Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three Score and Ten

My father and me - L.A. - 1939

I was born in Los Angeles on February 24, 1939. My Dad was working temporally in the city, my mom took the train down from Seattle to visit him. I unexpectedly decided to join them. In the back of a taxi cab. I am told dad jumped out of the cab and made it into a nearby bar as fast as he could as mom made it to French Hospital barely in the nick of time. Dad made up for his cowardly departure. According to family legend, from that point onward until he died in 1943, whenever he was near me, dad had me in his arms. Mom said it was almost impossible to get me out of his arms, even to put me to bed. She would wake up at night, to discover she was in bed alone. She would find my father asleep in a chair in the nursery, with me asleep in his arms.

My father died of a heart attack as a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday, May 5th, 1943, the night before he was to ship out to the African Campaign of World War II. The "heart attack" is a long story, better told at a later time. I never really knew the date he died until I had my heart attack Wednesday, May 5th, 1993 and a cousin of mine pointed out the coincidence of the day and the date. Seems dad had some message for me from the beyond and couldn’t be bother knocking on a table. It also seems I had inherited from him the heart condition.

Tonight I go to Zuni’s where 50 plus of my family of friends will be waiting for me. I am very lucky. Perhaps that was the gist of my dad’s message.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Doric - that story about your dad holding you as a baby is the sweetest thing I have ever read. It's as if he knew he didn't have much time with you and he wanted to cherish every minute. xo