“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Sam Austin, Happy Birthday to you!”
My Daddy would be 118 today, had he lived. He didn’t make it due to Alzheimer Disease. He was in great shape, physically, but that horrible curse stole his cognitive process for over 7-years. He was still ‘working’ past the retirement age. His last job was ‘handyman’ for John B Stephens, “Stephens Hotel” in Mount Pleasant, Texas. John B was a classmate of his and would have kept him on longer, but someone had to go and tell him that “Sam Austin is hangin’ out of one of your third story windows with a hammer in one hand, hangin’ on the sill with the other!” John B did the right thing. Paid Daddy for two weeks and sent him home. It was a new experience for Sam Austin to be “fired”, donchaknow, but he eventually forgot about it…and everything else. My Daddy had a parakeet in a cage right by his ‘reading’ chair and even after “Bird” died, he would sit reading a pocketbook western sharing what was going on with “Bird”. He sat there day-after-day for years, never getting past page 58 of a Louis l’Amour western. Sam Austin took his final steps into Sherwood Nursing Home and was cared for by my Mother, every day for years. He is greatly missed by his remaining family but I feel he may be the main carpenter for a bunch of those Mansions in Glory, donchaknow.
And, that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN