Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sammy's Missing Ball (A Father's Day Memory)

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

Here's a blast from the past in honor of Sammy.  

Sunday, June 15, 2012

Sammy had a major problem today.

"One of my balls is gone." He said as he stepped out of the car and leaned on his walker outside of Bob Evans Restaurant.

"That's a real problem, Dad. Are you in pain?"

"What? No ... I lost my tennis ball. See?"

Sure enough ... Sam was one ball short on his walker which  kinda leaned to the right. But he seemed okay walking with it. Once in a while a spark or two would flash from the back leg on the sidewalk. But other than that ... he managed fine.

We saw a couple that we knew leaving the restaurant as we were putting our name on the list at the hostess station. We made the introductions.

Debbie ...  "Sammy, these are friends of ours, John and Donna ... and this is Sam ... Joel's Dad."

Sam ... "Nice to meet you. This is my son, Joel."

John ... (smiling) "We know Joel."

Sam ... "Yeah? I didn't know that. So ... what do you do?"

John ... "Well I'm a lawyer now ... I used to be in securities."

Sam ... "You like being a lawyer better than being a policeman?"

John ... "Oh ... well ... the securities I mean are like stocks and bonds. I used to sell those."

Sam ... "Are you making more money now?"

Just about that time, Sammy had a coughing attack and grabbed a few tissues to get rid of whatever came up (don't ask). He reached over and handed the tissues to Donna ... "Can you take this for me?"

Debbie swooped in to rescue Donna telling Sammy to drop them in his tissue box.

Thankfully, our table was ready. John and Donna were saved. We said our goodbyes and headed to our table. The waitress took Sammy's order. Because he said he was not too hungry he only ordered 3 eggs over easy, bacon, home fries, three pancakes and two biscuits.

In between mouthfuls, Sammy made conversation.

Sammy looked at Debbie's USF sweatshirt and said ... "Debbie ... 1956 ... that's incredible isn't it?"

Debbie pointed to the date ... "I know ... that's when the school was first started."

Sammy ... "What? I thought that's when you went to the school."

We both just shook our heads.


After breakfast we took Sammy back to The "Manor". He wanted me to come up and take a look at his headsets. On the elevator, he stopped one of his lady friends who was coming out.  He told her to show Debbie her knees. Why ... we never figured out ... but the elevator door kept hitting both of them as they tried to communicate with each other.

Once in his room, Sammy put on his massive headsets and told me to fix them.

"Joel ...  they are not working."

We switched on the button which was turned off and asked him if they were working now."

He just stared at the TV screen.

"Dad ... are they WORKING?"

"What?  I don't know Joel. I can't see it."

Friday, June 15, 2018

Sammy at Harrah's

Another random chapter from "Sammy". Hope you like it:

Chapter Nine

       “Remind me again why we are here?” Audrey held onto Sammy’s arm as they pushed open the large doors that led to Harrah’s Casino and stepped through the velvet ropes at the security desk.

        “This, my dear, is Esther’s favorite place in the world.”

“Esther was a gambler?”

Sammy let out his hoarse shoulder shaking chuckle and said, “Not just ‘a’ gambler, more like ‘a crazy, get your hands off my machine or I’ll break your face’ gambler. She spent hours here. Also spent almost all our money, many times over.”

“I have seen more than a few Esthers here,” said Audrey. “Sounds like you had your hands full.”

Sammy took Esther out of the knapsack as he paused and slowly turned around with her urn tightly at his chest. “Okay, Miss Esther. Where would you like to go first?”

“If she says ‘the bathroom’, I’ll lead the way.” Audrey said as she pointed to the restroom signs. “Gotta pee Sam.”

“Okay. We’re gonna be in the high limit slots. Her favorite machine is the Triple Diamond.”

Audrey made a beeline to the left and Sammy shuffled off to the right.

As they walked he talked softly to Esther. “There’s the buffet, honey. I remember they had the softest rolls. Remember that? And the desserts. You loved those desserts. The bananas foster, the carrot cake, the pies. Getting hungry just thinking about it. Oh I know, I know, you want to get to your machine. I’m not stopping …”

An older woman patted Sammy on the arm as she walked next to him. “Excuse me. Is that an urn?”

Sammy turned to look at her. “It sure would be an ugly a flower pot now , wouldn’t it?”

She giggled. “I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. Your wife?”

“Yes.”

  “How sweet. You must miss talking to her.”

Sammy stopped and rested for a second. “Truth is, I never got a word in when she was alive. So I’m making up for lost time.”

“My husband passed last year. He and I would talk for hours.” She looked at the urn. “I miss him dearly. I just visited him at Sacred Heart Cemetery.” She looked around and then whispered. “I still talk to him.”

Sammy shook his head and stood for another few seconds and finally said. “Well, we have some gambling to do. Gotta go.”

“Try the Poker Joker in the back corner. Harvey told me that it’s been hot tonight.”

“Harvey’s your husband?”

She laughed. “Oh heavens no. Harvey is the cashier in the high limit room.” Sammy nodded and started to turn. She continued. “My husband told me that the 7’s were gonna pay out but I never listen to him.”