15 June 2008

My Dad

I'm a day late...but I still want to put down some thoughts about my dad.
In the last year or so, a BOOK has been written about my dad and his brothers and their work and travels spanning a few decades ( A Song for the World:  The Amazing Story of  the Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen:  Musical Diplomats, by Frank McGee).  The things that they have seen and done are truly mind-blowing, amazing and wonderful.  I am thankful that the book now exists so that I, and all posterity, can have a written record of the things my dad has done.  I'm also glad to have the record of his vision and his enviable ability to win over a multitude of people, whether grand or humble.  The things recorded in the book are for everyone to know, things that have been learned through research and interviews.  What I want to record here are not these things; I want to tell you the things that have meaning for me, a daughter.

My dad has always loved for me to travel.  This began early in my childhood, when I was encouraged to travel, even on my own.  My first trip alone was when I was 8 years old, and I went by airplane to visit my cousin, Beth, in Sacramento.  Before I left, my dad wrote me a very detailed letter, explaining to me exactly what to expect at each step of the journey, making sure that I knew that the flight attendants were there to help me.  This became a tradition he kept into my college years.  Before any trip on my own, my dad would write me a long, detailed letter, telling me his hopes for the trip, what to expect, any cultural information he thought I might need to know.  Of course, he always finished the letter by telling me how proud he was of me and how he believed in me and my abilities to accomplish great things.  This summer, John and I will be traveling to London, a city I have never visited!  I know that my dad is so pleased that I will have the chance to do this, as travel is near and dear to his heart.  I have kept all those travel letters he wrote through the years.

My dad still loves to take care of me, his only daughter.  Don't tell my brothers, but my dad sends me a check for $50 every month.  If he ever misses a month, he'll send a bigger check the next time.  I love this little treat that comes every month.  I love having a little something extra, but I especially just love that my dad is thinking of me and taking care of me still.  When I was in college and my dad would come to visit, he was always trying to get me to eat more.  For some unknown reason, he feared that I would starve out there on my own (I don't know how he neglected to notice the freshman 15 that I packed on that year).  So after a meal - I mean, a regular meal, with salad and entree, etc. - my dad would ask if I wanted anything else to top it off, like " a steak or something".  

I also remember my dad treating me like an adult, when I really was maybe only just becoming one.  The first time my dad visited me in college, we went to a club to hear live music and my dad ordered a...shhh...cocktail for me.  I felt so grown up.  Oh, and he took me clothes shopping.  I still remember what I bought:  an oversized purple cardigan from the Gap, among other things.  Ahhh, the 80s.

Here are some random memories from childhood with my dad:
* my dad coming home on a summer evening and all of us playing out on the cool lawn
* my dad letting us sit on his lap and steer the Suburban in our neighborhood on the way to the pool
* my dad driving my brother and me to school and SPEEDING down the big hill to make the light (sometimes we were running late)
* my dad encouraging me in my softball games

There are many other things I could write about, but these are the ones that have been on my mind the past few days.  

Happy Fathers' Day, Pop!  I love you so much, and I'm glad you're MY dad!!

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