Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

My Daddy turns 85 today.

His birthday was always the first "full" day of summer, and every year, when we greeted him in the morning, he would say, "Winter's comin': the days are getting shorter!" (very funny in the days pre-air-conditioning...) His birthday also always fell the same week as Father's Day. That's why you didn't see a post on Sunday about How Fabulous He Is.

The story goes that his mother went to the circus the day before he was born; then went home and went directly into labor with him. "Loved the monkeys so much, she wanted one of her own," Daddy says. He was born in a little country house in Huntington County, Indiana. My grandma told me that, in the 20's, you never left the church sanctuary to nurse your baby; neither did you bother covering up. She told me you just "whipped it out, nobody paid no mind."

Daddy had the reputation as a wild boy. My favorite story is how he and a friend put an outhouse on top of the bank building downtown. My question was always, Why? but then, I'm a girl, so I guess I'd never understand, anyway.

Daddy was a fly-boy in WWII (dubya-dubya Two--The Big One), so I've heard a lot of stories. He came home to his wife and two babies, and made a good life. I was born eighth in the family--he was 33. He was a cutting-edge technology kinda guy--we all had great stereos in the 70's--he would "upgrade" and give us the "last year's model." He bought a video camera (black and white) when the camera was not the "recorder": you also had to carry a vcr in a sling on your shoulder. The cheapest place to buy a blank vcr tape was at the GE employee store--$35.00 Apiece. He bought a calculator when they were the New Thing: four-function (add, subtract, multiply, divide): $100.00. My brother has it; I have the next model, adding a square-root feature.

So many, many things I could tell you about him; so many ways in which I am grateful for the Man He Is. He taught me about my heavenly Father by his example. He proved a perfect model for me, when it came time to choose a husband. As a Grandpa, there is none better. As a Daddy, he is the Absolute Best.

Happy Birthday, Daddy. I'll always be your Barbie Doll.

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