#89 In Roads-Man of the cloth
Dan plans to officiate over the renewal of wedding vows for his childhood friend next year and the two men are discussing the particulars. He doesn’t strike me as a minister kind of guy as he offers his opinion on where the couple should stand for the ceremony. He’s tall, tanned and his conversation is peppered with swear words. He owns a Softail but is riding his ’02 Electra Glide for this trip. I ask how long he’s been a ordained. He looks at the ground and toes the dirt as he tries to recall.
“Well, maybe 30 years now. I got the information off the back of a matchbook,” he chuckles. “Everybody was doing it as a tax dodge back then because you could write off so much stuff, and they all got busted for it, too. I never did it for that reason. I just do weddings now and then and things like the vow renewals. I do it for friends or family.” He shrugs as he flicks the ash before taking a draw on his cigarette. “It’s kinda cool.”
The 62-year old Vietnam vet served in the Air Force. He’s retired from construction, been married three times, and has four grandchildren. The youngest was just born in February. He’s headed off to see the sights with a new lady tucked in behind him. She offers that though his clergy paperwork may have come from a less than conventional source, he has educated himself by studying the bible and really is a very spiritual man. I can tell she respects him.
He changes the subject by telling about his woman’s little Yorkshire terrier and the power struggle they seem to be caught up in. “She’s got this dog and is he ever a little pain in the ass. We simply do not like each other. One day I’m driving along and he reaches over and puts his front feet up on my leg. He looks at me with these pathetic eyes and man, I really felt for the little guy. He knew he had to come to me for a pee break so he just begged. I totally got the message. I knew he was miserable. It was like, “Ok little guy, I’m pulling over for you,” and we stopped.” I ask if they get along better now. “Oh hell no,” he laughs. “He’s right back to being a little pain again. It was just a moment of weakness for both of us.”