Sunday, November 20, 2011


I received a call from a friend last week wanting me to do a little project for him. I drove up our street to 700 East and turned south which carried me to the heart of Draper. On that short drive, the memories came flooding back. Just past the tracks on the West side of the street is a red brick house. Across the street is a commercial building that has been renovated many times over the years. My dad had a friend named Jack who lived in the red house and would build houses on the lot across the street in front of the commercial building. He would build them on a bulk work of timbers so they could be moved. I remember working on some of them as I learned to be an electrician.

Sometime before I began working with my father, he had been working on a project with Jack. While there, a big dog ran up to Jack and bit him on the leg, causing a severe injury. My dad had a bottle of iodine that he poured into the wound to keep the infection away. As Jack squirmed with pain both from the bite and the iodine, my dad told Jack that the dog had mistaken him for a t-bone stake.

Interesting enough, my dad started calling Jack T-bone. The name stuck and I think others called him that too. At any rate, we all knew who T-bone was.

Jack liked to smoke, and smoked a lot. After many years of doing so, his body rebelled. He came down with a severe case of emphysema.

I liked T-bone. In some ways he reminded me of my grandfather. He was gray and old and was always friendly and kind to me.

The last time I saw him was when I was working on a little house on the lot in Draper. I was in my early teens and T-bone came over to see how the work was going. He was now too old to do any of the work. I remember that the trek across the little road that 700 East was back then, was exhausting for him. He hardly had enough breath to get there, and had to rest before going back home.

It wasn't long after that, that T-bone passed away.

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