Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Salute to My Father

Since it is Father's Day I decided I would do a post in honor of my dad. I know that many people think highly of their fathers (and just as many have low opinions of theirs as well), but I really think I hit the jackpot in terms of fathers. I've chosen three different stories to illustrate my dad's character and personality.

My grandmother once told me "your father was the nicest, dearest, sweetest little boy." She proceed to elaborate by telling me about her dog Candy. Growing up my father's family had a number of dogs, but Candy was Meme's dog and she was extremely fond of her. One day, when Meme came home from shopping, my dad met her at the door (he was about ten) and told her that Candy had died in her sleep while she was out and that he had already buried her in the backyard so that she wouldn't have to do it.

I sort of hesitate to tell this story as it reflects poorly on my grandfather, who held certain prejudices. To be fair, he was born in 1906 and had a jerk for a father himself so it was definitely learned behavior, but that isn't much of an excuse. At any rate. When my father was in high school he was getting ready to go out on a date with a young lady whose last name was Rosenbaum. My grandfather asked who he was taking out and when he shared her name my grandfather said "but Peter, she's a Jew." My father calmly replied "no Dad, she's a girl," and then left.

And finally, as a child I only remember getting spanked by my father one time and it was for being horribly rude to my mother at the dinner table. I was not very old, maybe five, and was sent from the table in disgrace for making my mother cry. I got spanked one time, burst into tears, and my dad grabbed me in a fierce hug and told me he loved me but that my behavior had not been acceptable and to never do it again. Dad was crying while this took place too. I admire him for giving me the punishment I deserved (although my older sister got off scott free and she was the one who goaded me into saying what I thought of the meal which still bothers me), even though it pained him to do so. I also admire him for supporting my mother so much and not tolerating such attitudes.

Dad, I know you don't read my blog, but you're fantastic, and Sunshine loves and admires you too. Love you!

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