May 12, 2006

The Fruit Far from the Tree

As I sit here listening to Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline, Peggy Lee, Waylon Jennings and the rest, I'm remembering my mother's reaction when I told her that I was listening to a lot of classic country music like this. She was first aghast because she hates it but then surprised because it's the music her father used to love.

He died about five or six years ago and she has conflicted feelings about her relationship with him. His name was Elmer.

Elmer was a crotchety old man. Very few people got along with him and he didn't seem to like anyone. I got along with him fine, mostly I think because I really didn't pay much attention to him or his snarking whereas so many other people would tip-toe around and kow-tow to him. I grew up in Georgia and he lived in Ohio, so I really didn't get to spend much time with him. But when we would visit, people remarked at how well we got along. He would even ask to take me places and leave my cousins behind.

I don't have any particular feelings about the man because I really didn't know him.

I do sometimes muse over our similarities, which are sometimes eerie to our relations. Like with this music, which is by no means my absolute favorite music, but he and I never listened to music together. He could be resolute, bossy, cross, stand-offish, indifferent to others and more than a little rigid. Every now and then I will make some comment and my mom will say, "Alright, Elmer," apparently pointing out that I've behaved like a crotchety old man.

When I do think about our similarities, I sometimes wonder if he really was a man I would admire. If he was so much like me, was he a man of virtue? It's too bad he didn't live long enough for me to find out.

I'm not religious at all, but thinking about him does remind me of the line in that Tracey Lawrence song, "Daddy's in the ground beneath the maple tree. As the Angles sing an old Hank Williams song."

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at May 12, 2006 08:29 AM | TrackBack
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