The Jacket

 

I think whenever someone begins a new life change, gets healthier and starts to lose weight, I believe everyone has that "goal outfit". Sometimes it can be an old item you want to get back into, or maybe it's something you've seen in a store that you think "man, one day I would love to be able to see myself in that thing" 

My goal outfit is one particular jacket. 

In my possession I have this awesome, light brown, old school 70's leather jacket that belonged to my father a long time ago. I don't remember how I obtained it, whether it was just a hand me down when he was alive, or something I inhereted when he passed away, but it is one of the most bad ass jackets I've ever owned.

I wanted to take a pic of it to show you all, but It's buried somewhere deep in storage in my house, but to give you an idea of what it looks like it looks almost exactly like the jacket Henry Hill wore in a particular scene in one of my all time faves Goodfellas (see below) that's what makes it even more bad ass: 

The past few weeks when I wasn't writing I was thinking about the upcoming date of my birth, about this blog topic and it's around this time where I get nostalgic, reflect on the past and think about what I want to do in year 44. I thougbt about the progress I've made and I wanted to set even more goals to "step it up" even more. Which got me thinking of this jacket and even more the original owner of said jacket....my old man. 

I loved my father very much and anybody who had met him loved him too. He was always quick with a joke, a witty comment and as I got older I picked up a lot of his characteristics and mannerisms from him over the years. I still think about him every single day at least once and am constantly quoting his sayings and telling stories about him to my children (who they affectionally call him "Pappy")

I honestly think I never would of even picked up an instrument or had such a love of music if it wasn't for my father and his extensive record collection growing up. Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Elton John, Neil Young, The Eagles, Chicago, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Meat Loaf, Billy Joel, Yes and of course The Beatles were a constant soundtrack in our household and It sucked me in as early as 5-6 years old. I remember being so proud of myself at that age that I knew every word to "Crocodile Rock" and I think he was too. 

My dad was always my biggest fan when I started playing music too. Whether I was in some shitty biker bar playing "Jumping Jack Flash" for the third time (by request) or sitting in High School concert band playing brass he was the one who you could hear hollering and cheering the loudest with that big ass stupid 80's camcorder and the gleaming red dot. 

To this day, the biggest compliment I ever got from a performance was from my dad after I played at the school in concert band when I did this short little solo part in the piece "Son, you made that horn cry" 

But, he was a complicated man though and like most of us, he had his faults and demons too. Was he the best father and husband in the world? No, none of us are (I'm certainly not) but I think he really did the best he could with the cards he was dealt in life.

I've said a million times "No matter what craziness happened growing up in my house, I never ever felt unloved". Some people you speak to had big houses, anything they wanted but never felt love from their parents and that is the saddest thing I could think of. Didn't matter what age I was, who was watching or where I was you got a big kiss on the mouth from dad when he dropped you off somewhere and I didn't give a fuck. I wanted that kiss on the lips and was lucky I got one. 

But the saddest part of all was when It all started to fall apart for ol "Tugboat" near the end. The blown discs, the back braces, the two replaced hips, the brittle bones and the pills upon pills upon pills was just too much for him and even the people around him. At one point he was taking 4 pills just for his stomach from 4 different doctors! He was a very smart man and of course he's at fault for most of this, but I'll say it..doctors and pharmaceutical companies killed my father. Our country will throw people in jail for years over weed and yet we glorify Coors Light or Viagra on TV, print ads or fucking Nascar cars. How many reports of deaths do you hear lately were caused by "a mixture of alcohol and pills" 

Other thing that got me was the severe weight gain. In a span of less than 20 years between the steroids, the lack of movement from being crippled and the diet he blew up and it was heartbreaking to watch someone you love so much go through that pain. In the end, the heart that was so big just gave up 13 years ago and right before the age of 60.  

As much as it was in front of me and how I saw the pictures of the slim, handsome, bearded man who wore this jacket grow in size, be twisted like a pretzel and be put in the ground...I was doing the exact....same thing....

My father never got to see me or any of my siblings get married and he never got to see his grandkids (and ohhhh he loved little girls too and we got 4 little chickens in the family! Someone is pulling the strings up top). That is one of the things that hurts me the most and I'll be dammed if I don't dance with my daughters at their weddings or babysit their children. 

I've haven't been able to fit into that old 70's jacket in a long ass time (and neither could he since he bought it way back when) but mark my words, I'm gonna wear that fucking jacket soon and it's gonna be swimming on me. 

 





Gregry Gilroy2 Comments