Doc stirred some memories for me tonight about him. It's funny how much better you get to know a person over the years, even after they're gone. I remember one thing that used to bug the shit out of me.
About 3 months after we were married, Doc's Mom suffered a stroke. We were living in town in a tiny corner of a victorian house with remarkable plumbing. Honestly. It was like the fucking rain forest when the drug dealers upstairs flushed the toilet. The lease was about up and, while it was difficult to tear ourselves away from the rain forest that was that close to the highway and next door to a pizza parlour...that delivered...to us, we headed home to the country to help out.
It was OK. We worked it out. I kinda liked it, actually. It was really cool to be a part of a bigger family. But after awhile, not long after the honeymoon (for real), things started to rub. I'm a city girl. I'm used to city services. I'm used to setting the trash out on a Tuesday night. I find it convenient and one less thing to worry about. But Doc Shaw was...green. He separated the trash and has been doing that since before separating the trash was cool. Paper was burned. Cans recycled. What was left? Went in the back of a cherry 1980 White Ford pick-up truck with Jack Daniels decals on the tinted windows down the road a couple of miles to my sister-in-law's house and dumped it in her trash cans on Tuesday night.
I remember literally shaking my head watching him do this. I mean, come on! It's about 20 bucks every three months to cut, like hours off the process. But Dad Shaw wouldn't hear of it. Wouldn't indeed let me pay for it. He just never got over the fact that nowadays, one must pay for trash disposal.
Back in the day, he could burn stuff and then a "colored man" would come out every now and then and carry off his trash for him. I'm sure he payed this guy in some way. It kind of sounds bad as I read it back, you must understand: Dad Shaw was very progressive. At some point, times changed and Dad Shaw drew the line. There were just some things he wasn't about to pay for.
I understand this now. Someday in the next 30 years, I'm going to draw my line. And I'm going to enjoy all the extra leg work it's going to take to do something my way. There's only so much a person can take of taking orders. Yeah, I think I'll be ready to take a stand by then. And while I do, I'll think back and smile and Dad Shaw will be standing next to me lighting his pipe.