Another day of Dad thoughts.
I’ll tell you. There sure are a lot of things I remember about my Dad. All of them are good, really. I don’t just say that because I am biased. Because he is my Dad. I say this because he seemed to be the exception to so many rules.
He was a good man to the very core. He was a seeker of Peace. Highly intelligent. Funny. Hard-working. Kind to a fault. Pious. Diligent. Honest. Virtuous. Can you tell I liked the guy?
Dad taught me so many things, in so many ways. I continue to be reminded of this with little nudges, and at the most curious of times. It came up a little while ago, as I saw today is Stan Laurel’s birthday. Of Laurel & Hardy. I can remember the first time a show of their’s came on TV. Dad took the time to explain to me who they were. Not only them, but their counterparts in Hollywood. The Charlie Chaplans, and the Buster Keatons. He gave me a thorough rundown of the entire group of physical comedians from his youth.
He would explain things in such a way that was golden. I can see his face now. Dad always looked like he was seeing it all on a screen, far, far, away. And his eyes would light up, and he’d smile with knowing. Then he’d glance your way, to make sure you were seeing the same thing. I miss that. I miss him.
I was always full of questions too. From the ordinary walk-of-life sorts of things, to the very-big inquiries about momentous affairs — like my homework. Why rules in math were the way they were. Why things happened in history the way they did. But I can surely remember a conversation about why we can’t end sentences with a preposition. It was the one time he gave me the answer, “Well, truthfully Polly, I think it is a stupid rule. I am not sure why they do it that way.”
And again, I was reminded of my Dad in this. This morning, I read a lengthy article about the history of the preposition at the end of a sentence. It all goes back to 17th-century England and a fusspot named John Dryden. When the early makings of the English Language were being formalized. This uptight Dryden guy did a lot of translations from Latin to English. And, if you must know, in Latin, the word “preposition,” always comes before the noun. So this is probably where this Dryden-guy got his undies in a bunch. A bunch of old-tongued-holy-malarky.
You end up with helplessly awkward sentences, like “With whom did you go?” And. “On what did you step?” Or, “To whom does this slingshot belong?”
You see. Fish out of the proverbial water if you ask me. An old misguided rule, which, as the article stated, was steeped in rivalry between the stuffy-old-English guys, in the 1600s.
But there it is. And. I am reminded of my dear Dad, in so many things. So often.
Like his meticulously organized tool room; the way he spread the mustard all the way to the edge of the crust when making a bologna sandwich; how he goofily shot a basketball left-handed; the way he twirled his hair when he concentrated at Bridge; his love of sharp cheddar cheese; the way he’d sing a song, about anything, at any time; and on, and on, and on.
He was on this earth for 91 years. I only knew him for 49 years. Not nearly long enough.
Happy Father’s Day Dad. I sure do miss you.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway. — Kent M. Keith
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu
“It is good people who make good places.”
― Anna Sewell, Black Beauty