Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dear dad, sorry about the car

By the time I was only 17 I had accumulated enough keyboard and PA gear to fill a small van. Unfortunately the largest vehicle we had at the time was dad's Plymouth station wagon that looked something like this.

I learned that if I placed everything just right, I could squeeze my 2 huge Yamaha speaker cabinets, 1 over-sized rotating Leslie organ speaker, 4 large keyboards and various other accessories into the back of this poor thing. Of course the half ton or so of equipment I crammed into it pretty much caused the rear springs to flatten out, making the car look like a Mexican low rider.

But even after abusing the Plymouth for an entire year and eventually leaving dad with nothing but a broken down shell of its former wagon self, he never complained and simply went about his business of replacing it with something else. And if you ask him, he'll tell you, "Eh... it was just a car, no big deal."

But if you ask me I'll tell you, "It wasn't just a car. This wagon was everything."

To me, dad's quiet acceptance of that vehicular destruction was a strong statement of support for his teenage son's musical aspirations. Technically, if he had decided that I wasn't allowed to use the family truckster as my own personal UHaul, I may not have been able to pursue the musical opportunities I did.

And technically, I may not have gone on the road for 10 years.

And technically, I may not have met my wife in St. Louis.

And technically... well you get the point.

So even though it's 40 years later, I still want to say "Thanks dad." I've never forgotten what that meant to me.

And technically, my kids should be thanking you too.

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Happy Father's Day dad. I love you and I'll see you soon.


JD at I Do Things said...

Happy father's day!

That's a nice post. Your dad sounds awesome. Technically you now are obligated to be just as understanding when your own kids want to borrow the car . . . right?

Kathy said...

What a nice tribute to your Dad, Jeff. I'm with JD. Your kids can wave this post in your face when they make their case for borrowing the car.

As the wife of a musician who played more clubs than he can count, I pity you that you had to pack that thing. For Dave's band, they had a junky old van for carting equipment around. Lime green. Ugly as sin. It's in a junk yard somewhere, probably still groaning from the weight of it all.

Bill said...

I was a member of the Inspector-Instructor Staff that recruited over 500 former Marines that formed the 11th Reserve Tank Battalion in Oceanside and San Diego. Tell me how I would know if my car was bumpey, but thanks the kind words. This year as Chairman of a fund raiser by Knights of Columbus for Shriner Hospitals we sold $29,607.00 without any expenses. This brings a grand total of $223.000.00 in the last ll years donated to that wonderful charity from 11 Super One Stores and Knights. I am proud of that as well as our children, but the real thanks always goes to the mom.

Suzanne said...

That's a great post! And it sounds like you have a great dad!

Heather said...

I can see that Bill taught you well. Great dads raise great dads.

Maureen said...

Aw, that's awesome Jeff. I can see where you get your great personality from.

Happy Father's Day to you too!

Charli said...

I am blessed with a great father in law who brought up a man who is, in my opinion, the greatest father I could ever pick for my own children! To both of you, Jeff and Bill, I am proud to have you in my life and thankful each and every day for you both. Happy Father's Day!! Love you both,

Ed said...

...but not a real green station wagon, that's cruel...

Happy Father's Day.

Sandy said...

What a sweet story! We had a station wagon exactly like that when I was a kids. Brought back some nice memories.

Michelle said...

Aww, that was so sweet! What a good dad. And ummm I might not have been that nice had I been your dad, which impresses me even more :) Happy Father's Day to you, too!

jim said...

That is what dad's are for. I hear a lot of those stories at the junk yard, we buy junk cars orlando , down the street from my house. When I go over there to get alot parts, I hear at least one father son story a week.