And that’s not the only place you’d see his picture. He was also a male model. Well, not really—we just called him that after he was selected to be part of the Capital District Transit Authority’s promotional campaign because, well, if anyone looked like a bus driver, he did. Yep, there he was, smiling on billboards plastered all over the Albany area.
When he died back in 1999, my sister Lori had one of the old billboards in her garage and we thought it would be cool to display it at his wake. It was pretty funny (and comforting) to watch people enter the viewing room at the funeral home and then start cracking up.
I mean, wouldn’t you?
When Lori and I were up in Idaho last month, we reminisced about the story he loved to tell about the wintry night he drove an empty bus up Madison Avenue on his way back to the garage.
“I’m coming up the hill, and there… there in the road I see a pizza box. A nice, hot pizza… I could even see the steam. My mouth is watering, so I pull the bus over and get out, thinking, ‘Ooooh, this’ll be good’ and next thing I know a car comes along and runs the goddamn thing over!”He could tell that story a million times and we’d howl with each rendition, exchanging glances that said, “Can you believe Daddy would eat a pizza lying in the road?”
Last Sunday would have been my father's 76th birthday, so I’ve been thinking about him a little more lately. Sunday was a windy, blustery day here in Las Vegas, so I had myself a “shower holiday” in his honor and spent a quiet day at home hanging out in my sweats. Monday was back to business as usual, and on my way home from work I stopped at Albertson’s to get some groceries.
And there… there in the parking lot I see a Starbucks cup. A nice café mocha… with the lid still on and a straw right there next to it.
No, I didn’t see it get run over, and I didn’t pick it up and drink it. I just smiled to myself and thought of the nutcase that was my father.
We miss you, Dad, and hope you’re having some laughs up there with Beautiful Aunt Joyce.