Memories

My father and I were not close.  We didn’t talk much, but I remember…

When he was on the board of a retirement home and purchased overhead projectors for bedridden residents. The projector was demonstrated in our living room for the benefit of my sisters’ dates and friends. All were invited (required) to lie on the floor and watch the overhead show.  My sisters must have been extremely embarrassed. As a much younger member of the family, I considered this good fun.

When Rice-a-Roni first appeared, there was a television ad with the jingle: “Rice-a-Roni. A San Francisco treat.” My father loved that jingle and it echoes in my head every time I notice the Rice-a-Roni display at the supermarket.

An enthusiastic DIY-er, my father often reached that spot where a helper was required to hold something or move something. Pressed into service, I always did it wrong! I dreaded the “Marta, come here” summons and the inevitable barrage of loud criticism sure to follow.

However, the life lesson learned from being his DIY assistant was his frequent admonition to “take your time and figure it out. Don’t force it.”  Good advice for life, in general.

I was a surprise, late-in-life baby and not the boy my father hoped for. He did little to participate in my activities. When I was a young child in Buffalo, I would hang out with him as he shoveled snow (lots of snow) in the late evening. As a teen, I would meet up with him in the kitchen early in the morning, as he enjoyed his morning coffee. Years later, I realized his amazing ability to accomplish whatever he set out to do. I wish I had paid more attention and had learned more from him. I wish I knew more about him, his family, his work, his beliefs.  I remember him with affection and appreciation on this Fathers’ Day.

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