Two memorials in three weeks with the Raffey clan – November was a month of mourning. First, on the 5th, we had a funeral mass for my father-in-law Gus, and then a memorial for Dave’s cousin, Peggy, on the 26th. Emotions ran the gamut on that Saturday. Funny and sad were both had at both – Dave’s cousin’s house and Parker Lakes.

So after Dave fixed the bike in the morning, the three of us started talking about the stuff they had at the thrift store and I asked John how long ago he had taken their dad’s clothes. “About three weeks ago,” he said. “Right after we left,” I said, and then exclaiming to Dave, said, “I told you, you should have taken those pants!” “Huh? What are you talking about?” John asked. Before I could finish my sentence or describe the pants, he said he knew which ones I was talking about and scolded me for not either taking them or telling him we wanted them. In the background the whole time, Dave was mumbling, “No, we really don’t,” as I did my best to talk over him and hope John couldn’t hear him. Finally, I finalized it – “Yes, we do too want them, darn it!” So we got in John’s car and took a ride to the thrift store.

I still can not get over how many times Gus had talked about this thrift store and we never went. Located in a strip mall next to K-Mart, which we had been to a few times, we never walked next door to check out out the St. Columbkille thrift store, run by the church Gus loved and served with all of his heart. And then there we were, buying back his pants for five bucks. I did not realize how much I really wanted them until I could not find them. After scanning the “men’s pants” rack twice, my heart sank a little. And then Dave, a couple of isles over, hollered, “Found them,” and I skipped over, excited as all get-out. They were in the women’s section. Ha ha ha!! And right next to them was a fun, colorful pair in my size – I just couldn’t resist. Of course you couldn’t, Dave is thinking.


Ironically, Dave’s dad was very much a minimalist, yet he held on to these pants for over 40 years.

Here’s Dave’s parents in 1972 –

When I come across a better picture of him wearing these pants, I will be sure to post it. I know I have seen one!

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