A true story from QuoraDecember 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
When my father turned 13 years old he was woken early by his mother. She silently led him downstairs to the dark kitchen where she lit a light and started making him a big breakfast. His father was sitting at the table silently. My dad was confused at the situation and even more so when his mother put a big plate of bacon and eggs on the table in front of him – and not his father.
His father reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of Camel cigarettes and a box of wooden matches and pushed them across the table to the boy. “I have tuberclusosis,” he said to the boy, “You’re the man of the family now.” It was 1930 and he had 12 younger brothers and sisters plus his parents to feed.
My father was forced to grow up fast and hard. He knew he couldn’t quit school but he was now the main breadwinner for the family. He got a job as a milk delivery boy. Every night at three AM he got up and went to the livery to get the horse and cart, then to the ice house where he shoveled ice into the wagon. Finally he had to ride the cart to the train yard where the cart was loaded with milk from the Milk Train. Then, until six AM he made the route with another man and delivered milk all through South Boston. After putting the horses away he took the streetcar back home, got cleaned up and went to school.
The first week he went home his brothers and sisters were running roughshod over the family. His father was sick in bed. Because he was training to be a carpenter, he silently went into cellar and formed a 2 x 4 into a bat. Then he went upstairs and beat his brothers and sisters into line. It didn’t take them long to figure out who was boss.
When I was growing up I noticed that my aunts and uncles treated my father differently. When he showed up, the head of the table was prepared for him. Everything he wanted was provided for him without him having to speak, and he rarely spoke. A bottle of Seagrams 7 and an ashtray appeared and he sat silently smoking his Camels and sipping his whisky while family life went around him. I noticed that his brothers often kissed his ring. They absolutely adored and respected him.
“You don’t understand what a great man your father is,” my Aunt said once, “He was thirteen years old and he put food on our table every day. He made sure we had clothes. He kept his brothers out of jail. And he never lost his faith in God or his fundamental honesty.”
My father died of emphysema in 1992 at aged 74, the result of smoking two – three packs of unfiltered Camel cigarettes every day.
To this day, if I want to conjure up my father, I light up a cigar and fill my workshop with smoke and he is there — because that was how I knew him and I refuse to smoke cigarettes.
When I look at what my father had to do to be a man I realize that any complaints I had growing up were incredibly pitiful in comparison.
Odd news from around the world
German man kills himself trying to blow open and rob a CONDOM MACHINE: “A German man has died after blowing up a condom machine with a home-made explosion in a robbery-gone-wrong on Christmas Day. The 29-year-old had tried to destroy the machine with two accomplices, according to police, in an attempt to get to the cash inside. They attached their explosive to the machine in the nothern city of Munster before running for cover in their car nearby. But the unfortunate thief, who hasn’t yet been named, wasn’t able to get the car door closed in time and was hit in the head with a flying piece of shrapnel. Although his friends took him to hospital in the nearby town of Schoppingen, he later died from his wounds. Officers, who confirmed that none of the money or condoms from inside the machine had been taken, caught up with the group at the hospital.”
Out with the birdbath; In with the flute: “Corks were popping up and down the country on Christmas Day as people toasted the festive season with a glass of champagne. But French scientists have discovered that type of glass you were drinking from might have limited the flavour of the fizz. A study by the University of Reims in the heart of the French Champagne region found champagne flutes were the best glasses to use to enhance the flavour of the drink. While wider coupe glasses, less of the aromatic compounds that give Champagne its distinctive flavour is released, meaning the taste is different. According to the analysis by researchers, they found that as bubbles rise and burst from the liquid, they release tiny droplets that produce Champagne’s aroma and flavour. In a narrower glass such as a champagne flute, the bubbles mix together more, creating a strong flavour in the glass. However, in a wider coupe glass, the bubbles spread out more meaning the they do not mix as much and the flavour is not as strong.
Man fell 60ft to his death off cliff while ‘looking at his phone’: “A man who fell 60 feet to his death off a cliff while using an electronic device on Christmas Day has been identified. Joshua M Burwell, 33, from Sheridan, Indiana, was strolling along Sunset Cliffs in San Diego when he tumbled over the edge, NBC San Diego reported. His family confirmed his identity on Facebook and paid tribute to him. Sharyle Burwell, his mother, said: ‘Hug your kids and always tell them you love them. Glad my last words to Josh were “love you”! Bill Bender with San Diego Lifeguards at Sunset Cliffs told NBC San Diego: ‘Witnesses stated seeing someone distracted by an electronic device and he just fell over the edge’ ‘(He) wasn’t watching where he was walking, he was looking down at the device in his hands.’ Fire crews arrived a few minutes later, but the man was pronounced dead by medics.”
Butcher claims Vikings invented haggis and it should be made with venison, not sheep innards: “A butcher has described Scotland’s national dish as an ‘impostor’ and says haggis should be made with venison and not sheep. Joe Callaghan, of Callaghan of Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute has been researching the history of haggis for three years and has revealed it originates from the Vikings. Mr Callaghan, 50, is hoping to rebrand Scotland’s national dish – traditionally made using sheep’s stomach stuffed with sheep’s liver, lungs and heart, oatmeal, onion, suet and seasoning – as staggis. The award-winning butcher told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘The Vikings brought haggis to Scotland, we are sure of this. My recipe is based on the original Viking recipe. Throughout the ninth century, the Vikings arrived in Scotland to raid, pillage, trade and settle. ‘Traditional haggis is made from sheep plucks that come from an animal that was the commercial driving force behind the Highland clearances that has left a deep wound in Scotland’s history that still reverberates to this day.”
The total crap above sold for $47 million: “Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but if you had several million pounds to spare you could have splashed out on Sotheby’s most expensive auction lots of the year. A Cy Twombly painting sold for a staggering £47million last month. Cy Twombly’s masterpiece became Sotheby’s top selling lot when it sold for a mind-blowing £47million at a Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on November 11. The oil-based house paint and wax crayons on canvas is signed, and inscribed with NYC and dated 1968 on the back. It was produced by the artist as part of his acclaimed Blackboard series. The former army cryptographer painted six bands of repeated loopy lines on a gray background, which was sold by a prominent US collector to benefit a reform temple in Los Angeles”
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