Fathers Day for us down under is tomorrow. All over the country the stores have been busy promoting it, rampant commercialization in action, it is the last stop before Christmas for retailers. I am not going to talk about that today I just want to write a few words about my dad. I owe a lot to my dad apart from the obvious. Bill is his name, he is a good looking kind of dude, kind of handsome in his youth, a bit like his son… theses days he is kind of distinguished although with his deprecating sense of humor he would say extinguished.His sense of humor is one of the gifts that he has given me, it is wry,quick and pokes fun at all, including himself.
The second thing my dad taught me was a healthy disrespect for politicians, one of his favorite sayings that he often says goes like this, if you ask him what do you know, he will reply not much, qualifies me to be prime minister, is his final retort. His politics have always been on the side of the workers, another thing that he has instilled in me. He also taught me a respect for all people. regardless of race,creed or gender. Now before this seems to be a beautification before his saint hood, he taught me a few other things, stuff that boys need (well perhaps) to know.
We owned a procession of old vehicles and had no money for mechanics, so home maintenance was necessary, dad taught me how to check spark plugs, replace head gaskets, do all sorts of things to cars, and it was here that I learnt to swear. Most of my rather extensive vocabulary of profanity was learnt on the job, fixing cars with my dad.. Something would go wrong and away he would go, it was funny if it was his fault, not so if it was mine.
I learnt a healthy disrespect for authoritarianism from my dad, I remember a decree from the Dairy company that dad worked at, something around a special kind of hat. Anyway Dad tied it with a big bow under his chin in a blatant fuck you very much, that resulted in a change in policy. He taught me how to deal with
tailgating drivers, and all the necessary hand signals when driving. I have to confess that I have used this with intent over the years. I learnt that although my sense of humor is warped at times it is not as warped as my dads, I am unable to do cryptic cross words, his ability with a pen and words is great to see.
The roast is over , and I have to admit that perhaps I may have stretched some of the truth in this, not intentionally but I shall claim the writer’s privilege, as that is what I am. The things that I value the most have come from my dad. He has buried a son and a wife, two things that would break many people, at times I was afraid that they would break him however he has come through. What he gave me through all of this is a sense of family, one that also emphasized that family goes well beyond blood ties. He taught me about love as well.
My mum had a brain hemorrhage and survived, she was a very different person when she recovered and perhaps somewhat difficult at times to live with. Dad loved her through this and sometime after her death dad went on to love again. he has always made room for family and if I ever need him I know he is there. Dad taught me about love through all of this.
Love you so much