well I never…

28 10 2008

I never remember seeing my grandmother get upset…except for the time she came into our house and I had a deck of cards all spread out playing solitare.  “I never thought I’d see the day that there would be cards in Billy’s house!”  End of card game.

I didn’t have much frame of reference for the tone in her voice at the time.  They were cards for Pete’s sake.  But we were a Baptist family and that came with its unwritten set of rules about what was and wasn’t acceptable entertainment.

Since I never knew my dad to gamble, I couldn’t figure out what her deal was.  Had that been one of his vices (and the worst of those was his stubborness), I could see that the very presence of the evil deck would be a temptation but certainly that wasn’t the case.  Knowing more of the family history and understanding that one of her brothers was a bookie might shed some light on the issue though.

I know of one time that Billy bought a raffle ticket from some guys at work.  He said he believed in the cause that they were raising money for and he laid out his few bucks…but he refused to take the stub.  He made the guy that sold the ticket to him keep his ticket.  He didn’t want it.

Guess who won the raffle of $100?  And try as he would, the fellow couldn’t get my dad to take back the numbers to claim his prize.  The guy that was trying so hard to return the ticket had a little girl who had down’s syndrome and needed extensive dental work.  Billy knew that and he made the guy keep the money to use for those bills.  Selfless and generous – that was the kind of guy he was.

I think I’ve played the Lotto once when the MegaMillions was up to 110 million or something like that.  I spent the better part of a day dreaming about how I’d spend all my loot.  Obviously, I didn’t win…maybe I should play with the numbers of Billy’s birthday.  Oh, I’d feel such Baptist guilt if I won.  But wouldn’t it be fun just to give it away to people that you knew really really needed it?

Or how about that question:  if finances were not an issue in your life – never having to work another day in your life – what would you do with your time?  Ohhh, now that will keep me busy for a while!



3 responses

28 10 2008

If God wanted me to have lots of money as well as free time I would not have been born into this family! Seriously, I think that there is a mentality about wealth that must be cultivated. Having spent more than enough time around the hoi polloi, I’m not sure that I would want to be a member of that club. So, I suppose that if I were to stumble into the mega bucks league I would set up the ‘Heritage’, a charity dedicated to improving the lot of those less fortunate in Gary. It has always bothered me that a community once built on the backs of immigrants in a swampy duneland was left to rot when the going got tough.

28 10 2008

good plan – i like…wouldn’t it be great to see 5th ave back the way it was?

29 10 2008
Buddy McNiece

Or how about the electric hedge clippers he had (from gift or purchase I don’t recall) that he gave away to a guy who had a bum arm?

It lives on in us – a young lad living with 2 siblings and a single mom in Elyria Ohio was given a trombone to use so he could play in the band at school. Then when the donor left before the end of the year, the lad was told he must keep playing and could send it to the donor that summer. Summer came and went, and the trombone has not been seen since. Am sure it still lives and can still bring musical joy…somewhere…sometime! “Living the Legend”

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