Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

They say that time is a great healer, and like many cliches, it's a cliche because it's so often true. It's been about 2 1/2 years since my father died, and it's become easier and easier to focus on the good memories of him. The other day, my oldest kid was playing the piano and my heart stopped for a second: it was Chopin's Raindrop Prelude, which was my father's favorite piece by his favorite composer. He used to say that because the prelude was inspired by the notion of raindrops falling on a dead person, he wanted the song played at his funeral. (He was Little Miss Sunshine, sometimes, eh?)

In honor of Father's Day, here are some more of the good memories that I have of my dad--random things, in no particular order and with no intended symbolism.  Just things that have popped into my head lately:
  • My dad knew an amazing amount about World War II. He was born in 1934, so he had vivid childhood memories of significant events in the war. He had several uncles who served in the war, which probably also helped pique his interest in the war. He very clearly remembered Pearl Harbor, and listening to FDR announce the attack on the radio. He even used to do a horrible imitation of FDR:  "Last night, the Japanese attached Pearl Harbor." (He refused to ever buy a Japanese car because of Pearl Harbor. (!) )He had a special fascination with the technology of WW2 and knew a great deal about the tanks and weapons used. 
  • He loved to read. (Obviously this is where I inherited it from.) And every once in a while, he'd slip me five or ten bucks and tell my mother to take me to the mall so I could go to the Walden's bookstore and buy books.
  • He used to say the word "cubbyhole" like this:  COO-bee-hole. I told my kids this recently and they found it hilarious. Now it's a running joke in our family.
  • He was born on July 1 and really was a summer kind of guy. He loved to swim and he loved baseball. The Mets were his team. He loved watermelon; fresh summer tomatoes (a tomato-and-cheese sandwich was his favorite); and could eat a bowl of cherries in a minute.
  • He passed the entrance test to be a contestant on Jeopardy. This won't surprise anyone who knew him, as he always had an encyclopedic knowledge of random topics and trivia. He wasn't able to be on the show, though, because the network insisted that contestants spend a certain minimum amount of time in New York until the show was ready for them, and he couldn't do that.
  • Whenever we went out to a fancy dinner and ordered wine, he insisted on putting the entire contents of the salt shaker into the ice bucket because he said it made the bottle get colder faster.
  • He loved Star Trek, the original one with William Shatner. He never really got fascinated with any other science fiction the way he loved Star Trek, though. Some of his favorite episodes were the one with Nomad; "The Gamesters of Triskelion" and the one where Mr. Spock fights Kirk to marry the Vulcan lady. He was never a big fan of the Tribbles one, though.
Happy Father's Day. I hope you have nothing but good memories of your dad, and if he's still around, and lives close by, go and make some more good memories of him. Some day you'll be glad you did.

1 comment:

Barb B. said...

Great post Carol! It made me think of my Pop, who has been gone for 16 years. He was born in 1918, so he started out with horses, and ended up a mechanic. Thanks for stirring up the great memories.