Sunday, June 20, 2010

my daddy

I had almost 9 years as a single child before my sisters came along, so I have a few memories all my own, small things, but none less important. When our family decided to move West to California, leaving behind the chilly winters of Massachusetts, my daddy got a job at Hunt's Tomato Factory. It was right across the street from where we lived and I could hear the whistle blow at the lunch hour and then at 5pm. I would stand near the front window waiting for him to come home. He always smelled like vinegar and cooked tomatoes. I unlaced his shoes, removed them and then placed them under the stairs. That was my job and I took it very seriously.

At night you could always find me sitting on the back of the couch with a comb and a baggie of spongy pink rollers. My daddy's hair was slick black, thick and shiny. I wrapped his hair around as many rollers that could fit, I later passed on this ritual to my little sisters and we all remember the greasy feel of our fingers and the smell of our daddy's head. Don't worry daddy, it was always a clean smell. A shower cap was used in place of a hair dryer and taking out the rollers was just as fun as putting them in. What patience you had with us because we each had to have a turn and eventually you had 3 of us!

Shortly later, we bought our first house and you enrolled into the Police Academy. I remember the meticulous care you invested in being responsible for having a gun. You systematically cleaned it, laying all the tools in a row with a small pile of cotton cloths. I can still smell the gun metal and powder residue. As I sat there watching, you lectured about gun safety, which struck a fearful respect in me for a lifetime. I felt pride when seeing you in your uniform, your shiny badge and hat. And then later when you became the City's first Motorcycle Officer. You are special and very courageous.

I was right there when you shined your shoes, when you built brick walls for landscaping, when you poured cement and used your table saw, I watched you a lot. What you did with your hands fascinated me and I never got bored. I guess what I'm remembering the most is all the time I spent just simply hanging out with you. I don't remember every exact conversation but I do remember thinking you were the smartest, most talented daddy in the whole world and I was lucky to have you.

I am still lucky to have you...I love you daddy!

Happy Father's Day


Jack K. said...

This posting has got to be the best fathers' day gift a father could receive.

Your dad is one great guy and fortunate to be blessed with you and your sisters.

Your tale brought back memories of getting my short hair done up in barrettes. What fun.

If you don't mind I will link this to my FB page. It is so wonderful, it requires sharing.

Thanks for making my day. I know it made you dad's day.

Jack K. said...

I really meant "your dad's day."


Wanda said...

Wonderful tribute Darlene.... I miss my daddy... love the picture too. said...

So sweet.

Lucky man. Lucky daughters.