Hey pallies, likes I loves to share Dino-hearted stories with all youse pallies of the amazin' role that our Dino plays in the daily events of his devotees' lives. Today we turn our attentionado to 'nother new-to-ilovedinomartin blog, "jguywrite," where "jguy," an educator and senior center volunteer, shares tales 'bout his senior center bud, "Sudz."
Seems recently "jguy" and "Sudz" just finished playin' themselves some draw poker at the center when "jguy" plays a record al-b-um of our most beloved Dino "on the turn table of the chestnut 60s era Zenith stereo." When "Sudz" hears our Dino croonin' he inquires of "jguy" if that al-b-um might just contain "my old top hat?" And, likes pallies, indeed the Dino-disc did...likes how magical is that!
This eventually leads to "Sudz" reminiscin' 'bout "how Sudz's dad sang with that song on the eight-track tape, sang all the songs with Dino for the three-hour drive to Kansas City office where 19-year-old Matthew (Sudz) would officially sign up for the military."
And likes Dino-magic happened 'gain! Likes I am positive pallies that this "jguy" likes had no notion what wonderful Dino-memories that bringin' an old Dino-al-b-um to the senior center woulda likes brings to his pallie "Sudz." But, likes 'gain our great man weaves his great magic and sweet sweet memories are shared...much to the pleasure of "Stuz" and "jguy."
Likes just 'nother stunnin' example of the difference that our Dino makes in the life of his deep, pure, and true devotees. ilovedinomartin sends out kudos to "jguy" for volunteerin' at the senior center and for bringin' back great memories for his pallie "Sudz" and for sharin' this wonderful Dino-testimony with all his readers. To view this in it's original format, likes just clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram. Dino-connected, DMP
Dean Martin - Bumming Around
My friend Sudz and I were sitting at a back table playing poker at the Senior Center where I volunteer. Sudz, at 59, is something of a volunteer there as well -- holding chairs out for frail old ladies and helping to serve meals from the kitchen. Sure I call him an old man, but to the regulars in their 80s and 90s, Sudz is just a kid.
A happy kid, too. With his family, particularly his wife of 20 years (his third) and his grandchildren, he's all about the best things of life.
He had to take an early retirement from the refinery, lives on disability, goes to the VA for all his medical needs and maintains quite well. A few years back he was diagnosed with the same degenerative condition that took his old man -- a hard, formidable square-jawed 1950s man and the lingering light in Sudz's life. To hear Sudz talk about his dad is to hear him being young and strong again.
After a game of draw poker, I got up from our round table and placed a record on the turn table of the chestnut 60s era Zenith stereo. Dean Martin -- he was a stallion in his day, aw' shucks humor and the quintessence of cool. He sang country songs backed by a swingin' orchestra.
"Is that one song on there," Sudz asked and started singing, "my old top hat?"
I didn't know. I'd just bought the old album a couple of days earlier at Flashback Sound Shack, a used record shop in the Delano district of Wichita and I hadn't had time to listen to much of it. A little while later the needle came to that groove in the vinyl.
I got an ol' slouch hat,
got my roll on my shoulder
I'm as free as a breeze
an' do as I please,
just a bummin' around . . .
Sudz's dad sang with that song on the eight-track tape, sang all the songs with Dino for the three-hour drive to Kansas City office where 19-year-old Matthew (Sudz) would officially sign up for the military.
"My lottery number would be up in a few months so I figured I'd sign up when I could pick the branch I wanted," he recalled over a cup of black coffee, discarded cards before his hands. "A few months later, they discontinued the draft.
"There were a lot of war protesters, but I didn't know much about it. I figured if my country was in a war, it must be right."
He stops and sings with the vinyl. "Just a bummin' around."
Sudz's old man loved that song and "he had one good singing voice." It was a sonorous baritone, emanating from the lungs of a broad man with a gift for pugilism and physical stanima. A veteran homicide detective and police chief, he had been among the thousands -- the young men stomping through the ocean waves on to the shores of Normandy in June of 1944.
It was a fall day in 1971 when Sudz's dad drove him to the induction building. A couple of years later, FBI agents, police chiefs, detectives and seargeants from all across the country would be at the old man's funeral.
Actually, he died young, nearly a year short of his 50th birthday. Sudz, who like most of us, doesn't come close to the strength his father had, has outlived the man by around 10 years.
Sudz recalled different choices he could have made. He's diehard patriotic and respects all men and women who have served, but he can't help but thinking what it would have been like to go another way.
"He could've got me into the FBI," Sudz said, recalling the pull his influential father had.
After his dad drove away, Sudz hesitated for 10 minutes before walking into the building and then there was no going back. The old man drove around for awhile, but came back to see if his son wanted to change his mind. He was already in the building. Gone.
"If I had seen him, I would've turned back," Sudz said.
"My life would have been totally different."