Home > My life, Personal > Toad Woman, Live Wire and the Old Man

Toad Woman, Live Wire and the Old Man

Early in my computer/Internet career I would post on a discussion board called Live Wire. It was created and run by Mother Jones or motherjones.com. I found what we called a keyboard friend there who lived in Maryland and called herself Toad Woman. She defended government run programs against those who wanted corporatize everything. She was employed by a computer company whose name escapes me, Linux it wasn’t but something similar back in the old days, not unix either. She told me I should get a job with

So, we talked a lot about my personal situations. One day I described my father to her. She said he sounded like a simple man. Yes, actually, dad was quite dear to many as a simple man living in a complicated world. Today, I thought of how a simple man who loved his son might think of his son’t Associates degree. “Well, son, ” he says, “I had never heard of a degree like that before but I’m proud of you for earning it.” That, uh, never happened.

When we moved to Florida, Dad revealed to us, odd that he should include mom who knew more about it than he did, that we would be earning a find stipend for the next couple of years which would include his retirement and his salary. With that fine stipend (a word he didn’t use) he bought me a 1964 Ford Falcon which he and his older brother painted themselves (a kind of Navy khaki) and which had no radio. It was $300. I had been in a wreck in my mom’s car, a car Dad boasted of having “given” mom as women in those days didn’t go out and buy cars. It was yellow 1966 Falcon. I was 17 and allowed to use the car and I proceeded with a rather rapid rolling stop at a sign and got smashed in the left side. It totaled the car. The car according to the insurance company was only worth $900. They gave us that money I presume and the car was sent to the junk yard, I’m guessing as I don’t know what is done with totaled out cars. Because I was a wild and free young man I was given this hunk of junk to go to high school and community college. He seemed to be more in charge of thing since we had moved to the state where he grew up, or growed up as mom used to say, mocking the down home ignorance of my father and his people. Being ignorant, too, I presume he didn’t know how to encourage a college career, as besides being ignorant he was also cheap.

Just how simple are men like my father, Toad? I think they are very complicated in that they try to get even for wounds incurred in the past and never forgive. When I was young someone told me my father was trying to buy my love. I immediately brooded over the next gift he bought me, a beautiful electric green car. It’s hard to remember now but I think it was like a remote controlled car except that it had a long wire attached. I loved it but nobody was “buying my love,” so I rejected it in spirit. It was a sad moment but who knows what buying love might mean.

Later when I became the great left wing liberal that wanted desegregation and an end to the war I got the idea of what buying love was about. There was nothing simple about it.

Categories: My life, Personal
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