Sorry for not writing in a while…
Let’s see…my Dad is doing well. He’s still on the oxygen, but is improving each day and should make a “full” recovery. “Full” meaning 72 years old, smoked cigarettes for 50 of those years, so what do you think his lungs are telling him? “We can’t, (cough, cough) do it, (cough, cough) any – (cough, cough) – more!” So, he’s given up the cigarettes. He says he’ll be ready to go to Steak N Shake maybe next week. It’s going to be strange, sitting there after we eat and him not lighting up. Maybe I’ll start smoking.
I can’t believe it Holy Week already. Man, where does the year go? I always remember my old friend Scott Doss on Maundy Thursday. He died on Holy Thursday 5 years ago. He and I were childhood friends since 4th grade or so. He moved out of Carondelet before we went to high-school, but we remained friends. When we were kids, he lived down here on Dover, and another kid by the name of Raymond lived upstairs from him. Raymond had a drum set. A real drum set. I was very jealous. I always wanted to play the drums, but I remember thinking to myself, “well, I guess I’ll have to play guitar now. ” Raymond moved away soon enough though, and Scott ended up being the drummer. His older brother Jeff played drums too. We had the proverbial garage band for a while, though I admit I didn’t even know 3 chords.
I was quite shocked to hear that he had died. When I went to the service, I approached his twin sister; she looked at me queerly…I leaned towards her and said my name. She wrapped her arms around me and cried. She then announced to the folks gathered around her that I was Scott’s “oldest” friend. I didn’t mind the implication. “I did know him longer that all of you,” I thought. She then lead me down to the casket where Jeff was standing and whispered my name in his ear. He shook my hand and tried apologizing for not calling me. (I’d heard the news via my Dad who read it in the paper.)
I sat in the back of Hope Lutheran Church on the South Side. I’ll never forget what the preacher told us that day. Something I didn’t expect about Scott. The preacher said, “I talked to Scott before he died. He was ready. How about you?”
I did some driving that day. I turned on the radio to a station from our youth: KSHE 95 – Real Rock Radio. I knew Scott and God were picking the tunes. They played the Black Sabbath song that he and I tried so desperately to figure out when we were 13. Then I heard Grand Funk Railroad’s “I’m Your Captain” from the album “Closer to Home.” I knew Scott was OK then.