Old Man Pete taught me how to drink whiskey. I learned slow and retained little and it is one of the best long-term experiences of my life.
So many little things happened. Just strange and wonderful little things that make the stories that just…… just ‘pop up’ sometimes.
He could have been a thousand but he wasn’t. He was in his 80’s during the 9 or so years I knew him. He was old and pretty fat. His knees were shot so he used permanent crutches with the forearm supports to even get out of bed or his lift chair.
He also had a wheel chair that Kevin would push him around in but the first time I met him he was in one of the early model carts like the ones at Wal-Mart that you can ride around in if you twist an ankle or something and it hurts to walk.
I was just old enough to be trying to be a man. Had a family and was learning a trade to try and pay the bills. We had just bought a little rundown 2 bedroom house for 11,000 that must have been worth at least 5,000. I didn’t realize what I had till just now but at the time it was really grand. I had a house and I was gonna make it!
Well Pete was kinda nosey in a neighborly way and I was trying to respect my elders so he would grouse and grumble and tell me stories of the last fifty or so years of living across the street from me and I would listen and encourage politely for him to continue.
I kept sort of doing this until I found myself with a very interesting friend.
In the beginning I don’t think I really liked Old Man Pete. Thinking of it now he must have had a hard time breathing. He would talk a bit and say yeah, yeah in kind of a grunt and he was hard to understand. Friendly, really gruff. Very agreeable.
This is about to get really long because there is a really cool story I want to tell you but there is a bit of a set up to understand what makes this particular story so interesting.
I’ll do it in a few posts.