His jumping from one thing to another was disconcerting for us children. He was always talking about moving here or there — usually someplace far from where we lived. Kids like stability. It was worrisome.

He was a jack-of-all-trades. I admired his ability to recreate himself but often he was forced to because he couldn’t get along with others. Being in a business with customers — such as his hardware store or his boat business — was not good for his temperament. He was always cursing out customers. In Virginia, we lived in a rural area where everyone knew everyone and was probably related to everyone. If he was rude to one customer, he would lose 20 others.

He was able to start various businesses because his mother and aunt would lend him money. When they passed, he lost his interest-free bankers. That is a big reason why he sold the boat business and became a crabber. He no longer had the safety nets they provided.

Crabbing and truck driving were better suited to his personality — rather solitary professions not requiring too much interaction with customers.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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