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Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy

It is my father's 81st birthday today.
We ate at one of his favorite restaurants for lunch. I asked if they would sing to him and got a quizzical look from the cashier helping us. It was worth a try. I had just purchased a brand new roll of film and it would have been a great picture to capture. Lucky for him, the restaurant staff did not oblige my request.
I don't understand much of what his generation has seen change in this world. His generation has experienced the most change. They have gone from recovering from the Great Depression to the age of computers and the Digital Age. What a ride.
My father is a simple man by many accounts on the surface but he is from another time~a dimension of time when men do not idly chat. The men of his age are the strong silent type. My household was a patriarchial in every respect. Friends who know me well refer to my parents as the real "Edith and Archie Bunker". No lie.
My father was raised in Brooklyn, NY, drafted into the US Army and fought in the Korean War. I am told he considered marrying a Korean girl that he met overseas and my grandmother screamed, cried and then fainted. He was a nice jewish boy from Brooklyn, after all.
He met my mother outside a dance hall in Brooklyn, once back in the states. (He and his buddies could not afford the price of admission)
The story gets a little vague here. I ask how he popped the question and my mother and him just giggle. It is a secret between them that no one knows for sure.
My father has raised 2 daughters who he took to baseball games, bought us hot dogs and cotton candy and just wanted to share an all American past-time with. I feel bad now remembering how we complained that the seats were "this or that" or that it was too hot or cold.  We spent most of the game out of our seats walking around or going to the ladies room, unaware how much it meant to him.
Every Summer he would take his vacation time and gladly spend every day with his family, traveling from Canada all the way to Florida. He always shared everything with us. I am sure there were times he might have wanted to do a "guy" thing. He was a family man through and through. My childhood was happy because we knew he cared for us and my mother. It was where he wanted to be.
I hope I have made him proud. I hope that he can look at me and smile, say to himself , "That's my daughter. She is what I wished for."
I know I got the better deal ;)
I love you Daddy.
Happy and healthy birthday.
All my love,