This weekend was a packed one. I first go to my hometown of Longview to visit an old friend. Going through his second divorce he needed a friend to partake in some drinking with him and I was happy to oblige. When I arrived I was greeted by his three year old son asking me why I decided to visit. He insisted we play Scooby Doo. I was the monster carrying around an inflatable sword that's bigger than the child and he was Shaggy. He did not want to run in and out of the same doors to the tunes of the Banana Splits nor was he amused when I told him I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids. The young lad was very upset to learn that I was indeed the evil amusement park owner, cause I was to be the landlord of the hotel run by a old couple.
The next day I drove down to Cannon Beach to see some extended family. My grand uncle and his wife were renewing vows for their 60th wedding anniversary in this horribly expensive, but incredibly nice rented beach house. Yes they've been married for sixty years.
The couple stood in front of a captive audience while I was volunteered by my cousin Marty to document the entire event on camera as well as hearken back to my studio photographer days. Tears were flowing from the females in attendance as the story of their courtship was told, from the beginning in elementary school where he dipped her pigtail in an inkwell. Shortly after he told her he would one day marry her. When he turned eighteen that's exactly what my uncle did.
Their daughter Marty and her husband John then took center stage to renew their vows for their 25th anniversery. She cried throughout as the pastor made them recite their written words. Marty then had a surprise for John as her son-in-law cranked up the stereo and she sang to him. John is a good man.
The festivities then started and I offered to help grill, cause I find cooking meat kind of fun. Mike and I served up the food and all were well fed and happy. After making small talk with the family and saying our highs and goodbyes I sat with my cousin Clarence, a unique individual, but one I hold dear. He actually goes to a mountain and talks to God. Seriously. He spoke about Jesus and stuff, but thankfully he's given up his Bible thumping ways and could actually carry a conversation without getting overly emotional. Funny thing is later he pulled out a flask of whiskey adorned with the Battle Flag of the Confederacy. We shared sips as we solved the world's problems by a campfire. He wants to take me hunting.
Taking a stroll with Clarence he noticed that I walk just like every other man in the family, but interestingly enough I share no blood with them. He told me that it was God's plan and that DNA didn't matter and we're all made of the same material. I told him I was upset that I'm not a precious little snowflake like I was always taught.
Surprisingly enough he's not a huge fan of Ted Nugent.
Still my soul has many traits of the people who raised me and in my experience I assume nurture beat out nature in my upbringing.
I was hanging at my friend's place yesterday while a posse of men hung out in the parking lot next to his house. They were playing a rap song very loudly and the chorus went as such:
'I tell a bitch
I say bitch
I ain't got time
I'm getting rich'
Now imagine that rapped in a nasally tone being spun over and over again. They're like 37 too.
"I hated Woody Woodpecker and Scooby-Doo, but I was a cartoon freak." - John Goodman