Saturday, June 20, 2009
Happy Father's Day.
This is the great Chet Baker singing My Buddy, one of my father's favorite songs.Each time he heard it he would wipe an eye and look away at something distant.
I never asked why, because we're men and we don't intrude on moments like that, but I always assumed it had to do with his younger brother, the brother he couldn't protect from the war.
Dad was a sentimental guy, something I inherited from him, along with a stubborn streak of right and wrong and a willingness to express an opinion, loudly, on almost any topic. This is a characteristic (I can't call it a virtue) that will be familiar to readers and one that didn't do either of us much good in our careers.
My father was also quick to forgive. God knows he forgave me a million times, when I disappointed or baffled him, which was almost daily.
He was, like most of us, a bag full of contradictions. He was restless to do something new, push a project forward, make something better than it was when he found it. But if he stopped for a moment he was asleep.
He was the kind of guy you wanted to have a drink with and yet I never saw him drunk.
His mother never let him forget that the wrong son came home from the war, and yet he took care of her until the day she died.
He loved music but sadly, couldn't carry a tune or strike a beat.
So this song is for you, Dad. I think of you every time I hear this. Happy father's day.
Your buddy misses you.