There are a bunch of vets, alive and ghosts, in Joe’s life. All five of his great-grandfathers were in the Army. Both of his grandfathers, too. And his Uncle Rich. And me, his dad.
When we moved into our new home, we took custody of a chair given to Lia’s Grandpa Burt by the men of the 4th Battalion 258th Artillery on November 7, 1970. It’s a cool chair, surprisingly comfortable for being so formal, and today it turned 45 years old.
So what do you do with an old soldier on an important day on the week of Veterans Day? You have a dining in!
All the important chairs from around the house got together and held a big birthday bash for Grandpa Burt’s chair. There was a fancy dinner and some awards, all followed by toasts and songs. It was a great opportunity to get the people off their backs and build some esprit de corps. And in a rare move for furniture, they allowed a human – Joe – to attend.
The guest of honor.
After the ceremonial stuff, things got a little crazy. If you’ve never partied with a drunk chair, you’re missing out.
It’s that time of year again, when little children everywhere put on ridiculous clothes and go to strangers’ homes. Then their parents spam Facebook with cute photos. So let’s go crazy!
Joe was formerly known on Halloween as bee, skunk, lion, gnome, chicken, dinosaur and evil Dr. Hans Deuschtuff. This year he’s going to be a doctor of a different stripe, a Ph.D of romance, the one-and-only Al Bundy of Disney heroes – Prince Charming.
We’ll probably start Saturday morning at the Colonial Heights Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast – our prince likes pancakes. Then, in the late afternoon, Joe will don the light blue and gold uniform of a fictitious kingdom – dream if you can, a courtyard – and ride out of his ice cream castle to collect chocolatey tribute for his queen mum. Because women, not girls, rule his world.
Supreme Leader Kim Joe-Un is best leader.
The one and only William, third Marquess of the the House of Shears.
Even in civilian clothes he’s a hit with the princesseses, as seen here in 2014. A little on-again-off-again with Cindy, though. She fickle.
Coda: Things that didn’t make the final cut of this blog post – Purple, paisley and raspberry. Don’t squeeze the Charming. Apollonia. Evil step sister Lola (this is what it sounds like when dog’s cry). A pumpkin carriage. Weird spelling (C what I mean 2U). Pixy Stix is a hell of a drug. Halloween partying like it’s 1999. And positively, absolutely, certainly nothing about Nikki. We don’t talk about Nikki.
Take me away!
Slow few weeks here at home. We started the gas fireplace today just for good measure, have to put marshmallows on the grocery list now. I don’t think Joe’s had a smore yet. What gets marshmallow and chocolate out of a rug? We’ll have to put that on the list, too.
I think there’s a James Dean poster just like this.
He loves his mother, and how!
I can still feel my seven year old hands gripping the launcher.
Blood from my knuckles, skinned raw from spinning the plastic crank, mixes with dirt and is flung by the spinning rear wheel. A malignant howl-shriek rises as the bad-ass motorcycle nears launch. The pressure is on. Final tiny adjustments to the direction, hoping bendy Evel would ride his sticker-laden bike straight at the cardboard-and-phone book ramp. A maddened wheelie and he’s off – a red, white and blue streak over an endless row of rusted yellow Tonkas. He nails the landing and veers suddenly left into the grass. He rests on his side now, with the wheel still spinning fast enough to destroy a little girl’s hair.
The greatest daredevil of the 20th century. The greatest toy ever constructed. The greatest boy ever birthed. Evel Knievel, Joe Tremblay. Joe Tremblay, Evel Knievel.
The torch has been passed.
We keep a small toy box next to Joe’s car seat. It’s a toy. It’s a box.
Are you ready for some football!?! No? OK, then how about some photos of Joe and other stylish youngsters at a football game?
Elementary school night at the Colonial Heights High School football game. It’s halftime. Do we get Kathy Perry? Janice Jackson? Cirq de Sal’ad? Hell no!
We get elementary school students. And all the better, too, because the only wardrobe malfunctions up in this stadium were untied shoes and dads that really should have put a clean t-shirt on for god’s sake. I mean really.
Why are we at a football game? It’s half-past bedtime.
Oh, that’s why – friends!
She’s a great mom. I’m sure those who knew her in high school, college and through the court system will be surprised to hear it, but it’s true.
Halftime, and the Tussing Tigers are fired-the-f-up!
Who gets to start this show? Why, it’s Tussing Elementary – first of the three Colonial Heights elementary schools to walk the track, leading this tiny Parade of Nations.
Best for last – Joe brings up the rear, like Santa Claus (or the horses, depending on the holiday for which the parade is being held). Later this season he’ll break out the raccoon fur coat and straw hat. Playing his uke and leading raucous cheers through an over-sized megaphone.
Also, football. The C.H. Colonials trounced the Southampton Indians 28-12. That’s right, the Colonials decimated the Indians. Sad trombone, play us out …
Our neighborhood is nice. Quiet, good people, and on a night like this lots of kids on bicycles and new people to wave at.