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Hibou

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Everything posted by Hibou

  1. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    That night, following these horrific events, with my head swimming in thoughts, I stayed up late and sat outside all night drinking and smoking cigars... I lost track of how many but there was a reason. Ultimately, my wife had to bring me inside the house to finally go to sleep. It was maybe 4 or 5 in the morning. You see, that night... I had been talking to David and seeing him in intervals. It was like he would be there right there in front of me and then he'd leave for a little bit and then he'd be right back there in front of me again. Strangely, a neighborhood cat sat with me as well that night and would do the same. He would sit with me for a while and then explore for a bit and then return. It was such a strange experience. (Maybe it was due to the Scotch and Cigars... or maybe not.) Ultimately, when my wife came out to tell me that I needed to go to bed to sleep... I told her that I didn't want to go because I felt like I would miss David's next return. I had to explain to her that he kept coming back and I just had to wait. ... ... ... Yeah, it was basically this...
  2. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    This is as far as I can go. My dear friend Rob knows the whole story... as does a very, very select few of my family members. This story turns dark in a way that I can't talk about, but I'll be able to illustrate in time. Mere days after this happened, something, or someone told me what I had to do. And I did... at a cost. I wasn't much of a religious person prior to this, but that's quickly changed. There is good and evil in this world. There is dark and light. And there is, and has been, this perpetual battle between the two. ... ... ... In conclusion... My amazing summer. From greeting my younger daughter on her return from Japan in NJ... to "Santa Claus Coal Town"... to touching history with 'BlueCoal'... to Pittsburgh and PulpFest. From the Shadow to Anthony Tollin to the new union contract... it's now all connected and tied to this tragic and devastating ending. One which turned me into a person I don't even recognize anymore. Following my son's death, I took care of everything... I call it the business of death and yes, my friends, it's disgusting. But, as strange as it is - there are some parts of this 'business', that can offer consolation. There was a service offered to me that at first, I was very disturbed by it. This service allows you to order jewelry based off of your departed's finger prints. At first, like I said, I wasn't too fond of this idea but the closer we got to my son's birthday (being the week before Christmas), the more I felt that this was what we, as a family, needed. So, I ordered four of these necklaces. (The Fantastic Four) One each for my wife, my older and younger daughters, and myself. As we got together to celebrate his birthday, I gave these gifts out... as from David. Because they were. They cost around $325 each but again, I felt like it was what we all needed under these circumstances. I pray I was correct in that thought.
  3. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    I answered the call from my daughter. She told me that her aunt (my sister-in-law) had just called her after trying to call my wife. Apparently my wife unknowingly had her phone volume turned down which was in her purse. Anyways, my daughter told me that her aunt had just received a call from her son (my nephew) who worked with my (step) son and couldn't get a hold of him as he was scheduled to work with him that morning. I simply told my daughter that I would take care of it and thanked her for calling me. She said she had gone downstairs from her room when she had waken up and realized that we had gone to the store as the Jeep wasn't in the driveway. My wife was a few aisles away, so after I hung up the phone, I found my wife and asked her for David's key to his apartment... he had given her a copy in case he ever lost his or locked himself out which had happened before. I told her that her sister had tried to call because our nephew couldn't get a hold of him. She gave me the key and told me to let her know what's going on when I got to his place. From where we were, his apartment was just down the road, not even 4 minutes away. I left the store and drove down to his apartment. ... ... ... (If you're reading this, Rob... thank you so much for the Redbreast 12. You know, there's a scene in one of those endoftheworld movies in which this guy pulls a bottle out which he had saved for such an event. Well, I think this bottle fits the bill here.) ... ... ... When I got to his apartment (it's a large house converted into 4 separate units), I saw an ambulance in front of the house. I wasn't startled by that because David had some health issues before which I was very aware of as I helped him through all of that. It was what I saw secondly that shocked me and ultimately, it was the third thing I saw that forced me to haphazardly park the Jeep and run up to the door. After the ambulance, I saw my nephew and his girlfriend standing outside in the yard... it looked like he was crying but my eyes quickly shifted to the two police officers standing in the front door way. I ran past my nephew asking what the hell was going?! I was terrified now as I ran up the stairs to where the officers were standing... asking again, "What was going on?!". I told the officers that my son was in there as I pushed through them to get inside. (And there it was... for 33 years, I kept my role as a "step-father", but in this moment... this sliver of time, that charade was over. David was my son and I was his father. He told me as much numerous times but I always diluted it in so much out of some ambiguous act of 'respect'.) When I pushed through the officers, I was now in David's living room where I saw him. ... ... Table fan running. TV still on - tuned to a streaming service. ... ... ... The two police officers gently escorted me out... I can't remember what I said to them. They explained that because this was an 'unattended death' (meaning - not witnessed), it was handled as a crime scene until the detectives and medical examiner could arrive. It was very difficult at this moment to make sense of any of this. I hugged my nephew and his girlfriend. I don't think I spoke a word. I spoke to the paramedics there... asking them what the hell the cops meant by an unattended death and why I couldn't go back inside. After some minutes, I told one of the officers that I had to go get David's mother. ... ... ... Second to seeing my son deceased, this was the worst thing I've ever been a part of. God help me... I never thought I would ever have to type out such a horrid recount of events. I just wanted to write and illustrate children's books at one time.
