Stay on Track

Dear Son,

I’m glad to hear that you’re settling in quite well in the City by the Bay. It’s a long way from Brooklyn but anywhere can be home depending on you make of it. Of course, there’s no city like the Big Apple.  Speaking of which, I saw that the transit system here has subways cars close to fifty years old. That’s half a century and a reminder of how old I am. At this age, you never count the candles on a birthday cake. But I am grateful that your mother and I have reached our ages. As you know, there are friends and family members who left us too soon.  Enjoy each day kid.

Alcatraz was a rough place, and it is safe to say that if you were sent there, you were considered a dangerous man. Prison was never designed to be a “safe” place but to contain. I count my blessings that neither you, your brother or sister got in trouble with the law. However, when I think of the crazy stunts your mother has pulled, it’s a miracle she never ended up behind bars. You know, she still believes she’s in her twenties. I would argue her knee joints when she gets out of bed say differently. And don’t get me started on the grey hair. But she’s still the woman I fell for senior year of high school. I had no idea that we’d be together decades later. You’ll get there one day too but remember when you meet that special woman, you can be right or be happy, your choice.

It’s good to make friends and always be genuine like we taught you. No one likes a flake. Be a good friend but fair and direct. Your sister is quite popular now. Two weeks she got an award for helping someone in distress while working as a lifeguard. She’s in the medical field now as a nurse and studying to become an EMT. Your brother has been getting more bookings and will continue to perfect his musical talents. Next weekend he’ll be performing at back-to-back weddings. All of you never cease to amaze me. But the only thing puzzles me is that your brother has a Pan Am bag, but I don’t recall him ever flying with that airline.

We’d love to visit San Francisco one day and see it for ourselves. Your mom and I do not travel as much as we used to and haven’t been on a plane in years. We mostly drive now and love the classic road trip. Son, there are no easy answers for what you see. Just remember that those people you see on the streets all have a story, some more tragic than others. Remember, it is easier to hate someone than it is to love them. Never judge the people you see, if possible, life can be brutally unfair. Give when you can but never be naive. And always watch yourself. Hopefully, the local city government can develop policies that effect change.

When you said you wanted to get into computers, I was skeptical at first, but you stuck with it and made it a career. Son, always keep learning and keep your head in those books. Your mother and I did not raise any fools. I enjoyed listening to War but decided to change gears and listen to Miles Davis today. Your mother felt it was too relaxing and that we needed to boost the mood. So, we ended up listening to Guns and Roses instead.  But that’s what you get when you mix a simple girl from the Midwest with a city guy from Brooklyn. In fact, she’s on my case about setting up a corn hole platform in the yard.  I’ll use that as an excuse to improve the barbeque grill too.

I found old photos the other day which showed your first car. I remember teaching you how to drive and watching in agony as you butchered right turns. Eventually you improved and turned into an ace driver. Your brother is still dragging his feet on getting his license and your sister thinks she’s in Nascar. I made the mistake of suggesting she get an electric vehicle, if looks could kill, I’d be gone. I admit that I love my truck too but I’m not against EVs, and need to learn more. Technology changes so fast these days, I still remember tuning the carburetor on the old 72′ Buick Electra I had when you and your siblings were young. The car would pass anything except a gas station. Good times.

I know you live on the West Coast now but you’re still a Yankees fan, right?

Write soon, love,

Pop

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