Today would have been my dad’s 72nd birthday, had a blood clot not taken him from us at only 50 yrs old. It is strange to be almost the same age as your father when he passed, it makes you acutely aware of your own mortality. That is a topic for another time, however.
I did not schedule a post for today because I’d like to introduce you to my dad. I plan to share some of his poetry and stories, memories of him and his personality with you today. It’s a very personal today, some of it will be funny, some of it will be sad and some of it might be strange. That’s fine because it sums up my dad pretty perfectly.
The posts will continue to go up throughout the day as I remember him and find his works to share.
As you may already know (if you’ve read my bio) my father played a big role in my love of reading and writing. He was a really strange person with a great sense of humor.
A quick story:
One day, my father (5ft 9in) was working at a nuclear power plant in the construction zone with my uncle and some other relatives. My Uncle Larry (6+ ft tall) was a talker, he was busy leaning on a shovel talking with some of the other guys while my dad worked nearby.
While working, my dad came across a little lizard. Poor little guy was in danger with all those shovels, machinery and boots clomping around. So my dad, thinking to kill two birds with one stone, decided to put said lizard into a safe place. Which happened to be the underside of the sleeve gaping under my uncle’s arm as he leaned on the shovel. No one would step on it, and it was unlikely to get hurt while Uncle Tex was flapping his gums.
So dad slipped the little guy into the hammock-shaped sleeve and went back to work. Watching and waiting for one of two things to happen. Either Uncle Larry would eventually stop talking and put his arm down and discover the cool scaley lizard body against his underarm, or the lizard would get bored and move around. Either way, dad figured a good time would be had by all.
Sure enough, the lizard got bored and ran deeper into the shade of the shirt. According to my dad, my uncle’s eyes got really big. Then he started yelping and frantically trying to slap whatever was on him. (which, of course, freaked the poor lizard out) By the time it ran across my uncle’s chest, my uncle was frantically trying to remove his shirt and my dad was howling. Uncle Larry ended up stripping his shirt off in front of a crew of guys while hopping around and yelping trying to get whatever it was off of him.
Despite his panic, it didn’t take him long to figure out that my dad was responsible. When he saw the lizard, he called my dad a few choice names and I’ve heard that he chased my dad around with a shovel trying to take his head off. Uncle Larry was big but dad was faster. Uncle Larry kept telling him to hold still so he could hit him.
Later Uncle Larry would try to do something similar to my dad, but dad was kind of chill about those things and he was a quick wit, he figured out the game. He simply removed the critter with very little fanfare to the eternal consternation of my uncle.
It was one of their favorite stories to tell. Even though Uncle Larry like to sprinkle in a few colorful adjectives when describing dad.
When I hear this story, I can almost imagine Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam reactions.
Sam is flipping out, shooting his guns, stripping off clothes razzing frazzing it up when Bugs comes over all chewing his carrot.
“What’s the problem, Doc?”
*Hopefully you can take it from there.*
I hope you enjoy meeting him,