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Mike Tasos: Missing my wife as she is visiting our son
Mike Tasos

It’s tough to get a firm grasp on how much someone does for you, makes your life easier, or how hard they work, until that person is no longer a part of your life.

Even it’s only for a week.

“Help!” is not just a Beatles song. It’s been my mantra since last Tuesday.

Vicki left me last Tuesday, leaving Greg, dog Chester and me to gut the week out. She’s visiting oldest son Chris in Rome. That’s Rome, Italy for those of you confused.

“Shucks, Floyd County ain’t that far away. I think there’s a bus.”

Chris continues to study abroad for the first semester of his senior year. From the looks of the Amex and Visa statements, I’m not sure about the “study” part. The “abroad” he’s got down pat.

After being gone since Sept. 1, this was apparent: His mama misses him.

Not what you’d call a real experienced travel, it was no small feat in getting Vicki into the car and on her way to Hartsfield-Jackson. 

We decided to take MARTA due to airport access more difficult than driving blindfolded in New York.

And the MARTA ride, while a good solution to congestion, could be the subject of a column. It might be tough to interview any fellow passengers though. Many of them are already having animated conversations with themselves.

One silver lining was a well-dressed gentleman who just got out of prison, needed 12 bucks to get a cot at the Salvation Army, and was starting a job next week at Verizon. Now I know why Sprint is my cell carrier.

I guess I’m a soft touch. Sort of. I figured anyone who had a spiel that elaborate has a future working as a community liaison for Barack Obama. I rewarded his performance by reaching into my jeans  (not wallet) and passing along those aggravating Susan B. Anthony dollars MARTA use as change with the hope that you’ll mistake them for quarters and be on your way to needing a cot at the Salvation Army.

Amazingly, I ran into my new friend at the airport. He had gotten off the train and practiced his craft on other riders in a different car. Business must have been booming. His newly developed limp was either bogus or caused by a pocketful of Susan B. Anthony dollars.

Vicki made it through security, changed planes at JFK and is in Rome seeing old statues, old stadiums, old churches and old fountains.

Truth be told she and Chris are most likely eating old pizza for mucho euros a slice.

Back here, Greg can operate the washer and dryer. I can do dishes. And Publix probably stocks all the items on the list Vicki left but locating them is tougher than finding your car in a crowded MARTA parking deck.

Being inept with modern appliances is my own fault. I never watched Star Trek. They are confusing as the game of cricket.

I happened upon a cricket match the other day. I almost called law enforcement. Admittedly, my eyes aren’t what they once were. I would have sworn it was a gang of well-tanned guys getting ready to bash each other senseless with paddles that brought back memories of Sister Mary DiMaggio’s weapon of choice.

I was a little depressed at one day having ESPN broadcast another sport I never played or could ever understand.

I fought off those depressing thoughts for a moment and vowed to be positive. 

That all changed when I drove past what used to be Lanier Golf Club. Not sure if the construction crew used mortars or napalm to unleash such devastation on the great course I played for 12 years: “Since 1970, Lanier Golf Club has enjoyed a rich and well respected reputation as one of the area’s finest golf courses…” is what the website says.

Not any more. 

Cheech, the Callahan boys and Sir Phartsalot, Chuck, Jimmy Lee, along with a cast of others played, gambled and laughed every Saturday. They were like family

The boys and their posse lived at the now-destroyed pool during the summer. I once heard one of Chris’ friends say: “I’m hungry but I didn’t bring any money.”

Chris had gotten the hang of club membership when he said: “Don’t worry, I’ll just sign for whatever you want. My dad will treat us.”

There was a tree that appeared to be as old as a California redwood. Every time we got ready to play the 12th hole, we’d wonder how many birthdays that tree had celebrated.

I guess now it doesn’t really matter, does it?


Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. Mass shootings, kneeling NFL players, constant political bickering, teachers betraying students and their parents make him wonder if Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” might one day be some people’s idea of the national anthem. Comments can be sent to miketasos@earthlink.net. He is also on Facebook.