The Back Yard - August 1983

This is an image of a family friend holding a beer, which was often sort of a required photographic prop for our friends. (It suggested that we were being hospitable and that a party of sorts was going on.) He's walking about in the gazebo that "housed" our hot tub. The occasion was the big feed Mom put on after Dad's funeral. (Yeah, I thought it was pretty weird too, at the time.)

The party - was it really a wake, I wonder? - turned out better than I thought, however. All of our customers from the Lincoln Cafe were there, telling stories about Dad. These were always funny. Adding in the tales that Mom and I had, we laughed from the beginning to when the last person left, which was a fitting and appropriate way to remember the man. After all, Dad lived his life in such a way that humor was a constant companion. I got my sense of humor from him - some people think it's my defining characteristic - and as long as Dad was in the house there was something to laugh about.

Anyway, as Dad got older and sorer - his knees gave him a lot of trouble - Mom decided that what he needed was a $2,000 hot tub. She went out and bought one in 1982, but as far as I know he never used it: it was too difficult for him to get in and out of. Later, she had a slab poured and a gazebo built above the slab, and the hot tub was taken out of the patio and placed there. For the height of convenience I installed a telephone near the hot tub (I had taken it from the Camp Pendleton Base Telephone organization I had worked in), and at night the whole thing could be lit by garish green and blue lights.

The hot tub was sold soon after Dad died, and the oddly-situated slab and gazebo remained.

Next photo: Mom's arts and crafts!

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