Uncle Lou was great about paying for swim lessons for all of us, including Johnnie after he arrived. He also was great about reminding us, when swimming in the river, because of its polluted state, never to swallow the water; "remember boys, fish fuck in it!" Pollution might have meant little to us at the time, but the thought of what fish and other critters were doing in the water was testimony enough for us to keep our mouths shut and only enter the water when absolutely necessary. There were those, however, who decided to swim off of the sand bars the river formed on the other side of the big water where they felt was less polluted. It still didn't change where fish fucked, however!
Johnnie waited for us, usually Hardy and me, sitting on my front steps, every day while school was still in session. With only a week or so left in the year, his grandparents, working with our elementary school principal, decided not send him but wait until school began in the fall. He was always so happy, overjoyed it seemed, whenever he spotted us, welcoming and wanting a hug and a kiss on his cheek. I was concerned his grandparents would be concerned about the close relationship I was forming with him so one day, I sauntered over to their house after supper and asked if it bothered them that he spent so much time with me.
I was more or less astonished by their response!
"Actually," his grandmother confessed, somewhat embarrassed by her lack in informing me, "it's what his mother desired and his aunts and uncles almost demanded!"
"We think," his grandfather added, "you're old enough and smart enough to understand why and why all, and I mean all, of us feel so strongly about the two of you being together! I think it's important to Johnnie and to you. Besides, in this short time he's been here, he's grown to love you as you truly are, his brother, and I think you feel the same way."
God, their trust and the sincerity of their words, enabling me, committing me to the protection and imparting of love to their grandson, choked me up! I swallowed hard, fighting back tears of emotion, before responding,
"I really do feel the same way about him and I promise you, I'll do my best to love and protect my little brother!"
I know it sounded trite, almost a phony response, but I really, really meant it!
My path through life was set; set to love and care for my younger brother, the brother I never knew I had up until two weeks previously.
School was out for the summer on Friday at noon. It was an extremely busy weekend and I was tired, deciding to sleep in on this first Monday of summer vacation. I didn't have to go to school until September when I'd enter the ninth grade, my first year of high school.
Friday night Fish Fry was one hell of a busy night! It was the unofficial start of the summer season at "Uncle Lou's" and his first of the season specials. He featured AYC eat (all you can eat) battered, deep fried, catfish with hushpuppies (no substitutes, otherwise regular price), with coleslaw, and a free pitcher of tap beer (again, no exceptions). The place was packed from four in the afternoon until the kitchen closed at ten in the evening!
It was all hands on deck! It included every member of our own Sunday Club (tagged as "Billy's Sunday Club" by the older, original members of the Club), and all family members available, with each of us assuming our regular duties. Skeeter worked the kitchen with his mom and Pudge; Hardy, Mooch, Sketch, Buzz, Sling, and I were busy hustling orders out to tables and bussing them, cleaning them up for the next "sitting" of guests, helping the table waiters out. We also wrapped silver ware, filled condiment bottles, kept the water pitchers full, and helped out with doing the dishes in the kitchen when the two high school workers were overwhelmed or just plain needed help. We were more than tired when the evening ended!
The only two other times of the season would be the Fourth of July and Mid-September when Uncle Lou would declare the end of the summer season for "The Ale Haus (Uncle Lou's)." He'd have another big special, "sort of to treat the regulars" he'd always say. Not mentioning, of course, it was a highly profitable evening.
Saturday was clean-up day in the morning, then Hardy, Skeeter, and I worked Saturday night until around eight o'clock. Uncle Lou decreed that was as late as we'd work on Saturdays during the summer because, as he put it, "Saturday night, after eight, during the summer, customers can sometimes be a bit boisterous!"
With the deck available on nice evenings for dining and drinking and the big docks he put in the spring after the flood season passed, boaters, including those in houseboats (a relatively new recreation and watercraft in our area for the times), would tie up at the docks and spend some time at "Uncle Lou's." You couldn't say Uncle Lou didn't take advantage at every opportunity. It was a lesson I learned well!"
Johnnie was occupied during the weekend as well. He was to spend Saturday meeting relatives and learning more about where he now lived, as he had the weekend before. Sundays for him meant Mass at ten o'clock since his grandparents were devout Catholics, rarely missing Sunday Mass or Holy Days of Obligation.
