My Dad is 78 Today!Posted: May 17, 2016
As long back as I could remember one of my earliest and most recurring thoughts was that I was lucky that I had one of the best fathers on earth. Not all my friends felt that way about their own fathers, but they sure liked mine. He wasn’t always around because he worked so hard, but when he was he always showed a lot of interest in me, what I was doing, what I liked and what I was learning.
I was never too young for him to teach me things that were important to him, like what every make and model of car was on the road, both coming toward us and going away from us. He loved to talk with me about his work and I learned early on about business, hard work and how to deal with dopes you might have to work with, and there are a lot of dopes.
He taught me to have a strong handshake and to look people in the eye when I spoke with them. Laughter was ever present and telling a good story was a highly valued skill in our house. He made me more articulate, especially when arguing. When I was in the height of pupperty and could not find the words in a disagreement he would scream at me to stop crying and to just talk.
He had important rules like, “never run one of your cars into another one of your cars,” and “always let your mother sleep late on Saturdays.” If there is one word to describe my father it is generous, often to a fault. Although he slurs all nationalities in an equal opportunity way, he is the kindest customer to every taxi driver and waiter he ever met.
He is emphatic in his speech, often repeating the important words for emphasis. I have never been at a loss to understand where he stood on most issues. He loves to teach and has had a sense of urgency about everything he did. As far back as I can remember he would start a sentence with, “I need to tell you this before I die…” It was unsettling for a five year old, but now I know it means it is important to him.
Mostly, I am happy that I have had fifty-five years of him “teaching me stuff,” and hope we have many more. I am lucky that he is still able to drive himself from the farm to my house to install by birthday present of “the best sound system” and go out to lunch with me to celebrate his birthday.
If you know my dad, Ed Carter, send him an email and wish him a happy birthday. He doesn’t have Facebook, too many dopes might want to be friends with him if he did, but I’ll pass along any messages.