"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day memories in black and white

Father's Day is both a somber and wonderful time for me.
I watch with interest and envy the many people who post on Facebook photos and wishes to their fathers on social media. Be assured, your fathers  can't tell you how much it means to be remembered, to be loved.
As one who has lost both parents, I urge you to make sure you never fail to take advantage of every possibility to stay close to your parents. There will come a time when you won't be able to. So your wishes to the living are somewhat somber for me too because I can't do the same for my parents.
Father's Day means more to me each year as I anticipate and  treasure hearing my children's voices. I am not fortunate enough to live close to them where we can be in more contact, but I treasure them and their mates and children in ways words can't describe. I'm more aware of the influence of our genes and our choices, and thankful.
My Dad would have been 100 this year, and he's been dead 40 years. So the memories are fading, like the black and white photos we have. We were not close when he died, but we weren't estranged, and he was my father. I gained more from him than I ever suspected.
Dad, like me for sure, was a flawed person, but he did the best he could, with a wooden leg, an artistic temperament, and an uneven life. But he came a long way from a poor  red-dirt boy from Comanche, Oklahoma, and like everyone, had lots of good in him. I see my own self and individuality  in him, and in my brother's face, and in our mannerisms, even our laughs. I am astounded at the power and influence of genes.
Dad and I at my brother Jerry's college graduation
So the years have gone by, and what we really have are some black and white photos to help spark the memories. Here are a few memories through the years.
PS: Earlier story: My Dad had a wooden leg.
Genes--Dad with my firstborn, Vance


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