Sunday, this particular year, for me and the rest of "Billy's Sunday Club" was a fun day! Uncle Lou and his Sunday Club had a brunch for us and our families to celebrate our completion of Eighth Grade and begin high school in the fall. The food was fabulous! We each received a nice gift, a wrist watch! It also was the time to discuss summer jobs with us and our parents (and grandparents in my case)! Momma was so proud of all of it, I damned near cried myself!
Sketch (Adam Donahue) and Sling (Russell Morgan) indicated early on they were interested in learning the commercial fishing business. Both were avid outdoorsmen and loved the river. Neil Moore and Ernie Olson readily agreed to teach them would employ them part-time during the summer, leaving them free to work "Uncle Lou's" when needed.
Moocher (Patrick Shaw) loved mechanics, so Vinnie Rosetti wanted to put him to work in his auto repair shop. Moocher just leaped at the chance. He also would be free to work Friday's and other evenings as needed at "Uncle Lou's."
Skeeter, Hardy, and I would continue to work at "Uncle Lou's" while Buzz (Steve Carlson) would work at one of the local grocery stores Uncle Lou had some sort of interest in. Buzz would work in the meat department, learning the meat-cutting trade.
All of us would work Friday Night Fish Fries and spend some time at our "Bike Shop" in Grandpa Thompson's garage. It was something we all enjoyed and was making a few dollars for us repairing bikes and renovating and selling used bikes. We called it "The Bike Shop." Original, right?
The caveat to all of this was really quite simple; half of what we earned was to be committed to savings, either in a savings account or a U.S. Savings Bond (at the time this was the best investment to protect our principle, insured, and a steady interest rate; albeit sometimes lower than banks). Hardy and I decided to split our investments between banks and U.S. Bonds. A very wise choice, we found over the years!
As the party wound down, Uncle Lou told me to stop in Monday morning and bring Johnnie with me.
"Need to sign him up for swimming lessons at the City Pool, put him on my Family Pass, and get him a city bus pass as well!"
Tired as I was, before I dozed off to sleep that evening, all I could think of the year when Uncle Lou took the lot of us to the City Pool to sign us up for a "family pass." Once the fees were paid, a metal "pass" with a number on it and an elastic band to secure the "pass" to an ankle or a wrist was issued to each "family" member.
A new pool director was employed that summer to replace the one retiring (a teacher). Now, understand, the old pool director had been there, like forever, and knew Uncle Lou quite well. He also knew better than question the number of "family" members on Uncle Lou's "family" pass. Uncle Lou always remembered those who treated him well and those who didn't! Those that did treat him well, were "rewarded" (cash gifts at Christmas and other times of the year) and those who didn't were not! Need I say more?
Well, Uncle Lou, followed by our band of merry men, boys actually, approached the pool entrance and window where money was exchanged for entrance to the pool and where season passes were issued, after a fee was paid, of course.
The young pool director, a new teacher at the high school and one of the assistant swim coaches for the high school was manning the ticket booth.
"Lou Thompson," Uncle Lou announced, identifying himself. "I'm here to renew my family pass for another summer."
The young man sorted through the card file, found Uncle Lou's name, and carefully scrutinized the names, while giving us the once-over as well.
"Mr. Thompson," he stated with some semblance of authority, "the names of the boys on your family pass, the last names I mean, are different. Additionally, if I'm not mistaken, they appear to be all the same age. I do need to remind you, family passes are provided for family members only, not all the neighborhood children."
Wrong thing to say to Uncle Lou! We all shuffled forward so as not to miss a single word or a fist to the nose or a ripping of a shirt as they young teacher was heisted from behind the counter and through the small window. The lobby was quiet, purposely so; we wanted not to miss the smallest inflection in the volume, tone, or words used by Uncle Lou as he addressed the problem the young man presented to him. Oh, I thought, this young usurper was in for a shocking discovery and one which he soon would not forget!
Uncle Lou said nothing for several long seconds, his eyes dark and menacing, boring into the young man's face, penetrating into his very soul, almost threatening to tear it out and toss it to the bowels of the earth, existing in the fires of hell for eternity!
A distinct "gulp" was heard and it didn't come from any of us. Nope, it squeaked out from behind the ticket window.
