Monday, September 29, 2008

Dad

I spent the evening with my dad tonight. We celebrated his 82nd birthday. I can't believe I drew this picture some 20 years ago - but truthfully, he hasn't changed all that much. Maybe just a little grayer. My dad was a first generation American whose parents came over with next to nothing. One of our most favorite thing, as one of six children, was for all of us to climb into my mom and his bed on a Saturday morning and listen to his stories of him and his big brother collecting scraps of wood from back allies to burn back at their home and stay warm. He would tell us with quite a belly laugh about how they would walk into movie theaters backwards, while the crowd was coming out so they could see a movie. 1926 - boom and bust and war, and peace and war and boom and bust and boom, boom, boom, bust - funny, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I remember in high school, or even earlier, he taught me how to change the spark plugs in a car - he drew out the engine for me in the sand, along with the cylinders and explained how his first model A was made - he now has more sophisticated parts in his hip. Talking with him tonight about the market, I marveled at how he just looked at the television and smiled - today, on his birthday - the market fell an historical amount, I think 1.3 trillion. He smiled. Not mockingly or with malice, just a calm confidence that he's had it all and had nothing and wasn't too sure when was most fun. When we were little, all six of us, and he made fifty dollars a week - he'd have to decide to feed us, or heat the house - we had blankets, so he'd make his homemade pancakes (from scratch), the ones I make my kids now - and we'd watch our breath while we ate, but still, we ate. Dad grew up with very little, and gave all six of us everything. He got all of us who wanted, through college somehow. But I think, more importantly, taught me that there is always a way. Tonight it was rather beautiful to see my little six year old Meg laugh and smile with him when they blew out his candles together. Happy Birthday Dad! I love you.



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1 Comments:

At September 30, 2008 at 10:50 AM , Blogger Mrs. Fibonacci said...

Hey, Rob, I know that guy. I chose him to be my life's companion after knowing him for only 9 days. Best snap judgement I ever made. His warmth and his words are soul sustaining...in January it'll be 50 years! love, m

 

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