Bob had some great ideas about what to do with the property, he wanted to move our house up to the desert instead of having it demolished when we were going to rebuild. But he was lucky to be alive at that time, having just spent 7 months in the hospital on a respirator. He was a total invalid, and it was more than I could handle, working full time, moving out and into an apartment while the house was being rebuilt, and taking care of him. I couldn't do it without him.
He also dreamed of growing peaches up there, but it turned out that, as an oxygen-dependent semi-invalid, it was more than he could do. So it remained a place for him to get away to a couple of days a week, to putter with his machines as best he could. I called them his girlfriends, I could smell their diesel perfume when he'd come home at night.
His related hobby was fixing the old cars and trucks he had on the property. By the way, everyone in the desert has many old cars and trucks. It gave him something to do with himself, gave him a purpose. He'd drive around Southern California buying parts here and there, then he'd fix what he could. He hired a young fellow to help him with things he couldn't. He just needed to be doing something.
And then, while I'm still working full-time and in a funk of grief, I'm left with all this stuff I know nothing about. In Brooklyn people have neither property NOR machines! So I took some time to catch my breath, and in that time they robbed me blind.
His oldest son lives in Hawaii, but would make trips back here periodically to see his mother and brothers. He was at that time a medal winning waterman, he would row in competition from island to island, the kind of thing that's covered on TV. He visited our home once, and gave me one of his medals, which I thought was sweet. The second oldest is a successful musician who makes records. He has a business as well. The two oldest were seemingly not involved. Even the youngest, who fought with his father to the point of threatening our lives, was not seemingly involved. It was the third son, the boat builder, who took active steps to hire and install a man up there to sell everything off, either whole or scrapped. Their mother and the boys had kidnapped (boatnapped?) Bob's boat from its berth at a marina during the time of their divorce, so that's the way their minds worked. By the way, the boat got caught in a storm, and the Coast Guard had to rescue his ex and sons, with the boat being smashed to smithereens by the waves. But this was many years before the desert stunt.
I'd had some interactions with these boys over the 30 years Bob and I were together, and of course I knew all the stories Bob told about his life with them, he'd raised them to adulthood before he and his wife divorced. Bob then helped me raise my four, who loved him very much. He did more for them in many ways than their own father. I wanted very much to love his kids in return, but they sure made it hard.
I see pictures of his grandkids and great-grands on the internet, he has many, and I have only happy feelings about them. I guess I'm looking to see something in their faces of Bob.
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