You know, writing “tributes” isn’t always as easy as one might think – especially when the person can read what you’ve written and critique what you’ve said. But here goes.
Dad has always come up with interesting comments:
- You’re my favorite daughter. Dad I’m the only one. Exactly, that’s why you’re favorite.
- It’s not your birthday until 7:52pm. But Ray, we should have a party for her and invite her friends… Mom won that for my 13th birthday.
- I’m not old, I have old kids.
There are more, but you get the idea.
There was the time we were getting ready to go on a family camping trip, the car had an internal trunk release and you had to have it running for it to work. The car was a stick shift by the way with a heavy-duty clutch. Dad asked me to pop the trunk – while he was standing behind the car. Well, my foot slid off the clutch pedal and the car jumped backward. I stared crying , I thought for sure I’d run him over!
A few years later, when it was time to get my driver’s license (learner’s permit was first), I learned to drive at school – but Dad made sure I knew how to drive a stick. Yes the very car I thought I killed him with. (for the record – it turned out that I loved that car) Dad would only agree that I was ready to drive the car when I could shift gears (three on the tree) and not spill the water from the glass he’d put on the dash board. No, no pressure at all. It took a bit (Dad had some quick reflexes) but I passed to Dad’s satisfaction.
When I was in grade school, we had taken a family trip to Greenfield Village (Dearborn, MI). I should say here I learned photography from Dad and Grandpa. I had my 110 camera and sat on the riverbank waiting for the paddlewheel boat to come. As I had been taught, I made myself the tripod, held my breath as I slowly clicked the shutter. When we got home I couldn’t wait to develop the pictures (we had our own darkroom). The boat was perfect, you could clearly see the boat in the water – in fact turn it upside down and you had to look very hard to tell the difference.
Well, Dad taught an extra-curricular class in photography. For the first class, he gave a simple instruction – go take pictures. He developed all the film. They were all bad. So, what did my Dad do to kids that were 4 – 5 years older than me? After he critiqued their work he showed them my paddlewheel boat picture and proceeded to tell them that if my daughter – who’s younger than you take this, why can’t you?
When I was in high school, I took an art class – painting, charcoal, pastels. Dad would call my work pictures. I would tell him (all the time) NO Dad, they’re paintings or drawings, not pictures. Pictures are what you do with a camera. You know, when you’re a teenager you know everything.
One day I brought a drawing home that I was really happy with, Dad snagged it and (basically) said it was his, and took it to work, never telling me what he thought of the drawing. I found out a few years later – from staff – that Dad really was proud of that drawing, he made sure that everyone knew that “my daughter” did that! I also found out that I painting I had done in school (too big to ride on the bus with me – Dad picked it up) was paraded around where he worked with him telling everyone “look at what my daughter did!”
Dad had interesting reactions to boyfriends (he really only liked the first one, my husband has grown on him). When he didn’t like them, he would fall asleep in his chair. I guess it was his way of saying the guy wasn’t interesting enough.
Dad has always wanted my brother and me to be good at everything we did. Although he still can’t understand why math and I are not friends. (His, comments have been that since math was so easy for him it should be for me.)
Yes, Daddy was my first boyfriend. Yes, Dad was a great driver – made the run to the local hospital in record time, my brother and I kept finding ways to test that (mostly Bob). Dad made sure he and Mom were in Colorado for my wedding – they drove. Even though there were times in my life that I didn’t think Dad loved me, he did – still does and always had/has my back.
I love you Dad!
(don’t worry – he knows what this means)