A night for spirits and the dead, I think that it's a good time to talk about him. This is off the top of my noggin.
He passed away in 1990, and his ashes were scattered over the Atlantic ocean.
He taught me to read using the comics page. I wonder if the reason I think dinosaurs and vikings are so cool is a result of reading Hagar and Alley Oop.
He taught me math, too. my primary schoolteachers had an easy time of it. (as did I... accelerated learning made school easy, and promoted my interest in reading while other kids were still learning stuff for the first time.)
He was a big one for the outdoors... especially near the ocean. Fishing, swimming, boating were favorite pastimes of his. He was big on hunting and camping, as well as cooking outdoors. He was a good cook, as long as it involved open flame.
He introduced me to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches on toast. Yum. Now transubstantiated into meat-free bac-o's. He also introduced me to sardine sandwiches on white bread, with a buttermilk chaser. *blerg* He loved 'em, though.
He liked working on cars, riding his motorcycle, He taught me how to use power tools, and though cars didn't (and still don't) interest me, knowing how to work wood, do minor wiring and repair work is gratifying.
Documentaries on nature and war were pretty much his preferred viewing.
The scent of freshly opened cherry tobacco for a pip reminds me of him. I remember him switching from cigarettes to a pipe, in an attempt to quit smoking.
He was well-liked in the neighborhood bar, and everyone there knew him as a good guy.
He taught my brother and me how to shoot pistols and rifles. He had no depth perception, but was a good shot., regardless. We also can thank him for knowing how to clean and prepare fish and most live game.
He taught me how to think "outside of the box" and adapt to situations. I feel that much (if not all) of my ability to think on my feet comes from him.
He taught me how to keep an oath.
He was more than willing to hug his children at any given time.
He would always put the needs of his kids above his own.
He was more than willing to give his kids corporal punishment, but *God help* any non-blood relative that tried to raise a hand to his kids. He actually told the dean at my middle school that if I was going to be spanked or paddled to call him out to do it... and if someone else did the job, the punisher would become the punishee.
The worst thing my father could say to me was "I'm really disappointed in you." Fortunately, that disappointment was always repairable, and was said infrequently (though always deserved.) He made a good, solid point of showing praise when it was due, too.
He started me off on my first business, and taught me the value of a dollar... including paying back debts. $300 is a lot of money to gamble on a kid.
He would have "boys night out" and take his sons to a movie and talk about whatever we wanted to.
He made a point of the family gathering every Sunday morning for breakfast.
He had an amazingly high pain threshold and durability, but had a bad back. from a car accident when he was a teen. That same accident resulted in his spleen being removed. He had a long scar running down his stomach in a straight line, only hooking in an arc around his navel. That accident ultimately led to his death neatly three decades later, when pneumonia and a lack of self-care took him. (The spleen is partially responsible for infection-fighting antibodies.)
Wedding picture From November, 1967.
My Father and Mother divorced when my brother and I were still in our teens... at that point my brother had a better repoire with dad... Bro was younger, and the surfing / fishing behaviors were a good way for them to bond. I didn't see my dad as often as I might've after that, but when we did get together, it was a good time, and a positive influence.
Other Comparative entries about my Father can be found around his birthday in my journal. (He was born November 26, 1945) 2000 entry
, 2001 entry
, 2002 entry
... and I expect I'll continue to do those as the years go by.
I love my father, and I see a lot of him in my brother and myself.
Thanks for being in my life, Dad. I still think about you. It's my hope if there is a place where your spirit exists outside of my heart that it's aware of those feelings.