Saturday, March 15, 2008

43/365: Isamu

Legend had it that Sam had been born under the hood of a Datsun pickup. I used to think that people meant that literally, but now I take that to mean that he had been a mechanic for a very, very long time and he was excellent.

A lot of what he said didn't make a lot of sense. He'd talk really quickly and earnestly about the car and mom would just smile and nod, mostly. Sometimes he'd pop the hood and start pointing at stuff. Most of the time all you could really make out of what he said was "Very bad! Very bad!"

We knew it was very bad though, because we never bothered to get the oil changed, or any of the rest of that maitenance stuff. In spite of that, Sam kept that car running, and miraculously enough, under his careful watch it continued against all odds to pass Air Care.

There was an old car in the back of his shop where he made his own wine. He gave us a bottle once, but we didn't get to drink it before the cork shot off it one day.

Some time after he retired we looked him up in the phone book and visited him at home. He had quite the garden. He had cut down a large number of alder saplings and had planted the trees all over his yard, and grew grapes all over them, a grape forest.