This is a short story about a member of our Brady coffee club, who has been described as “a charming man” by a female acquaintance. He has been affectionately dubbed Slo-Mo by his Precious Memory Coffee Club cronies because of his leisurely slow entry into the coffee establishment and for his equally lazy approach to our coffee table.
This nickname was applied to him one morning as we looked through the restaurant windows and observed his deliberate and sluggish approach. One of the fellows remarked “You know, you have to look twice to see if he is really moving”, and since that day someone will always say “Here comes Slo-Mo.”
His appearance at our morning meetings is always welcomed as his humoristic personality and verbiage brings expectations from those present that he will add some merriment to our otherwise dull conversations. His vivid recall of memories dates back to his youth and he has the ability to describe those past events in a entertaining manner, which, if told by another of lesser humoristic qualities, would be both dull and dry.
In telling his recollections of the past, Slo-Mo is cunning enough to stretch the accuracy of his tales to such an extent that while the real truth of his story might be slightly obscured, the stories he tells are delightfully amusing. Taking all of this into consideration it could be said that Slo-mo, in spite of the fact that he is somewhat bald and wears silly caps, could be thought of as a “charming fellow” even by his coffee companions.
While I have only three years of age on this “old” fellow I find that he too is often bothered with that momentary loss of memory that is so common with those of us classified as “the elderly.” For instance he, like myself, finds himself in the kitchen and asks “Wife, what did I come into the kitchen for?”
His wife will answer “I have no idea."
Then Slo-Mo is apt say “Well, I came in here for something but durned if I can think of what it is so I guess I’ll just go back, sit down and ponder on what I was looking for.”
Then after some moments he might come back into the kitchen and say something like “Oh, I remember now, I was wanting to get a screwdriver out of that tool drawer.”
Such incidents have happened so often in the daily lives of we older husbands that it can be assumed that most wives have become accustomed to such idiosyncrasies in their mates.
Slo-Mo is also aggravated with with another of old age afflictions which is backtracking to locate something he needs and has forgotten where he left it. Nothing bears this out more than the story I previously told about him misplacing his morning cup of coffee and after considerable backtracking found it in his clothes closet where he had laid it down while putting on his house shoes.
Slo-Mo has a way of coming up with a story that will top all other stories. For instance, I was telling of one of our high school teachers who, when excited, spewed spittle all over those to whom she was talking. Many of the boys in our class would hold their arms in front of their faces and cry “Mrs. Blasig, you are spitting on me.”
Slo-Mo tops this story by telling of a teacher with such a gigantic overbite that she slung spit on anyone in front of her when she was speaking. He said that one of his classmates, who sat in the front row, in a desperate effort to refrain from embarrassing this dear teacher by ducking and dodging started wearing a raincoat to class!!.
Some time ago I told the group that I had about a cord of good oak wood in my yard that I did not want and it was available to anyone who wanted it on a first come firstserve basis.
Slo-Mo indicated a desire for the wood but said he would first have to locate that fellow with a truck who charged $30 an hour.
Two days later he located his man and they drove to my yard to pick up the wood and it was all gone.
“Well shucks” said Slo-Mo to the man, “I guess someone beat us to the wood - so - just take me on home.”
After arriving at his home he asked the fellow how much he owed him and the man said $60. “Hey” said Slo-Mo, “ I thought you just charged $30 an hour.”
“I do” the man said, “but I have a 2 hour minimum.”
Slo-Mo said that was the highest priced wood he had ever bought but the nice thing about it was that it would not not make ashes for him to carry out.
Feeling bad about this wood deal I called him several days later and told him I had some more wood I would give him providing he would help me load and unload. He agreed and we hauled him a pretty good batch of wood which he said he would have stacked up against his garage.
The other morning as I was taking my walk I decided to go by and look at Slo-Mo’s wood pile. As I approached his property I noted that the water which generally collects in his back yard during wet weather was hardly visible. Seeing that this body of water, which he refers to as” Lake Blossom” (Blossom being the name of his wife) was at low ebb I decided to cut across his back yard to get a better view of his wood pile.
While it was neatly stacked against his garage and out of harm's way of the raging torrents carried by Hallum’s Draw during a cloudburst it did not, by any stretch of the imagination, resemble a $60 pile of wood.
However, it did in some measure, relieve my conscience of some of the guilt I felt about the whole deal.
So, in closing this story I will say that some of his coffee club members think that perhaps it is the different caps he wears each day that cause women to think that Slo Mo is not only “charming” but “cute” as well.
I want to thank Mr. Henry H. Willman of San Antonio for the very nice letter he wrote to me regarding my column “Remembering old friends”.Mr. Willman says that he was born near Voca, attended grade school in Fredonia, finished high school in Fredericksburg and has many friends in Mason.
He congratulated me on the heart warming articles I write in the Mason paper; tells me that at the age of 91 he too has outlived most of his old friends and he hopes my wife and I reach the age of 100 together.
I’m sorry I could not understand you when you called but as I told you “my hearing is terrible but I still read real well”. So thanks for your letter Henry. You will never know how good it makes me feel to receive kind words from an “admiring friend”.
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