Buick. Boy Growth. Friend’s Dad’s Funeral

•April 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

That Buick of mine was a hot ride. Though there was only a few of us who thought so. We kept it clean and always had somewhere to go.

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We watch the time pass so fast it hurts. Kids without T-shirts. Moms in a bleached stained skirt. It’s a whirl wind we’re living.

 

 

Yesterday: two years ago

In the rear window the dads were dying.

It all started yesterday at Jon Morrow senior’s funeral- or celebration of life as they now call them. Brothers recited memories and cried like babies again, but momma’s been gone for years. Tears, strength, faith in heaven and respect for death filled the room like a gas station apothecary; everything anyone could need was there for the spiritual taking. The lobby hosted a two fold billboard with pictures of the deceased and his loved ones loving life. Stern smiles and faded history.

 

There was a lot of talk about life yesterday. And yes, good talk about life always includes that of death, and afterlife and…holy shit there is a fly buzzing around my truck right now that I want to kill so fucking bad, that it’s almost made me lose my train of thought. …runaway train.

 

Then the conversation last night at my parent’s house drifted quickly from me stealing my dad’s Lance tuck in my teens to everyone talking about heaven: the final resting place and what it’s really like. I admit: it made me feel uncomfortable. –Not because I have a problem with the thought of after life or death or any of that…It was just the first time I heard my mother talk about her vision of arriving in heaven… and hell no I’m not going to share what it is with you; no offense but you’re just a reader- I’m sharing my thoughts and feelings with you… not my mother’s. I found a proper time to leave and did so; saying good byes to a room full of loved ones; who; thank god are still alive and present in my life, let me never take for granted those that surround me physically on a daily basis whom I some day will inevitably miss. That line just typed itself and sorry but there is no going back on it.

 

The window before us, though maybe dirty, open, shut or blinded, we can still see through. Even if the panes were painted black we could break them out and get a vision… and yes, even the blind have the visions that I speak of; a way of looking at things, a sense of what is here and what the days taste like we are in control of; at least to a point this physical view. It’s not a matter of fate, it’s a matter of the decisions we have made as humans, up and out of bed, shoes on or where to go, or at the least: what to think about.

 

It was a good night’s sleep and today I still noticed everything a little bit differently: the steeples poked out of the autumn peaks invitingly but I did not stop. We were on a mission of our own, my son and his pal ate Margaret’s pancakes and went off on a Sunday morning road trip. The truck was full of skateboards, good will and instinct. We stopped at roadside ditches and stole some lines. We climbed campground sculptures and ignored Colin’s fever. Forever let me live life like this, making moods and time to miss.

 

 

I think I need a Pill

•April 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Overweight mothers led a stampede; pushing carts full of bullshit for their brats. It’s nonstop in this lot. I try to never come here, every time swearing this is the last. Is this the first? Hot damn I need springtime purchases. I’m sweating. I’m angry. No discount card, see I like my Chinese bullshit over priced and easy. Look at me pleasing! Where are all these mom’s going? Where’s the dad at? -Somewhere on the clock to pay for that slobber rat. Holy shit I’m doing it again… No time to kill, I think I need a pill.

 

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Arment Enters: World of Concrete

•January 31, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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World of Concrete 2016

 

Flight Delayed

 

9:55 am Philadelphia International Airport

 

Generalization #1:

 

I find all humans to be annoying.

 

The minute the flight was announced delayed due to a repair that needed taken care of on our ship, people started to scramble at light speed, rushing to see if there was another flight available. Direct flight?! Something sooner!? My plans!

 

I’m pretty sure the couple across from me is on a blind date and about to cross the country together. The awkwardness is off of the charts. He’s acting like they’ve been together their whole life but I’m certain this is the first time they’ve met. I find the sight of her toes (peeking suspiciously at me from under her big leather sandals) disturbing and the only reason I keep looking at them is in hopes of seeing them leave…forever. I’m not making fun of his luggage, but… he’s currently having a hard time jamming his jacket into his bright orange Kmart luggage set. I’m waiting for a zipper to snap and his rage ruin the date. In this case, I’m almost rooting for his luggage to not break and disassemble the romance about to build.

 

How are there always individuals in airport terminals with no belongings? Like, Nothing. No phone, no bag, no purse… they’re just lurking around waiting to go somewhere in a T-shirt. It’s a blank T-shirt with no hints of where they are going or where they came from… Just finishing up a stinky burrito and wiping hands on baggy pants, ready to go. No, not even a bottle of water- the seemingly most needed necessity of any human on earth. Never go anywhere without a bottle of water. To quote George Carlin “…When did everyone become so thirsty?”

