Tuesday, April 18, 2006

When I Tell Stories

Each morning at 8:00 my dad got up after about four hours sleep. He would go to work. What he did there, he never said. As I grew up I sort of pieced it together. He opened the back door to let in the homeless man who helped with the clean up from the night before while my dad readied the barroom and the kitchen and talked to those folks and farmers who for one reason or another were in a redneck saloon before the sun had hit midday. He also met with the typical sales reps and vendors that venture forth to small town taverns and saloons.

He talked the same to every person who came in. He made each one welcome. He always said, “You’re only a stranger once.” His saloon was his corner store. It was his social life. He went there every day without fail, took a nap, and went back at night.

When I was still small, around 11:00, he’d come home to pick me up. I’d get to go with him while he went on errands, leaving a bartender in charge. We’d go to the bank, the grocery store. Sometimes we’d see his lawyer. Once we even saw the mayor. Everywhere we went it was the same.

“Oh you must be Geno’s daughter.”

“You must be the apple of his eye.”

They’d smile and talk about how smart I was, about my dancing, about how much I looked like him. He wasn’t a talkative man by nature, but he always had stories about me for them. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was learning some important things by watching. I was also seeing important things too. Maybe he told stories so they wouldn’t know that he didn't like to talk.
These people loved my dad as much as I did. You could see it in their eyes. That made me sort of like a princess, because he surely was a king to them. Funny, with my dad, I didn’t mind them talking about me. With my dad I wasn’t shy. . . .

Every day I get up, after four hours sleep. I go to my computer. I don’t talk much about what I do there. I suppose one day my son will piece it together. It’s my corner store. It’s my social life. I meet up with and talk to folks and friends who for whatever reason are online before the sun has hit midday. I come here every day without fail, take a nap, and come back at night. I hope he sees it the same way I saw what my dad did−that folks who pay a visit as a stranger always leave as a friend.

It’s nice to think that my dad and I might be a lot alike.
Come on. I’ll tell you a story. When I tell stories I don’t feel shy.
−me strauss Letting me be


mergrl said...

what a wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing your memories with us (hugs)

Oliviah said...

I really enjoyed reading that. Thank you for sharing your memories, I feel nostalgic and it is a nice warm feeling.

ME Strauss said...

Hi megrl,
How are you, Sunshiny one! Thanks for stopping by to hear about my dad and me. You're my favorire morning hug.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Oliviah,
Thanks for saying so. Memories are fun to bring back. I hope that I gave you one that you're fond of.

Michael said...

That was a nice story indeed.

Take Care

ME Strauss said...

Thank you,
Michael. I appreciate that.

Pat Paulk said...

Very enjoyable read!!!

ME Strauss said...

Hi Pat
Welcome and thank you.
I appreciate your stopping by long enough to say so.

Yos said...


ME Strauss said...

Thank you, Yos.
It means a lot to hear you say that.

Jennifer said...

Wow~ Great post.

I always love hearing how others have special bonds with their parents. That they have something dear that they share with their parent.

Oh and are you serious you only sleep four hours a night? How do you do it. I only get 6 and by Sunday I'm ready to crash if I don't allow myself a few extra hours of sleep. You're amazing. I need some of your energy. Just think what I could get done with an extra two hours! :D (No, no! Seriously I'm not an overachiever)

ME Strauss said...

Hey Jennifer!
What a joy to see you here! How's Aunt Cecelia?

I get four at night, but did you miss the part about where I take a nap? I catch a couple there. So I get six like you. Just not together.


Jennifer said...

Ahh so your nap is more than a shory nap :D

Aunt Cecelia I discover has a secret...Kayla's trying to find out what it is!


ME Strauss said...

Ahh Cool,
I'm going to be right beside Kayla trying to figure it out too. Secrets make me crazy!