What can YOU say in six sentences?
“Hindsight’s always 20/20 but you can’t spend your life looking out your ass…cause the past is for learning, the present is for living, and the future is for dreaming.”
My Grampa would say things like this to me all the time, but I was just an eight year old tool monkey at his bike shop, the famous Art’s Cycle at 87th between Stony Island and Jeffery on Chicago’s south side, but at the time, these words just seemed to all blend together into his nonstop chattering.
Everyone used to call him Art, some long dead phantom who Grampa bought the shop from decades before, but his name was Harry, and if you ever saw him at the JCC swimming pool, you’d understand the irony.
He was a real enigma, a south sider who loved the Cubbies, a racist that only hired local black kids to work at the shop and even sent a few through college, an orthodox Jew who swore like a sailor, and a 2-pack a day Camel smoker who almost broke my arm when he caught me out back trying a puff.
It’s interesting how we’re shaped by people like him, those who’s passive influence, and spurts of wisdom mingled with bouts of such blatant hypocrisy that you can’t help but look back on as more of a lesson than a weakness.
“You know Bruce, when they made you they broke mold…and I hear they beat the shit out of the mold maker too”, he’d say to me dozens of times as he’d walked off giggling to himself, lighting up another cancer stick…his term, not mine.