So, being half drunk and playing poker with my Dad Tuesday night (BTW, Happy 79th to you Sir), I asked if Mom had ever given him any grief about his gambling. He responded that he never gambled that much. Obviously the old man is getting senile as I clearly remember his tales of four figure wins and losses on the golf course from my youth. "What about bets with Big John you always talked about?" I asked. "Oh, she didn't say anything about that. That wasn't her money." Now, before you go off half-cocked about male chauvanism and shared property (as I almost did), note the next thing he said was, "I never gambled with family money." That I understood. I knew Mom had been the money keeper all those years and she would have complained if he had ever not given her enough to take care of all of us. As for me, I have been gambling a good bit the last four years or so, and have been able to keep my gambling money separate from my family money. I have been tempted to reach into that forbidden fund, but that just wouldn't be fair now would it? Hell, that's like pulling a Spitzer.
Dad did admit that he had sometimes been hurt losing "his" money back in the day of big golf, but that he had never let us hurt by gambling away what was needed to keep us solvent. I believe him too. Like I said, Mom would have taken care of it if he had. He always told me, "If you can't afford to lose it, you can't afford to win it." It's not the most fun advice, but it might be the most valuable.
Dad retired January 3, 2008 after over forty-five years of working nights at the post office. He worked three jobs most of the time until he was in his mid-60s. I don't think he averaged four hours sleep a night from 1968-1994. For years, he worked seven nights a week, twelve hours a night until the postal workers union negotiated a deal that limited overtime. I never saw him turn down a single call to come in early. Born in 1929, he was the youngest of seven kids. He waited till he was 40 to start having his own. Our generations stretch way back. My Granny was born in 1889 and was the youngest of nine. Her Daddy was born in 1848 and joined the CSA at the ripe age of fourteen. Dad was worried he wouldn't be able to find anything to do if he retired. I think he was scared of sitting in his chair and dying to the visions of Matlock and Columbo. The work was starting to take a toll on him though, and he finally decided to see another side of life. Well, it looks as though he is making do. He still plays golf four or five times a week (He did that even when he was working), hangs out int he library doing family research, hits the gym three days a week at least, and plays cards with us on Tuesdays. I think we are both pretty lucky for it.
The BBT3-Week 2. Take a beat, lay a beat. Bubble. Status Quo.
Damn I like to play poker!