the weeks ahead…

Carl-my baby brother

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Meet my brother Carl. Theres not too much I can tell you about him-he came in 1963 and went in 1967….fast beneath the wheels of a Chrysler New Yorker. I cant tell you what he wanted to be when grew up-if he ever told me it was so long ago I cannot recall. As a matter of fact,I remember very little except that he was a sweet chap.
What I do remember is how things went into slow motion that last morning-how they,my two little brothers,were playing a running game on the lawn…I was watching from my upstairs bedroom. There was girl about the same age as Carl who lived across the street-she had downs syndrome…or something of the such,but that morning for some reason my brother and her connected. It was almost as if they were a magnet-she came out and ran to the curb. Carl went to run too-and out into the path of the car he went.
Bel-Pre Road was not a busy road then…it was just time.
In panic I saw his small body tumble under that New Yorker-right now…this minute in my memories theater I can replay the reel over and over,perfectly. I see the man driving-his goetee and black leather coat…he had a ‘highball’ in his hand,it was the day before drinking and driving was seen as wrong.
I dont know at what point I started to run to stairs and to the street-I remember having to go to the basement to fetch my father…I remember my father holding this boy-his boy,who was dying in his arms. What I remember the most was how my father picked up my mother and held her and wept…the motion of love he showed has always been an overwhelming memory.
That was a bad time-1967…just months before the big ‘summer of love began’ and the hippie movement was just about to show its strength in Monterey…I say bad time,I meant for me.
I’ve never really gotten too deep into the story about Tuckahoe. I know I’ve said something…but steered around it only useing the pieces that fall together easily. What happened there was a pretty big thing-no…it was a big thing and my parents never understood,really never taking the time to believe. I almost created an accident that could have killed people…thankfully it did not. But I was expelled from school and a judge made me work a hard job-for no pay,at least to me. I was’nt allowed to ride to work-I had to walk,which trained me in my mind years later when I became homeless in these woods where I live today.
When we moved to the Washington area I was thrilled to the max for being freed from this terrible place and the kids that harrassed me there. Only…the following school year at the new school 150 miles from Tuckahoe was Debbie. She came from Tuckahoe.
Well…that ended school for me,and of course started a chain of problems like me running away a few times. My parents never understood or wanted to understand what happened in Tuckahoe…it was just blame all of the time and accusations of being a liar. Not too long before Carl went to his death I had run away and when my father found me he beat so bad with his leather belt that my bedroom walls had scars so deep that the next day he brought a huge bucket of spackle patch and a gallon of paint and I to repair the damage.
A few weeks later we were following Carl as he was being taken to Pottstown in a hearse. The flower arrangement that covered his casket had fallen to the right side and my mother kept on about it…and me. She kept saying over and over that it should have me because Carl was such a good boy,and I was being so bad.And fretting about that flower cover.
Its not hard to figure out that that stuck in my mind.
When the thing that happened in the Navy went through its course no one at home ever knew or cared about what my side of the story was-I never knew what they might have been told…all I know I was pegged to be a liar and a looser by my father and mother,except when my father was’nt around then my mother would make these attempts to contact me…its almost always the same test! “Jay…do you love me”?? or “I’ve been a bad mother-have’nt I”?? and I want to tell her no…and yes,and theres where I lie.
I am so sickened by my parents desire to exhume my brother and sister-sickened by the selfishness of it and sickened by the nature of it,I am sickened enough to the point I sent each of my family a letter saying plainly they will loose me forever if this happens…how I can see that as a threat I do not know.
I fear the letters were sidelined…mother dearest called yesterday. She was concerned about a T-shirt she left in my car.

3 Responses to “the weeks ahead…”

  1. B.J. Says:

    Just thought I’d clear something up. I’m sure it was a typo, but Uncle Carl was killed in March 1968–6 months before I was born, not 1967. It happened about 3 weeks before what would have been his 5th birthday. He sure was a little cutie.

  2. B.J. Says:

    Are you sure they exhumed them and didn’t just move their caskets? I believe Exhuming is where the caskets are opened and the bodies are examined for whatever purpose (forensics, criminal records, etc..). I haven’t gotten a letter from you saying the family would lose you if Aunt Jo Eileen and Uncle Carl were exhumed. Maybe Granny and Grandad haven’t received theirs yet, either. I’ve worked postal, so I know it can be slow at times.

  3. Mike E Says:

    My friend: I implore you to get the hell out of Florida pronto. Come up north for a week! You know I don’t got much but I’m resourceful — do anything I can to accomodate…

    Let me know.

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