Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Thin Man

I wish you could have known my dad. He was a great guy. He was handsome too. Think young Frank Sinatra only with better hair and mix in Robert Powell of The Thin Man and you have a close facsimile.
My dad had a memory like a steel trap. He might not see you for twenty five years but he could walk right up and call you by name. It was the most amazing feat. He was a purchasing agent so he met a lot of salesman and he attended Case Western Reserve University so he met a lot of people. He was friendly and open and had a great sense of humor and he was well liked for it by his colleagues, friends and business acquaintances.
He loved having daughters. He loved us unconditionally and we knew it. He was funny and shared a lot of inside jokes with us sometimes to the dismay of my mother. For some reason, I can't recall any more, we started calling him Googus and the name just stuck. He was great at giving us nick names and even had names for some of our boyfriends--all in good fun of course.
I remember going to a square dance with him when I was in bluebirds. I was seven. All the other girls were there with there dads--there was Mr. Pesec--he was little and wore glasses. There was Mr. Biondi, he was very urbane with a mustache. Mr. Wallace was the tallest man I ever saw and had dark wavy hair and my dad had silver hair and was the most handsome of all.
I don't remember much about that dance except the dads. They were all so different. I guess as a little kid I didn't appreciate the variety of people in our world.
My dad loved sports. All sports. He could watch a golf tournament on television and listen to the baseball game at the same time on the radio. He would have loved the little screen in the big screen televisions. I can still see him sitting there on a Saturday afternoon!
He tried to teach me to cut the grass. I just couldn't go straight enough to save my life. He just shook his head. I started cutting the grass about three years ago and I thought how proud he would be of me.
The time I had all that blood loss my dad was with me. Oh, he had died a long time before but he was with me as sure as I am typing this. He didn't say anything but I knew I was ok. Something about having my feet firmly planted on this Earth. I know he put that thought in my head. As I went under anesthesia, I knew he was standing right by my head. It wasn't the only time he's been around. I don't know if you believe in these things but I do. He's been on vacation with us and he's visited both me and my sister.
See, he left us too early. He was a young man when he passed away. Just the age I am now. He suffered too long and too much so when I feel his presence I feel the joy of the happy and loving man I knew growing up.

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