The Birminghamster
Lowe Knows




by Mrs. Lowe


Sometimes I wish there would just not be any "Day's" this or "Day's" that to celebrate. Especially when I wind up doing all the shopping for everyone in my family to give to each other. Occasionally, someone will actually go out and spend their own time and money getting something for one of the others but usually, I end up doing it because, after all, it is "That Day" and a gift must be presented to the honoree.

Now this year, I bought a gift for Mr. Lowe (even though he isn't my father) and even though our daughter did send a gift to him which actually arrived on time. She sent him a book about Bill Russell, his all time favorite basketball player and hero. I got him a new pair of jeans. There is a reason for that. His old jeans are threadbare and he has sewn up the holes with various colored thread. He looks like a clown gone bad at the Jimmie Hale Mission when he wears them. Now, he could AFFORD some new jeans but he knows that if he wears the old ones in this condition that eventually, someone will come along and buy him a new pair. And actually, I think he must like the little pinched up places outlined with the colored threads. He perceives himself to be a man of thrift who would deny himself a new pair of jeans as long as there was any life left in the old ones. He also sews up the holes in his socks, presumably for the same reason. Personally, I know from experience that he is just a pack-rat and is compelled to keep things forever which have long since lost their value.

Really, I should not be telling you this. I knew early on in the relationship that he would be this way. On our first vacation to Daytona beach he proudly displayed the family jewels when the crotch fell out of a pair of cutoffs he was wearing as swim trunks. It actually separated and thus appeared as if he were wearing a denim miniskirt. It's the truth - I have a picture. See, in those days, I was still amazed enough at what he did to take pictures. Today, I just run the other way and try to act like I don't know who he is!

He has old adjuster manuals in his office which still tell how to estimate losses on vehicles which are no longer manufactured. Soooooo-if any of you need to know how much it would have cost to repair a Ford Torino, an Edsel or a Maverick and what parts were needed, just give him a call. I am not saying that you will get an answer but if the phone stops ringing and you hear a low mumble on the line, go ahead and leave your message and if he can find the answer, he will call you back. I hope you will not be in a hurry as I can guarantee you that it will be awhile, if ever.

There are some things he used to do with great speed and agility. He was a good athlete in college and a great Racquetball player in his prime. His favorite footwear on the court was Converse All-stars and we shopped a million miles to find them in a size 13. (He really needed a 14 but that was too much to hope for. Besides, he believes that if you wear a 13 once in high school or college maybe, that is the size you should always wear.) The theory behind this is if you can squeeze your foot into something which is available for purchase, then it fits. And yes, that IS where Johnny Cochran came up with the brilliant concept that if it DON'T FIT YOU MUST ACQUIT! Mr. Lowe's consulting fee on that one was enough to tide us over during his recent illness.

Now, you may think that he is not the most well-dressed guy nor would he ever be called speedy, quick or even punctual. But the important thing is this. He is somebody's Dad! In honor of his day, I will share with you one of his most favorite dishes -- his Mother made it for him and his sisters when they were little kids if they were sick. It was appropriately given a family name and if I had been near as smart as I thought I was in 1970, I would have turned around and ran as fast as I could when I heard about it. All the signs were there, I just ignored them.

They called it:


1/2 Stick of butter or margarine
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 jar Dried Beef
3 to 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
6 to 8 pieces of toast

Melt butter in skillet over low to medium heat. Stir in flour until absorbed but not brown. Add milk, black pepper and dried beef. If too thick, add more milk. If too thin, add more flour. Serve over toast.

Some of you may recognize this recipe from the Army. I believe the technical name was "Shit on Shingles." SOS or Coo Coo, it's all the same. A simple recipe for a simple man.