Sunday, July 2, 2017


My old Uncle Roland Allen was a snappy dresser. Always had been. When he was young he did gigs as a drummer in a jazz band. They called him 'Booger Allen".
One time, late in his life, my aunt and uncle stopped in at Roland's house to check on him. They found him just coming out the door dressed to the tee in a suit and tie with vest and newly shined shoes.
"My goodness, where are you going?" they asked.
"Well, to work, of course."
"But Rolly, you don't have a job anymore."
"I certainly do!" he said, rather offended. "And I'm late, if you'll excuse me."
Roland hurried on down the porch steps, only to find that his car was missing. For he had no car.
On another occasion, they arrived at the house to find him trying to replace a broken doorknob with a light bulb.
Earlier, in the 70's, Roland was already old, but still sharp, and cool. He loved the culture. He wore jewelry and bell-bottomed pants and practised yoga, all of which annoyed his stick-in-the-mud wife. And he taught my brother a lot about drumming.
I don't remember how Roland died. Alone, I think, in a three-piece suit.

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