Cowboy Wedding: RIP Len

My Ex Brother in Law passed away last week – he wasn’t quite 50.

When he was younger he used to eat a whole loaf of bread at one time. He’d take a loaf – still in the plastic bag – and mush it up/roll it around in his hands until he made a roughly circular “bread ball” then pull it out and eat it like an apple.

He had two careers in his time – meat cutter and forklift operator. Manly trades both of ’em – the dude never worked a desk job.

He used to bounce on the side. For years he bounced at a local Country and Western bar in a hotel. One time Hotel Security came down and had all the bouncers get up ASAP to one of the banquet halls. There was a brawl at a “Cowboy Wedding”. Len and the boys ran on up. When they got there everyone (EVERYONE!) was throwin’ down. “Men, women, kids, bride and groom – the old and the young. EVERYONE. You couldn’t tell which side was which.” The bouncers did their best but the brawl broke up when everyone (EVERYONE!) – Bride, groom, and kids included – were too tired to throw.

He had lost his shirt in the brawl – the bouncers wore polos monogrammed with the bar’s logo . He never did find it. Had to drive home, get another, and drive back to finish his shift. “Cowboy Wedding” He’d tell me and shrug his shoulders.  That’s how it is around here.

He was a non-drinker.

In or around August 1986 He “Slew the Dragon” – or so he told me. I think he did because when he told the story again he’d say a “Buddy” of his “Slew the Dragon”.  You know – a “friend”. That makes me think he did.  There are no pictures.

He was a competitive power lifter. He set several records in his day – squatted over 800, dead lifted in the high 7’s – benched 552. He weighed 368 at World’s in 2002. He wasn’t 6 feet tall. He resembled nothing so much as the character “Nasty Canasta” in Bugs Bunny Cartoons except he was stronger. He didn’t juice.

“I’d should juice” I’d say.

“You don’t need that shit” he’d say “You just need to learn to handle weight.”

He trained the bench press one day per week by working up to a 1 rep max. When he was done he’d do incline dumbbell presses – 160’s for 3 sets of 8. I’d hand him the dumbbells – pick ’em up off the floor. You try it. I guess that’s where I learned to handle weight.

He never said anything to me about his sister and I getting divorced. Nothing. He was divorced, prior to that he had a youthful engagement broken off that left him broken-hearted and with an $8,000 ring worth 4/5 of 5/8 of sweet fuck-all – I guess he just figured men were men and women were difficult to understand.

Weight you just had to learn to handle.

I think he may have juiced.

He had a great Fu Manchu ‘stache. Like the biker from the Village People except with more nacho crumbs and no rough trade.

He loved to hunt and fish. He was a great dad. He had lost some weight by the time he passed.

He never worked a desk job.

RIP Len – see you in Valhalla.


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