  4. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    Looking back at my posts from that night of August 6th into the early morning hours of August 7th is like looking though a kaleidoscope. None of it makes sense but at the same time, I can see what I want to see within it... Monday morning... My wife and I got up and proceeded to go out to a local thrift store where we would routinely go on Monday mornings. On this day of the week, a group would come in and stock the store so it was the ideal time to go in there to see what new items might arrive. In the past, we had found a lot of items there to resell at our antique booth. It's amazing what people toss away or in better terms, donate. Probably the most unique item we found there was this Victorian era religious shadowbox celebrating Pope Pius IX's golden episcopal jubilee. I've actual found two of these, one complete (although one of the pieces has come detached inside the shadowbox and one lone center piece which I have for sale at our booth. Another interesting item that I found here was a complete, unopened fire-engine decanter containing Jim Beam Bourbon from 1978 and this great 1970's Allan Agohobb Charlie Chaplain "Toilets" sign. Here are some other pictures of our booth with some of the items for sale... We would normally get to the thrift store around 10am and on this Monday (August, 7th), it wasn't any different than any of the numerous other Mondays we had gone there. My wife and I had found a lot of items on that morning... we had accumulated a cart full of items that looked promising to resell. I was looking up some comparable pricing on my phone when I got a call from my younger daughter. When we left the house, that morning, she was still sleeping so when I saw her calling, I assumed she wanted us to pick up something for her although normally, she would just text me. It was 10:53 am... (-0 hours : 7 minutes)
  5. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    ... ... To be continued concluded.
  6. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    The beginning of the end...
  7. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    So, yes... here we are at Sunday night. (-17 hours : 25 minutes) Sunday Night. I couldn't stop writing... my wife couldn't get to sleep and my daughter kept coming down to ask me ambiguous questions. What was this evening?! I kept writing and this was my last entry to this Dark Knight... ... ... ...
  8. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    I love that whole video.
  9. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    "Okay, how in the hell do you go from Glen Campbell to Shane MacGowan?!" Yeah, that is a weird transition, I guess. It's funny hearing this on the Witchita Lineman video... "I'm Glen Campbell and I'm happy to be here."
  10. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    I just needed to hear that song. ... ... ... So, yes... here we are at Sunday night. (-17 hours : 25 minutes) Sunday Night. I'm so sorry... I need to get this video in before I dive into this. (Rest In Peace, Shane MacGowan)
  11. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    Please don't try to make "continuity sense" of this. It simply won't work...
  12. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    (-17 hours : 25 minutes) Sunday Night.
