If you met Martin Dyer, he would’ve been a boy. I only knew him as an old man with long white hair.
We called him “Marty” and he’d greet us each day with a wave and his signature call… “Hey old scout!”
Marty rented a room from my gram and a barn from Mrs. Duprey that lived just next door. He drove an El Camino two miles an hour from one house to another. So slow, you could walk and get there faster. Later, long after Marty had passed from this world, I pointed at an El Camino and noted how it was an “old man’s car.” My husband laughed and told me they were one of the fastest cars on the road.
Fast. Really? Who knew…
Marty ate lunch at Grams. Each day she would lay out 8 pieces of white bread, slathered with butter and a bowl of soup or such. The man was huge. I asked him one day, how he could eat so much. He just winked and smiled. “Gotta stay strong for hunting.”
Ah, yes, hunting. My dad says Marty lived for that.
Marty towered over my gram, but she never took lip from him. She was “Mrs. Ferry” even though he was older. She’d wag a little finger at him and say “don’t get fresh” if he tried to call her Mary. He knew where the line was and he never dared to cross it.
He was no relation – I never felt compelled to call him uncle – but it seems important somehow, that others know that he lived and laughed and had a purpose. So maybe just for today, when you greet someone, a stranger even, give them a large wave and Marty’s hello…
“Hey old scout!”