"Young man," Uncle Lou began with a sardonic smile on his face, but with a menacing, demanding, finality,
"Who I fuck and when I fuck them is none of your business unless you consider departing this place or the school as your place of employment and gather among the ranks of the unemployed or something more sinister."
I must admit, the young teacher was quick to respond and cover his ass (not that he was in any danger of being fucked- at the moment, at least)!
"Oh, Mr. Thompson, these are merely questions I must ask of those who might seek to disregard the rules and thwart the city's fee schedule and revenue to support the pool."
I was willing to bet his legs and insides were shaking like a dog shitting razor-blades!
"I'm certain," he continued, his voice shaking, just a mite, "you're certainly proud of all your family members. I can see the resemblance, through the eyes, and other features. It's easy to see every one of these young boys enjoys being with his Daddy and his brothers. What fun they must have!"
Little did he know what fun we had!
"Wait until he sees us all naked," whispered Skeeter to Hardy. "Then he'll really see the resemblance!"
Hardy just snorted back his laugh, knowing very well, at our age none of us would win a blue ribbon at the county fair for having big cocks- least of all Skeeter. Now, willing ass? Skeeter would have all the blue ribbons he could handle. Skeeter loved fucking! There wasn't a time when any of us in our Club would turn him down once he bared his ass, wiggled it invitingly, and flopped down on his belly or assumed the "doggy" position. He was a pleasure to fuck and his enjoyment of it only increased our activity.
The patter of small feet trotting across my bedroom floor wakened me! I didn't open my eyes, realizing it could only be one small person I was acquainted with. He stopped near my bed, quietly pondering what he should do or not do. Johnnie was polite and most certainly wouldn't do anything to offend me. I could almost feel his mind working, trying to decide!
"Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't I?"
I heard him sigh, the decision made! Keeping my eyes shut, knowing he'd decided his next move, I waited, feeling the mattress and spring give slightly as he hoisted himself onto my bed. Johnnie didn't move for a minute or so, evidently trying to determine if I was still asleep. Then the bed sort of wiggled. ever so little, as he scooched himself forward.
In my mind I could picture the thoughts going through his head, trying to decide, as he looked closer, "Is Billy really asleep or faking it? If he's asleep, will he be mad if I wake him?"
I waited patiently until I felt he'd pondered the possibilities long enough and for him to be in position for my next move!
Springing my hands and arms out from under the blanket, grabbing him, and shouting "Gotcha!" brought squeals of initial fright, howls of laughter of delight, and a wiggling, squirming boy into my arms, and a harmless, but sought after, wrestling match.
"You surprised me, Billy!" he gasped amidst an onslaught of me tickling him, before allowing him to snuggle into my arms so I could hold him and reassure him all was well and he was welcome.
In our brief tussle, my blanket slipped from me, leaving me naked, exposed, and holding Johnnie in my arms. Johnnie felt my nakedness, looked down, ran a hand down my side reaching my bare hip, slid it over just ever so slightly, as I watched his eyes suddenly widen in surprise! He could but only look, as any boy would.
"You're naked!" he gasped in wonderment!
"Yep! Sleep that way all the time!" I responded, my morning woody pointing up toward my bellybutton.
Johnnie gave my cock a certain, careful, scrutiny, before announcing, "Your thingy is really big and stiff!"
Before I could reply, he, thoughtfully, again looking closely, added, "And it's got hair starting to grow around it!"
I laughed softly, "Yep!" proud of the sparse bush beginning to form around the base of my cock and in my pubes.
"My thingy doesn't get that big when I get a stiffy!" he lamented.
"Well," I explained, "it will someday when you get older. Probably bigger than mine!"
I thought this was the appropriate time to instruct Johnnie on the various words to describe or name what he called a "Thingy."
"Among us guys, Johnnie, and not around grandma or moms or others who might not find it so appropriate, we generally refer to our 'thingy' as a cock, pecker, pisser, rod, or wanger, just to name a few words we might use. Around adults and females, the appropriate name is 'penis'."
He just had to bend over to get a better look! Once having done so, his apparent fascination waned.
"I have to take a leak!" I announced (another new word for Johnnie).
