Father’s Day Musings

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How I miss my dad. (Mom, too…) As I grew older, and as he moved into his retirement years – freed from long hours on the job, I discovered that this was a guy who was up for just about anything. Since we both loved to travel, we’d meet up once a year in a different location and take in the sights. Often, these were places we’d both been previously – but never in each other’s company. He never said no to a destination choice, and once there, you’d never heard him say, “No, I don’t want to do that.”

I still recall with fondness standing in a lengthy line on a warm evening in New Orleans, waiting to get into Preservation Hall to hear its famed jazz band perform. Once inside, we discovered that patrons squeeze into the room and stand for the duration of the performance. A little perspective: my dad was not a jazz aficionado – but he knew I was. It was baking inside the venue with all those people packed in there. And at the time of that trip, he was nearly 80 years old. But there he stood, with a smile on his face during the entire set. (We actually went on from there to my favorite jazz club to listen to even more music.)

In the photo at right, you see another example of his “Sure, why not?” attitude. Back home in Chicago over the July 4th holiday, I’d taken him out that evening. As we were making our way toward his house we realized it was nearly time for the fireworks in my hometown. I don’t know that either of us had seen the show there previously (trust me….this was not known around the northwest suburbs for being a spectacular pyrotechnic display….so I was usually in downtown Chicago for the city’s big show on Independence Day Eve) – but I knew he had lawn chairs in the trunk of his car, so I asked if he might be game to stop and watch from a distance. You can see from the picture what his answer was. We had a blast watching that goofy small-town show.

Boy, do I miss him.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads!

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