Here's to you old man.

The rain had stopped and I was finally outside after a long day of nothing but the radio and mom. The year was 1941 and it seemed like a time of innocence and hard work. We lived in a small but elegant house amongst the working class on Spring St. It was the kind of house that you could pass on any given day and take in the smell of meatloaf or apple pie. The sun hung low in the early evening sky like wet laundry sagging on the line. If the wind was blowing from the south I could smell the old man's Cigar as he turned the corner at Mitchell's house on his way home from work. I don’t recall the brand but he did give an empty box to hold the spoils of the many marble wars I was constantly waging. I had just taken out my favorite aggie when my nose was approached by that familiar scent. He was finally home. The man that I adored, admired, loved and after a particularly rough day at school, which I swear was self-defense, feared. As he passed he patted my head and said with a toothy grin, Whatch ya got there squirt?”“ Oh, not much just my favorite marbles. “ I said. Why are they your favorite? “ They smell like your cigars and bring me luck” I said. The old man took a few puffs and said: “yeah the do bring you luck, if only for 40 minutes at a time.” That day is seared in my memories and holds a special place in my heart. Every now and then I light up a stogie and pay my respects to my old man. I am sure that one day I will pause a lookup from my stick and somewhere between the smoke I’ll see a toothy grin looking just as it did all those years ago. Maybe I’ll hear “whatcha got there squirt?” I’ll reply “about 40 minutes worth of luck.” Gods bless that man.