I just got a slap on the side of the head reminder that I have been young for a very long time. I have a jacket that says Brooklyn across the front. I like the jacket partly because I’ve had it for a very long time. My Lady Wonder Wench doesn’t like the jacket, partly because I’ve had it for a very long time…also it has a couple of holes that I like to tell people are bullet holes, and a rip under the left arm that I like to claim is from a knife fight. She shakes her head and rolls her eyes, but she puts up with it because she understands that I like wearing clothes that are thoroughly broken in. Clothes that have character. Clothes that help you make up stories.
When I’m wearing my Brooklyn jacket, besides my story about the bullet holes and knife fights, I sometimes tell people that when you buy your lady a pair of nylons in Brooklyn, they always ask you for your head size. I say, “We put six locks on our doors in Brooklyn…6 locks all in a row…but we only lock every other one…because we figure that no matter how long somebody tries to pick the locks, he’s always going to be locking three. I tell people that sometimes things get so tough, the Statue of Liberty puts both hands up in the air.
I love to tell stories. But last night, my Brooklyn jacket kind of told me a story all by itself. And it wasn’t a make believe story. It was real, and it knocked me down. My Lady and I were leaving a restaurant, and the young Pimple Person princess kid at the cash register saw my jacket, and she said, “Oh…the Dodgers huh ?” Now there’s no Louie Louie Generation guy who wouldn’t have a smart answer to that. So I said, “Yeah…they’re just on a long road trip to L.A.” And the Pimple Princess just said, “Have a nice day” and went into the back room…probably to stick another nail through her tongue. What a slap on the side of the head. I suddenly realized that I actually saw the Dodgers play in Brooklyn…all those wonderful years ago. My dad one day took me to Ebbets Field…through the lobby with the upside down ceiling…up the stairs…and down a long dark corridor…and all of a sudden there…all the way down on the sunlit field…there was Jackie, and Campy, and the Duke. And standing next to me was…dad…holding my little kid hand…and smiling down at me…like my own personal God. I have been young for a very long time.
Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.
1- Why do we know that Malta must have a cow ?
2- Why are female Moon Moths so frustrated ?
3- What happens when you stop licking a frog ?
Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.
Like most Louie Louie Generation guys…I have been young for a very long time. There are some things I have learned over that long time. For example, you should watch a sunrise and a sunset at least once a year. You should over tip the waitress in the diner, because she needs the money even more than you do. You should sing in the shower. It helps clean your soul. You should use the good silver and dishes, especially with family. It doesn’t hurt to hold a door open, even for another guy. And what’s wrong with being the first to say hello. You learn stuff like that over the course of time. And time does fly.
That makes us all time fliers…and most of us are always trying to take control of our own trip. Some trips are a little longer than others, and they’re a little harder to keep under control when you’ve been young for a long time. But the fact that I can remember the Beatles, and Vietnam, and sneakers that we didn’t call running shoes, doesn’t mean that I like to discuss history when I’m with my Lady in the middle of the night. And by the way, my Lady also remembers black and white TV, John Kennedy, and landing on the moon…and in the middle of the night, over the years, she has become very good at turning my blood to sweat. And she looks like a bunch of roses looking up from her place in my arms. We’ve both had a good long run, at being young.
I remember very well the shock that hit me that night so long ago when I first realized that I’d never be able to stop loving her. I realized that if I ever left her it would be just like turning off the radio. No matter how quiet it would be without the sound, I’d always know the station was there.
I wrote about it in the story called For The Long Run. It’s in the Bedtime Stories Personal Audio CD. If you like it you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just check out the Bedtime Stories icon on the home page.
I love stories. Here’s a true story about being young for a long time. In 1967 a Louie Louie Generation guy by the name of Walter Murphy was in the army in Vietnam. He had a premonition that he was going to die. He gave a buddy by the name of Robert Bruno a picture of his girl and a ring…and asked him to give her the ring if he didn’t make it. He didn’t. His buddy was badly hurt but he got home alive. The only thing Robert Bruno knew about Walter Murphy’s girl was that she lived somewhere in California. A little while ago, Bruno was talking about it to a newspaper man named Bob Greene. Green published the story and the picture, and hit pay dirt. Murphy’s family saw the story and contacted Greene and told him the girl’s name was Dorothy Hughes. Bruno tracked her down in Texas. She had never married.
If this were a storybook story, Dorothy and Buono would have fallen in love and lived happily ever after. But this isn’t a storybook story. It’s real. Like the one that unfolded in my head because of my old beaten up Brooklyn jacket. It’s real. And in real life, Dorothy just told Bruno “Thank you.” She said, “Walter Murphy has been on my mind every day and every night for all these years. Yes, I certainly want his ring. I want to wear it for the rest of my life.”
And so, after all this time…for this whole long run of time…Robert Buono gave Dorothy Hughes, Walter Murphy’s ring, and a hug. He got something out of it too. He finally put Vietnam behind him.
I like being a Louie Louie Generation guy…with an old, beaten up jacket that says Brooklyn on it…and a Louie Louie Lady who puts up with it because she understands that broken in isn’t the same as broken down. I know very well that she’s the main reason I’ve been young for such a long time.