My dad, the original hipster. Bearded and inherently cool without trying. Laid back and gentle but also manly and tough. He handled life with an honest authentic approach. He was adventurous and creative...kind and truthful even when truth wasn't easy. He was a woodshop teacher and builder with wood, more like an artist at times. He loved a good joke and he really really loved Three Stooges movies. Like they made him laugh so hard, tears ran down his face. I never really got all of that but I loved watching him watch those movies.
But what my dad loved most of all (besides his family) was to sail. He loved being on the water, the wind in his face and hand on the tiller. I'm the oldest of his three children, the only daughter and my brothers inherited his love for sailing and boats. I love the feeling of the wind in my face and going fast but I prefer it from the back of a horse than from the deck of a sailboat. But it's the same thing. The going fast....
I have loads of memories about my dad and I could tell you about him forever. He liked to go get doughnuts from the local doughnut shop, Courthouse Creamery where they had a doughnut making machine and we would sneak away and have a doughnut at the counter on special mornings. He also loved a cherry slurpee on a Friday afternoon. He could fix anything as it always seemed something needed fixing. And he whistled like nobody else. But his singing voice, oh my, it was rich and deep and when we sang together, I knew what harmony was all about.
When I was about 5, we used to travel on summer days on his Vespa scooter, he on the seat, me standing on the floorboards in front of him wearing sunglasses from the dimestore to keep bugs out of my eyes. Our dog Ginger sitting on the floorboards in front of my feet. His arms around me making sure I was safe and shouting things in my ears and I yelled "Wee Bye Bye"...going fast.....My dad knew interesting people and would spend time listening to their amazing interesting stories and told some of his own. And he loved my mom like people should be loved. From the time he was 13 she was his best friend, partner in wild adventures and his safe place. And he was hers. He was a good man, a man unlike anyone I ever known or ever will.
My dad has been gone too long, it's hard to believe there is a world without him in it. Cancer sucks and took him away long before he should have been gone. But today I won't think about all that. Today is my dad's birthday and he remains the coolest guy I have ever known and is still so loved. I wish I could get to the ocean and sail fast today, I wish he was here with me. Goodness knows I could use his gentle wisdom and how I would love to sing Michael Row the Boat Ashore with him one more time. I am grateful for my days on this Earth with my dad and so proud to be a sailor's daughter. Sail forever and go fast Dad...I love you endlessly