On at least one occasion, he donned a bathrobe and appeared in the living room to discourage a date from lingering.
He still wears his rayon shirts from the 80s, and I love this.
I’ve seen him teary, maybe, a half dozen times, all related to a piece of music or poetry.
He can quote nearly all of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure as a result of his three children watching the film over and over while he drove us in a Chevy Starcraft thousands of miles in 1986.
He transforms into an extrovert in Greece.
He is one of the smartest people I know.
I hope I have inherited at least a fraction of his dry wit.
He once fished with a spear.
There’s a carousel of Kodak slides from the time he served in Vietnam.
He can paint, sketch, speak parts of many languages, offer arcane corrections, and repair cleft lips and palates.
As a teenager, he saved his lawn mowing money to purchase a radio tower for his amateur radio operations.
He may have owned a pocket protector at some point, though this fact has not been verified.
He has a keen eye for gift-giving.
Bread pudding is his weakness.
He was born in Mexico, Missouri, and much of his childhood was spent with his grandmother, born in the late 1800s. He sometimes reminisces about her pan fried potatoes.
I’ve heard him cuss once, and even then, it wasn’t that bad of a cuss word.
We once spent Father’s Day in the town of Oia. I still remember the curve of the caldera and the evening colors.
I remember hanging from his arms. I remember climbing Pinnacle. I remember the terrifying joy of being thrown into the lagoon. I remember hamburgers on the grill. I remember his temper and his quietness and how he quietly gave (and still gives) to others and how he taught me to respect my elders.
I remember listening to KLRE 90.5 Classical Radio on the way to Publisher’s Bookstore and the voice of Bob Edwards, KUAR 89.1, on the way to school.
My dad still calls to report on weather events that may affect my safety. “I appreciate the updates,” I say, and he replies, “Well, you never know when God will take a day off.”
Thank you for introducing me to the writings of Gerald Durrell, Hafiz, Cavafy, and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Thank you for Dvorak’s New World Symphony and teaching me how to swim and the wisdom of solvitur ambulando. Thank you for giving me the eyes to see the beauty you see.