It was gorgeous out yesterday so I spent most of it at the rifle range. One of the visiting stubfarts was a fellow I hadn't seen in YEARS. He is a close friend of Rotten Rob and Baloney Bob - a couple of fellas I lost track of years ago, and I was washed away in old memories as he updated me on their whereabouts.
Actually - 'parted ways with' is more like it. Those two boys were well-to-do and really nice guys... but like a lot of people from that era, they had problems with booze and drugs. In addition to being gun guys they were both gear heads. They met each other through the local Factory 5 Kit Car Club. They had each built the classic Cobra kit - both blue, both with the white stripe and when they parked side by each you woulda thunk they were exactly the same. But Bob had a custom built 427 in his, balanced and blue printed. Rotten Rob wanted to counter raw horsepower with tech in his machine and went with a fuel injected engine in his. Their idea of fun was getting pissed to the gills (something I heartily approve of) - and racing their hot rods on back roads and remote highways (something I do not approve of).
I actually went along once on a liquor run. When we got back to the house I shakily pulled out my bottle of Oban and nigger-lipped a couple BIG gulps right from the bottle to steady my nerves. It was the last time I ever got in that car. Maybe it was a mid-life crisis thing for them or something. They'd go out with a quart of whiskey or a bag of grass and just burn miles and rubber. One day Rob got an impaired and lost his license for a year. (I know, right? Who woulda seen that one coming???). I figured that'd smarten the boys up for sure.
The next summer Rob couldn't resist the lure of the rod and the road and went out for a cruise and got arrested for driving while under suspension. "Rob," I said, "Are you fuggin nuts??? Put the car away, take your lumps and learn your bloody lesson! You are gonna be in the slam at the rate you're going!" They tacked another year on to his suspension.
Couple weeks later he got arrested again. Drunk driving - and that while under suspension. Bob was with him. "FFS, Bob! You know what kinda shit he's in! Why didn't ya grab his keys and shut him down?" I raged. Welp - turns out Bob was drunk too and didn't want to interrupt the cops who were processing Rob. He also had a bag of dope in the glove box. At that point I washed my hands of them. They called it 'bad luck'. I say there's a difference between bad luck and being a shit-magnet.
I'm no choir boy. I'm no Einstein either, but I am smart enough to know that cars like that will catch they eye of not only the tire biters and bubble gummers - but the cops too. You don't want to be half in the bag in a machine like that. Then there's the little teensy weensy detail about the 400 raging ponies going on under the hood! They are enough trouble, never mind the cops!
When he went to court Rotten Rob actually beat the drunk driving under suspension rap - the shit bag lawyers noticed that the cops put down the wrong date on the arrest documents... and somehow, that became grounds to throw the case out! I couldn't believe it! My last words to Rob were, "Okay, buddy. You got way luckier than you deserve. DON'T FUCK IT UP! Please...!" The next week I dropped by Rob's acreage, and saw the boys in the driveway with drinks and the cars running - and drove on past. I didn't want to watch this anymore.
Rob has to be in his mid-50's now - and I haven't seen him at all. When he wasn't drinking and driving he was fishing - and I hope he is out on the boat pulling in the big ones. He sounds like the perfect shit on paper but he was a very nice fella in person. For some reason or other the devil had gotten the better of him - and he was too smart to let that happen. I am fairly certain he has shaken off his demons by now.
Bob has to be pushing 60 hard. He'd lost a pinky finger on a table saw (I'm betting booze is involved with that one) - and he has one white eye. He looks like a James Bond villain. Apparently his retina detached and the doctors figured it was from all the years of firing the big magnum rifles he carried. The recoil, they suspect, weakened the retina. His other eye isn't that great either. His days of big rifles and fast cars are over but apparently he still goes after coyotes occasionally. So I guess he's doing alright.
As for me, I am going straight down hill!
I am spending most of the weekend down in the sword and saddle shop this weekend, remembering old friends and old times. Time hasn't been kind to me either - my mind is just like my work friggin work bench: Sloppy, cluttered, disorganized. It's infuriating! Who made this mess???
It's gonna be an ammo pouch when I get finished. I am just playing with conchos here to dress it up a little. It looks okay here, I have run some stitches as good as any woman can do - but then I shat the bed later on and although it isn't bad you can still tell it was a home-made effort. Oh well. If it turns out I will post pics of it later.
So that's my exciting weekend: A trip to the range, and then downstairs to remember old friends.
Oh - and walking dawgs. I have been rudely informed that Dawg Patrol is going to be late if I keep typing on the computer so - duty calls! Have yourselves a great Sunday and try and spare a thought for absent friends that deserve it if ya can.