The old man, my good-timing gramps, turns 75 this month. Everybody in my family wrote him a letter for the occasion. I talked about how he’s always been a good time. Since I was a baby. When I was just an infant, he ran a dive bar in Akron, Ohio on a lake. It was the kind of place that sold homemade turtle soup (Where the hell did the turtles come from? Don’t ask…) and you asked patrons to leave at the end of a night with a stick. He used to get home at three or four in the morning and my mom and grandma would put me in the bed first thing in the morning to crawl around on his head. This is the guy who used to come home in the afternoons from his job at the Firestone tire factory to get me and my brother out from behind the TV in the summers.
Years later we jumped headfirst into the middle of Latin America, a D.I.Y. trip through Costa Rica, going coast to coast in a rental car with my pathetic Spanish. A couple years later we hit Tijuana and La Paz on the Baja Peninsula.
This sounds pretty Hallmark, but it’s also worth mentioning that this is a guy that will die with a hangover, a jealous lover’s knife in his back, in a country where he doesn’t speak the language.