With his western cowboy hat tilted at just the right angle, my Dad looked like he’d spent his whole life rounding up cattle and riding horses.
Looks can be deceiving. But the Philadelphia native shared at least one other trait cowboys are known for. He played it close to the vest, not always revealing what he thought.
Like E. F. Hutton, when my Dad spoke, people listened. For good reason. He was knowledgeable, a superb storyteller and easily cracked me up with his jokes – even the corny ones. OK, especially the corny ones.
This year is the first year Dad won’t be with us to celebrate Father’s Day. As I meander down thru Memory Lane, so many thoughts and memories rush to the surface.
He made the first radio I owned – a crystal radio set. A memory I treasure because I loved to listen to the music and programs on radio. Dad also made the first TV set we ever owned. Talk about bragging rights.
As an electronics engineer, Dad tinkered with many electronic gadgets at our home long before they became staples in just about everyone’s home.
When he wasn’t building or fixing things, he’d unwind by playing the guitar. I can still recall haunting tunes, upbeat jazz and classical music that he entertained us with.
Dad was the gold standard that I measured all my dates by.
He also challenged me by giving me riddles to solve. What do you know? What can you infer? What’s going on?
Here’s an example of a riddle he might have posed to me that I found online:
“A man was shot to death in his car. There were no powder marks on his clothing which indicated that the gunman was outside the car. However, all the windows were up and the doors were locked. After a close inspection was made, the only bullet holes discovered were in the man’s body. How was he murdered?” (Answer below)
This meant I had to think outside the box, to look beyond the superficial. I had to deduce. Great life-shaping skills. Sometimes, I succeeded. Other times, Dad had to supply the answer.
Then, I’d do the hand plant on my forehead. Oh! That was so logical. Next time, I’d try harder to figure it out.
That, more than anything, helped guide me in life.
I’d like to be able to tell him: “Thank you, Dad for providing me with love, security and making me think. Thank you for everything you did.”
To all fathers, whether it’s by birth, step, adopted, mentor, Big Brother … Happy Father’s Day on June 17th and on every day.
(** Answer to riddle: The victim was in a convertible. He was shot while the top was down. **) http://www.funnyriddles.net/A-Strange-Murder-Riddle-225.htm
** A special thank you to C.J. of Food Stories who nominated me for the Illuminating Blogger Award. Check out her website at http://foodstoriesblog.com/ and find many creative ideas for desserts, meals and dining. She quotes Hippocrates: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” She said he knew the power of proper nutrition well before current science became aware of this fact.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-12. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Main photo: Dad and me, Nelson, Nevada (2002)
Photo: Dad in U.S. Army (1943)
Photo: Dad (in center) and his classmates in Chicago, Ill.