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  • Writer's pictureRuss Newton

And old friend from back in the day.

Jim Creeran and I at Pitchers Pub have an adult beverage or two.

I knew Jim from grade school, middle school and high school. We were more of casual friends back in the day. But there was one interesting aspect of Jim that I got to explore today. He is a collector of American Flyer Trains. So was my father. And Jim had a long American Flyer based relationship with my father. So today we got together to have a drink and Jim share some memories of my father with me that I had not heard before.

Those of you they know me well know I had a difficult relationship with my father. I went seven years without speaking to him when he told me on the birth of my son that he didn't care at all if I lived or died when I was born, it was the health of the mother that was most important. You could always have more kids. It crystalized something in my head. I hung up the phone. My mother called right back, she knew something was wrong. I told her the following. "It is my fault, I keep putting my hand in the wood chipper and I am act surprised when the wood chipper does what a wood chipper does. She was moaning over this comment from me with "Oh no, oh no, oh no" she saw where it was going. I said so it is my fault for expecting something from the wood chipper that it isn't capable of, so I will just keep my hand out of the wood chipper and everything will be fine. I was 28. I made it to 35 without speaking or seeing my father. And I was fine with it. I didn't feel any lack in my life. I just felt a blessed release of pain.

So Jim told me several stories about my father that were new to me and not news. I know my father and i shared one trait, we could both make friends easily. But my father couldn't keep one. He average about 5 years of friendship with someone when it would come to a head and the friendship would end. I have most of the friends I ever made in my life to this day. A big difference for sure. Jim told me he had a falling out with my father which wasn't a big surprise to me. But Jim was a bigger man than my father, he put the resentment aside and visited my father in the home and then came to his funeral service where we reconnected.

And I asked him if he still collected American Flyer Trains. And he did. So I offered to give him the 40 or 50 boxes of American Flyer Trains that I have in my basement from when we cleaned out his house after he had to go to Assisted living memory care in 2010. He said yes and he got about 15 boxes today and will get the rest tomorrow. So all in all, a good day. I got to catch up with Jim, have a couple of beers and he is going to clean out my basement. A good day!

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