Mar 8th, 2005

Today’s My Father’s Birthday

And it's the first one we've had without him here. I remember so much about my father every day. Today is special, though.
The first story is about my father, his friend and my brother. It was the summer of 1966 and my mother and I were abroad, my brother had just graduated high school. One afternoon, Daddy and his friend started talking about great food, and one thing led to another, and the upshot was that they all took a road trip to Miami for scrambled eggs with kosher salami at Pumpernick's up on 63rd and Collins.

Except, remember that this was 1966, and a 100-plus mile road trip for scrambled eggs was hardly a thing to be embarked upon on a whim. But that's just what they did.

When I came home from Europe and heard that story, I would have given it all up for having been able to be home for that. What a lark it must have been. Mr. Rickmann and my old man gassing away in the front seat, and smoking nasty pipes or cigars. I don't know what they drove, I imagine it was Daddy's '53 two-tone Chevy. Powder blue on the bottom and white on top. Sigh.

And then there's the one about the time Daddy was at a party and calmly swallowed a tablespoon of Tabasco Sauce on a five buck bet. Didn't turn a hair, either.

Of course there are the other stories, too. The ones that are too personal even for me to relate. The ones that make me cry and miss the old fart so much. There is nothing in the world, I always told my male college friends as they became fathers to daughters, as deep and as pure and as everlasting as a little girl's love of a good father: they will worship the water you walk on until the day that they die. Don't fuck it up.

My father didn't.