Archive for October, 2014

October 14th, 2014

Dear Mason,

I’m not sure where you’re going to go to school yet. I’m not sure if we are going to still be in this house in 5 years. I do know one thing though. Where ever we live when you go to Elementary School is where we are going to live for 13 years. That’s probably not possible, but it’s what I wish had happened to me.

I was born and grew up at 164 Teal Lane. I loved the neighborhood. I loved the house. I loved my school, Buck Lake Elementary. However, when I was 12, my parents moved to 408 Meridian Ride. It changed my schools, and it changed my life.

I started kindergarten at Buck Lake the first year it was opened. I had Mrs. Carmichael that first year, and I started making friends. One of which was Carl Johnson. He and his mother taught me how to cuss cause they were kinda trashy. I remember getting in my first fight. I won as far as kindergarten fights go. In first grade, I think I had Mrs. Spivey. It was a pretty uneventful year. I don’t remember shit about it.

In second grade, I had Mrs. Roberts. I remember having a crush on a girl named Leah or Amy or something. I’m pretty sure I failed second grade and had to go to summer school. I have no idea why. I remember making waffles in summer school.

In third grade, I had Mr. Heron. He was awesome. He had a huge mustache. I remember playing smear the queer a lot and learning to type on a computer some. He showed us what all his computer could do. We didn’t know what to think. The computers in the media center were all square Macs but we could play Oregon Trail. I got tested for ARC that year, and they found out I was “gifted.” That’s where you took a test with the guidance counselor, and they send you to the Academic Resource Center every Tuesday. ARC was fun because you got to waste time taking stupid classes like hot air balloons, how to build model houses, computer music programming and general liberal, hippy art shit. I thought it was pretty boring, but I got to leave school once a week.

In fourth grade, I had Mrs. Edison. She liked me a lot, and I did good in her class. It’s weird how I can remember several things about 3rd grade and 5th grade but nothing about 4th. In fifth grade, I had Mrs. Folis. That was my favorite year. I learned not to procrastinate when it came to investing. I learned how to run a business, and I learned that sometimes your shareholders just like to eat snow cones instead of doing actual business. I also met Sam Jaks and Sean Gallagher for the first time. Friends for life.

In fifth grade, we had a snow cone machine in our closet. At the end of the day on every Tuesday, we would roll our little machine to our classroom door and sell snow cones to the school. Everybody had a little job. I was the treasurer. I counted all the money. I made change. I was the cashier sometimes. I made deposit slips. At the beginning of the year, our teacher told us to bring in $20. It was our choice if we wanted to invest in the business. I really wanted to, I just always forgot. We sold snow cones all year and at the end of the year, everybody that had put in $20 got a one hundred dollar bill. I was so pissed at myself.

Selling snow comes and being the class treasurer was the best memory of fifth grade. I loved being the senior in school too. Swift Creek Middle had just opened that year, and lots of my friends were going to go there. It was right next door. I remember the road didn’t even extend past Buck Lake yet. They bulldozed a road all the way to Swift Creek to build the school. It’s so incredible how different it is now.

Anyway, I didn’t get to go to school with all my friends. Half of them went to Swift Creek. The other half went to Cobb. I, on the other hand, went to North Florida Christian for sixth grade because my parents hated me. I didn’t know anybody. I had Mrs. Worrell and she sucked. I had no friends. Plus I had bible class and had to go to Chapel on Wednesdays. Fucking kill me. White socks weren’t allowed. PE was stupid. Troy Smith picked on me. He was a real redneck and his daddy drank beer. Worst year of my life.

Seventh grade was marginally better. My mother could tell how bad it was for me, and I moved to Raa Middle School. Home of the Martin Luther King Jr. Street African-Americans. What I mean by that is there was a lot of black people. Going to Buck Lake and NFC was a lot different than Raa. Raa is literally right next to MLK Jr. Street. I made some friends and joined band, but the school sucked. Michael Hanselman got in my face that year. He wanted to fight me during PE because I was wearing black socks, and I was a prep and needed to have my ass beat. I could have easily beat him, but I was afraid of getting in trouble. I had also never punched anybody. I wanted to punch him, but never did because I was too indecisive. I had taken Rex Kwon Doe for a couple years in elementary school. I just wasn’t a fighter at all. I didn’t know what to do because it was so awkward. I wasn’t scared, I was embarrassed because I didn’t like all the attention on me. Hindsight is 20/20. Now at age 30, I realize I should have killed him and buried him under the pitcher’s mound of the kick ball field. But seriously, I’ve always regretted how I handled that situation.

