Tuesday, November 22, 2005

When my nephew Doug was about nine years old, he came to visit us at our home in Akron, Ohio. We were a little unsure how to relate to this precocious child, in particular how much to share our sometimes counterculture sentiments. So we did normal things you do with little kids like a trip to a state park. As we were about leave our path was blocked by a park ranger rolling by in his cruiser. We thought nothing of it, until a small voice in the backseat wondered aloud, "Do I detect the aroma of pork?" After that we held nothing back and it was a great visit.

Dougie visited us many more times, including the spring and summer of my Dad's radiation treatments for cancer. Doug was the old man's tireless companion and support, a gesture of humanity that was astonishing in a 21-year old, but not if you Doug, especially as we came to know him that year.

HB, Dougie.

uncle jimmy

Saturday, November 12, 2005

this is the family blog, so I can be as soppy as I want. without usurping your old man's place, I feel a great father-son relationship with you, complete with little disagreements here and there, unsolicited advice from my part and gruff responses on your side.
I wanted to dig out funny anecdotes from your trip with us to Argentina, some years ago, but nothing comes up, other than I fantasized that Rafaela was the perfect third world Iowa for your farming endeavors, complete with Dekalb hybrids.
have a great day son.
papa brujo

Friday, November 11, 2005

I lost my comment, so if this is a repeat of my story, get used to it. My son, Doug, has had to.

Doug solved the mystery of the characteristics of the universe when about 4 years old. Doug's mom, another couple, our various progeny, and I were out looking at houses. The Moms went into a model home while the rest of us stayed in the car.

Doug took the opportunity to say "Dad, I think the universe is a big box that goes on forever." I said "Doug, nature does not like sharp corners." [The thermodynamic origin of that thought isn't necessary - is it?]

OK, said Doug, "then it is a circle that goes on forever." Well, that was all that needed to be said. The other Dad, a physician, was stunned. I was impressed and glad that problem was settled.

You may have had to be there. It has often been a puzzle why Doug bothered to think about the things he thought about, as readers of his Blog can testify. However, it is nearly always interesting, and generally enlightening, to hear about.

Happy Birthday. Love You. Keep amazing me.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Since everyone else thus far has focused on what a genius Doug is (and because Doug accused me of "losing my edge"), I thought it might be appropriate for the "bright one in the family" (I hope some day that story will make it to Doug drones on) to draw some attention to the not so bright things Dougie has done in his life. Clearly, it is impossible for me to get to them all - but below are a few of my favorites:

  • Doug shaved a question mark into his hair, a bad do even for Dougie
  • Doug already mentioned his penchant for hitch hiking
  • Doug lit fire to the toilet in his bathroom when he should have known better (I don't care what scientific experiment he uses as an excuse, he still was almost sent to boarding school because of the stunt)
  • Doug threatened to beat up Mr. Sneed (or maybe it was dad, but either way it is a pretty fond memory and I prefer to think it was Doug) the old man across the street at the ripe old age of 12 because Mr. Sneed (admittedly not a nice guy) accused Andy of "egging" his motor home, and Andy would never do such a thing (he later confessed)

Dougie - you ARE a genius and I rarely understand your jokes, but I sure do love you! I'm so glad you finally realized that I too was a member of the family and not just an excuse to beat up Andy (who knew you had such a violent disposition?;) Happy Birthday E'fresh!

Not only can I not recount stories in such glorious detail as yours, dear son, but neither do many of those Dougie-like twists come easily; with that noted, among those lovely, somewhat interrelated memories I faintly do remember, the following have to do with your early language development. So....

David Rossin and his year old daughter, Laurie, you (my 11 month old first born) and I were taking an early autumn stroll in one of Chicago's Lake Michigan parks, steps away from our condo. We had moved a few months prior to this Hyde Park location from our hometown, Cleveland. As we were returning from this lakefront adventure, admiring the burnished leaves, feeling the chill and watching scampering little creatures go up and down the tress, you pointed to one and said your first non-Daddy/non-Mommy word, "Soggle." Your version of "squirrel" was pronounced as clear as that fall day. David looked at me. I looked at you and with both of our jaws hanging, David said, "Well, that settles that. I always thought he was smart. But Barbara, he's a genius!"

The following year, close to your second birthday, grandma Bernice came to visit. We three went to take a dip in the behind-the-condo Travel Lodge pool as was our habit during those sweltering Chicago summers. The three of us left the pool for the motel's public bathroom where several grandmother aged women were waiting their turn to use the stalls. You and I entered one, chatting as we always did. One of the women waiting turned to your Grandma and said, "He's so young to talk so well. Why is that?" Grandma replied, "It's because she (meaning the daughter-in-law) never talks baby talk to him." I took that as a compliment. You were obviously learning your extraordinary language skills from your articulate REAL mama.

Several months later, David's wife, Sandy, their daughter, you and I decided to take a trip back from our new Chicago home to visit the Cleveland grandparents. We car seated you both, leaving in the evening after you had been well fed in order to give Sandy and I a better chance of making it some distance without either child complaining. Predictably, you both quickly fell asleep making the first half of the drive painless for the two adults. Gasoline was eventually needed. Pulling into a station and positioning ourselves at the pump, the car jumped a bit, waking you up enough to jar your head back from its lowered position. Startled, you opened your mouth and let out a wee voiced, two year old "fuck, fuck!" Proving from then, what others already knew, I had indeed made the greatest contributions to your ever evolving vocabulary.

Happy 38th birthday my dear Dougsneezegrithickles! I always admire your well turned, free-of-off-color worded stories. Obviously, you overcame my early teaching. I love you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ok...this is very hard for me to admit....until Doug evolved, I always felt I was the smartest person in our family(Barb, stop laughing...I gave you the intellegence award)....it was my own personal ego boost....so,as much as I tried to stunt his intellectual developement by involving him in less brain strenuous activities like music and sports, he had to get smart.....damn him....so where did you put your smarts?....corporate big shot(yea like that could happen...I can see him in a suit every day), making millions in the stock market(would have be a nice way to support all of us), ethnobiologist(I think that is a word), Nobel Lauriet scientist(finding a way to give Bush a brain),....but no, you had to go find a carreer in helping people...unfrickin' believable......so with out further adu or is it adieu...my e-mail redition of our favorite Birthday song(sing along if you know it)


Uncle M