I posted about my dad last year for Father’s Day, “Daddy don't you walk so fast” and its still one of my best and most personal posts.
But today I spent the morning with some friends, new parents, and as I wished Ben a happy father’s day I started thinking about my dad again.
A while back I found our memory books, mine from sixth grade, his from eighth(? - don’t know for sure.) Mostly filled with silly poems from our friends, they also capture a lot about ourselves (like our horrible handwriting) and our family.
I’m a little surprised at Dad’s favorites. I didn’t know he liked to spell. His hero is Achilles or Thor? No wonder he laughed hysterically when one of my neighbors was named Thor. He didn’t make it Columbia, and I never knew he wanted to.
My favorites seem almost like another person. I know the book “Me and My Little Brain” is about the younger brother of a genius - not surprising I liked it. Sixth grade was one of those good years when my brother Chip wasn’t in the same school as me, so I wasn't always compared to him. I did go to RISD, and I still have billions of favorite songs.
His mother Dora was one of the first to sign his book, and its sounds very formal: Mother. Also I note she calls him a good boy - he had a hard time always being so good for her.
My mom is far more effusive and expressive. She still writes me notes like this.
My grandfather, who I died long before I was born and a year or so before my parents married is also very formal, signing his full name. My dad loved him very much, and I’ve always felt sad I never knew him.
To me, my dad is sweet - and says he’s proud. I was so daddy’s girl back then.
The rest of both books are really silly. Lots of Roses are Red poems. I like this one though - obviously in NY (with the local and express) and the Hitler singing God Bless America message. 1943 was smack in the middle of the war - and plenty of kids must have had brothers or even fathers fighting.
Course there was plenty of silliness in my book too. When you peel back the fold under “To a dirty Kid,” there’s a drawing of soap.
Ok, enough sentiment for one afternoon. Back to my regularly scheduled cynicism.