I am thinking about you as I drive along U.S. Route 1 on the Maine coast. In my teens, I remember you and Mom would get away and visit here every so often.
It was back then when I didn't express much interest in asking how your trip was or what you saw or what you liked about the coast of Maine. I guess that's what kids are like-generally unaware that their folks would just as soon feel their children might be the slightest bit interested in what they're up to.
Running along these Maine roads puts my mind to thinking of how much fun you and Mom had together discovering the best places for fish chowder and lobster bisque. Now I imagine you sitting in front of trinket stores waiting for Mom to buy postcards, and other various things-we humans buy things.
I drive on and on and on, curious about the things you were thinking as you waited for her. I imagine you thought of your halcyon days as a Greyhound bus driver. You were dubbed, "King of the Road," by the local paper in an issue I found going through your dresser after you passed away. I wonder why I didn't make more of a big deal of the article when it ran?
Actually, the more I think about it the more I think it doesn't matter if I made a big deal about the news article, because you knew how cool I thought you were in your professional driver's uniform with the 35-year safety patch sewn onto the sleeve and your bus-driver cap festooned-front and center-with a big blue and gold Greyhound Lines badge.
You wore that uniform well and I'd have to be a father myself to realize how you understood way, back then, that I looked up at you as my hero.
I'm thinking of you up here in Maine because this place was a part of your life in its penultimate stage.
I'm thinking of you because thinking of you is thinking of myself, creeping within two years of the big Five-0, the age you were when I was born.
I've held that mark as a midlife check point and now that it's almost in sight, I find myself thinking of the dreams, regrets, and fantasies that occupied your soul as you lived out your midlife years.
I'd like to know what those thoughts were, because if I knew I'd be steps ahead of myself in terms of being able to properly set up the middle and ending of my life-then I'd live them out as well as you did yours.
You and Ma had it all-kids, friends, a home, health, Harold the cat, money, food, fun, and rest. You had it all it seemed, and I truly believe this, without the worries and difficulties that so many folks these days appear to wrestle with. How did you and Ma pull it off?
If I had paid more attention to your inner philosophies and spiritual make-up, I wouldn't be so curious, now would I?
Maybe it's just Maine, all foggy and misty and moving-picture-perfect that has me digging up my deepest feelings of the great memories that were the days and times of our family's young life.
Yup, that's it, Maine in late autumn is a romantic place, and up here working, performing shows, alone, leaves me more than enough time to rummage around in my head and heart for answers that are mostly clear and apparent.
Ha-Dad, when I get back to good ol' earnest Vermont, I'll remember that I'm basically you; all the things you thought and taught are seated way down in my soul, ready to be lived out with glee.
Bill DeWees-my Dad. Thanks. You made it easy for me, to make it easy.
Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act "The Logger." His column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com