Saturday, September 03, 2011

What My Dad Missed

My dad died of lung cancer in February 1969. He had just turned 48. I was 16. I have often wondered how he may have responded to some of the people in the news and events that have transpired over the ensuing decades. I believe I knew him well enough to make some suggestions. Here’s a list with occasional commentary:
1. The First Moon Landing
2. The Watergate Scandal – I’m certain he voted for Nixon and this would have broken his heart but he probably would not have admitted it.
3. The End of the Vietnam War – As an U.S. Army veteran I’m sure he would have been very happy with this. My hunch is that he would have editorialized a bit (I paraphrase: ‘Democrats had to get their noses in this, The Texan had to escalate it and a Republican no one likes got us out. Huntley and Brinkley won’t be reporting it this way.’)
4. Black Sabbath – Given his initial response to the comparatively tame Beatles, I’m pretty sure dear, old dad would have wanted to kill them.
5. The Presidency of Jimmy Carter – May have caused him to use the F-word for the first time in my presence.
6. The Demise of Bethlehem Steel – As a lifelong employee in the management area he would have been angry, embittered, arguing loudly with his dear brother – Uncle Tommy (a dedicated USW member) – and devastated by the end of a 100+ year industry. Damn the government, damn the foreign dumping, where did my pension go?
7. Meeting Sarah, my Beloved Wife – I know he would have loved her and her family. They never met.
8. Meeting Tallu, my daughter and our first-born – Tallu would have been my dad’s 8th grandchild and 5th granddaughter. I saw him in action as Granddad. He was really good at it. This would have been another most appropriate love affair.
9. AIDS – My dad could be pretty grumpy as he spent the 2nd half of his life sober and dedicated to AA. Nonetheless, he seemed to have a remarkable compassion for those in need. I reserve any further comments.
10. Meeting Thomas Roy - his 9th grandchild, 4th grandson and namesake – I can only imagine the Roy Joy.
11. Attending the CMA Awards – I know he would have gone to support me but he would have preferred that Benny Goodman was performing rather than Alabama. He hated country music.
12. Michael Jackson – No comment.
13. Iran-Contra – No comment.
14. Meeting Howard Luke – his 10th grandchild and 5th grandson. He would have been 67 with a huge grin and that wonderful gap between his two front teeth! (My secret exposed.)
15. George H. W. Bush – Is this the best we’ve got? Okay.
16. O. J. Simpson – ‘Guilty.’
17. Desert Storm – ‘Nicely done, boys!’
18. Bill Clinton – No comment.
19. Snoop-Dogg – ‘Turn that shit off! It sounds like I’m in Hell! ‘
20. 9/11 – ‘Find those sons-of-bitches and make them suffer.’
21. Seeing His Beloved Like This
22. Walking His Beloved Down the Aisle at Tallu’s Wedding

And what did I miss all these years? My Old Man.

2 Comments:

Blogger Don White said...

I miss my dad as well.

September 20, 2011 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Don White said...

I enjoy your writing. You are truly gifted. Hope to see you soon.

September 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM  

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