Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

My dad is a card. Seriously! He sometimes seems to be very serious and quiet but don't let that fool you. My dad is a champion shaggy dog story teller and perfecter of deadpan humor.

At least he thinks he's funny...ask my mom and she may have a different story.

Anyway, I was reminded recently of one of my favorite "dad stories", so I thought I'd share it with you.

Around 1989 or so, I had just recently gotten back to the good ol' US of A from Germany. I was in school, trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Dad was working for an electric company and part of his job as plant manager was to go on business trips from time to time. Several times he got to go to Florida for those trips. Dad had taken my mom a couple times, and my little brother. This time around though, they didn't show any desire to go.

I happened to be visiting with my folks when dad said he guessed he should have asked me if I wanted to go before he turned the extra ticket back in. I said something like I would have liked to go or that would have a been fun... A short time later dad excused himself from the room. He came back saying he called and got them to leave the ticket open, and would I like to go? I debated for all of about 5 seconds (I mean, I was in school and all, and had finals coming up, and Florida was a long way away and...who am I kidding? I was stoked to go!)

So I packed my books and research papers and flew off to Clearwater, FL with my dad. While he was in meetings I studied and wrote my term paper.
I knew it was going to be a cool trip because the first thing we got to the hotel the kid who was hauling our bags up to our rooms grabbed the suitcases and said, "Follow me!" and practically started running. We followed along and he suddenly stopped along an outside railing on one of the upper floors of the hotel and pointed to the horizon. Then we saw it: the Space Shuttle was taking off across the bay! We got to see the launch and the first section of the rocket fall away. It was pretty darn cool!

Plus, the hotel had a parrot in the lobby! I'm a sucker for parrots. (Even if they are mean little turds who want to bite my finger off... but I digress.)

So we spent a couple days at Epcot,

Busch Gardens and the Ringling Mansion (wow!)

and took a dinner cruise in the harbor that went past a bunch of rich people's houses (the only one I remember was the one that at that time belonged to Hulk Hogan.) It was pretty neat getting to have my dad all to myself.

My favorite memory however, was at Epcot. See, they have these Renaissance players that wander the park and put on little mini-plays.

We stopped to watch them do a hilarious version of Romeo and Juliet. I remember that when Romeo dies they made him go lay in a chalk outline. The funniest thing, though, was that they picked my dad to be Romeo! My dad!
Little did they know that they were getting in way over their heads by doing so...

So, they feed lines to the audience members they pick to "assist" them and then the "actor" is supposed to repeat them. They were at the part where they say that Romeo spied Juliet across a crowded room and my dad spontaneously bursts into a version of "Some Enchanted Evening!" The crowd cracked up laughing and the players were trying not to laugh and the poor girl trying to wrangle my dad was looking more confused than she probably had ever been.

But it was perfect. And it was totally my dad. And it's one of my favorite dad memories ever.

My dad: who takes neat pictures and sends them to me.

My dad: who catches big fish and does not send them to me. (Thanks, Dad.)

My dad: who makes me laugh and always lets me know he loves me.

I love you, too, Dad.


  1. Ooooh...I laughed and I laughed..

    And then, dear dear girl, I cried. What a wonderful precious story. What a wonderful treasured memory. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    You are an amazing writer, young lady. You are. You touched something deep inside me this evening. ((hugs))

  2. What a wonderful tribute to your dad. I loved the story of your trip together.

  3. Am sorry that you could not have had a more normal father. But we get stuck with whom we get stuck with when it comes to fathers and mothers---family. One can paint much different
    lives in our minds if we plug in the other father types. I wonder how I would have turned out if dad had been a butcher----or a lawyer. Or mom a skater for Ice Capades. Oh well.

  4. Hello, Tera! To answer your question, the place is an abandoned mega church across the street from where my parents and sister live.

    It is HUGE and sadly, vandals have practically wrecked everything--that includes shattering skylights and windows the length of my living room, not to knocking holes in every wall they could find. The place is covered in graffiti and looks like something out of a science fiction movie!

    I've taken some awesome photos--I have so many I thought I'd dedicated an actual blog to it. It was once called the Living Enrichment Center.

    There's even a full pool there--not filled with water but instead inscribed with dirty words. There are two places where there are tunnels underneath. It is a very interesting place and full of photographic opportunity!

    Thanks for asking!

  5. Awesome story. It makes me miss my dad a little more. I think I'll go write him a post.

  6. FYI: pumicebeach is my dad...Told you he was funny! :)

  7. Awwwwww. You have made me cry. I love your dad, and I don't even know him! There's no question that you have inherited his wonderful sense of humor, maybe his greatest gift to you ever. Thank you for sharing that beautiful memory!

  8. That was a wonderful post and story. Hold on to those precious memories

    And I'm sorry for not commenting over the last week or two. I was in San Diego for a meeting and then was totally back-logged upon my return. I think I'm finally back up and running!

    Happy 4th of July (belated) too!


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