Never be indecisive. Be professional and have a plan to kill everyone you meet. There are millions of bad guys in this world. You don’t have time and won’t have the opportunity to meet and get to know everyone first. You have to immediately try and figure out what kind of people you’re dealing with. Don’t ever get snuck up on. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Kids will try and jump you. Kids will pick on you. Kids will try and fight you. Kids will pretend to be your friend and be overly nice just to play tricks on you. You need to outsmart them. If something doesn’t seem right, it’s not. Trust your instincts. In 30 years of life, I’ve never punched anyone in the face, and I’ve never gotten punched in the face. Get punched. It makes you a man.

I failed 7th grade math. I was ill-prepared for pre-algebra coming from Buck Lake and NFC. I tried and failed but I didn’t ask for help and I didn’t do my homework. Summer school math was stupid. It wasn’t even the pre-algebra I did all year. It was adding and subtracting, and I literally got done hours before all the other dumbass kids each day. My advice to you is graduate every grade at all cost. Being stuck in the retard class all summer really, really sucks. All your friends are doing stuff and sleeping in and you’re going to retard class every day of summer.

Eighth grade was better. It was good to be senior again, but I didn’t have near as many friends. I was friends with the SUPER nerds in band because they were the only ones that let me in their group. I had horrible clothes and horrible hair. Thanks, Mom. I played the trombone. It was an embarrassing year. I had every single class plus home room with the hottest girl in school, Brenna Wommack. She was super nice, but I never said a word to her. If only I would have had Chuck Taylor’s on.

She never would have “dated” me. I was an awkward kid out of her friend zone. She went to elementary school with Thomas Wilde. That’s who she dated. But I always regret not having more friends in middle school. I’ve always regretted not having more fun and taking more chances. I don’t think I spoke to a girl at all 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Dumb girls. Shena Frith had the biggest boobs in 8th grade, and I barely had the courage to ask her to sign my yearbook. She asked me what my name was when she signed my yearbook. At the end of 8th grade, she didn’t know my name. For God’s sake, do SOMETHING in three years to get people to at least remember your name. I apparently didn’t.

Love Dad.

October 10th, 2014

Dear Mason,

I don’t know really know where to begin. I’ve told myself for a long time that I wanted to write this for you. Now that it’s time to put pen to paper, I’m pretty unorganized. You probably know that by now.

I was born at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital on April 22nd, 1984, around 5:00 in the afternoon. I was 10 pounds, 15 ounces. Mom and Dad were 27 at the time. Mom was working for the State of Florida, and Dad was selling pencils. They lived at 164 Teal Lane. I have so many wonderful memories of that house. They all include my brother, a bunch include my mother and sister, a couple include my Dad.

When I was very young, maybe 4 or 5 years old, Mom told me and Brian to go stand in the garage because Dad was coming home. I remember hearing a motor and loud tires coming down Teal Lane, and seeing Dad whip in the driveway on a three-wheeler. You’ll have to google image search what that is. He picked me and Brian up and took us across the street to old, abandoned Sun Land Hospital and rode us around. The problem was we kept getting flat tires somehow. I remember Dad fixing them all the time.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any place to ride, it was unsafe anyway and the three-wheeler disappeared soon after. That’s one of my earliest memories of both Dad and living on Teal Lane. Nobody knew it yet, but that was the beginning of my obsession with power sports. I didn’t even realize how much I loved it. I’m not sure who’s idea it was later on, but when I turned about 12, I got a dirt bike. It was a Yamaha Big Wheel 80. We were in Mississippi, like we always were, and Dad bought the thing cheap from a guy. I think we brought it all the way home inside the motorhome.

