day here near Crackerville. I mean "like totally awesome."
The azaleas are a'bloomin,' dogwood trees is airy with floating white blooms, the birds are rioting over chopped up grapes loaded into they platform feeder...(Ain't it jes' like and ole' biddy to feed the birds--Lawdy, never thought I do that, an' looky here--am near bout ashamed to admit it--I feed birds.)

Wouldn't it be fine if we'uns could have us old fashioned porch supper. (Poa-rk Rinds on the house, of course!). We could bring our finest laid back attitude and watch the fireflies....

But I was thinkin', let's us entertain each other with a memory of one of our favorite characters (living or dead) who has changed your life in some way. Around here, we have plenty of Characters (Capital C). I'll get us started by relating the true story of Johnny Vagabond(even in blogworld there's a time for shur-nuff truth, no makin' these Characters up--now, ya'll hear?).

My eldsest was jes' 14 when we met "Johnny". He wouldn't speak to us or even look us in the eye, but the kid was a like a golden retriever, irrepressibly friendly and used to retrieving even odd ducks (Hee hee!). So depsite the long matted hair and odiferous clothing, the long filthy fingernails --I need not elaborate further-- son insisted we give the wraith of man a donut every Sunday. After the morning Masses, the parish has a coffee and donut social. Several "street people" hang around, they come and go with the weather in the Mid -West. But "Johnny" was a regular. At first he would not take the donut, only coffee, black. After months he looked at my son with that knowing glint..."Son, you got a Wall Street Journal?"

Now 15, eldest son was incurably curious about the world. "Nope, but I'll get you one if you tell me your name." Turns out the Vagabond had been a stock broker, but that is all he would tell the kid. "He speaks perfect English, Mom. Wonder how this could have happened to him?" Sometimes we'd see him trudging along the streets in the city, a vast army jacket weighing him down.

Within a year "Johnny" and eldest had a relationship that prompted the boy to ask the priest to "do something" about "Johnny." The priest said "You do it, he won't let me." The boy tired.

"I don't want an apartment, a job, or even clean clothes, lemme alone." But he accepted a shower, a haircut at the local homeless shelter, and an old bike. When the boy was headed to college the Vagabond gave him a going away present, "I killed my wife and kids."

"I don't deserve a kind word, a sandwich, or a bed. And I don't want any responsibility for anything. I HAD everything, houses and cars and all the toys men dream about. I had a family, too. Killed them; I walked away with nothing but a sprain. I have not had a drop to drink since I burried my family, but that won't bring them back. "

"You're going to college young man. You're smart but cocky--like I was. Watch it."

Johnny washes windows for cars these days --at a gas station in exchange for breakfast. He mumbles to himself now, the ravages of street life have dulled his mind over the past years. Station owner leaves him a bed roll for the cold nights, but finds some other man in it the next morning, behind the station.

Eldest son slipped a half a sandwich to a old man withthe DTs at a local coffee spot last week. He doesn't know I saw him. He had his own eldest of three with him. The lesson lives on. Thank you, "Johnny."

6 comments:

Bird said...

Aunty Belle,
I've responded to your comments on abortion over at bogs blog.
Hope you have a lovely weekend.
Arguments aside, my deepest respects to you Aunty.

Bird

Aunty Belle said...

Bird, sweet thing, I do appreciate your stoppin' by...Ain't this what we's about round heah? Jes' folks working things out peaceably, with a spark onct' in awhile.

I think youse right on Bogs about the dress, parents etc...truth is that you DO have to pick those battles. Wise observation, Bird.

Please come again.

Hellpig said...

I take my pork rinds in the HOT style then I add about five or six drops of tabasco sauce,then I like to wash it down with a beer so cold it could crack your teeth....mmmm...I'm off to the Pub,cya

Blue said...

I love characters & boy can you tell a story AB.

Anonymous said...

Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP »

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » »