My father passed away in Feb 2020. He has a loan against the title of his bike, I have a small time frame to come up with the money or we will lose his bike. I've already lost my Dad, I would like to keep his bike.
Most people will tell you that their Dad was great and wonderful and never did anything wrong…you know a real saint. But that wasn’t my Dad, he was great and wonderful but if you knew him, really knew him, you don’t need me to tell you that. But he did plenty of things wrong, no one is infallible, but he also did plenty of things right.
People often mistook his gruff appearance and straight forward attitude as mean. It simply wasn’t the case. He was like a volcano, hard exterior, just a bunch of goo in the middle…..unless you pushed that button….shew……then he would erupt. If you made that happen, shame on ya.
He hated liars, smart mouths, and people hanging out on his corner. He never texted or used The Facebook. He was famously short tempered and opinionated. He was world renowned for his lack of patience, sharing his opinion, and giving you a piece of his mind. He always told you the truth, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. He was highly proficient in cursing. He used four letter words like he was getting paid to do it. He believed you could survive by eating only saltines, chicken noodle soup, peanut butter or tomato sandwiches. He was generous to a fault, to everyone, even strangers, but sugarcoated nothing. He was a fantastic storyteller, most of which included, “one time I beat this guys” …What he lacked in subtleness he compensated with and overabundance of charisma, charm and feistiness. He took fashion advise from no one, work boots, jeans and a Harley shirt were acceptable attire for any occasion.
What most people didn’t know was he would pick up a hitch hiker and get them where they needed to be, he would give a homeless person his coat, gloves, and lunch even if that meant he went without, he always made sure he had change for a panhandler, bought candy for a random kid at the store, and he always make made sure there was a seat at the table and a plate for that random person that just stopped by at dinner time. If he shook your hand and looked you in the eye, that was a deal, and it was better than signed contract. If he said he, “I give you my word”, that meant it was the truth. If he told you he was going to be there, you didn’t need to call and make sure he was coming.
When I was a kid I loved hanging out with my Dad. I used to go to work and on road calls with all the time. What was meant to be a punishment was the exact opposite. I would go in the middle of the night, when I was off school, after school, whenever...I loved it. Helping him pull out and wrap up the compressor hose, handing him gauges, ether, the air gun, or the tire iron because he would have to use the hammer to beat the rim off of the tire was so fun to me. I though he was the strongest man in the world. Riding around in the truck all day, getting dropped off at Bills Tavern to sit with him at the bar, or hanging out at the shop with Earle was cool to me. The guys at the shop would ask me, what are you gonna do when you grow up and I would say….duh….I’m gonna run the tire shop. I just knew that’s what I was going to do. On the weekends going fishing at the canal with him and my Uncle Bobby. Waking up early to go to the bait store, filling up the cooler with subs, soda, beer and Herr’s crab chips. No sun block, no life jackets, no idea where we were going, sometimes ending up on the sandbar, wapping eels against the rocks, putting my own worm on the hook, catching sunnys and catfish…..it was awesome!!!! Or at the farm handing him, my Uncle Freddie and Uncle Norman weights so they could work out. Watching Saturday afternoon wide world of sports, TBS, and WCW wrestling, boxing, Rifleman, whatever he was watching I was interested. Riding the motorcycle…..
I can stand her today and tell you until my Dad got hurt when I was 16, I thought my Dad was like the mayor or something. There was not a place we went that someone did not know him. People would holler across intersections, beeping horns, yelling, hands out the window...YO!
Everyone knew my Dad and everyone knew I was his daughter. With that came privileges and penalties. Everyone also knew my Dad was a badbleep and you did not mess with Halsey. So if I was in a place where he was known, I would get a special price, if I was charged at all, because they didn’t want it to get back to my Dad that I had to pay full price. If I was doing something I was not supposed to do, like speeding on 95, they would call my Dad and tell on me. So, there were pro and cons to that. Best dad friend perk...his friends that found the stuff that fell off the trucks. Those guys are really lucky guys, I never found the kind of stuff they found that fell off of a truck. I don’t know if I ever actually found anything that fell off of a truck, but I have seen a chicken fall off of a truck, I don’t know if that counts.
At some point I know the music is going to start playing to shut me up and push me off of the podium so I will wrap this up. I want to end this up by saying that I had an imperfect Dad that tried his best to take care of the people he loved and be a good friend. We are all fallible. My Dad was the toughest man knew, I thought he was invincible. I want him to know he always made me feel loved, I appreciate all of the things he did for me even though he knew he was going to be hassled about it, for sticking up for me, not judging me, never yelling at me for fighting, and just accepting me for who I am. I hope when he left us, he felt loved enough, he knew how smart he was, and how much everyone loved him.
I talked to my Dad a couple of times a week, but I did not get to talk to my Dad the last five days before he died, even though I called him every day. I beg he hears me, he knows how much I loved him, how sorry I am I did not do more, that I didn’t abandon him, and that he forgives me for letting him down.
The last couple years of my Dad's life was very rough. He was sick, poor, and broken. I helped as much as I could, even holding down two jobs to help with his bills. He did all he could to keep things together, including borrowing money. When he passed he had no life insurance which made things even more financially difficult for me.
During his time of duress he borrowed money against the title of his bike. I am trying pay that gentleman back so I can keep my Dads bike. He loved that bike and his friend was a good friend. I feel he deserves to be paid back. But after paying for a $7,000 funeral I just don't have the money for him. I would hate to lose this bike. I don't want to disappoint my Dad. I know things are tough everywhere, but if anyone can help..... I know I can never repay...please..
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