Hell of a Guy
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Never Had A Beer With My Dad…


I saw something on Facebook not long ago asking with whom, if you had the chance, would you like to have a conversation.  My immediate answer was Jesus, but on second thought, I think it might just be my dad.

You see, there were a few things left unsaid and undone, not bad things, just things – one being that beer mentioned above.  Dad didn’t drink, Dad didn’t smoke and Dad didn’t use swear words (very often), so engaging him, when he was living, was not always easy.  We lived in different worlds, did things differently.  I suppose the 40-year difference in our ages contributed to this more than anything else.

I didn’t realize just what a unique man he was until I was in my forties.  This guy with an eighth-grade education who provided for his stay-at-home wife and five children (we were the reason for the “stay-at-home wife”) while working as a payroll clerk for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.  Dad had the amazing ability to add columns of figures in his head with incredible speed.  While he never had any complex math training, I would bet anything calculus and trigonometry would have been a snap for him.  We had little in common when I was growing up; he was old school and I was a 50’s and 60’s kind of a guy.  I was forty-two the first time I told him I loved him.

In 1995 I became interested in genealogy.  One mid-summer afternoon, I sat down with my dad for a couple of hours talking about family and his childhood.  He had a super memory, a fantastic recall of dates and happenings.  It was on this occasion – he was 91-years old at the time – he told me of the passing of his baby brother Randall in 1918.  Dad would have been 14, Randall 5.  As he told me of Randall’s death, he had tears in his eyes.  Seventy-seven years had passed, and it still affected him. 

I miss the guy.  He died in 1997.  I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about the beer I never got to have with my dad.

And that is all I have to say about that.