hey, dad

My father was a peddler at heart. He made his living (and ours) as a captain in the merchant marines, but he would buy all kinds of things (clocks, beer mugs, straw hats, even a pontoon once) and bring them home with the idea of selling them. They always ended in our garage or on shelves in the kitchen. One time he bought a truckload of local watermelons and set himself up as a one-man roadside stand on the highway between our home and another town. My mother was embarrassed. My father was sunburned and didn’t sell any. He was always picking up excess lumber and building materials as he drove around town. Then he’d drop them off at whatever child lived nearest. He had grown up on a farm, and a spring garden was in our back yard every year, as well as as many fruit trees as he could plant. (Since he merchant marined for a living, our mother was the farm hand.) He’s been gone a long time out on that eternal sea. I wouldn’t mind him driving up, walking into my house in his long-legged, restless stride, and then showing me what was in the back of his truck just once more.

5 responses to “hey, dad

  1. Beautiful, KK…”out on that eternal sea”….

  2. My father died in 1952 at the age of 39. I miss him every day of my life, as if it just happened. I wrote the story of his death when I was 13, and my teacher thought I’d plagiarized a story from a magazine. I wrote the story again when I took a creative writing class in the 1980s. That writing healed me in many ways, but the loss continues to inform my present. Death never dies–it lives on forever.

  3. that was so beautiful Karleen…your father sounds like quite a character!

  4. Janean Thompson

    My Dad died at 43. I was married, but just 18. I think of him often and your story reminded me of him. He collected, stored, piled and heaped his treasures all over and still continued to collect “stuff”. I have a lot of that trait too. Just one look at my desk and you’ll see garden seeds, more pencils than I’ll use in a lifetime, a phone book, flower catalogs, Kleenex, binders, folders, spiral notebooks, scissors, photos and so much more.
    I guess the fruit didn’t fall too far from the tree.

  5. Joyce Boatright

    in his long-legged, restless stride…
    You write so simply, so exquisitely, so carefully, so completey with an economy of wods that delight m each time I read your posts. hank you for sharing such lovely memories. I miss my daddy, too.

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