Once he understood what I meant, he joined in, "Me too!" so the two of us trotted off to the bathroom, stood side-by-side, and emptied our bladder into the toilet. While we pissed (another new word), Johnnie informed me his "G-ma" gave him permission to come over and Auntie Beth (my mom) and Grandma Annie (my grandmother) were in the kitchen and there was fresh, iced, sweet rolls waiting for us.
"And they look so yummy!" he said, licking his lips as the last few drops dribbled from his little boy pecker.
"So, what do we do now?" he asked as I shook the drips from my own cock.
"Wash our hands," I said, "then I'll get dressed, we go downstairs to have some of those sweet rolls you say wait for us, and then we go get Hardy."
"Can we take him a sweet roll?"
"I'm certain Auntie Beth will say it's okay."
"Then what will we do?"
"You, Hardy, and I are going over to Uncle Lou's."
"I think he has a surprise for you!"
"What is it?"
"Wouldn't be a surprise if I told you, would it?"
The sweet rolls were heavenly, as always, but to Johnnie, never having any of my Grandmother's cinnamon sweet rolls before, they were pure ambrosia of the gods. The rolls are just about the size of a saucer and the little bugger ate two of them!
Hardy was up and dressed, waiting for us. He gave Johnnie the biggest hug, thanking him for bringing a sweet roll. Johnnie just effused pride and happiness knowing Hardy was so pleased and proud of him.
We walked the several blocks to "Uncle Lou's." Not only did it give Johnnie a sense of where he was in relation to other things in Frenchtown, but would increase his confidence when he ventured out on his own. I figured it would help in making him feel at home, learning the neighborhood and where he could go. He skipped along between us, holding my hand and Hardy's, chattering, and visiting as we hiked toward the "Ale Haus."
I thought Hardy was walking exceptionally well, considering I'd fucked him a couple of times before he went home the night before! Grandma, Grandpa, and Mom went visiting and I decided to stay home, with Hardy as my company. I wasn't rough, just thorough, giving him what we both wanted. I absolutely love the feeling of sinking my rod deep into his soft, warm, convulsing ass! There's nobody in the world I'd rather spend my entire life with and I know he feels the same about me.
Nearing "Uncle Lou's," I sensed a hesitation, a faltering in Johnnie's steps. He had some questions, I decided, rocketing through his mind, wanting to ask them, but uncertain if he should.
Hardy felt Johnnie's uneasiness as well and, tipping his head first toward me and then to Johnnie, sent me the signal to sort out what might be troubling our young companion.
"I'll bet your wondering who Uncle Lou is and why we'll meet with him at "Uncle Lou's Ale Haus" don't you, Johnnie?"
Johnnie nodded, acknowledging my question was one he had.
"Because everyone in Frenchtown knows him as 'Uncle Lou' and it's also the name of the business he owns. He's really my great-uncle since he's Grandpa Thompsons' brother."
Johnnie frowned in deep thought and concentration. I could see there was another question forming in his mind.
"So," he began, pondering the information he heard coming from me and reconciling it sufficient to make certain conclusions, "since we're almost like brothers, that makes him, Uncle Lou that is, my uncle too. Right, Billy?"
"Yep, we're brothers so that makes him your uncle too."
Not quite so, but it satisfied Johnnie and would make him amicable to Uncle Lou's gift and attentions.
We walked up to the front entrance of "Uncle Lou's" and Johnnie looked over the outside quite carefully.
"He lives here? It looks like a tavern or restaurant."
"Well, it is a tavern, but he doesn't live here. He lives in a house just a short distance away. This is his place of business and has his office here."
"Billy and I," offered Hardy, "both work here part-time during the school and more hours during the summer."
That brought Johnnie's head to swivel toward Hardy.
"You stand behind the bar and give people drinks?"
"Nah, we wait tables and cleanup!" Hardy explained.
Inside, illuminated by the sun shining through the big windows overlooking the river, all Johnnie could say, as he surveyed the room, was "Wow!" The long bar, polished to a shiny glow, ready for another day and night, the big mirror behind it, the shelves of bottles of liquor (labeled with individual patron's names since liquor by the drink was technically illegal in the state at the time, albeit it just got a wink and a nod in Frenchtown), the line of bar stools in front of the bar, the higher, small round tables with the high stools for those intent on just drinking, the dining area with its alcove for families who desired it and underage visitors and regular dining tables and chairs, the deck overlooking the river, the various "bar" signs when illuminated would proclaim a beverage name or particular item for sale, and the tastefully appointed interior were all designed to make people comfortable and impress. It certainly impressed Johnnie! His eyes were all agog!
