I knew a man who killed himself.
He knew a man born in A.D. 1845. He died of natural causes.
The old man hired my dad in 1935. The old man’s name was John McLaren. He’s on Wikipedia.
After one year, my dad asked the other workers, “How do you get a raise?”
They said…go to church on Sunday and then visit the old man.
My dad went to Mass at St. Ignatius Church, and Catholic incense, the kind you never smell anywhere else, myrrh and frankincense or other tree bark or sap, filled the corner of Parker and Fulton.
After Mass, he walked down the hill to the old man’s residence.
A mixture of car fumes, fir, and cypress wafted at the front door.
He rang the bell.
The old man appeared on the balcony and said, “What to do you want?”
Joe answered, “A raise, sir.”
John said, “Did you go to church today?”
“All right,” John said. “You have your raise.”
Daddy-O worked in Golden Gate Park for 40 years. It was not a time in the desert. GG Park is beautifully hydrated with recycled water. The recycling plant’s thrashing tanks were dug deep on Dad’s section, and a few peacocks (or hens) fell in and drowned. One of Dad’s gardeners raised 80 from eggs.
The tanks stank. I did not want to fall in.
Feed barrels contained the shiny, non-sugar Halloween orange and yellow treats for the chicks. Yep, that’s what the kernels looked like. Little sis and I would stand in the barrels and run the kernels through our fingers when no one was looking. They smelled ‘farmy’.
Odorless rhododendrons are my favorite flower. They exploded every May on the dining room table, living room stereo cabinet, and dresser bureau in my parents’ bedroom. Where the flowers came from, I’m not telling. I think they were my brother’s favorite flower, too, but I am not sure – he liked Unwin dahlias and pansies for their color.
When the end came, it was brutal. A psychotic depression can do that to an honorable man.
Respect each person’s sweet gifts and his or her equally sweet shortfalls.
Then Love will be yours.