Irwin Kalbin was born into a comparatively wealthy family. Not wealthy like billionaires with homes all over the world and yachts in Monaco, but wealthy with a nice city home on a well-groomed corner. It was groomed and sculptured by Margeson, the gardener. And there was a lakefront home with boats for each kid in the house and charge accounts for gas – in the boats and in our cars. Each had the car of his choice: one drove a Corvette, one drove an MGB and one drove a Pontiac GTO.

There was the Northview Golf and Country Club and the Island Yacht Club. Dress codes, schedules, and boredom. At the golf club, the game was: “A nice walk spoiled,” as Mark Twain described it. Irwin hated the game. He hated the ‘hoity-toity’ attitude of the members. They’re the kind of people who have the club send a warning letter to anyone underdressed in the dining room, or failing to wear whites on the courts.

The people around the pool were wealthy scum. Fat old guys with thick cigars clenched in their teeth as they played poker at poolside tables. Their fat old wives gushing out of bathing suits that never get wet. Their hair is dyed and sculpted. It could never get wet until Desmond washed and styled it the next day. Then it could not get wet again. Nor could it get messed, should Lionel paw her for sex again so soon. Lionel was obliged to enjoy trysts with Dorothy Logan from receivables, upstairs. Her husband is a long distance hauler, so he is usually only home on weekends and some Wednesdays. Lionel and Dorthy enjoyed a wonderful love life, but that’s another story.

Usually, when with the family at the summer home, Irwin went off alone, either hiking into the forest or canoeing out to distant shores, rocky coves and deserted islands. It was there that he began to feel that this was his preferred environment. He realized that he was never fully comfortable in the city. He could handle himself well, either on the roads jammed with vehicles or on the downtown sidewalks where any kind of shady dealings might be going on.

Irwin abandoned his family. They provided a wonderful life for him, but it was the life that they desired. They had worked hard and been successful in achieving their goals of wealth and social acceptance. Irwin found it hollow, stagnant with no perceivable advantages. He told them goodbye and he went off to find his life. His pickup truck would be ideal for making his way in a small village or as a farm hand.

He made good friends among the farmers and townsfolk. He was hired to herd cattle or sheep, sometimes goats, and gathered maple sap in early spring. He helped to raise a barn, he became a member of the volunteer fire department and avoided religious attachments. On one occasion near the Christmas season, Irwin Kalbin went alone to a concert at the Catholic church in a nearby town. Local people were led by the lady who owns the pig farm because she is also a music and singing teacher. It was a nice, wholesome event with nice people on the stage and in the audience.

A very pretty young woman was seated next to Irwin. She left her seat for a few minutes. She returned a short time later and slipped a note to Irwin. It was an invitation to a community dance the following weekend. Irwin accepted and accompanied Beverly to the dance. He enjoyed the event and the company so he began to date Beverly regularly and soon they were lovers. But that’s another story.

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