Fathers and sons

June 16, 2017
  • By Randy Osborne / For the AJC
Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com
Randy Osborne, at work in his home office in Atlanta, went to live with his grandparents after his father left, and then his grandfather left.

On what’s to become our final day together as a family, 5-year-old me squats in the kitchen corner, gluey-fingered with a cherry Popsicle. Dad polishes his rifle. Mom jabs at the linoleum with a broom.

“Move your feet,” she snaps at him. “Move your feet.” 

She grumbles about housework, his lack of ambition and the miserable thing their life together has become. Baked squash for dinner. Again. 

My father eyes down the barrel of his gun at a vase in the next room. “I could,” he tells her — jokey, slurring from the beer — “put you out of your misery.” 

As if on cue, Mom scoops me up. She piles clothes into the car. Tires spin and gravel flies. Dad staggers in the driveway, roaring. 

We never go back. 

Do I recall the scene accurately? Or has my mother’s later telling lodged in my brain for me to embellish and distort over the years, adding drama with each access? I don’t know, but it feels real.

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