Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy Stories

My husband Ron is sitting with the portable phone next to his oatmeal bowl as he reads the Sunday paper. He’s waiting. He says he’ll see who’s paying attention. He deserves a few calls today.

Gene (my dad) came to my rescue during the winter of my freshman year in college, when I got the flu or a cold (maybe a sinus infection) of some sort. After a couple of miserable days, I went to the student health service. The doctor gave me a prescription for an antibiotic called Erythromycin, which sometimes has the side effect of causing nausea. Here is Amy’s law: Any side effect that can occur from a drug will occur if taken by Amy. I shared an apartment with a friend who had gone out of town for a few days so I was alone. Lying in bed with a cooking pot to wretch into because I was too dizzy to make it to the bathroom, I called home. Dad left work and immediately drove 120 miles in one of the most wicked snow blizzards of the Upstate New York winter to look after me. By the time he returned home on Monday morning, I was well on the way to recovery (after seeing a doctor in private practice).

Ron didn’t receive much fathering from his own dad, who left when Ron was very young. So he vowed that he would do all the father things with his own children. Mort and Brian came to stay with us during the summer every year while they were growing up. One year we took them to Disneyland. Once we went to Yosemite. And one time their Daddy insisted on taking them fishing so they would be able to say they went with their dad. They caught nary a fish but they had a good time. He took Akili to a baseball game when Akili was two years old, bought him a souvenir cap, and took a heap of photos of his boy in the stands. Akili was actually too little to appreciate the game, but he had a lovely time out with Dad (and great hot dog). I think all five of Ron’s children would agree that one of the most valuable things their Dad has passed down to them is the love of music (and significant knowledge about music as well). For Sudi, the inheritance includes a talent for creating and playing music. What a fine thing for a father to pass down to his children.

Happy Father’s Day Gene and Ron.

Our Gang in Tahoe (1994)

Our Gang in Santa Cruz (2008)

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