Monday, June 22, 2009

William Augustus Brady III

Will Brady, my ex-husband, grew up as a "Bill". I'm the person who gave him the name "Will" because I liked it better. There were no plans to name anyone William Augustus Brady the fourth, but the William name was passed to his grandson Seth William Brady.
When Will's son Gareth was born, he had red hair. I had dyed my own hair red and we were mighty surprised that Gareth had red hair. Eventually we learned that the first William Augustus Brady had red hair. After a few weeks, all of Gareth's hair changed to an almost transparent blonde and has stayed pretty much blonde all his life. The W.A. Bradys all had ears that stuck out- they were Mighty Mouse ears. Neither Gareth nor Seth W. do.

William A. Jr. and Peg Brady showered Gareth with Christmas presents. We had told them that we had no intention of telling Gareth there was such a real person as Santa Claus. They seemed devastated by this idea and filled up their car trunk every year to make up for Gareth's deprived religious training. Either that or they were just being grandparents. Gareth received every present that was on the market. Sometimes more than once. One year Gareth received a set of "cowboys and indians", tiny plastic figures with which a young child could simulate the aggressive take over of the western North American continent. As soon as the grandparents left town, Will took out a pair of scissors and proceeded to put an end to this genocidal war. He cut off rifles, six shooters, bows and arrows. Four year old Gareth cried, "What are they going to do?" Will answered firmly "FARM!"

Years later, when Gareth was thirteen, he told a family therapist that he was still upset about that emasculating of his toys. But six years after that, he bragged about it.

When Gareth was little, my parents lived on the other side of the Adirondack mountains from us. To visit them, we took a beautiful three hour drive of two lane roads. Will has always been a dreamy sort. Once we were re-entering the road after a rest stop and he got distracted by the geology of an interesting cliff across the way and sort of forgot that he was at the wheel of the car. As our car drifted across the road, an on-coming car ran into the cliff to avoid us. No one was hurt, but they were pretty angry about it.

Making the same trip another time, we had a flat tire. As we were trying to change it, the lug nut simply broke off. We stopped at a service station, but they didn't have the bolts we needed. So we inflated the tire and continued on the remaining five bolts. There was a service station about every eleven miles where we would re-inflate the tire. So we proceeded, stopping at Long Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake, and North River, to North Creek where my Dad met us with his tire changing equipment. He didn't think very highly of our tire changing aptitude. But after working on it himself, he found that ALL of our bolts were broken. As the last lug nut fell down to the ground my Dad proclaimed to Will, "My faith in you has been restored." The lug nuts of the tire had been placed with a machine that had turned them too tight and had cracked every one. We were fortunate they had not fallen off while we were driving.

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