Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Changing Family

Me on the left and Tony H. on our first scout camping trip.

Yesterday I mentioned Mike. Mike was the one that fell through a floor at the construction First Methodist Annex and somehow got a nail or some kind of metal rod through his foot.

Mike was part of an interesting family. He was the oldest of three children. He had a brother named George that was about a year younger, and a sister named M who was about four or five years younger.

They lived in a old house next to the First Methodist Annex that was being built. They had recently moved there from Macon. They were sort of outsiders. They were Catholic which was not a very popular religion in Marietta, Georgia, in the early to mid 1940s.

They belonged to Saint Joseph Catholic Church.

My oldest sister was the same age a Mike and George was just about a year older than I, so we played a lot together and later when we graduated from playing we hung-out around a lot together.

When I was 7 we moved from living a block from them to Manget Street across from Larry Bell Park. Within a year the family of Mike and George moved to Glover Street, around the corner from us – still being about the same distance from us a before.

Their family was very religious. They did not believe in going to the movie on Sunday. One time Mike was about to hit George with the Bible in our living room and suddenly they realized what the weapon was and they did all kinds of crosses across the chest and I’m sure the priest heard about it the next time they were confessing.

The whole family had black hair. The father worked at Lockheed. I watched him transformed from a black headed man to a salt and pepper headed man to a white haired man. Sometime during the hair transformation he bought a horse. They kept it across the street, down a little dirt drive, about where the Cobb County Board of Education is now on Glover Street. We rode the horse a lot. Shortly after the horse the father bought a big tractor. After the horse and after the tractor I think the old man thought he needed some acreage to put his toys on. He bought a 100 acres in West Cobb, someplace near Macland Road, if I remember correctly.

They had a barn in the back of their yard. For a while they kept the horse in it until they made arrangements to rent the pasture. The barn was just a few feet from the fence on the side of their yard. And on the other side of the fence was a Baptist Church which was facing Manget Street - the get down and roll and holler kind of church. For a while on Sunday nights in the summer we enjoyed climbing up on the barn and sit on the roof, slanting down, where we had almost a birds eye view of the Church services and their activities. We got a big kick out of watching them and I got to see my uncle and his wife do some gospel singing.

Mike never joined the scouts but George did. He joined Troop 132, which was Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church’s troop. A year or so later I joined the same troop.

On a Boy Scout camping trip out to his family’s land in West Cobb George, one of the “old salts” of the troop by then, took my sleeping bag and hoisted it up on the flag pole and shot it full of shotgun buckshot – I just remembered that, with a grimace.

I'm 3rd from the left. I think the pole between me and Tony H. is the pole my sleeping bag was sent up and shot full of holes.

Their mother caught their father having an affair with a woman he worked with. She kicked him out of the house. But as strongly religious as they were, they didn’t get a divorce, he and the woman just lived in sin in a trailer on the property hr bought out in the country, with nothing but woods, not even running water.

As years past we all changed.

Mike owned an antique shop and had male friend that lived with him. Presently there is some secrecy about his health and even if he is alive or dead.

Their sweet innocent little sister M became a Playboy Bunny waitress at the Playboy Club in Atlanta. The last I heard (two years ago) she was a cashier at a convenience store.

George became a deputy sheriff. One day while on jury duty I saw him transporting a prisoner from the county jail to a courtroom outside between the buildings. We stopped and talked a few minutes and caught each other up. The prisoner asked George did he mind if he smoked and George told him go ahead and continued talking. George had gained weight and his hair was white – he looked like a clone of his father.

When George died my sister went to pay her respects at the funeral home. She asked how Mike was doing and somebody in George’s family said, “We don’t speak.”

That is a shame. They were very close brothers as pre-teens. Time marches on.

Charles, who is a contractor now, James who worked for Ford Motor Co and probably got laid off (the plant was closed last year), and the Invisible Man.

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Blogger kenju said...

I laughed at the part about the man and woman not divorcing, but that he lived with the woman on his property. That must have been too close for comfort!

7:32 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I need to reword that. The property I was referring to was the 100 or so acres he bought out in the country, not their house near downtown.

9:22 AM  

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