/ Teens /
My poor mother threw our father out not because he was a drunk but because of his philandering. Once Mom saw that Dad was not doing what she’d thought he was supposed to do, love and support her and her alone, Mom, with Utter naivte, continued to believe that Christian American society would do what it was supposed to do: force him to continue to support us even after he’d been thrown out. Next thing we know Mom is ready to scrub floors in order to feed us. No matter how hard she worked she would have needed luck to get $40 a week for humiliating labor; but, she was a gorgeous red head, learned shorthand, and got a job as a secretary for an insurance broker who specialized in matters marine. So Mom takes dictation and is also the decoration on the boss’s series of yachts, using his 30 footer and his 50 footer to display his wares. Next thing I know Mom is making friends with thrice-married millionaires who buy each grown kid a Cadillac for his birthday: while wife #4 totally redecorates the mansion. This story is about one such, guy with a thirty foot yacht who piled up the money selling cork for Armstrong. His secretary was a whiz, maiing out birthday presents and Christmas presents to a long list of customers, friends, and colleauges. Wally was a runt, always laughing in his throat: a prinkster: Do you want to see a hair stand on end, he asked me. He guided me to my knees at his side, told me to look at the wet drink ring on the coffee table surface, put my eye right next to it. Wally yanked a hair from my scalp, dropped it on the drunk righ. Splash! har har har. Wally had flicked the drink ring in my eye.
Then he asked if I was born again, told me that Jesus was the greatest salesman who ever lived. “He had something to sell,” I commented.
“Oh, I’m not going to worry about you, quoth the practical joking salesman.
Mom dismissed me. Wally asked what I planned to do for a living as I stood once again. “Don’t know,” I said, still uncomfortable with this clown. “Well, go to college, then come see me,” advised Wally.
I think that was my first job offer: and the first job I ever knew for sure I didn’t want. YoYo.
Wally had a huge mansion on the ocean in Bayshore. I always thought of him as we drove to our weekend beer parties in the Hamptons. There the ocean is held offshore by barrier islands; in Bayshore is think it was ocean directly on Long Island. Wally had multiple acres and the whole ocean. His wife was in there, all alone.
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