Sipping coffee, listening to Tyler play Minecraft with friends online….Zero motivation
My boy, I have no formal writing skills I reserve the right to ramble on and on with no direction. I’ll try to write as much as I can in a time frame but I might have to edit as I remember things.
I think my earliest memories were living in Haverhill. We lived in a small brick house on Chestnut St. All I remember really, was playing outside in the summer and getting ice pops from an old couple next door. I remember the old man loved kids and was always friendly.
At some point we moved to Bradford, Ma. It’s really part of Haverhill, but it’s over the bridge and South. We lived in a big, white house on Route 125. I remember it seemed every room had a fireplace in it. Old, old house. It was across the street from a bowling alley for the most part. I spoke with my brother Jim many years later about that house, and we both remembered the same memory. On the day we were moving (shocking) Jim and I were playing in that dusty old basement. At one point we were pulling things down off shelves and found the shelf swung open from the wall. This had been blocked by an old washing machine we had to work out of the way. Being kids we didn’t think much of the shelves inside this little room loaded with stacks of money. We thought the money would come in handy, so we took a bunch of stacks and hid them in the washing machine, thinking our Dad was taking that machine with us. Looking back on it, I don’t think we lived in that house more than a few months. Dad probably never went in the basement. He never knew the money was there. We never did see that money again and we never told anyone about the find. Who knows how much was in there or what kind of money. All I know is the shelves were full of stacks and stacks of banded cash. I doubt I’ll ever know,
From there we moved to Texas. The town was San Angelo, Texas. Dad’s brother Butch and his family were already living out there. Butch must have been there a while because he had a house and already owned his own foreign auto repair shop. Dad was moving out there to work the trucking side of the oil industry. We moved in to a small white house on a main road. I don’t remember much of the house, though. I only remember the day we moved in, Mom had a puppy she brought with us, The puppy got out of the house while the doors were left open and ran into the street. I can still see the image of that puppy being rolled over by the tractor trailer, under every wheel. What a start to a new life, eh?
Not long after, we moved to a new trailer park in San Angelo. Why? Not sure. Once again me, Jim, and Paul were stuffed in the same room. I remember going to work with Dad. He had a typical office at a trucking company. Dirty halls and a seat from a van as extra seating. Dad did have a pet goat, though. You could guess the goat’s name? Yup… Billy. Billy Goat seemed to be a great pet. He rode everywhere with Dad in his pickup. One time I was playing inside the trucks at Dad’s work when Billy came to the truck. He wouldn’t let me out of the truck. For some reason every time I tried to get out, he’d hit me with his horns. At one point I didn’t see him, so I made a run for Dad’s office, Next thing you know, Billy is running behind me. He tripped me up and stood on my back while I cried, waiting for Dad to come get me. From then on, I hated that goat.
Not much of my childhood is clear. I know it was hard living…at least it seemed that way to me. My dad worked a lot, but we never seemed to have any money. I guess that’s why we moved a lot? I remember Dad having a lot of jobs, so I can sort of tell he was always starting over and so were we as a family. Talk about putting a spin on things! Sheesh.. I can remember feeling excited when I got to run through the new house/apartment and explore what our room was going to be. Our room (sigh) I have never had my own room in my entire life. There has never been a time I wasn’t sharing space with someone. I had my own ideas on how to decorate or clean my room, but I never really had a choice.
I shared a bedroom with 2 older brothers for most of my life and for a large part with a brother just over a year older than I. He handled my Dad’s death differently than I. I guess he took the opportunity to do whatever he wanted. He was a slob and never cared what I wanted or how I felt. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy… but he created a lot of sorrow for me growing up because he just….didn’t…care…. It’s hard to invite someone over when your brother leaves food and laundry all over his side of the room. Never mind our teen years when he’d drink too much and leave vomit or empty cans and bottles on the floor for days until I cleaned it. He was a slob…and it tortured me.
So yeah… because of those experiences I am protective over my personal belongings. I mean..come on man! There’s only so many toys or model cars your brother can break before you give up having interests. And all this time? Mom never did a thing. Shit, here’s a story…. When I was about 18 or so I had a full time job. This isn’t news. I worked from a young age to make my own way. Anyway, brother comes to my room (Yeah, a good 6 months where I had a spot to park my bed) and offered to sell me a stereo system because he was broke. I think I made 5 bucks an hour, so that $150 was a big time purchase. He was broke because he preferred to live off my mom and not work. I paid the man, hooked up the stereo and felt like a king! Until he got a better offer. Apparently a friend had a guitar he wanted to trade for the stereo. The problem brother had was he spent the $150 I gave him, but REALLLY wanted that guitar. He yelled, screamed, said “Mom!!!!!!” and eventually picked up my cordless phone and smashed it on the floor out of anger, I guess. You have to know…. I spent years with no house phone because brother would run up huge phone bills talking to pen pals across the country with no way to pay, and no regard for anyone else. Back then I dreaded anyone asking “What’s your number?” I had a job, got my own phone in my name, and worked hard for that cordless phone. In the end, Mom got between us and made me give brother the stereo back because he was just too upset. So I was out the $150 bucks, out the stereo, and out a $100 cordless phone…making 5 bucks an hour. Brother kept that guitar for nearly the whole summer before selling it because…TADA! He was broke!
So I’ve covered not having a solid place to live (I’ll touch more on specific places later) and I’ve introduced a main character in my life (brother) These are nothing specific in that I’ll go back and forth in stories….. Write more later!
PS. – I have written to you, Tyler, about a lot of these things already, but I think it’s important to have them here as well in case I do keep this part going. I plan to walk you through my life. It’s the best way for you to draw your own conclusions as to why I am the way I am.
Love you, Tyler
I’m Tyler’s Dad…
This is my first crack at blogging, so wish me luck!
Apparently I signed up for this in July of 2011 at almost midnight? Ehh.. I don’t remember doing that, but like a lot of things I probably poked around and got sucked in. Anyway, I have periodically written letters to my son, Tyler Cook as a way to open up myself and let down the “Dad” guard.
A brief history of me and why I write to Ty:
As a kid, I was the part of a big family (6 kids) and my mom was a stay-at-homer, while my dad just worked his ass off. We moved a lot and I struggled to make and keep friends. I became “The Fat Kid” and went to school off and on in Amesbury, Ma where I had zero self confidence and zero shot at fitting in.
My dad passed away when I was young. It was extremely hard on me. Honestly I don’t know how it affected my brothers and sisters. I was too caught up in my own crisis. As an adult, I identify myself as being a hard working, simple guy. But because of my own childhood I am very much protective of Tyler in a way that I want him to have things I never had. I won’t go on and on right now, but as I write this I will elaborate more and more about my own childhood and thought process in hopes of letting Ty know who his father really was, and why things are the way they are. Here goes! – I love you more than words can express, T. You’re the reason for everything I do.