 

There is one human couple here who does not annoy me. They’ve been cuddled together on a bench sleeping since I got here. They haven’t a care in the world. Flight? What flight? Who gives a shit. Now we just have more time to sit here in a make believe womb, waiting to be born as one.

 

They just made an announcement about the flight but I couldn’t hear a word. “Cripple Creek” is blaring from every speaker in this gate waiting room; this song baring more meaning that flight schedule announcements.

Update:

I’ve been in the airport now for nearly 6 hours. My flight boards in 42 minutes…hopefully.

Green Truck Kaput.

•August 22, 2015 • 1 Comment

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When I was a kid I liked to do a lot of dumb shit….and occasionally I still do.

The other week at RMS we were victims of some minor vandalism; broken windshield, shitter knocked over, random work site materials strewn about…and then the following weekend I arrived to this: my green truck set on fire over the weekend. -This is not kids doing dumb shit… it’s a little beyond.

I’d been to hell and back in that truck…it was a good truck; did burnouts, always started, took a beating, and occasionally hauled my band’s gear around. But now it’s toasted. What to do?

My workmate Eric rose his chin with a calm, deep breath and says “I say we bury the fucker, right there”… it’s still an option, I guess… ‘since metal prices are really down right now it would cost more to tow it than what I will get for it in scrap.

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I know what you’re thinking, because I thought the same thing: “hey, it’s not so bad…’couple of belts and hoses…headlamps…radiator…..couple coats of paint and we’re back in the game’….but no. there’s molten metal on the charred grass below and it basically needs a whole new interior too….

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I’m not really materialistic but damn, I had a cool pair of sunglasses in the cab.

A week later, the job site still smells like burned F250. I go back and forth, one moment laughing about it and the next moment getting really pissed off about it… but don’t worry people, you’re still going to get what I’m calling “the best skatepark in Pennsylvania”

Remember: it’s not about falling, it’s about getting back up… and if you try hard enough, you’re more prone to failing… and good karma’s better than bad karma… and blah blah blah.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Luv ya!

:9)

Tendai’s Goofy Footed

•July 7, 2015 • 1 Comment

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Gosh… that shirt puts 10 pounds on me…. actually I just look fatter when I’m proud and puffing out my chest… and that’s what is going on in this shot.

Arment Concrete LLC started the 10,000 sq ft addition to the Reid Menzer Memorial Skate Park today in York. Very exciting. Even more exciting is the fact that I gave my trustworthy helper Tendai Gochera his first skate board. He’s helped on several skate park projects and ends up leaving them with a sigh of disappointment and the phrase “…I just wish I could skate”.

I couldn’t take it anymore.

If this kid wants to learn how to skate at age 34 I’m not going to stop him, I’m going to help him. “Here’s a board, Kid”. It’s a classic yet modern design: Chad Kramer pro model on Derelict Hotel wood via the Yuengling Lager graphic. I put Independent trucks on it and some decent urethane.

Tendai nearly cried when I gave it to him this morning. “MY FIRST BOARD!” he exclaimed and hugged me profusely.

At lunch break we all rode around the existing park, Tendai’s first time on a board he managed to roll down a few embankments to his own; and everyone else’s pure delight. I could hear him scream in excitement as he rolled freely; wood under him cruising over concrete. The locals called out advice on foot positioning and before long I called him back to work before he breaks his neck!

Welcome to the crew, dewd.

Dutchland Diesel: Ultimate Huggy.

•May 29, 2015 • Leave a Comment

My life has been blessed in many ways. One in particular is the cluster of friends that I have been granted- by a sheer act of God no doubt… or maybe it was chance or the stars aligning in a certain way- whatever the reason, nonetheless: I call it blessed.

I’ve been playing with Dutchland Diesel for over half of my life now (insert the sound of high five followed by a high pitch holler) and have made the decision to do this until I die…or until other band members kick it…but between me and you, I hope to be the first to go… I can’t stand the thought of living without Shane, Piotr and Moe.

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This is Piotr pre-show last week playing Ol’ Greg’s father’s guitar. Greg got it out of the case and Pete says “Give me that” and proceeds to play his song that he always plays when he picks up an acoustic: Blackbird. When Pete was done, he gave the guitar back to Greg and left the room…Greg then offered me his father’s six string acoustic, but I denied “I don’t let anyone hear my songs” I told him and then left the room nervously.