We kept it at Grandmother’s house in Crawfordville, and I only got to ride it on Sunday’s. I rode the shit out of that thing. It wasn’t a few weeks before Brian was on that thing and I had gotten a different one. This time it was a YZ-80, and it hauled ass compared to that other. I was probably 13, and it was probably 1996 and the bike was like a 1992. It was super fun, but it was a manual. It had a clutch and everything. Dad told me what I needed to do. Turn on the switch, hold in the clutch, kick start it. That was it, I was on my own. I struggled with that thing for hours. I got it running around the yard in 1st gear every now and then. Second gear was a different story.

Every Sunday I would just come out and try to start it. I would try to get it rolling in 1st gear with the clutch without it stalling. I’d have enough leg power to crank it and stall it 10 times before I went back inside. Lots of times I got Dad or Mike to start it for me, then I would hop on. I remember riding around the yard with everybody outside and somebody yelling to go to 2nd gear. I remember going to 2nd gear for the first time on a REAL dirt bike. It was heaven. Unfortunately, nobody ever told me that that bike possessed a power band. I finally got into some throttle one day going around my front yard race track. I hit the power band pretty good, and I wasn’t holding on enough. I almost came off the bike backwards, and it took off right for a tree. I slammed on the front brake so hard, I went over the handle bars almost completely, my legs flew up in the air behind me. I had rolled our go-cart several times already so it didn’t phase me that much. Just surprised me. But now I was stalled way out away from the house and I had to push it back to the garage…

Unfortunately, Brian was never as obsessed as I was with riding. He rode all the time, but not as fast and calculated as I did. Not to mention, all we had was Grandmother’s yard to ride in and only on Sunday’s. Dad eventually bought a dirt bike as well so he could ride with us. It was a YZ-125. I’m sure he rode it, I just don’t remember. When we got older, we rode down White Oak Drive to Beach and then down the power lines. Those were the really good, old days. I loved riding.

When I was 16, we some how got our dirt bikes traded for four-wheelers. I don’t remember the conversation (or having to convince anybody). Brian had some automatic POS, but I had a Yamaha Blaster. It was cool and fun, but being 16, I out-grew it quick. Plus I only really had the power lines to ride. I begged dad all the time to let’s take the four wheelers else where to ride and never did. We didn’t take them anywhere one time. He was always too busy or wanted to nap on Sundays. The four wheelers eventually disappeared.

When I was in high school, I acquired a Volkswagen dune buggy. It ran ok I guess but needed a lot of work. I got no help from anybody on that, and I was no mechanic. Dad took it to a Volkswagen place one time and spent $1300 getting it re-wired. He yelled at the guy because he went over budget and didn’t tell him. I remember driving the dune buggy up and down White Oak Drive like 3 times. It was slower than the four wheelers. It would have been a fun commuter, but it was stuck in Crawfordville. Sundays only. FML.

After I graduated boot camp, Kyle Marks and I bought crotch rockets. I remember selling the dune buggy to some guy for a hell of a bargain. I was an idiot. He gave me like $900, and it was more money I had seen in my entire life. I didn’t save any of it, and I regret it to this day. I took all the money and bought a new Arai RX-7 Corsair blue helmet to match my 2004 Yamaha YZF-600R.

Selling that dune buggy was probably the first time I had sold anything big on my own. I had no concept of money. I was asking like $1,800 for the thing, and the guy took advantage of me. I remember him writing the check on the hood of his truck. He said some stupid shit like, “can I just write it for $900 instead of $950 to save space on the check” and I sheepishly said yes to not offend him. That was after he Jew’d me down for 15 minutes. If I ran into him again, I’d chew his ass out. What a jerk. He said stuff like “you’re never going to sell this” and “it’s not worth but about $950, I guess I’ll take it and spend $3000 re-doing it.” I believed him.

The point is, I had no concept of money. It was just funny paper that I got from giving my dune buggy away so I could go to Fast Trixx and get a helmet. I never saved it. I never managed it. I never understood how I need to plan ahead. I’m 30 years old, and I understand it great now. However, I still can’t save money or plan ahead to save my life.

