ON THE ROAD AGAIN

I’m on the road again. To New York…again. Not complaining, by the way. The fact is, though, traveling is not my strong suit; it wasn’t supposed to be this way. Not that I’ve ever had a life agenda. It is just that whatever it might have been, schlepping through airports wasn’t going to be it.

Hal and I were never taught to set “goals.” (In fact, only once did our dad use the word in a sentence. It was at the end of the ‘58 Giants/Colts NFL title game. We were at Diamonds Men’s Store by Superior and Euclid—the whole family—sitting as the car idled in the parking lot. Ameche had just scored the winning touchdown thus allowing us to go in the store. From the back seat, not quite understanding the delay…I watched our father slam the radio off:

“We win if he kicks the field goal!”

So much for Bogarts and goals. Not our thing.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Spring quarter my sophomore year I wanted a new car. (The 1968 Valiant had 160,000 miles on it). Rather than return to Cleveland for summer break, AB suggested I remain in Columbus, sell magazines, and by vacation’s end accumulate sufficient funds. So I did.

Malaise came by July. Selling Highlights weekdays, returning to Cleveland for weekend softball…it was getting old. $1,700 was saved, but not nearly enough. We were breakfasting on High Street at Johnny’ s State Restaurant when my Dad caved: “The guys in the gin game say you should never do today what you can put off ‘til tomorrow.”

“Your point?”
“Go back to Cleveland. Be with your friends and enjoy the summer. I’ll cover the other half of the car.”

(So much for goals).

It’s not that I NEVER looked to the future. I suppose I did. Rather than setting goals, though I did it through anticipating. Yeah! Anticipation. That’s the ticket!

Still, even in my wildest dreams I never conceived a life style like today’s.

Sure the divorce was (perhaps) inevitable. But who thought I’d be flying solo this long post-decree? And yes, I wanted my children to expand horizons, but did I ever expect that at age (gulp) 60 I’d be traipsing around the country visiting kids that were born and bred in Ohio? They all left! Where was THAT written?

I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t this.

Our dad used to ask me “When I’m old and gray and can’t see will you read me the sports section?” He neither got old, nor gray (bald, yes). Similarly,
our mother, turning 47, proclaimed her death was imminent— that she’d never see 50. Indeed, her death at 81 made rich people of those wise enough to bet the over.

So much for plans.

I joke about it—the irony of me the non-traveler doing weekends on the road. But the truth is I DO wish I’d planned more, or maybe better. Sometimes I get caught up in the “What if?” game. What if I’d been more fiscally responsible? What if I’d planned for my future? Would things be that much different?

Probably not.

I’d still be living alone sharing life with Hal, Margie and a myriad of friends,
I’d still be watching my weight and driving Aunt Helen. And I’d still be smiling as I kvetched about road trips to see the kids.

So be it.

Life hasn’t turned out as expected. ‘Tis true. In many ways, though, it’s turned out better.

2 Responses to “ON THE ROAD AGAIN”

  1. Stacy Bohrer says:

    Rest assured, Dad, that the next generation of Bogarts are BIG planners…though it may have to do with Mer and Jace…the two biggest EVER. :)

  2. bob says:

    Dude, this is one I can relate too. Goals, what does that mean. Is that word in the dictionary?
    Bob

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