On the main floor of the Chameleon Club I hugged my friends before and after the show- if you got hugged post-set, you got the sweaty version of my hello-hug. Some people liked (or said nothing about it) the sweat hug while others (who don’t understand my love) were clearly annoyed or disgusted with the wet hug…either way; I love you people. I felt blessed by your presence and happy and honored to play the drums in this band.

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My ten year old Ollie diligently helped unload equipment that was too heavy for him to carry; out of the Arment Concrete work truck #2 (R.I.P., A-1) summoning some instant pride in whatever it was Dad was doing. My envy of band rigs with trailers and motorhomes is something I don’t admit to or talk about, however I liked  having the equipment hauled and loaded via Ford 250 with all the signs of aging and concrete construction. -This is our style.

My Margaret, son and daughters got to witness what it is that I do when I’m not slinging concrete and they too, got to be victims of the ultimate sweat love hug, like it or not. My happiness proceeds me these days and I’m not going to take a minute of it for granted. Thank you all, I love you beyond words.

:9)

My Dad’s Lance Truck.

•March 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

(NO. I do not have a picture of it… in the 80’s we didn’t go ‘round snapping pictures of anything and everything with our cell phones. We didn’t have cellphones, and that’s how we liked it)

Growing up, my dad was a Lance Cracker sales man. It’s what I remember him doing the most as a job In between times of owning restaurants, my Dad was the Lance man- best damn L.M. the country had ever seen, Lee Arment has several #1 in the nation sales representative plaques to prove it. We toured the Lance cracker factory in Charlotte North Carolina. Our family was carted around the facility like celebrities as we saw how the saltine line worked, we saw 50 gallon drums of fresh peanut butter being pumped into a machine that magically dispensed plops of peanut butter between different style crackers: nekot, captain’s wafers and of course the most famous Lance cracker of all time: Toastchee. We knew all the cracker names and flavors. We had our favorites (my older brother Mitchell was fond of Toastchee crackers and chupa-chup lollipops while I; myself was a nipchee man) and all anxiously toured the plant, a proud-as-all-hell-American family wearing hair nets and Lance collared shirts. Disney was for generic masses with too much time on their hands… The Arment’s of Denver Pennsylvania were a hard working, fun loving group who toured the Lance Cracker plant of Charlotte North Carolina with American pride and fashion. God bless Lance Crackers. Amen!

Back home, my dad’s Lance truck eagerly awaited his return. She was a big white box truck, lettered from end to end with Lance logos and larger than life images of the products and the slogan “Don’t go ‘round hungry”. The truck was a Grumman body with a Chevy chassis and engine. –Don’t let me forget to mention that the stereo system could be heard in Shoeneck from Denver if Dad let the doors slide open and let her rip- which he sometimes did on Saturday afternoons while washing the truck and tossing back a few hard earned cold beers. One of these afternoons I was helping my dad organize boxes of cracker in the truck. He set his beer on the rear bumper while doing something…then we shut the door and took her for a spin down to the hardware store for some needed supplies…when we got back and walked around the back of the truck, we were both equally delighted to see that his half full (never half empty) beer was still on the bumper, eagerly awaiting his return. Dad’s mustache often smelled a little like crackers and a little like beer.

Dad’s Lance truck had seat belts in it for enough people: him. And he never wore it. Seat belts were for people who “didn’t know how to drive”. If you were a passenger you had to either hold on for dear life (don’t be fooled into thinking that Lee Arment drove his Lance truck slowly, he drove it like a sports car, pedal to the metal just about any chance he got…he was and still is: the best damn driver of any motorized vehicle be it truck or tractor that I’ve ever witnessed) or find an empty shelf to crawl into; which let me remind you my dad was a champion sales rep and wouldn’t be caught dead with un-stocked shelves in the truck. He would only have had an empty shelf on the ride home from a day’s work at which point; you guessed it: he drove like a bat out of hell, you’d better just hang on and hope for the best.

I have a hundred stories about the Lance truck, but one thing I can tell you right now is that: The Lance truck never got stuck in the snow. Oh, it went out in any weather imaginable to deliver the world’s best crackers…”Don’t go ‘round Hungry!” where words that our family lived by… I think at one point my brother tried to stick the slogan into the Lord’s prayer and got reprimanded heavily by my parents. Anyhow, the Lance truck never got stuck in the snow…the theory was that if you loaded the white ship up with enough crackers, the thing would pretty much push a freight train through the thickest of conditions.

Dad took better care of the Lance truck than any other vehicle the Arment family owned. He used 98 octane gas and took it regularly to the trusted mechanic. No one drove the truck ‘cept for dad…well there might have been an occasion or two, but I’ll save that for another time.