Why would anyone think that?
Smurf-blue deck paint, also his idea.
And yes, he is half-deaf and has only nine toes, so his balance is a little off and he falls down a lot, but my dad is also a genius. I just didn’t include the stuff he said about the devaluation of the American dollar or his comparison between Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War and our country’s current presence in the Middle East because DIURETIC DAY is so much more entertaining.
In addition to being a genius, my dad’s a badass. For posterity’s sake, I will catalog a few of the ways he has filled up this arbitrary existence we call life:
- attended race-driving school, twice (once in the 1960s, and again about ten years ago)
- took at least one bounty hunter workshop
- got kicked out of both Phillips Exeter Academy and Columbia Law School
- earned a PhD from Cambridge University in England
- has written my mom a sonnet every Valentine’s Day since, like, 1973 or something
- tromped all over Europe, including places like Bosnia and Croatia, with a backpack slung over his shoulder into his sixties
- got his brown belt in karate before he got colon cancer in ’86
- (speaking of which) beat cancer, two different kinds
Some of his occupations:
- carny (no shit—he ran the scrambler for Reithoffer)
- published author of several pieces of short fiction and a history book
- tree nurseryman (to this day, more than 35 years later, we’re not allowed to cut a Christmas tree; we have to decorate a dug-and-balled Fraser fir, which we later un-decorate and plant in the yard)
- ambulance driver
- reporter, or as he would say “newspaper man”
- college professor
- and most importantly, dad…a doddering, meddling, hilarious, generous-to-a-fault, worry-wort of a dad to three kids and two kids-in-law
I love ya, Dad!
*My dad wrote a journal entry of sorts last week entitled “Father’s Day”. He showed it to me. It was just about his day, an everyday day, and about my heading up the mountain to see him. It was simple and beautiful.