Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Today's "Moment of Dad" - snippets and tidbits

Well, since today's the last day of October (unless they added an extra day and I didn't get the memo), this will be the final "Moment of Dad" for October.

However, before you start crying in your coffee (or other beverage of choice), I'd like to say thanks to all that left comments about the various stories I've related. To be honest, I didn't know that these stories would have such an impact. I know they've helped me keep Dad alive in my heart and mind. It is my goal to continue writing about Dad a couple times a month beginning in November. I want to try and get more stories from my mom, my sister, my nieces and nephew, and friends that want to share their memories. I'm also happy to take suggestions from anyone that reads these and wants to know more about him.

So, anyway, let's get started, shall we?

1. Dad actually played the clarinet in junior high school or high school (don't remember which).

I didn't say he ENJOYED playing the clarinet. Nope. Grandma Dawson wanted him to play the clarinet for reasons unknown to me.

So Dad, in an effort to escape his mother's musical aspirations, hid his clarinet in his locker at school and got away with it until he was busted by the band director. Then he quit band. I think he got in trouble for it, but the story is kind of fuzzy in my mind.

That thought didn't occur to my sister and I, no matter how frustrating band could be. However, I think it was partially due to the fact that we played instruments that didn't fit in our lockers. Damn the luck.

2. There are a couple of sweet family pictures that stand out in my mind.

One is a family portrait. Ruth and I were very young - I was three and Ruthi was about 7 or 8, I guess. Ruthi and I were dressed up and Ruthi's hair was braided (she had LONG HAIR...about a yard long from crown to tip). Mom was in it too, but to me the picture still qualifies under the first sentence, right? We actually look like the perfect family; but really, in spite of all the fussing at each other, we did have a good life together.

The other one is a candid shot from when I was a baby and Ruthi was in kindergarten or something. We were both in Dad's lap, and I think we had just woken up but were bleary eyed. The three of us looked so natural in that picture. I assume Mom took it, but who knows? The fact is, we were with our dad, and not even sleep could keep us off his lap.

3. Family apocrypha states that there were occasions where Mom would feed us early when Dad was running late from work.

However, when he got home and sat down to eat, we'd be perched on his lap, eating off of his plate and jabbering away like magpies.

Of course, Mom was trying to get us off so Dad could eat, but Dad didn't care. Mom finally resigned herself to the fact that we weren't movin', so she sat down and asked Dad how his day went.

Poor Mom...but she was glad we loved our Dad. Her dad wasn't so lovable.

4. One more memory from a picture -

In our family album, there is a picture of my sister at age two or three, clad in nothing but a t-shirt that stuck to her skin. She was standing in the middle of our huge vegetable garden, talking to Daddy. He was looking down at her, but you could still see his smile.

Why was my sister half-naked, with a t-shirt that clung to her form?

Because Mom was giving her a bath, and Ruthi didn't want one - she wanted to see Daddy. Apparently, she splashed and made such a fuss that Mom put a t-shirt on her and sent her on her way. We were in the country, so nobody was going to see Ruthi's naked rear end that wasn't authorized anyway. So Ruthi ran to the vegetable garden to see Daddy, and the picture shows them in conversation of a sort.

I think that's one of the sweetest Daddy/daughter moments we have. Of course, all MY childhood shots (save a few) were on slides (yeah, great...) so I have to work with what I have.

Anyway, there's some snippets of Dad for you today. Tomorrow, it's back to work, but if you have any questions/story ideas, please let me know in the comments. It might be fun to do a Dad Q & A entry; who knows???

Again, thanks for all the warmth you've shown about these stories. I think you would have liked my dad...although I'm not quite sure he would have understood all the humor in this blog. Oh well.