Monday, September 1, 2008

Dad's Birthday

I guess you could call me a "Daddy's girl," although both Dad and I would have cringed at that description. Much too twee for us. We shared a corny sense of humor and delighted in naughty jokes, once I was old enough that he thought I might have heard a few before. I miss the silly laughter.

We also loved arguing about politics in the evening
over drinks on his lanai. He always said I was a tree-hugging, liberal hippie freak and I told him he was slightly to the right of Ivan the Terrible - you can imagine how spirited our discussions were. With deep mutual respect, we still enjoyed sneering at one another's political views as Mom sat by, rolling her eyes to heaven. I miss those wrangles, especially in election years. I know he'd have voted for McCain as he admired the man when he was a junior officer in Dad's command; I'd be in the booth canceling out Dad's vote come November.

Neither of us had any musical talent whatever but we enjoyed listening to music. He kept his stereo equipment in an old blanket chest with the wires running through a knothole he knocked out of the back; each evening after work when we were growing up, he'd put on a record and make a martini for himself and my mother, and they'd have a quiet cocktail hour before dinner. His selection of music ranged from Fats Waller's stride piano to Martin Denny, broadway musicals, early jazz and some classical. To this day, I can sing (very badly) all the words to "Two Sleepy People" and "Your Feets Too Big," and all of the Ella Fitzgerald Sings Cole Porter and South Pacific albums. I miss that music.

Dad loved raquet sports and played tennis nearly every day of his life. He was the Hawaii State tennis champion for his age group at 75. He maintained that he won that title because all the other competitors came to the matches on canes and walkers; that self-deprecating charm was as much a part of him as his warm brown eyes. I miss those eyes.

He bought his first computer at age 83 and used it frequently for email and word processing, although he cursed his Macintosh roundly whenever it crashed or refused to do his bidding. He bought the same kind as I had so he could phone me for instructions whenever he got stuck. He had the Irish gift of gab and could make even silly little incidents sound like fun. One time, when he hadn't printed anything in a long time, he turned on the printer to find that a whole colony of Hawaiian ants had taken up residence in his printer and came streaming out, carrying their babies over their heads, when he turned it on. We had a good chuckle over that one.

My Dad went to heaven 10 years ago, shortly after his 86th birthday; today would have been his 96th.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Save me a place on the Heavenly Lanai - I need a few fresh jokes, we still have some political issues to argue about, most modern music just doesn't do it for me, and I haven't had a gin and tonic since you left!


Blogger Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

what a touching tribute. :)

My dad would have turned 75 yesterday; it floors me how much I still miss him, a year and a half after his death.

Monday, September 01, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Oh, well, we're going to have to fix that! G&T, chez Crumb. Pronto!

Monday, September 01, 2008  
Blogger Dagny said...

My daddy is only 66 but he sounds a lot like yours. Except for that McCain thing. One can always find cocktails on his patio and old blues and jazz on the stereo. Gotta warn you though. While he enjoys Ella, he's kind of partial to Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan.

Your post made me want to call my dad -- even though I've already spoken to him today. Because I generally speak to him at least once a day. Ain't nothin' wrong with being a daddy's girl.

Monday, September 01, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Anita, my heart goes out to you - when the loss is fresh, it's particularly strong. Sounds like you had a dynamite Dad!

Cookiecrumb, good idea! Let's do it!

Dagny, you are so fortunate to be close to your Dad and to be able to call him daily. I send mine "thought messages" a lot but I miss being able to call him up just to tell him some naughty joke I heard!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008  
Anonymous Janie said...

Nice tribute to your Dad and your relationship with him. Kind of made me feel like I knew him a little.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Janie, thanks, it was fun to write and remember.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008  
Anonymous Lynne said...

I think the bond between father and daughter is a truely special one!! The day my dad passes I think my world will crumble.

At 28 he's still the first person I call for advice, in an emergency, most situations:) much to the annoyance of my fiance!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Lynne, you are blessed and I know what you mean about how the world would be without your father. Mine's poorer since he went to heaven (and, yes, I'm sure he went there!). :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008  

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