Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Uzbek

6. Ate dinner at Carnegie Deli, 'neath a signed photo of Guv'nah Mike Huckabee, the Uzbek.

After The Producers, which I ended up enjoying despite my curmudgeonliness, my dad and I walked up Broadway to the Carnegie Deli, which I'd never ate at before. Though it was 11pm or so, the place was packed, a ramshackle collection of tables and all sorts of people eating pickles and massive sandwiches below signed photos of all manner of celebrities.

We were seated at a table below a picture of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, whose main claims to fame were (he's out of office come January, replaced by the Democrat Mike Beebe) 1) Losing a ton of weight and 2) Entering into a covenant marriage with his wife, Janet. (For those who don't know, "covenant marriage" is like Christian marriage-plus, with all sorts of extra legal restrictions and etc. added on; for example a divorce is much harder to obtain.)

My dad and I ordered, he a hamburger and me "the Woody Allen," which turned out to be a pastrami and corned beef sandwich roughly the size of a small television, and which I ate maybe a quarter of, or possibly even less.

But that's not the interesting part. The interesting part was the convo my dad and I got into, which concerned several elements of my mom and dad's pre-me (meaning, before I was born) lives. I asked a few questions and it was like some unseen door opened, into an area of my parents' lives I'd never yet explored. It was really interesting, all the stuff my dad told me. He was the first of our family to go to college, and now my sister is going to the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, next year ... it's crazy how quickly a family's fortunes can rise (or fall) due to the efforts of two people -- in this case my mother and father.

I asked my dad why, considering how poor his family was, he decided to go to college, and from there to law school. Basically what he told me was that, after he was turned down by all four branches of the military (he would have gone to Vietnam) due to his shot-out right eye (injured in a BB-gun war when he was 13), he decided he'd rather not work at the lumber mill for the rest of his life, and so made a college decision. He said he wasn't serious about it at first, but after an injury fell in with some more-studious friends, who would later become his roommates and best college friends: and that was that, his life was on a different track, which led to law school, Memphis, my mom, us kids and all that's come after. It's a heartening story, I think: one about free will, the ability of people (given determination) to change their lives, and also just about how unpredictable and full of reversals one man or woman's life can be.

If this seems incomplete it's 'cause I haven't figured it all out yet. More TK.


nuss said...

very inspiring blog...what does "TK" stand for?

Hunter Slaton said...

"TK" is publishing jargon for "to come." I reckon it's not "TC" because that's 2/3rd of "TCB," which we all know means "Taking Care of Business," and is usually paired with a lightning bolt, thus adding the phrase "... in a flash," and is of course trademarked by Elvis, who yet walks the Earth.

nussy said...

search youtube for 'elvis unchained melody' and you'll see the king taking care of business in on a righteous brothers tune...hopped up on pills an junk food. the best part is that one of his bandmates is just holding the microphone in front of his mouth like he's being interviewed or something

Jake-Freedom said...

yeah dude - that is totally interesting - and I don't think it;s just because it's our parents. It just seems like a good story. I will patiently await what is TK.