The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Son Of A ..

Wednesday is the cutoff day for me to send mail back home to Owensboro and have it arrive on the weekend. I was going to send my dad a card and pick him up a present, but when Wednesday rolled around, I was incapacitated by pain and medications to knock out said pain. It is probably just as well. There is nothing I could pick out for him that he truly wants or needs. My dad and I are similar in that we are notoriously hard to shop for. A week ago, I was in the Ft. Smith Harley shop and walked around to try and find something unique for him. But it was no use. The collectibles were too cheeky (Harley Davidson Style Coffee???), and I honestly didn't know of any practical motorcycle part that I could buy him that he would want, need or even use.

But now that I think about it, another coffee cup or another gas cap just would be adequate to really thank the man that has shaped my life so much.

I have often said that I get my love of books from my mother, a very well read and respected woman, but I get my love of stories from my father. My dad tells some of the best stories. And though I have heard many of his stories, far too many times, I usually tell him that I hadn't heard them before. I usually tell him this just to listen again. To his hand gestures and his expressions. He often prefaces each of his stories by saying, "This ain't no bullshit." And the epilogue of every story usually is "As God is my witness, true story." Whether the story had to with him getting mess hall duty in the Navy, having a pet skunk, or getting pulled over by a cop and popping off to the cop a bit, the stories always bring a smile to his face as well as mine. After ever story he will just laugh, and I can see his eyes go back to a different time and a different place.

The older I get, the more I realize I am becoming more and more like him. I tell the same jokes that he tells. I laugh the same way he does. And I would say most of my stories that I tell usually have him as one of the central characters. I quote my dad a lot. I use his little sayings here and there. I cuss like my dad. Whenever I hurt myself I clench my jaw in anger and say, "sonofabitch" or "hellfire!" I talk to myself like my dad does. I ask myself questions like "Benson, why did you do that?"I shake hands like my father. I befriend people like my father. I get frustrated like my father. I get frustrated at the stupidities in life and let them frustrate me so much that I have to sit down for a second and regroup my thoughts so that I can just accept things and move on. I like making things work like my father. I love figuring things out like him. I appreciate aesthetics and well as functionality like my father.

I trust my father a lot. I think he trusts me too. He has let me in on a few of his secrets. He has told me how fast he really goes on his motorcycle instead of the speed he tells people so they don't worry. He has also told me the recipe for his famous bar-b-que sauce and sworn me to secrecy. Though, I know I am not the only people in those distinct clubs, it still means a lot to me for some reason.

I call him up a couple times a week, asking him his opinion of things. Whenever I have a problem, I try to lean on his 60 plus years of life experience. I call him up and say, "Hey old timer," and he laughs and says "Old timer my ass, I can still whip you." Usually I am having a problem that I can't find an answer to, somewhere my logic is flawed. He always points me back in the right direction, pointing towards the answer instead of giving it to me. And for that I am thankful and wish that somehow I could repay him.

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I got a chance to reciprocate. He called me on a Thursday night and I had just ordered my Skinny Dip (it is New Belgium's summer beer and quite tasty) and sat down to enjoy my beer with my friends when he called. He had a few rough days and was trying to figure out some problems. I walked outside, underneath a beautiful rainbow next to the setting sun and talked out all the options and solutions of a problem that had give him fits the past two days at work. We talked for almost half and hour, trying to use our logic skills to find an answer. Though he was probably using me more for a sounding board for ideas, I still felt good that I could try and help him. It was one of those moments that I hope I will always remember. It is nice to try and help someone that you know you can never truly repay.

And that's why I just could buy him another coffee cup this year. I just owe him too much.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


this means more to me than anything you could have given me. my hope is some day you will know how it feels to be a father .

love dad

8:24 AM  
Blogger Shelli said... anyone else crying? Or is it just me?

9:33 AM  

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