Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I’m not sure where you are right now, probably still just 15-20 minutes away so it’s kind of weird.  Not sure why we’ve never been able to get and stay in touch.  I guess neither of us are the stay in touch type of people.

Way back when I first thought about it and realized how young you were, I realized that probably being a father at 17 and forced to get married was not something you actually wanted.

You were good at being a dad in your own way. You taught me table manners. Yes please, no thank you. To this day I say yes please or answer with yes or at least sure instead of “yup”. You hated that.

You taught me how to order eggs, hold a fork the correct way, and keep my elbows off the table.

You also taught me how to tell off McDonald’s drive thru workers and complain to waitresses. I don’t actually do these much though.

You taught me how to fish, too.

We did a lot of eating out and a lot of hiking and fishing when I was younger. You taught me so much more than I can think of right at this moment. Oh, I’m pretty sure you taught me why the sky is blue and how the days and seasons and years happen. You taught me that making ice cubes with hot water is quicker because hot water freezes faster than cold. Something to do with molecules and how fast they move when in gas form…

I don’t even know if that’s true. Or maybe that was my chemistry teacher…

You got me a subscription to… Popular Science(?) for Christmas one year. I just realized you were a feminist. Mind blown. I am not a feminist, myself. Wait a minute. What about the hoards of Playboy, Hustler, etc. stashed in the old washing machine-size shipping box in the bathroom? Those are definitely not feminist. That’s okay, because feminists suck. They’re like a cult, really.

I know our visits started tapering off as I became a teenager and spent more time with friends and boys. It didn’t help that my mother kept moving us further and further away. And talked negatively about you. Although that didn’t matter much because I really didn’t listen. Hmm. You never said a word about her.

Also, that picnic in the park where Paradise By the Dashboard Lights came on the radio and you explained the meaning of the song… That was kind of awkward.

You gave me an appreciation for good music. Sometimes I listen to the Doobie Brothers, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and Eric Clapton and think of you. I remember when you took us to see Devonsquare. I think it was at the Ground Round or some bar over that way and it was at night. I think we were the only kids in the place so I don’t know if you knew someone and had an in… or if no one else took their kids to things like that. We even got to sip on non-alcoholic frozen cocktails. I remember feeling pretty special. I remember going to a Wild Turkey Battle of Country Bands, too, and that was pretty cool at the time although I do rightly country nowadays. I still have an autographed picture you got me of the singer in one of the bands there, Susie Devereaux.

I still listen to House of the Rising Sun and City of New Orleans when I’m feeling nostalgic. I remember listening to you and Brian’s band (bands?) playing those songs. They were usually on the playlist on the holidays along with Alice’s Restaurant and John Mellencamp’s, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. That was one of Grammy Bracy’s favorites.

Now I’m remembering her playing the organ and singing, remembering her Liberace sheet music, and that she loved Willy Nelson and the Bette Midler song, Wind Believe My Wings, which was played at her funeral.

I remember stopping at a yard sale when I was a kid and flipping through albums. I found The Animals with House of the Rising Sun on it, so I bought it. I loved that album.

There was one year, I really wanted something – maybe Madonna or George Michael or something – and you got Cindy and me the Bruce Springsteen big album collection that came out that year. Thinking this was pre-Madonna and George, though. Anyway, I was inwardly disappointed but after a few plays, I did like quite a few of the songs. Next year, when we asked for Van Halen and Cyndi Lauper, though, you just got us those. Simple. 😛

Let’s see. I can’t read Stephen King or see him in the news without thinking of you. I listen to WKIT and sometimes wonder what ever happened to Nick Rogers.

Anyway, you are one of those people who will probably never get online but in case you do, I just wanted you to know that I have a lot of memories and do think of you sometimes.

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