One evening a few weeks ago, Hubby and I were sitting with my Dad and his longtime girlfriend on their front porch after a nice meal. The house was once my Nan and Pap's house and before they lived there, it was a hunting/summer camp from which the family escaped the Pittsburgh area into the comparative wilderness of Potter County, PA.
I hadn't thought of Mobo in years--decades. I think I had seen him last when, about 24 years ago, we helped my parents pack up the house they'd lived in when I graduated high school and I assumed he was long gone. Then here is my father, with this blast from the past--and the hilarious (and somewhat pathetic) image of my 5'7" grandfather drunkenly maneuvering this (non-steerable) metal children's ride-on toy to the bar*. As my father laughingly pointed out, he must've already been drunk--surely he could've gotten there much faster walking or even crawling.
Talk turned to other things--politics, especially misinformation about Obamacare that is causing the fear and confusion that Republicans are only too willing to take advantage of (if not actively foster)--but my father couldn't let the horse thing go. Every few minutes he'd say, "I wonder where that horse ended up. I'm pretty sure it's right up in the attic."
Clearly, it was going to keep bugging him until he checked--it's a cursed trait he and I share. I have been in the attic or basement or rifling through filing cabinet drawers at 3:56 a.m. on a wild goose chase for something of only marginal practical importance on more occasions than I can count.
So, he went to the garage and toted in the ladder and crawled up in the hatch to the attic that is really just a glorified crawl space--you can stand up straight at the peak of the roof, but otherwise, there's crouching and hunching. I can remember crawling up in that attic for Nan as a kid and standing up in the wrong place and driving a roofing nail into my scalp more than once. I loved every minute of poking around in all that old stuff, though. I was born with an overactive nostalgia gland, I'm pretty sure.
Dad was up in the attic for less than two minutes when he handed the horse down to me. It is probably a testament to both my overactive nostalgia gland and to the general emptiness of my adult existence, that I got a little misty-eyed at the sight of him.
It's been a while, but when my father said, "You can have him." I'm pretty sure that was actual glee I felt.
And so, I've been reunited with one of the loves of my young life and Mobo has taken up residence in my entryway--where he startled the crap out of an unsuspecting Daughter-Only who first encountered him on a dimly-lit evening home alone. She said his eyes seemed menacing in the half-dark.
|Maybe it's just me, but all I see is intelligence and warmth and, maybe, a couple of family secrets.|
I told Daughter-Only of Mobo's long and noble history with our family (including the new tidbit I'd just been given), but she remained unconvinced of his value so I was forced to dig through the photo tubs until I found this:
|L. to r.: Me, Our long-lost friend Tammy Cox, Little Sister & Mobo, off in the distance, looking steadfast as always. This was in Texas, so 1973 or '74. Mobo was probably the one thing I didn't fall off of during our stay in Texas.|
Still, Daughter-Only did not warm noticeably to Mobo and I briefly despaired of passing along my appreciation for his pivotal role in so much family history but then Baby Brother stopped by and we dragged old Mobo out to show him to three-year-old Seventh Niece. She was lukewarm about him at first, the expression on her face verging on creeped out, but later, she came around:
|Mobo rides again, sturdy as ever, beneath a fourth generation.|
|Mobo, recovering from his triumphant return to the family fold.|
* A photo footnote:
|Does this look like the sort of man who would drunkenly ride a children's toy to the bar? Uh, on second thought, never mind.|