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I odt.t see better:.nda more acc’ But when mind \(fore bloodshed. as Daddy ever catile.iri Some time eral education by,s,10, , We stood in the li4ig rdd’ e to raise my lists,,I:k’dernonstr4\( block a jah a.ndiloW to throv4 ‘More erful countelpiiiich. It Was a hook, whi261i described as the inost effective blow. Looking back now, My inasc :titine ins tion seems sufficient. My father,gave me the general outline of manhood.atitfleft me to in the details. He did the besf he -could, out a textbook, and with a naturally .unt, ented pupil. My only regret isthat in additiOtl , to teaching, me how to throw a. pUnCkhe ,, not teach rne how to take one. Bilt,thaO,S* . lesson which, unfornmately for be. ,itk s 4,4,,, Daddy was riot qualified to give, , 1″‘””t \\”: , ‘,3 AFTERWORD MyFa ijf Lessonf Ma BY LUCIUS LOMAX My father was a boxer Wide-shouldered and short-necked, with a low center of gravity, he became a successful amateur middleweig an had apossible future as a professional. Then someone broke his nose He took off his gloves and never returned to the ring Marriage and children followed That was the kind of man he was -not really a_ hter after all. As time passed, as his mus ,,,,, des grew soft and as my voice changed and adulthood approached, r there were fou subjects ir which my father set out to instruct me None was exclusively “male,” but each was a task which, based upon his small town Texas upbringing, he considered important for a man to know well: how to drive a car, how to play poker, how to shoot pool, and how to shoot a gun. Driving a car, for example, he taught me that the main objective was to avoid bumps in the road. My father’s driving style was, in fact, a metaphor for his life: never too much ahead of traffic nor too far behind, obeying the rules if there was a policeman in sight; tank always halffull, mostly just cruising. In school my record was weak at the best of times. Father’s lessons became a welcome break from ordinary homework, attracting my interest in a way that math and American Government never could. Playing poker he taught me the rules of the game and, 0 b. ‘ kg ,..0. e s to read the -,1, —. -,,,, die ‘ ‘ ,,,,,:,,, k ,,7, , a ,, t e w to know what so s of c,,,,.7 f>i; 4,41. ‘`,t , c kn. well. That was his /Tie to think one step lined up in a row. But because ahead, and beca they see mote the lesson was thee s o you mi and always have been. The most important lesson my father attempted to teach me was marksmanship. On weekends we sometimes went for a ride in the country. One HE TAUGHT ME THE MOST CRITICAL ELEMENTS OF COMPETITION, THAT “EVERYONE KNOWS” BUT WHICH ONE STILL HAS TO LEARN NONETHELESS: YOU USUALLY WON’T WIN AND HOW TO KEEP YOUR COOL WHEN YOU DON’T. particular morning we drove to a rural hilltop, and he set up twentieth century man’s favorite target other than twentieth century man himself: a row of tin cans. He removed a leather carrying case from the trunk of the car. The pistol inside was an automatic he preferred ,a.utomatics a .22, which is the weaponot.choke for both professional hitmen and casual shooters. He filled the ammunition clip with shiny copper-xi -cited bullets. Dddy turned off the safety and put the gun in my hand. He al lowed me to choose how best to hold the weapon -and then he wisely stepped away, Because my eyesight has always been poor, I chose to raise the gun to my nose, in drii s” but which, nonetheless how to keep ydlitto There was always d, or the spin of k : tis tance, his ern . az kiAP , t or a g of the e’ . , Y ftAlt urself in afavorable p osition to one earn s and way ah not always ,,tharik ,:v idren imitate wh cren my cheek tythiji ee if there we , home. WiL . . “.’ Writer Lucius Lomax rolls with th punches along the streets and in 1Vighborhoods ofl i ziustin,,RiS;Wark; ap regularly in the ObServer2 APRIL 24, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSE ,.. ‘”