Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day: A Brief Rememberance

Mom and Dad about 1957 or so. He was old for 47.
Dad at the barbecue grill about 1958.
It's Fathers Day again and I never quite know what to say. Dad died when I was 13 and I didn't know him all that well. When he was alive, he worked seven days a week, 364 days a year (365 on Leap Year) and when he was home, he was usually reading one of the seven or so books he read each week.

The only time I remember him playing with me, I caught a pop fly in the middle of my forehead (he'd nearly bounced it off the moon and I was only about 10) and knocked me cold. The one phrase I remember from that was Mom standing over me--supine--and saying, "George, he's just a little boy. You can't play ball with him like he's in the Major Leagues." Dad was an old college baseball (and football) player and he was just doing what he did, I guess.

Dad cooked for a living (hence the shot at the left), but he never cooked at home. Mom wouldn't let him near the kitchen ("You're too much of a mess") and he didn't mind, I'd say, any more than the cobbler wanted to make his kids shoes on his off-days.

For many years after Dad died, I had vivid dreams of him visiting me. They were so real that when I'd awaken, I'd fully expect to see him standing there, baseball bat in hand, motioning me to follow him outside.

He was the father of eight children and most of us have done alright with our lives (some--like me--had a hard time getting to "alright," but we got there) and I think we all retain his sense of justice, of integrity and of treating people the way we want to be treated--with respect, especially. Happy Father's Day, Dad.

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