“He's givin' his all, makin' ends meet…”
Dateline: Brett & Shirley’s kitchen
I grew up living next to an American Hero.
His name was Lou,
and he poured
Lou had two kids, one of each, a mother-in-law in his basement, a Beagle that ate my mother’s tomatoes and a 1960 Ford Falcon that played 1975 songs.
Lou poured the stadium that the Buffalo Bills call home, Lou poured the floor that my Father stood on when he sold refrigerators at Sears Roebuck.
Lou poured the hospital wing he died in.
Lou was 5/3 – 5 feet tall, 3 feet wide, a fire hydrant in painters’ bibs.
Lou poured the slab next to his garage, “for the boat.”
But first, came pouring money into college, then came pouring more money into college, then came, the heart attack.
And the slab next to the garage stood empty, may still be as far as I know. Both of my parents have since died, as well; it’s not a street I want to drive down.
The last time I saw Lou was when I brought my newly printed University of Buffalo degree over to show my parents.
We were sitting on the slab next to the garage downing beer and wings, “I poured lots of dem buildings over dere Donnie.”
“Poured them for you, for my kids, not so much for me.”
“Does that bother you?”
Lou closed up the case that my diploma was in and handed it back to me saying, “I done good, Donnie, done good for my family, that’s as good as a college degree to me.”
That diploma is still hanging on my wall at home, along with my college ring in a box on my bedroom dresser, but the most important thing I may have from that university sits on my home office desk,
sitting all by itself in a corner of the desk,
is a tiny piece of
Poured by the American Hero who lived next door.
“…they may not have much…”