Posts Tagged ‘Father’s Day’

The day before Father’s Day, my parents-in-law suggested that we might want to meet them for a strawberry festival in a small town about an hour from Albany. Since we weren’t going to see each other on the actual holiday, it seemed like a nice idea.

We got our strawberries, biscuits and whipped cream and sat on chairs in the shady part of the church lawn. I also split some Brooks barbecue chicken, a staple at church dinners around here, with my wife. And it was a good thing I bought it when I did, because when my FIL went back to get some chicken, it had sold out.

There were a number of vendors set along the main street. The Daughter wanted to go to the one just across the street, so we did. Some unnecessary knickknacks, such as bracelets. But what’s that – some Confederate flag paraphernalia? OK, we can just go.

Then I see in the corner of my eye a bunch of hats with “We don’t call 911” stitched on the brim and a gun here a logo might be. Yes, we’re in “no sale” territory. My wife wanted to know if we found anything to buy. The Daughter and I gave a curt “no.”

Eventually we came upon a yard sale, evidently run by three women. I spent a whole dollar in one seller’s column, two sets of four coasters in the design of playing cards, which I’ll use for my annual hearts game next March, if I can still remember where they are by then.

We listened to a concert in the church, a group of 14 women and 5 men, plus conductor and pianist. They sang a half dozen tunes, New York, New York; Somewhere from West Side Story, in honor of the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth; a religious tune I didn’t recognize; and finished with a version of God Bless America that incorporated both a musical version of the spoken intro and a piece of America the Beautiful. The group, that has been around for 32 years, wasn’t bad.

The town is building a newly-refurbished library in the building that used to house a small performance theater. The old library, next door, will be where they sell books that are currently stored in the dingy and inaccessible basement. They plan to move the books from one building to the other via a bucket brigade early this autumn.

It was a hot day, so we went to the local Stewart’s Shops, ubiquitous in the region, for refreshment.

Right across the road was a hand-painted sign for a guy running for town supervisor. Adjacent to that was a large message, almost the size of a billboard: “Town Supervisor [name] and town board are [sic] panning to build a town building in a flood plain. DUMB ASSES.”

We drove home, and as is likely to be customary on such an oppressive day, I took a nap.

You may find this weird, but I only really stopped being resentful about Father’s Day in the past year or two.

Before that, all those holiday ads I would get – gift ideas from a slew of retailers – would send me into a flurry of anger at first, followed by melancholy.

You would think, I gather, that being a father myself would have alleviated the antipathy, but no. I continued to be sad that, unlike my sisters’ daughters, my daughter will never know my father.

I wonder what nickname he would have allowed. His three grandchildren, including the one he never met, were born about a dozen years apart. Would he suggest she call him “oom-pah”, as he did with one of the others, or would the two of them have develop a different moniker for him?

I think it’s easier now because, as a “senior citizen,” as my kind daughter was so helpful in pointing out, I recognize that I haven’t got time for the pain.

Did I ever mention that my parents-in-law, who are pretty swell folks, have birthdays almost exactly a decade apart, in the same respective years? This is mighty handy, I’ll tell you. Any cheat will do.

I have started to embrace the notion of hinting for gifts. It’s not that I really want, and certainly don’t need, stuff. But it’s nice to be remembered.

My sisters started sending me Father’s Day cards fairly early on after I first became a day. One of them sent me one this year, the one NOT in the hospital; she gets a pass. Frankly, it would have never occurred to me to send them Mother’s Day cards, but I think it’s sweet that I receive cards from them.

Meanwhile, my daughter is on her way to high school. People say, “I can’t believe how quickly the time pass.” I think, though I don’t always say, “I can.”

Is it just me, or maybe it’s parents who were already of a certain age, who feel that the time is passing at approximately the correct speed?

I learn a lot from her about the world, but don’t tell her. She might get a swelled head.

My sister Marcia posted a picture on Facebook. It was all pinkish, and I couldn’t even see her in the photo. So I asked Arthur the AmeriNZ guy, who must be related to Annie Sullivan, because he’s a miracle worker, if he might have a go at it.

He noted, “The original photo appears to be a low-resolution scan of the photo, and that means there’s not much to work with. If it was a higher-resolution version, I’d have more to work with.

“The pinkish cast to the photo is because of natural deterioration in photos from the 1940s through the 1960s and 70s. The dyes used turned out not to be stable, and photos taking on a reddish hue is common.” Yes, I do have a few of those in photo albums.

I suspect the original negative from 1958 is long gone, and a higher-resolution scan seems to be beyond the capacity of my sister’s machine.

He actually did three versions, one “with the colours lightly corrected”, another with “a little more intense colour correction, with the focus on making the skin tones a little more natural (which makes the background even worse)”, and the one I chose, “a black and white version, with some of the dust and defects caused by the low-resolution cleaned up. This version, because the colours in the background aren’t weird, is a little less distracting.”

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. As Paul Simon, in his corrected lyrics, once said, “Everything looks better in black-and-white.”

I have only a vague recollection of this photo. I’m sure I saw it at the time, but that was long ago. I assume my mother took the picture, and based on the baby’s size, probably on June 15, 1958. This is the only one I recall with just these four people, Dad, Roger, Leslie and Marcia.

Happy Father’s Day to you, and to me.


As is my wont, I’m writing ahead in my blog, a post for early July, when, unexpectedly, I realize I have written nothing for Father’s Day, then less than two weeks away. Could that be correct?

Maybe I wrote it, but I forgot to schedule it. Nope.

So I searched my own blog, in posts and drafts, for the word Father’s Day, and I come across a draft with only this picture from 2010. As far as I know, I never used the picture before, and in fact, don’t specifically remember it.

It is a “find.”

I DO remember that dress, though. Read the rest of this entry »

John Oliver: Helen Mirren Reads the Most Horrible Parts of the Torture Report and What the Internet Does to Women.

The Internet Age of Mean.

11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism. “The pernicious impact of ‘white fragility.'” Slurs: Who Can Say Them, When, and Why. And Churches Are Burning Again in America.

President Obama’s extraordinary eulogy in Charleston, SC.

A black man and a white woman switch mics, and show us a thing or two about privilege.
Read the rest of this entry »

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