Don't Rush Me
Were I a younger man and more!
Memories of the first man who touched my . . .
October 19, 2011 - There are a couple ways I can approach this column. One, I could say, "Were I a younger man . . ." or, Two, I could type, "When I grow up . . ."
Or I could fulfill all your dreams and desires and do it both ways and then do you one better and combine the two.
Were I a younger man
Two Mondays ago, I gassed-up the new and improved Rushmobile and quicker than Fred Flintstone could yabba-dabba-do his way to the stone quarry, I made my way down to Eastern Market. Yep, that one in downtown Detroit and, nope, there were no vegetables for sale (though I did see a few zombie-like folks stumbling around in Honolulu Blue and gray).
In my estimation, Ortonville resident and Clarkston businessman Denny Arney is a giant among men. For about 20 years he has made his way to Detroit Lions home football games for the tailgate party, in itself a tremendous feat of endurance. But, where his stature grows is he not only brings himself, he tows along a hot tub, filled with hot water.
"It was a little easier when the Lions played at the Silverdome," Arney, 50, says.
Now that the Lions play at Ford Field in downtown, he gets to slosh his way from Hooterville all the way downtown via I-75, driving 40 miles per hour.
"It's kinda a white knuckle drive," he admits.
Our man Denny is in the back, center with a big smile. (click for larger version)
When I was at the "tub-gate" the water was a perfect 108 degrees. Arney heats up the water before he leaves home, and with propane and a salamander, keeps it hot throughout the day. People from all walks of life (some regulars to his tub, some new) hop in for talk of the Lions, life and liberty. Some with swimming gear, some, errumm, without.
Were I a younger man, I think I would set up my own hot-tubbing, tailgating experience, too.
When I grow up
I drove back up I-75 before the game started. I stopped by and chatted a bit with Al Deeby Chrysler-Jeep Honcho Jim White and then tooled on home to the apex of civilization, also known as Goodrich, Michigan, USA. (Check out the full color Deeby ad, sweet.)
I got all my snacks ready for the big game, the Detroit Lions vs. the dreaded Chicago Bears. I mixed in my homemade salsa in with frioles and then melted in cheese. I opened a brand new bag of corn chips (Which meant I had to throw out the old chips instead of eating them until they were gone like I normally would. But what the heck, the evening was special.) Me, my two cats, snacks watching Monday Night Football with the Detroit Lions. Wow. What a night, hot damn!
When I grow up, I want to have cable tv, or satellite tv or something other than free, public, over-the-air tv. My ABC affiliate, WJRT (Channel 12 from Flint) opted to show not Monday Night Football with the Detroit Lions. Oh no, not they. In their infinite wisdom they decided Dancing with the Stars was more important than the first Monday Night Football game with a Detroit team in over a decade. ARRRRRG!
When I was a younger man, before I grew up
There's been lots of hoopla in Clarkston this year, and rightfully so. Fifty years ago a young man named James O'Neill brought his wife to town. Since, O'Neill has been doctoring up locals for over 50 years, and now his son Tim is, too. For the past year, readers have written us their stories of Doc O'Neill and we've run 'em in The Clarkston News. Well, I have a story/memory, too.
When I was a younger man (before I grew up), I lived in Independence Township and played football for Clarkston. My memory of Doc. O'Neill -- how do I put this delicately, other than to just blurt it out.
He was the first man to ever touch my genitals.
Get your heads out of the gutter. It was football! All the team had to do it. We'd line up in the locker room and one after another, our physicals were completed.
"Turn your head and cough. Next."
Congratulations to Doc O'Neill and his family.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org