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Thursday, July 30, 2009

DOG TALK


It's been a good day all the way around. Jr felt good all day, knee not giving him much pain, and his mind had a bit of clarity about it. His woman friend came by and sat with him an hour or so. I took the time to go to town to pick up prescriptions, and to give them privacy. In town, I decided to stop in at the Teapot Museum to see what they had showing.


Last week in the paper I saw a deadline for pictures of local musicians to show in the museum was the day before I read it. I had some pics of local musicians not shown, but paid it no more mind. Thought I'd go in and see what was in there while I had a moment in town. Instruments made by local instrument makers, Floyd Reeves, Dave Sturgill, Fred Roupe, Audrey Hash, Wayne Henderson and some others whose names I can't think of, though I know some of them. It seemed like a wonderful thing for the Sparta museum to show banjos, fiddles and mandolins made here by hillbillies. I'd recommend to anybody who thinks hillbillies are ignernt, go in and have a look.



Floyd Reeves was in there when I walked in. I'd not seen him since I closed the store, a couple years. With the historical interest bubbling this year, Floyd Reeves is someone who knows a great deal about the music world in the past here and much history. He used to come into the store from time to time and tell me about things like going to the Spartan theater when he was in his teens to hear Bill Monroe, Stanley Brothers, Uncle Dave Macon, and a long list of others from that time. Floyd loves his bluegrass. We walked around talking about the different instruments and the pictures, admiring everything we saw. There was even a cardboard box guitar made by Wayne Henderson as a child. Also his #1, the first guitar he made, and #7, the one I've heard he plays the most. It looks like it.



From there I went to Una's Cornucopia to get some ginko tablets for Jr's memory. He's taking aricept, a prescription medication for memory, which doesn't seem to be doing a great deal. If it is working, he'd be in terrible shape without it, and I suspect that's how it is. Thought I'd supplement some ginko and see if there is anything to that. Loss of memory frustrates Jr so much, I thought I'd check some out to see if it helps. I thought about some for myself too, but I kind of enjoy memory loss. It frees the mind a very great deal. Every once in awhile, Jr will be sitting at his end of the couch and mention that there is nothing in his mind. He's concerned, and I think: Wow, enjoy it while you've got it.


On the way back to the house, a hard rain splashed on the windshield for about half the distance and finished a few minutes after I parked. Jr's woman friend was still there, so I took some clothes out of the dryer, folded them, put clothes from the washer into the dryer I'd put in before going to town. Sliced a couple of Vidalia onions and put the onions into the container I keep sliced cucumber and sliced onion in vinegar. Onion soaked in vinegar with cucumber makes a fine snack. One is never enough at a time.


After Jr's woman friend left, Jr told me some of his concerns, his worries around the relentless, determined and hateful attempts by the Absentee Police to take him from his home against his will and put him in a nursing home. The biggest hurt for him is he had a special affection for one of them, a deep as the center of the earth affection for her. It dried up like a puddle of rainwater when the sun came out. I dislike the situation especially because it killed his affection for her. It was a deep hurt. She meant way more to him than she ever allowed herself to find out, just by never getting to know him, dropping by for 5 minutes on the run every 3 months.


Ross came to the house and the three of us talked at least an hour for the first time together on the subject of the Absentee Police and their lying schemes to get Jr locked up. Much of the conversation was in laughter. It had been a stressful time for Jr wondering why they want to lock him up in the asylum when they pay no attention to him otherwise, and why it's so important to them. If they think they're endearing themselves to him, that's a serious mistake. But, of course, they're not thinking that. They're evidently invested in being right. Like a guy that shoots a doctor with a high powered rifle through his kitchen window at night does it because he's right.


And I'm the dog that stands in the way with bared teeth and a growl in the throat. Like a dog will fight to the death for its human, this old dog will stand up to anything that comes along, and do whatever it takes. I told Ross today they'll have to kill me to get to Jr. And I wasn't attempting to sound big. It was just a measure of how far I'll go. Jr and I have been friends for some years. In this time of the last couple years spending most of my time and sometimes all of my time with Jr, keeping everything around him smooth so he can live his life as comfortably as possible, our friendship has become such that two days ago, Jr said, "You're like a brother to me." I felt the same. That's valuable to me. I don't/can't let down a friend such as that. When something comes along that frightens him, it brings out the dog in me.



He's weak and vulnerable, alone, and in his word, a cripple. This is somebody I look up to like an older brother whose life I know and respect. Every time I hand him his cup of morning pills, get the telephone for him when it rings, find his glasses when he loses them, help him pull his shoes on when he doesn't have the strength anymore, help him when he's helpless, it's done with respect. Every thought I have about Jr is with respect. His mind and body gradually fade, but the respect stays the same. I can't let people who don't know him handle him like lumber.



A couple years ago I told him, "There's only one thing I want for you." He said, "What's that?" I said, "What you want for yourself." He looked at me funny, like he wondered if I was kidding, and said, "Really?" I've been true to that all the way along. That is Ross's guiding principle with Jr too. Ross and I have actually become friends, which neither one of us would have believed or wanted to live for five years ago. We've found a good flow of allowing Jr to live by his own decisions in his own home, which we believe he has a right to.

1 comment:

  1. Glad Jr. had a good day with friends after the past couple of days with the "not-so-friendly". Keep us posted. By the way, I love the photographs. Are these all with the new camera. It really does take nice pictures and you have a great eye for selecting your subjects. Take care!

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