  13. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    I think in total, I spent about 45 minutes there and so once I left, I figured I still had some time to kill before my daughter would be done with her lunch with her friend, so I proceeded to find my way to another antique shop nearby where I also knew the owner and a vendor there as well. I hadn't been in this place for a while so it was kind of nice to take my time and look around at everything. There was this fabulous 1976 era pay phone (all detailed in bicentennial decor) that I really wanted but it had already been sold according to Bruce, the shop owner. I wandered through the store some more and found a blue Marx Wolfman for $5 which I picked up immediately. A few minutes later, I found 2 Silver Surfer tumbler glasses (classic Kirby) and picked those up. I initially was going to get these for my (step)son and myself. I was about to text him (David) to see if he would like one but I held off. When I looked at the time (it was now around 3:30pm), I knew his schedule and I knew that he was just finishing up his shift at the nearby bar and grill so I didn't want to bother him. Besides, I knew that I had to get a hold of him within the week so we could get together in order for me to show him all of the cool things I had found and bought at PulpFest! So, I decided to save a little bit of money and I only bought the one glass for myself. I figured that I could just go back and pick up the second (reasonably priced) glass, later, if I found out that he would want one. After this purchase and visit at the downtown antique shop, I decided to do something that I had never done in the city that I grown up in... I knew I had a cigar in the Jeep and so I went back there, dropped off my purchases from the antique shop, grabbed the cigar and decided to 'take a stroll through the city, while enjoying a nice cigar... taking in the sights that I hadn't paid attention to in probably 30 years. And so I did. (EST = 4:15pm) These were a few of the pictures I took... My (step)son just got home from work around 15 minutes ago... On this impromptu walking tour that I took, I (sadly) realized that "downtown" had now (and probably forevermore) transformed from a destination point for consumerism... to a place where younger people would live simply work and live. These were the initial sad thoughts I was left with as I realized that the city that I had grown up in - had transformed before my eyes into something else that I could not recognize. My last stop on my impromptu walking tour took me to a trendy vinyl music shop that I've visited on my many occasions, for years on end. I was flipping through their posters when I found this and immediately texted my friend, Rob. He very simply informed me that I had to buy that! Well, I had already formulated that thought before his response but yeah... this was too good to pass up! As I'm buying this, I'm thinking to myself that I'll get in touch with my (step)son this week as this was the last day I had on my authorized vacation. Sadly, I was scheduled to assume my regular work schedule the next evening on Monday, August 7th. It had been a great summer.
  14. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    Anyways, after talking with the owner of the business for a bit, I collected our check and proceeded to look over our booth, straighten up a bit, and then decided to browse through the building to see what new items might've been brought in by the other vendors. Again, with time to kill, I figured I'd take advantage of this opportunity. This one vendor had this vintage NFL helmet on display and well... I guess I'll call it serendipity. He was there in his booth and I asked him what he'd take for it. Based on everything that had just happened with me, up to this point, it seemed like an obvious decision on what to do here. Forty dollars later, I now owned a vintage Pittsburgh Steelers helmet. And yes, probably from Sears!
  15. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    I'll try it again. Sunday morning... I had been on the boards here, updating my journal a little bit on that previous night. This is how that looked back then... So, that Sunday morning, on August the 6th, I waken up relatively early because I had my union meeting that I needed to attend. It was scheduled for 9am and I arrived there just in time. It was a packed parking lot so I had to park down the road a bit as did other 'last minute' arrivals did too. Unfortunately, once inside, I saw that the entire hall was filled and all the seats were taken so I took residency along a wall and listened to the speakers telling everyone in attendance how this new contract would go if we were to vote and agree to it. It took nearly the entire meeting for them to get to the part that had caused me so much distress in Uniontown, PA. Once I heard the words that nothing would change in terms of my pay, I was absolutely thrilled and immediately sent a text to my Sister-In-Law. She had just recently retired from the company and she was very helpful in terms of helping me understand the inner workings of this company as she had been employed there for over 30 years. After the meeting concluded, I left there feeling like I had just won the lottery and decided to make a quick stop at our local flea market. Once there, I picked up a few things to resell at our antique booth... nothing of particular interest. I came home and told my wife the great news. Once again, another win that just had me thinking that I was really pressing my luck here. How many good things could go right?! I knew ahead of time that my younger daughter had plans to go out for lunch with one of her friends and asked me if I could drive her to the restaurant, downtown at 2:00pm. I was completely free for the rest of the day so this wasn't any problem at all. Just before 2pm, my daughter and I left the house, as I told my wife that I'd probably be out for a while. I figured I would drop off my daughter and then stop at our antique booth to pick up our check for last month's sales. I was kind of excited about that because, we actually had a really good month and this check would cover about half of what I spent at PulpFest! And so, I dropped off my daughter and headed to the antique store. I thought to myself that I had at least a few hours to kill. When I got there I mingled among the employees for a little bit and then got our check from the owner. I knew that he was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I was happy to talk to him about my trip down there. All of the areas that I had mentioned, he knew intimately as apparently (this, I did not know) he's from that area. I told him that it seemed like every single person I encountered down there was so friendly and accommodating. This was about the moment that he told me what it's like to be a Steelers fan down there. In his words, it's like one big tent and all are welcome... he said it's not like other stadiums. When he told this to me, I had to laugh inside as I immediately had a PTSD moment where I was 11 again. In 1980, my parents took me to a Rams v. Bills game at Rich Stadium in Buffalo, NY. This was in 1980, the year after the Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in SuperBowl XIV. It was a cold and dreary day and I was wearing my Rams poncho (probably from Sears) during that game. Well, unfortunately, the Rams lost the game in overtime 10-7 and the fans (I guess they're now known as Bills Mafia) wanted to make sure that this 11 year old never forgot who won. To this day, this event still pisses off my father who had to try to safely escort his son out of enemy territory. Over the years, this has been a great family story to tell so ultimately, there's no bad blood. (Not the Sears NFL Poncho, but If You Know, You Know...)
