It was Sonja's dad who passed on word of Red's death. I do not read the newspapers unless there is one lying around the coffee shop in the morning so I missed the obituary. Sonja's dad takes great pride outliving every single dead person in the paper because he died several times and was revived an equal number of times a few years ago.
Red was the father of one of my teenage buddies. Of all our parents it was Red who could smoke us all under the table. He called all of his son's friends "pot smokin' assholes." Funny thing was half the time we were smoking what his son Freddy figured he could pinch out of his old man's stash without him knowing.
I knew Freddy since I was small and can vividly remember his mom and his sister making us cookies with icing smiley faces on them. Freddy's sister grew up to have inches and inches in all the places boys like that sort of thing. Freddy's mom died of cancer just as we were hitting our teens. I can still remember his mom out of it on pain killers on their front porch talking to herself and maybe even to me as I passed by their big windowed house. Her dying left a polar bear sized footprint on Red and his children.
I guess that was when Red started keeping a stash handy. Soon enough he had a girlfriend and the two of them would get us stoned out of our fucking heads. They taught us how to make pipes out of toilet paper rolls and how to take just the right amount of smoke into your lungs without coughing yourself to death.
The girlfriend drove her car into a water filled ditch on a foggy night about a year or so after Red had taken a liking to her. It was a long time before he had a real girlfriend again.
I took a liking to Red's daughter and her well placed inches. People thought we were meant for each other but we weren't.
Red made sure his kids turned out real good despite the fact they were all pot smokin' assholes brought up in the '70s without a mom by a dad who could not believe his bad luck with women.
Oh yeah, Red is going to be missed.