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.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I remember as a kid, in the fall, we would rake the leaves from the giant silver maple trees around our yard into a big pile.  It was always fun to play in those fluffy mountains, jumping into them, running through them, riding our bikes through them and covering ourselves with them.  I never stopped to think that we probably tracked a lot into the house and our mother, patient as always, cleaned them up after us.  I don't remember it, but she probably chastised us for the mess.
After our fun was over, we would bring a large canvas tarp out, rake the leaves onto it and carry them out to the garden where they became mulch.  This was repeated until the lawn was cleared.
Down through the years, leaves became more of a chore.  As our children grew up and no longer cared about piles of leaves, someone (this means me) had to clean them up.  The lawns are easier than past years as we have a riding lawn mower that vacuums them up.
We have a tree next to the driveway.  Our driveway is long and collects all the leaves from one particular silver maple tree.  The mower doesn't do so well picking up the leaves from the driveway.  I learned about twenty years ago that if mother nature cooperates, this means the leaves falling at the proper time and if the South wind blows at the right time, I don't have to do a thing to clean up the leaves off the drive.  The leaves like waves of water float across the street and end up in the church parking lot, lawn and beyond.  Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't which means I sometimes have to sweep up leaves from the drive.
This year was payback.  I watched as my leaves floated away a week or so ago.  I was satisfied that my drive was swept clean as a kitchen table.  When we get storms here, we usually have a South wind (which carried away my leaves), followed by a North wind immediately preceding the storm.  Today was storm day.  I watched as waves of leaves floated across the street into my driveway, lawns and beyond.  Not only did I get my own leaves back but all the leaves that came off the trees from the church and neighboring properties.
I'm not placing the blame on anyone, but perhaps there is someone in control that has a sense of humor.
I'm thinking that perhaps we'll get another South wind and send 'm all back again.
Or not.