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Archive for June 15th, 2014

dadIt’s another Father’s Day.  I’ve written briefly about my Dad here in the past, one post describing why the photo shown here of him from about 50 years ago is one of my favorites.   I’ve described him as my hero and boon companion when I was a kid and that is the truth.  I remember one year when I was in Little League.  Our team lost it’s first five games and our coach quit, leaving us without any guidance.  I don’t know how excited he was about it but Dad took over and things immediately turned around for us.  We won the remainder of our games but more importantly, what had been a chore for our kids became a lot of fun.

Dad was was surprisingly easy going and uncritical of the kids, never getting excited when we screwed up a play or made a bad pitch.  But  by making sure that every kid played a part in that team and showing us ways to win with his knowledge of baseball, the game became joyous again.  As an example, my best friend’s little brother was part of the team and before Dad came had hardly played at all.

He was a tiny kid and still pretty unskilled so the prior coach had him ride the bench and begrudgingly gave him a single at bat or two.  But Dad saw his tininess as a strength and he became our secret weapon when we needed baserunners.  His strike zone was about the size of a postage stamp,  especially after Dad showed him how to crouch to make himself even smaller, and the opposing pitchers just didn’t have that kind of skill to throw three strikes to him.  He became a walk machine and his whole game improved as did his enjoyment level.  I saw him a few years ago for the first time in almost 40 years and one of his first questions was about Dad. That’s not uncommon when I run into childhood friends.

Another of my memories is riding in the car with him as a child when he would sing.  Some of the songs were nonsense songs that he had made up, one with few words but a melody that I still carry to this day.  Another was the chorus from the polka,She’s Too Fat For Me.  I remember these moments now with great fondness but when I was a very little kid I didn’t like to hear my Dad sing and would yell like a spoiled brat to make him stop.  That bothers me now because he seemed to be having so much fun that I should have just enjoyed that moment and let him belt it out.

So, Dad, if you’re reading this, here’s She’s Too Fat For Me.  Feel free to sing along and have a happy Father’s Day.

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