happy father’s day
June 20, 2010
For the past 8 years Father’s Day for me starts out with a reawakening of an otherwise, slowly, dulling grief. Thankfully this tends to be short lived as typically, in the midst of reminiscing, something else begins to happen. The sad and troubling thoughts swirling around my head, give way to a flood of happier and more endearing memories of my dad.
I begin to recall things like the big, infectious, toothy grin that would light up his face as he told one of his signature, corny jokes for the 45th time.
I remember, being 5 years old, and him throwing my sisters and I over his shoulder, calling us sacks of potatoes, then tossing us, sending us flying through the air and onto our beds, squealing with laughter and begging him to “do it again, do it again!” He knew we were conspiring to avoid lights out, but he would indulge us a few more times anyway.
He was an endless source of drawing paper, or tablets as he called them. He’d bring them home from work for myself and my sisters. We’d fill them up with “kid art” as fast as he could bring them.
At 14, I discovered in myself, a natural artistic ability when he bestowed upon me some old oil paints, a palette and some “how-to” books, he had dabbled with years before.
My dad had a penchant for tall tales, or at least they seemed tall. My sisters and I would roll our eyes as he told us of his past exploits, like how he had pitched for the Pittsburg Pirates. After snickering in our sleeves for years about that one, we later found out from some old friends of his, that he had, in fact, (and I’m a little hazy on the details here) played for a short time with a semi-pro team called the Pirates. So, there you go. Truth or tall tale? You decide.
Dad seemed to have a casual relationship with the facts. He really kept us on our toes.
He was an avid bowler and even bowled a perfect game once. This I know to be true because he had a trophy and a “300″ lapel pin to prove it. Although, I also recall his losing the pin on a plane trip from L.A. to Pennsylvania, and how he almost lost his mind trying to find it. I don’t think he ever did find it (his pin that is.)
With his passion for bowling, he also had a dream of publishing a bowling magazine called “Strikes and Spares”. In fact he managed to get a couple of issues printed early on. But for one reason or another, the magazine idea never really got off the ground. That didn’t stop him from revisiting it from time to time and he never stopped dreaming of making it happen.
Many years later my dad and I discussed his getting a MAC and giving it another whirl ala desktop publishing. Sadly, we hadn’t realized, as we were discussing it, that time had finally run out on his dream.
So 8 years ago, I made him a promise. I promised him I’d pick up the baton and make my own dream come true. Although a bowling magazine isn’t exactly my dream, I do have one of my own, and I am determined to make it happen.
I have to.
And, I’m pretty sure he heard me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.