Tommy was a Dreamer
We were grown and had gone our separate ways. We had been apart and left the nest at least ten years prior. It was difficult separating from him. Tommy was my mentor and confidant. Tommy was my protector. I looked up to him like no other. He was my true father figure. I had tried different trades and was struggling with music as an art and livelihood. Tommy had taken to the streets as a “preacher” preaching the way for street people and anyone who would listen. Tommy, although not homeless, was a street preacher to those who were.
We were a fatherless family. Two days after my birth my father died of cancer of the brain brought about by an army wound. Tommy was two years my senior. I never had a memory of my father , he may have. I say this because in retrospect , his whole life could have been “a searching” for his father.We were separated by cultures in school and ran with our own crowds, our peers. We were strangers to each other in the social world at school. We would acknowledge each other in our subtle but inconspicuous way. Why this was I do not know, but peers seemed to separate us. Our social being was important to each of us.
Tommy was a very astute player of three games. Playing card games of all types , such a spades, hearts, crazy eights, you name it he could play it better than you and to win, he’d have to let you. The second game was pool. No one could beat him and he would take his game to the pool hall in town and gamble on his skill. Finally, basketball was his finest game. At 6’1” Tommy was not tall for a basketball player. He played guard and was the smoothest man on the court with a basketball in his hand. The home team crowd, my school, came out to see the team but Tommy was t...
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...as about a year after my month long stay back in my home town with my old family that I heard about Tommy. I had returned to school attending University of Oregon. Tommy had been found on a mountainside , halfway up Mount Shasta. His body had decomposed but his ID was intact. Mount Shasta is about half way to Eugene, Oregon where I lived, from Berkeley, California. So we brothers and sisters met where he died. We procured his remains and belongings and we mourned for two days there, discussing him. We discussed his death and his life. Then we separated and went back to our lives.
I use to cry when I thought of Tommy. As I grow older and the memory of him decreases to a dream, just as he lived. His dream was to “go to the mountaintop” to find the riches awaiting him whether they be rubies or diamonds and gold or his maker , his god. ForTommy “it was meant to be.”
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