Gerry Gutierrez' Update
From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family.
In my young mind, he had a special niche.
My parents were complementary instructors:
He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures,
mysteries and comedies.
He took my family to the first football league game.
He made me laugh, and he made me cry.
The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.
Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.
(I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)
Our long time
visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.
He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.
His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.
I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger.
Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked ...
And NEVER asked
He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.
Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.