Angus is the firstborn in our clan. Angus is a good, Scottish name and I’m fairly Scottish on my mother’s side (her grandfather was born in Scotland, but emigrated from the Highlands to here as an infant and fought as a Lieutenant for the US during The Great War; he brought back an explosive device as a war souvenir and I discovered it long after he died….boom…but that’s another story for another time). I wasn’t thinking about bulls when Angus was named, but “Beef” became one of his high school nicknames. He’s become a bull in several senses. Bull in a China shop – definitely. Bullheaded. That, too. Or just ornery and independent. Apple, tree, apocryphal Newtonian gravity.
Years ago, when Angus was young, his grandparents took him and Drake on a pirate adventure embarking out of Ocean City, New Jersey. OCNJ: Pirate capital of the modern world. Devilish Drake is the one-eyed dwarf with piranha teeth and a spyglass; Angry Angus wields the sword!
Some years after that, I took Angus to a performance of Treasure Island at the Fulton Theater in downtown Lancaster. “Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest...” Swashbuckling. Pirates. Treasure. Islands. Ships. Rum. Fun stuff, for a boy to ponder.
Yet more years later, with a metaphoric cutlash prodding him, he joined an Outward Bound crew for a month of sailing off the coast of Maine. Then he sailed with the Boy Scouts out of the Florida Seabase. Another year after that adventure, poked again into action, he set sail through the Caribbean with Sea/Mester.
Then Angus walked the plank. The gangplank. Onto a dock. In St. Lucia. That’s a long, long way from home. It’s not often a fellow gets marooned in the twenty-first century, but Angus has that rare distinction. One of my buddies asked if I had him row back. At some point I’ll return to this page to explain further. “Yo ho ho…”
“Drink and the devil had done for the rest…”
For Christmas (2018) he received a T-shirt which claimed, “In my defense, I was left unsupervised.” True, but not much of an excuse.
These days Angus is employed full time by a local winery, learning the trade from the ground up. Hair of the dog? Similia similibus curentur.
Having fermented many five-gallon carboys full of grape juice, turning sweet, purple water into merely so-so wine, I’m a little jealous that he’s now involved with stainless vats that fill rooms, gaping vats measured in thousands of gallons. You never know where one legal drink too far can lead. When you stumble, you get up and keep going. That’s the trick.
I can’t wait to see the fellow he becomes in another ten years, and ten years after that. Life is an adventure and Angus is living it.
Angus will be collecting sub-pages here:
- Marine Life In The Grand Cayman – Identification cards by Angus (age eleven)
- The Virginia Creeper – On dog walking, bees, and recovery (of sandals)
We’re still wondering if Angus was trying to eat this conch; he’s got his lips wrapped around the wrong end if he was attempting to blow it like a found trumpet.