I had lots of toys when I was a teenager. I had three Camaro’s in high school. I had no money. I had two dirt bikes and three four-wheelers and a dune buggy and a go-kart and I was broke. All the time. I had two 12-inch subs in my red Camaro, and I was broke. I had had a part-time job for two or three years by the time I graduated high school in 2002. When I moved out of my parents house at age 18, I didn’t have a car or any money at all. I wasn’t a complete dumbass. I was just completely inexperience. I HAD to learn everything the hard way because growing up with a non-existent father and silent mother put me at a severe handicap. I wasted all the money I earned all those years. Every paycheck I got, I spent 90% of it right away and saved 10% for gas for two weeks.

Please for the love of God and all that is Holy, save your money. Be frugal. Only buy things you really, really want. Don’t buy things on a whim. Buy expensive, high quality things when you can afford it. Don’t buy cheap shit just because you can. It’ll break a soon as you use it, and then you won’t have money or stuff.

It wouldn’t have been unreasonable for me to graduate high school with $5,000 in the bank. However, I didn’t even have $500.

I’m going to guide you and teach you a lot. Because of that, I’m going to expect a lot more from you than what I accomplished at your age. When you graduate high school in 2032, I expect you to have $10,000 in the bank. If you work two years part time for $10,000 a year, that’s $20,000. Save half and spend half. That’s $833 per months and $208 per week. Save $104 and spend $104 each week. I think that’s generous. I understand that it costs money to chase girls. Just remember, only buy girls you really, really want. Buy high quality, expensive girls only when you can afford it.

Love Dad

Genesis

Posted: 20141009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

October 9th, 2014 – 5:45am

Dear Mason,

My father and I haven’t spoken since I walked out of the shooting range on October 27th, 2013. Today is October 9th, 2014.

I’m terrified that that will be us some day. Mainly because I’m just like him, and you’ll probably be just like me. I’ve got so many memories in my head, and I’m a terrible story teller. So I’ve decided to change this boring blog nobody cares about into a blog that I know at least one person, one day, will be interested in reading every bit of it.

I don’t know anything about my father’s childhood. I know he was born in Jacksonville, FL, on January 10th, 1957. I know that Granddad worked at Redi Whip at one point and became the plant manager. The story goes – it was the worst Redi Whip in the country, and Granddad worked hard for many years and made it #1. I have no idea if that’s true.

I know that some time around 1965 or 1966, he and Granddad and Grandmother and Aunt Betty moved to Crawfordville. Granddad started Oyster Bay Church of Christ. He also started Kornegay Land Development in 1969. Dad went to Wakulla High School and graduated in 1976, I think. Dad worked and saved all his money, and when he turned 16, he paid cash for a brand new 1973 Dodge Dart Sport. I’ve seen a picture.

Anyway, we are encroaching into the outer boundary of my knowledge of Dad’s childhood. I’ll remember more stories here and there, but I told you what I know of him from birth to 16 in two paragraphs. I want you to know more about me than that. I want you to learn from every single mistake I’ve made in my life. Dad always said when I was growing up that Granddad told him, “if you learn everything I can teach you plus one thing, you’ll be a smarter man than me.” That’s technically true I guess. The problem is Dad hasn’t taught me shit in my life. I taught myself how to ride a bike. I taught myself how to shave. I taught myself how to drive stick shift and how to work on cars. I taught myself about girls and sex. I taught myself everything I know about sports. All of them.

Mason, I’m 30 years old. You’re 11 weeks old. (Dad’s 57 years old and lives 1.2 miles from here, and he’s never met you. There’s a reason for that – he’s a piece of shit. However, I’ll try and keep the “daddy was never there for me” commentary to a minimum.) I’m going to write an autobiography. I’m writing it for you because I’m scared you’ll hate me. I’m scared I’ll be an idiot, and we won’t talk. I’m scared something will happen, like I’ll get Ebola and die. You’ll never know the 9,712 life lessons I’ve learned, and you’ll have a hard life just like me and Dad and Granddad. It’s been a hard life for me, Mason. I cannot stress that enough. I can hear you crying in the other room. That means that you and your mother are probably awake now.

Love Rob

PS – this is a picture of mommy taking you for a stroll yesterday.

IMG_8357.JPG