Remembering my father

4 comments Written on April 16th, 2011 by
Categories: News

For most Americans, yesterday, April 15th, was “Tax Day,” the dreaded deadline by which one is to have sent off the previous year’s tax returns to the fine folks at the IRS.

Living in Philadelphia, I’m especially reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s famous remark, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” For me, the two are forever entwined.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s death back in 2000.

I’d finished my tax stuff Wednesday morning, and spent yesterday speaking to a subgroup of the Philadelphia Bar Association (compliance stuff), after which my Pilates instructor gave me some new insights and then used them to kick my ass. By the end of the day I was worn out mentally and physically, and conveniently distracted from thinking about my father’s passing.

Instead, I dreamed about him. We were back at the swap meet, a place where I spent almost every weekend of my youth from age five to age eighteen. It’s where I learned about money, about people, about the value of honest work, about writing down bits and pieces of my imagination in spiral notebooks when business was slow.

We used to get up before dawn to drive to the swap meet, climbing into a white econoline van and leaving Culver City far behind. Depending on where we were in that thirteen year time line we might go to Simi Valley (in the days before the freeway was there), or Redondo Beach, or Long Beach, or the Saugus Speedway, or some other venue that more often than not was a drive-in theatre turned flea market during the daylight hours of the weekend. While he drove, my father would sometimes make up odd (and occasionally bawdy) songs. He’d tell me stories. The stories weren’t quite fiction, but they weren’t quite true either. They were tall tales, embellished with retelling, or reminiscences from his past, or reconstructions of family histories. He spoke them simply, but with pleasure in his voice and in his eye, whether because he enjoyed the telling, or enjoyed telling them to me, or both.

Some of all of that came to me again last night in my dreams. In waking this morning, and recalling the bits and snippets of the dream that I could, I was pleased with the dedication I included in my most recent book. I’m pleased too to share it with you here:

For my Father,
whose easy storytelling,
made me long to tell stories of my own

4 comments “Remembering my father”

What a lovely tribute to your father. And how wonderful that you can pay honor to his memory by telling stories to others.

A solid tribute.

That was truly a horrible year. My father died in July, Margene’s father died two weeks earlier, and a dear dear friend passed in September far too soon.

that was a wonderful tribute.

Love the dedication- I always remember dad saying that there are two things that you can’t do anything about- death and taxes. It is what makes me laugh every April 15th as I think of him with so much heart. His storytelling ability was wonderful and I especially loved it when he either cracked himself up or got teary eyed telling his story. We really were blessed. Hope you saw my post- I will always be daddy’s girl! XO

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