I don't know a lot about my Father. I only saw him twice in my life. The first time was in the second grade when he to me to the Met (where the North Stars used to play) to watch the first Ali VS Frazier fight on satellite.
The second time I saw him was years later when I was in baking school. Somebody, I don't even remember who, revealed to me that he was working in a casket company which was less than 5 mile from my house.
I never kept tabs on him, he was a deadbeat, but I had assumed that he was still living in L.A.for reasons unknown.
My fathers went by the nickname Pal, it was suitable I guess. He really liked women and ended up marrying 5 of them.
Each woman bore him a daughter. I was the only son from the first wife.
From the moment Klecko came into this world.....the Devil knew your favorite baker was going to have impact and tried to destroy him asap - LOL, as I was sliding out the birthing canal, I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my throat.
In fact it was so bad, so tight that a medical staff employee ran outside of the Inglewood hospital to find my old man. Eventually they spotted him by some shrubs smoking a joint, but that wasn't really an issue that morning.
"Mr. McGleno, there's not much we can do, but we will try to save your wife."
Yeah....no lie, Klecko was written off for dead, but those Polish angels must have done something. I didn't escape unscathed though. If you ever watch my hands and eyes, you'll note that they quake a bit.this is the result of some nerve damage I'm guessing.
So I decided to go to the casket company, I walk in and introduce myself to the receptionist. "I'm Pal McGleno's kid."
From the expression on her face she seemed shocked and over joyed. she gave me directions, and just before I opened the door to the plant, I wondered how I would notice him. 15 years had passed.
Within seconds, I was pretty confident I had found my Pops, over by a big a** casket that was the Cadillac of it's line. the thing had every bell and whistle on it that you could imagine.
As I approached, I thought how much this big lout resembled Jackie Gleason. when I was 5 to 10 feet away. He seemed nervous.The first thing he said to me wasn't a greeting, or confessions of regret, it was "They'll bury me in this son of a "B"." I'm guessing he was wondering if I came to find love, or if I came to punch his lights out for being such an awful father to my sisters and I.
Actually the answer was neither. I was just a little curious and thought since the situation fell in my lap, I should check it out, but if I had to travel like 15 or 20 miles, I seriously doubt that this homecoming goes down.
Pal grabs me by the shoulder and says "C'mon kid, let's go to Jax and I'll get you some of that Pollock food you like so much"
So as the both of us wolfed down sausages and orange soda, the discussion between estranged family focused on how Rocky was the greatest film ever, and how the sequels were just crap.
Then he told me he was married currently to a Native American woman and had a daughter that was less than a year old.He wasn't bragging, but yet it didn't seem like an apology either, the whole thing was surreal and queer.
As lunch wrapped up he pulled a 5 spot out of his wallet and slid it across the table, telling me to take it.
This gift was kinda insulting when you realize that he jipped me out of 1000's of dollars and a strong role model throughout my formative years.
A hard a** might of slid the cash back in his direction, but I could see it in his eyes. His pain was greater than mine, so i just shoved it into my pocket.
Two weeks later, it was 8 p.m. and my mom (wife #1) called. she woke me up cuz I was working 3rd shift. she told me that my father was dead.
I jokingly responded by telling her that I was heartbroken, and we both started to laugh. When I asked how he died, she said he was in an auto accident. his chest slammed into the steering wheel and even though the doc's cleared him, he had a massive heart attack 2 days later.
I hung up, and then I got ready for work earlier than usual. Then "BOOM" as if out of nowhere.....something hit me. I was stricken with sadness, and I wailed like an Old Testament prophet.
I wailed for what should have been, and I wailed for what never was, but it's hard to know how your emotions can become tilted by somebody you don't even know.
I worked the night before the funeral. when I got off I drove over to the under keeper joint. The service hadn't even started and all the Native American and Mick's were already pouring whiskey.When I walked into that chapel room I started laughing, people looked at me with scrutiny. I told them to chill cuz I wasn't being a jerk. i was laughing because the old man was getting buried in that pimp coffin he had just shown me 2 weeks prior.
All 5 wives attended.Drama flooded the place. My sister-sister (the one I grew up with) ran out of the ceremony because of all the pent up hatred she didn't know what to do with.
The Native American chick rocked sister #5 in her car seat. I was pretty messed up because I had been up for a lot of hours by this point. The religious part was Catholic, so you had to kneel-stand-kneel stand, and I fell asleep several times when the event forced me into a position of prayer LOL.
So the deal is over and we head over to the Vets cemetery. Pal was a Marine, so he got the full Monty. The burial was interesting. While all this was going on, I was with my first wife, but I was just kinda eying a young blond (like young husbands do at times), but I must of stared to long because my mother slugged me in the arm...hard.
"Don't even think about it kid, that's sister #2, she's Jo Ann's Kid!"
I laughed, went home took a nap for a couple minutes and went off to work. I never revisited the moment in my mind.
But then in 2006, when the wheat prices were out of control. The StarTribune business section called me to ask me to offer advice as to what would happen.
I thought it was bizarre, they'd be better off talking with a miller, but I think bakers make for better photo op's. And since we are on that topic, shooter came into the bakery with a camera that looked and sounded like an A-K 47 and shot around 24 000 shots.
If you know Klecko, you know he has a full facial range, and poses with the best runway models. so why is it that they selected a photo, an image that would cover the entire top fold,an image were I possessed no neck what so ever, and it ended up making me look like Jabba the Hutt?
Well the article means little to me now for it's content or vanity purposes. what is really cool is that Sister #2 saw it while at work and was prompted to call me.
Her and her mother came into the bake shop, and sister #2 (Shelly) reached out her hand to greet me, but as a big brother, I bear hugged her. her mom loved that and smiled hard.
There is something to be said for genetics, dude,,,,I never met this woman, my sister other than scoping her out at the cemetery, and I gotta tell you. she's a lout like me. Sue McGleno stares at us in disbelief when we get together and goes scoreboard as to who will interrupt the other the most.
So after that whole dealio, sister #2 Facebooks me and says she found sister #3 or #4, we weren't sure. her name is Jen, and she is married to an American Top Gun pilot guy. They are stationed in Norway or Sweden.
Jen has a Jack Russell like me,but she seems to be the quite stable one in the family,she's a vegetarian lol, but I just found out today that she is on American soil and is about to pass through town.
So the 2 of us are trying to think up a fun reunion of sorts.
BTW.....sister #5 lives on the Rez and periodically toys with moving to the big city to launch a poetry career, and then there is one more sister who remains a mystery.
#2 says she hopes we find her, but I don't know.....maybe in good time, but sometimes Klecko likes things just as they are.
I hope you have enjoyed my family.