I met Tony Deegen when he was almost 70… I was near 50… He was old on the outside and young in his bones… just the opposite of me.
Tony Deegan spent his 401k on a stripper… must have been a big tipper ‘cause he didn’t drink… paid for her tits and put her through school… as old farts go, he was cool.
Tony Deegan saw the Dodgers in the Coliseum… got to see ‘em play there in the 1950’s… sat his bony ass near the peristyle… Vin Scully’s transistor echo made him smile… when all things were new… till they moved all the families out of the Ravine before ’62. He saw Drysdale and Koufax and Bobby and Jack as equals in his hall of fame.
Tony Deegan, by the time I knew him, he lived on Arbor Vitae… where he wouldn’t invite you because it was a rundown piece of furnished shit… and the beard on his neck was thicker than the one on my chin. He was all stories by then… forgotten glories of a when that was dead… and he wouldn’t let just anyone into his head.
Tony Deegan always listened to progressive talk on his car radio while he worked, or sports… always out of sorts… and his opinion on either subject wasn’t always correct, political or otherwise… everyone around him said he was always to blame for every wrong thing… mostly because he couldn’t keep his damn mouth shut.
I want to be just like Tony Deegan when I grow up… except for the stripper, and the 401k… and the dying when he was so damn alone.
Copyright © 2013 Bill Friday