  16. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    (-35 hours : 50 minutes) Sunday morning...
  17. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    And now back to this... (-59 hours : 30 minutes) ... ... ... We all got started fairly early that Saturday morning following the trip to Pittsburgh, PA. Again, just as a refresher, we had a performance to go to, that my niece was in and we also had a family birthday party to attend later that afternoon. We got to the school held performance in time and we all really enjoyed their performance of Rock of Ages. My niece is 13 now and she really has taken on a strong liking to drama which I think will serve her well. She really excels at that and finds a lot of satisfaction with it. Following this awesome performance, we all met up back again at my in-laws for a birthday get-together. It was a great afternoon as almost everyone in the family made it there. As the day started to dip into the evening, I thought of giving my (step) son a call but I knew that he had just finished up with work and probably wouldn't want to come over. A bunch of us held an impromptu game of badminton in the large back and yard that was a lot of fun... and funny as well. You see, eventually, this led to a two on two game of badminton but there were only two racquets. Well, sitting outside were two electric fly swatter paddles so yes, we used those two electric fly swatter paddles as badminton racquets! It was hilarious but guess who decided to get curious? Oh yes, that would be me and yes, they do indeed hurt! This is a picture of my wife holding one of these... Yes, I know it's a very blown up image... I was actually on the back deck taking this picture and that's why it's so far away. Ultimately I joined in which is when I felt the full force of the Badminton Fly Destructor! Curiosity got the best of me and I had to push the button while touching the 'netting'... yeah, lesson learned! The day was a blast and it was so nice to spend so much time with our family. Looking back for a moment, my wife immediately felt a strong attraction to a new born relative that she hadn't met before.. her name is Lydia. My wife told me after we left that this little new born girl reminded her of her son... my (step) son. It was a very good day.... Just the perfect bookend to this amazing week that I was now putting behind me. I knew that the next day, Sunday, I had a union meeting scheduled at 11am which would hopefully answer some of those questions that haunted me in Uniontown, PA during our vacation. But the way everything was going and the way that everything had been pointing... I kind of felt that this simply was going to be an afterthought. ... Saturday Night. (-35 hours : 50 minutes)
  18. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    Of course I saved the best for last, in terms of what Rob got for me this year. He was so excited to find a copy of this book 'in the wild' and frankly, I can't remember finding one in that fashion, either. This copy of The Creature #1 from Dell (1962/1963) is pretty solid. It has some issues on the spine but I don't see any color breaking creases on the front cover (or the back)... nice off white pages. This will definitely be a book I send in with my next submission to CGC. From what I can see, it looks like a solid VG / FN (5.0) to me but it might actually do better. I had to check who did the cover on this one and apparently it is by Vic Prezio.
  19. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    I forgot how awesome that video was...
  20. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    I know that we're at Monday, but we can't continue right now. Yes, It's time for intermission...
  21. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    But there's more... How about a 14" Mego Creature from the Black Lagoon as well as a retro (repro) model?! Thank you again, my friend... these were absolutely awesome to open up in the middle of a 'Snow-Pocalypse'! Here is the Atlantis Models : "Creature from the Black Lagoon" as well as the official Mego: 14" version of The Creature!
  22. Hibou

    Digital Staples.

    There was no magnificent game this year. Now yes, I told him in advance that his car would indeed blow up if he didn't guess his gift, but in fact, there wasn't a plan laid in place, after-all. I felt like it It was all a ploy. So, we met and he tried to guess the present based on the clues, but ultimately, I think I was left with the best clues on my gift! He told me NOTHING was related... So. I opened the first gift and then the second gift and ultimately the third gift as I was helplessly searching for a nonexistent clue! There was indeed a theme to match all of this years gifts. I think Rob set it up that way as a joke... kind of a knock at me consistently screwing up all of his games through my uncanny ability to misspell his clues. ... ... ... This is what Rob got me this year with absolutely no known relation to each other... Again, this must've been Rob's attempt at letting me know what it feels like when 'A' can't spell but 'B' certainly can. This is what Rob got me this year and yes, there certainly was a theme! (Both, the Neptunian and Captain Kirk 100% agree to this picture. Rob didn't get those for me... they were just around for the party.) RedBreast 12 plus 2 Creature from the Black Lagoon plastic cups? That equals a total win!!