August 27, 2018

…so the big move from my Dad’s old digs at Parlmont Park to his new digs at Summer Place went off without a hitch. Everyone did their part, the movers worked cheerfully and efficiently, everything ended up being moved, tossed in the dumpster, or given away to folks in the old complex who needed them, and I’m back home from Massachusetts. The last few nights spent sleeping in a bed in an otherwise vacant apartment wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences – lots of ghosts haunted my sleep – but it was one of those things ya just gotta do if it means bringing everything to a proper and rightful conclusion.

My Dad’s new place looks great, and he couldn’t be happier. All the final decisions we made together, as far as bringing furniture along that was originally going to be left behind, were all the right ones. And networking with a bunch of Parlmont folks helped get the word out so that some of the nicer pieces left behind would find a good home. And props to Comcast Xfinity: hooking Dad’s phone and internet up was a breeze.

The end came Sunday morning when I brought the last of the trash out, put a few of Dad’s remaining items in a box, and left the apartment unlocked for what promises to be a fully refurbishment of the place. I didn’t realize just how sad and dingy the place had become, but that’s what happens when the last five years are spent with elderly people getting sick and unable to keep up with the place they originally moved into a dozen years earlier.

All that’s left for Dad is to give up his car – something we hope is going to happen tomorrow. That hasn’t gone as smoothly as we would like, but there are too many players involved to corral into the same, single fluid action the move involved.

It was while sitting alone by a solitary lamp in the otherwise empty apartment on Saturday night that I decided the time had come. Goodboys Exec-Comm are proposing to have next year’s 29th annual Invitational down at Myrtle Beach where 1/2 EC “Skeeta” Clark now calls home, and sipping a glass of Pinot Grigio and looking around at the empty apartment and feeling alone and old and remembering all the good times that were had in the apartment with my Mom and Dad and Auntie Marge and Uncle Don playing cards on Saturday nights, I decided that was it. If the ‘Boys wanted to have their 29th down at MB they would have to do it without me. I’m tired, worn out, traveled out, “The Client Who Shall Remain Nameless”-ed out, and golfed out, and I just don’t feel like doing it anymore. The last two Goodboys weekends have had a different vibe than they used to – after all these years, how could they not? – and I figured that maybe it was time to call it a day.

I remember a conversation I had with my Auntie Marge something like five years ago. The large Easter Sunday family gatherings at the old Hilltop Steakhouse in Saugus had become a thing of the past, and you could see the writing on the wall. So I called her up and proposed that the family do the Hilltop one last time, with as many family members as we could muster, and end our precious tradition not on Father Time’s terms, but our own. And that’s what we did. Sure, the food and service were a mere shadow of its former self, but we gathered nonetheless, toasted the old times and those departed, and ended it on our terms. And, as it turned out, pretty much in the nick of time.

And maybe that’s what I’m thinking the Goodboys ought to do. Next year is 29, maybe we do it just as we’ve always done, then reserve something like Myrtle Beach for a final blow-out 30th anniversary extravaganza and call it a tradition on our terms. I might be up for that. Some of the ‘Boys might say, “Oh Great White Shank, you’re just a kid at 62, stop acting like and old fart and act young.” I’m sorry, that’s just not where I am right now. The last few years have really taken a toll on me and I’m just beat, both mentally and physically. I’m sure work, and the hours I’ve had to work this year and all the stress that has come with TCWSRN and worrying about and coordinating my Dad’s move, but “it is what it is”. I’ll be ready, willing, and able to shed a few pounds and get back to the gym in a week or two, but I’m fried. The world is spinning too fast and I need to slow down and catch a breath.

So if the Goodboys want to go to Myrtle Beach and start a new era without me, I’m good with that – there will be no tears. Likewise, if they want to stay in New England next summer I’ll be more than happy to join them – I’ll coordinate my visits to see Dad around it. But I think it kinda says something in that I no longer care either way. These days, I’d rather go to Vegas, baby. Everything has its own time in the sun, everything – and everyone – runs its course. Parlmont Park did, my Mom did, Auntie Marge did. I look at the place my Dad is now living and I see my own future, and it ain’t that far away, relatively speaking. That kind of frightens me. But in the end, it will all end as it will end. Hopefully well, but if not there’s not a whole lot one can do.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:08 | Comments (0)
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