Fathers and  Babies and Dinner Time

My former associate who was older than me -
a guy who was always a father (from 20 yrs on),  had 4 kids and took
in a fifth who was the best friend of his youngest son- said, after my
son was born, "you'll do ANYTHING to get your kid to eat---you'll
stand on your head if it meant the kid would eat."

WELL - we come to Milton the 84 year old child. Hasn't been eating
particularly enthusiastically for the last two days, and laying in
bed 99% of the time.

So I make some beef stew out of mule assed meat because,"that's what
tastes best, the price is right, and hey, you can eat it!"

I tell him to come to the table because I have stew I made from mule
assed meat bought on the cheap and I will split a Ballantine Ale with

"OK here I come" (he actually gets up).

He finishes a small bowl of stew and a (calculated) taste of ale and
I ask, "want more? No NO I had ENOUGH"

I say, " wait a minute, let me read a story that Judy's boyfriend
wrote and gave to me in a book he wrote about his experiences during
and after the war."

Want more ale? You gotta have some stew with it ,and I'll read some
of his story. For dessert there's chocolate pudding (with protein
powder in it and he doesn't know - I'm so damn clever) and jello for
dessert. (something in this negotiation has to have some appeal).

"Yeah ,ok, some stew, just a little." (get the drift here?)

So the stew, pudding and jello are on the table, the ale is in a
Masonic mug (he is a Mason), I read.

                           HE WAS ENRAPTURED - by the portions of the
story I read ( suffice it to say he ate unconsciously as I read the

He then says how touched he is that Lazslo gave the book to me. I
shouldn't loose it, and he wants to read it - it's LIFE stories of
people that had it tough- and we are a bunch of cry babies when it
comes to hardship," I appreciate what they went through". How I should
always treasure the story  and never lose it, whereupon he puts it
under the pillow on his bed and says "thank you Bob".

I want to re-procure it, so I say,"don't leave it under your pillow,
it'll get all bent up, you toss and turn."

I take it from under the pillow, put it on a rolling table near his bed.
"Here it's safe."

He leans over (no groans, sounds or other emotional expressions) takes
it back and says looking  INTENSELY  into my eyes, "this is too
valuable to lose, I will always keep it. I will treasure it, I won't
crumple it up. "

Touching as the situation was-crux of the matter is, his ability to
retain the spirit of enduring, to get up, and move, tomorrow -
because of what he heard is moot (and maybe he will actually read).

None the less.

How about that stuff, huh?

PS. One hour later I check into see how he's doing, and, he's reading the book.

PPS. Five hours later it is on the floor. I think I have it back- -
-I'll let you know.

Another day will tell.

Bob Rakita