We stepped into Uncle Lou's office where he greeted us, while seated behind his big desk, with a very warm, welcoming smile, and invited us to sit down. Hardy and I sat in chairs while Johnnie quickly found a position between my legs, standing so he rested up against me. Seeking further security and reassurance by my presence, he reached back, brought my arms forward, and secured them around his front! During the process, his eyes never left Uncle Lou, watching him somewhat warily, as he sat, with a bemused expression on his face watching Johnnies maneuvers.
"Ah, yes!" he said in a very warm and welcoming tone and with an approving nod, "it's a wise young man who knows who loves him and will protect him!"
At Uncle Lou's words, Johnnie swiveled his head, looked up at me and, with a loving grin on his face, snuggled all the closer to me. If I hadn't already lost my heart to my half-brother (my brother), I would've then! I squeezed him just a little tighter as a signal I understood and did love him. I saw Hardy smile looking at the two of us and knew Hardy felt the same as I did.
"I suppose," Uncle Lou continued, "you wonder why I wanted to meet you, Johnnie. I visited with my good friends, your Grandma and Grandpa Marchetti, and realized you are a very special young man, in many ways. Not only are you special to Billy, but you are so very special to me as well!"
Johnnie frowned slightly wondering what it was that made him special to Uncle Lou.
"You see, Johnnie your Momma, bless her soul, worked for me before you were born."
Johnnie's ears perked up and Uncle Lou had his total and undivided attention.
"Your Momma, Bobbi we called her then, was a smart, pretty young lady and a favorite table waitress with our customers, Her service was great and her tips reflected it and one of my very best! She was so special and so are you, since you're her son! I do miss her so and I know you do too!"
Uncle Lou's praise for Johnnie's mother spawned memories of her presence, his loss of her, and her love for him brought forth a well of sadness to his young body. I felt him shudder, quickly pulled him from between my legs onto my lap, and cuddled his head on my shoulder.
Uncle Lou was quiet through this, offering only his silent presence rather than trying to offer words of condolence, knowing the strength, comfort, and sorrow for someone else's loss comes in forms other than the spoken word. In Johnnie's case, at this point, he was receiving his comfort and support from me and always would.
Johnnie quieted, turned back to face Uncle Lou, but remained on my lap.
"Well, Johnnie," Uncle Lou continued, "I can see you will be spending a great deal of time with Billy and his friends. Those friends of his and Hardy, are special to him and to me. Running with that group of boys will be quite an experience for you and for them. You will need to be able to do some things, one of which will be learning to swim. I talked to your grandparents and they agreed it'd be necessary, knowing how much time those boys spend enjoying the river and all it has to offer. Billy asked me if I'd consider making you part of our family passes. Those family passes include Billy and all of his friends and now you, since you seem to be officially a member of 'Billy's Sunday Club.' I'm giving you," laying a pool pass with the elastic cord on it and a city bus pass on his desk, "a season pass to the City Pool and a City Bus Pass. Also, starting next week, you're signed up for swimming lessons; three times per week for two weeks."
Johnnie was overjoyed, leaped from my lap, raced around the desk, and hugged Uncle Lou as fiercely and as tightly as a boy his age and size could. This time the tears in his eyes were tears of joy and thanks!
Holding him, looking into his eyes and face, Uncle Lou saw the happiness such a simple thing, for him, to offer Johnnie Marchetti.
"There are a couple of things you have to remember," he added. "Billy and Hardy will be taking you to the lessons; you only go swimming with them and not by yourself; and you don't ride the city busses on your own until Billy thinks you're ready to. There's plenty of problems which can cause you some harm if you do. Okay?"
Johnnie nodded his understanding, gave Uncle Lou another hug, scooted back to us, gave Hardy a big hug, and crawled up on my lap again.
Johnnie became an official member of the "Sunday Club" that day, although it was a given he'd be a member no matter what.
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