As a father of one son, I worry, as do many fathers of one son, about my line. It sounds so unbelieveably arrogant and it is. But I think there is some evolutional physiological make-up to it. The line is my line of succession. Having one son means that this branch of the Herlehys only goes through him. This is stupid and did I mention arrogant? But I think of my grand-parents and how hard they lived and struggled and just believe it would be a big shame to ever continue the history of the world without at least someone waving their flag. My grand-father pounded in railroad ties most of his life and met his wife right on the job because she was the cook. The day after my father graduated from eighth grade, my grand-father put him alone on a caboose and told him he had to ride on that train all summer and spray fertilizer. To repeat for dramatic effect, he was alone on a train, working every single day during the summer after eighth grade. Today, of course, my grand-father would arrested but they needed the money. From there, my dad was used to working non-stop from morning to night. I figured out that he worked two jobs for around forty years.
Everybody has similar tales about their parents and grand-parents and as far as I'm concerned, they're all heroic. It's what makes us the biggest, bad-ass country in the world. And even if we all have those stories, none of those people should ever be forgotten. Just because there were thousands of them, it doesn't means they can't all be our heroes.
Having one son means I only got one shot at getting the succession line right. Considering all the crap that is out there, it is conceiveable that my one son could go on to be a meth addict, never marry, have no kids (at least none that call him Dad) and the world will never see this branch of Herlehys ever again. Or, he could turn out worse and become an announcer for Fox News. Hey, I gotta get in any dig I can. And it did happen to Mike Wallace.
Anyway, I never considered the fact that my dad remarried and had a son named Luke. I just had lunch with Luke and he seems to be such a good person. He's very honest, respectful, diligent and smart. In fact, one small thing I noticed is actually quite a gifted trait. He has a unique ability to tell you things that you might not want to hear and still make it sound okay. Anyone who is in any kind of business understands how this is a rare and valued talent. The only other guy that I know who can tell you that you've screwed up in a nice, understanding, hey-everyone-is-an-idiot-sometime way is my partner Greg. These next months, Luke is studying to be a lawyer and when he passes the Bar, he'll make a great one because it seems like half of a lawyer's job is telling clients things they don't want to hear. It's sort of strange that honesty is often rare.
Luke said he read my latest post and nicely mentioned that I have yet to kill my typo problem. He did it very well. Luke was understanding with other things, too. I wasn't a very good half-brother. I was too involved with my own life in college to realize that I had a little brother who could have used an extra older ear in his life. But he turned out great. And to brag here for a second, he got a swimming scholarship at Ohio University, came within two seconds of setting an all-time school record and did through hard work, which meant he got up at five in the morning to swim in a cold pool. Yes, while you and I were getting home, he was getting up.
Today I realized that Conner can, in fact, go on to be a loser meth addict without any kids who would call him Dad. It's just perfectly fine! Luke is also there and it doesn't seem like he enjoys meth all that well. It looks probable that some kid, some day, will be annoyed by his Dad because he constantly tells stories of his parents and grand-parents.
So sorry for the typos. I now use an iPad and it sucks for punching out any message longer than a noun. Still, that is no excuse. I'll get better at this. I swear. In the meantime, maybe we all can re-evaluate this whole male-carrying-on-the-family line thing. It's probably a little pre-historic. And fuck it. In three generations, if we're not fried from having no ozone or debilitated from having no oil, nobody is going to remember any of us anyway.