Slusher

Slusher, Slushie, Slushbob, Slushpup, and any other variety of that name you can come up with, I have been called. With a last name like Slusher, I have never been the victim of mistaken identity. When someone says Slusher at work, in Gahanna where I live, or almost anywhere I go in Central Ohio, everyone know who they are talking about. I have said many times that if this were Goshen, Ohio, you would have to clarify a little more than that. Because in Goshen, this last name is kind of legendary.

My Father's name was John Michael Slusher. He married my mother just out of high school and I was the second child they had before he turned 21. Their marriage was short lived and he went off to the Air Force as my Mom traveled her path with us in Ohio. She is no stranger to the readers of this blog, as many of my posts are about her or inspired by her. But like my relationship with him while he was alive (he passed away in 1996), his appearances here have been scarce or in passing. And it is not because I have any ill will towards him. I obviously had a tremendous father figure in my Step Dad and my real Dad saw us when he could. It's just that I don't really know much about him. In fact, I can only remember about 8 days in my life that I actually spent with him. And that was not nearly enough.

In the china cabinet in our home, I have two pictures of him. They are the only two photos I have of my Father. One is a memorial picture, with a small saying on it, and the other is of him in his dress blues. I chose the second one to take with us to the wedding and set it out with other items from our home, including photos of my mom, another of Tiffany's Dad, and other mementos from our home. We typed up small notes to to each item, and many of the guests enjoyed viewing these items and reading the captions.

Right next to that display table was a table full of Slushers. My grandmother, 3 aunts, and 4 of my father's brothers made the trip from Cincinnati to see Tiffany and I get married. It brought back such great memories when I saw them. My Gramm always welcomed my Mom and us kids over when I was growing up. My Uncle Joe and Aunt Joyce, who bought me a matchbox Pepsi truck when I was 4, starting my love of matchbox cars (my collection is over 100 today, with 2 replicas of that same truck). My Uncle Pat and Aunt Kathy were there. I remember his mid-80's firebird and him getting shocked by a little lightning when I was very young. And my Uncle Steve also came. I remember him showing up to our house when my Mom managed the motel. He was driving a big cool green truck. I was about 4 at that time as well. But I was so touched by the words of my Uncle Dave, who made the trip with his wife Jackie.

He told me liked the way I write and would like to spend some time with me, because he had not see us in so long. He furthered it with a very touching letter in our card, and I was in tears as I read his touching words. My Uncle Dave was a pillar of support when our Dad died. During the trip to St. Louis for his funeral, Dave made us laugh and offered his shoulder to my sister and I. I never forgot that, and I realized yesterday he must not have either. And it got me thinking.

I know a lot about my Mom's side of the family. She traced our roots back many generations, and I grew up around her family and extended family. But besides the people who live in this house, I know very little about anyone named Slusher. And I need to change that. After reading Uncle Dave's letter, I think he knows it as well.

I tell my boys all the time that "We are Slushers. That means we act with honor and honesty, respect our elders, and be good young men." I say that because that is what my Father told me when he first found out I was going to be a father, shortly before he passed. And as proud as I am to see my son wearing his football or wrestling clothes bearing the family name, I think it is time for me to find out what it means to be a Slusher, what it means to carry that name, and where we came from. My boys need to know. And so do I.

So as I start a new life with my wife, the newest Slusher, I look forward to learning more about my Father and the last name he handed down to me. I hope that others with the same name will look forward to learning more about us.

Still Day # 1. Have a great day everyone!


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