Friday, October 24, 2008

A Fateful Cab Ride

As some of you know, my older brother Bruce and I do not get along *at**all*, for reasons too numerous to mention. However, there is one incident that stands out in my mind, even now, almost 25 years later. Clear back in May, 1984, my dear old Grandmother Drysdale breathed her last, just four months short of her 99th birthday, and my three brothers and I all assembled to attend the funeral in Severy, Kansas. That took so doing on my part, because I was onboard the USS LaSalle at the time. We were making a port visit to Karachi, Pakistan at the time. So I got up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight from Karachi, to Frankfurt, then on to Memphis, Oklahoma City, and finally Wichita, well past dark. I think I covered 10 time zones that day. Can you say "jetlag"?

Anyhow, a few days later, Bruce and I shared a cab ride back to my Dad's house, before Bruce was drive back to Athens, Ohio, here he lives. I, momentarily having the totally misguided idea that we could act like brothers, I put my hand on Bruce's shoulder- and he swatted it away *hard*. And, like an *idiot*, I said 'hey, Bruce, what's the matter?' and tried again- and he swatted my hand again- *hard*. Needless to say, if I live another 24 years I will *never* make that mistake again.

Much, much later, I asked my father what the hell had that been about, and Dad said, 'Well, Bruce told me that on the ride back from the airport you were talking with driver' At this point my father harrumphs and adds, 'That doesn't strike me as a particularly good use of time'Uh-huh. Thanks, Dad. Whereas you'd condemn Hindus for regarding some people as 'untouchables', that's just your attitude towards anybody without a college degree.

Ironically enough, I actually remember the conversation. I was in my Navy uniform, and the cabbie was a Navy vet, so we did a little bit of the, 'You're Navy too? What ship were you on? What's your rate? Where were you? Persian Gulf? No kiddin'?' That sort of thing. Of course, for Bruce Albert Mitchell, the very *thought* that anyone of *his* station should be subjected to listening to the words of someone in the *service*- well, I *never*!

It is ironic that as a defense attorney, I have to have civil conversations with some *extremely* unsavory characters, some other people who have *severe* mental problems- and some with both. I'd also like to say that I am good friends with several people I met while I was in the service, and I regard them as the salt of the earth.

I've seen Bruce twice in the past ten years. I wish I'd seen him less, I regret that I ever met him, and the next time I see him, I hope it will be at his funeral, which I look forward to attending, only to make absolutely *certain* that that s**t is actually dead. No, I'm NOT joking.Kent

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