I've often fondly talked and written about my "Grandpa Pete," a man who in my youth seemed to have the key to the secret knowledge I was looking for... whatever that was. Indeed, Grandpa taught me a lot about patience and doing what you really want to do in life, regardless of what other people might think about it. Of course, even with Grandpa as inspiration, it still took me years of self-work to attain only the modicum of patience I have today, but at least I have reached a place where I am doing what I love to do most of the time in my daily life, without concern for the opinions of others. One out of two ain't bad.

But, as time went on, of course, Grandpa eventually had to be deconstructed. Upon the event of my divorce as a young man in my twenties, I went to seek what I expected to be the sage advice of my wise, old mentor. With baited breath, I hung on Grandpa's patiently delivered words. He said: "Petey, go to the butcher shop, buy a nice piece of meat, and go home and make dinner for your wife."

I was speechless. For a very long time.

Another time, perhaps on the event of his ninetieth birthday, reflecting on Grandpa's nine decades journey through life, I remarked on how amazing it must be for him to have been born at a time when we didn't even have cars or planes and to have lived to see human beings walk on the moon. Again, with a steady and confident delivery, he said: "Petey, you really think they landed on the moon? For all you know, they landed on Long Island."

That time, the silence was even longer, and I realized that I was growing up. Grandpa had his gifts and great qualities, but he also had his limitations. I was on my way to attaining wisdom, and it meant letting go of my mentor.

What inspired me to write about this? Well, this will seem like a stretch, but I just heard some excerpts from Dick Cheney's interview on CNN this morning, and well, the comments were so absurd and backwards-thinking, so pathetically delivered by a man so utterly hollowed out by the years of psychopathy, that it was hard for me to hold onto the revolt I've always felt towards him and the view that he was the ultimate incarnation of evil in our time.

You see, like Grandpa Pete, Dick Cheney's time has come and gone. The course of change and the evolutionary developments in today's world are too overwhelming for Cheney to grasp, as divorcing or landing on the moon were too much for my grandfather to comprehend.

I mean, in addition to saying that the economic meltdown in our country was certainly not the responsibility of the Bush-Cheney administration, and that somehow President Obama was inviting another terrorist attack, here, here is Cheney on Rush Limbaugh this morning:

"Rush is a good friend. I love him. I think he does great work and has for years."

Well, I know what Grandpa Pete would say about that bit of "news." The same thing he always said about any news stories: "Petey, I never believe nothing until I read it in the Italian newspaper."

Okay, then. I get it.

Anyway, I know this. We all get to Heaven, so happy trails, Grandpa and Dick! Oh, and Dick? Take Uncle Rush with you. (That Italian paper would be Il Progresso, by the way.)

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