Today would have been my dad’s 107th birthday. Not a typo. He was born June 3, 1911. My dad was a pretty awesome man, he was and remains my go to example of how a man is supposed to be with the woman he loves, his children and his God.
His laughter was quick and infectious, his love was boundless and his steadfastness was a given.
On this day, the celebration day of his birth, I am going to tell my favorite story of him. If I have done this before, accept my apologies now. Cause it’s happening.
I was about 15, it was before I could drive, I know that, my dad was in the den and I was in the living room. It was a Sunday and it was in between football and baseball season. My dad didn’t watch basketball.
He finished the Sunday paper and was bored. I have to preface this with my dad loved a good argument. Not a fight, an old fashioned, well thought out argument. He took one side and I would have the other. My points had to be well thought out and backed with fact. Not an emotional appeal. Logic.
This particular Sunday, this time of boredom, he put the paper down, walked into the living room, stood in front of me and said the Indians got what they deserved.
Before anyone says anything, he didn’t believe that, he had simply chosen his side of the debate.
I took the bait, stood up and we went at it, back and forth. He’d volley and I’d dodge, I’d volley and he’d lob it back at me.
I don’t know how long we had been like that when my mom walked into the room. One, two, three until she got to 10. My dad looks at her and asks why she is counting. Every number is a dollar off of her allowance. Now this was 1970 something and I didn’t have that many dollars in my allowance. I said he started it! She said yes but you know better.
I sat down, instantly, my dad grumbled all the back to the den. My mom walked off whistling all the way back to her sewing room.
30 minutes later my dad was back in front of me and we were off and running. I hear 1, I sit, my dad looks at my mom and says you’re ruining my fun. She said yes, but I’m keeping my sanity.
My dad stands there for a second, looks back at me and says I think I need to check the bottom land. I could use some company. I ran to get my jacket and before the door shut completely we picked up where we left off.
I miss that man so much, he taught me to laugh at life, to trust God and to know my worth as a human. I’ll always be grateful to him and my mom for the life they gave me.
So happy Birthday Dad, I hope you are having the best time with your beautiful wife and with your son, Jesse.