I was always a very busy child. I would have been called hyperactive if they had the term years ago. I was mostly unfamiliar with the nap.
I’m sure I drove my mother crazy before I went off to school.
Before we leased the restaurant, my father was still busy working in construction. One of my father’s best friends was “The Joe,” as I called him. He was an iron worker named Joe Milney.
We had moved to a trailer park in Huntington Beach, just across from the beach itself.
It was a great place. There was a heated pool and the beach just a stones throw over the other side of PCH.
I had horned toads and caterpillars galore to play with, and other friends, I’m sure. But mostly I remember “The Joe.”
He would come over and I suppose he and my dad would have a few beers to relax after a hard days work and then my mom would put them in charge of me.
I can remember swimming in the small pool with my dad and Joe. They would swim around in the pool with me holding their ankles as they slid through the warm water under late afternoon skies.
I was probably four or five and very rambunctious. One day “The Joe,” brought me a gift. He had made me a very small bicycle. Instead of sprockets and a chain, it had a fan belt where the chain should be and two fan belt wheels in place of the small sprokets.
It was silent and very fast, or so it seemed to me. I don’t know how long it took me to learn to ride it without training wheels, but I’m sure not very long. I was way ahead of my colleagues in the bicycle riding department thanks to “The Joe.”
I can still remember swooshing silently through the trailer park without a care in the world. I’m sure my mom was thrilled with Joe after he got me that bicycle, even though he drank just a little too much beer for her liking.
I was a free boy and no longer under my mother’s feet, driving her crazy.
I now do that to my lovely wife.
Sadly, “The Joe” took a fall down an elevator shaft at work and went to the great beyond while I was still quite young. I still miss him. He was “The Joe.”