Happy Father’s Day Dad-Wherever You Are!! I Think In Heaven!!

My father was a big presence in my life especially as I got older. When I was young I always remember him building things, always puttering around the house. That man could fix anything that was broken. When I was about 11 he built a swing set from scratch using some kind of heavy metal poles and cementing them into the ground so that my girlfriend and I could swing as high as we wanted. We actually tried to swing high enough to jump off from the highest point hoping to break our legs because we thought that would be cool. Neither one of us ever broke a leg. We would sing folk songs as we swung. “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley” was our favorite by the Kingston Trio.

When I was about 6 he used to get up very early on Saturday mornings and putter around the yard and when I would wake up we would walk together up the road to a spring in the woods and get gallons of spring water. He never talked a lot but I enjoyed those walks so much.

The thing I remember most about him is no matter what I did wrong he never got angry at me. He never yelled or hit. The first time he let me use his brand new Mustang I was in the city trying to get around a truck parked on a very narrow street and ended up scratching the whole side of the car. I called him on the phone crying and he just said don’t worry about it, just come home, everything will be fine and as usual it always was.

THIS IS HOW I REMEMBER MY DAD WHEN I WAS 17 YEARS OLD. HE’S LAYING ON THE FLOOR IN THE KITCHEN AFTER WORK TAKING A LITTLE CATNAP IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE BEFORE SUPPER. THIS PARTICULAR CHRISTMAS HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GOOD TO GET A FAKE TREE. WE ALL WENT NUTS AND SAID NO WAY. HE PUT HIS FAKE TREE IN THE KITCHEN AND WE GOT A REAL TREE FOR THE LIVING ROOM. WE ALSO USED TO TEASE HIM ABOUT HIS STINKY FEET AFTER WORK. WE’D SAY “DAD, KEEP YOUR SHOES ON”.

When we were young, he didn’t talk to us a lot but he was always there for us. He did most of the cooking at home. Early on we found out that my Mom couldn’t cook to save her soul, which she spent most of her life doing (saving her soul, not cooking). Thank goodness, my Dad had a natural knack for cooking and saved us all from starvation.

When we worked together in our little health food store he made a vegetarian soup everyday in the winter that we sold for $.99 a cup including crackers. He had about 15 recipes all in his head. Fortunately I wrote them down. My favorite was “Red Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Mushrooms”. He was famous for his “Potato Leek Soup” (not weight watchers approved). Everyone in town called him “Stan, the Soup Man”.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I go into town and go to the grocery store and someone stops me to talk about my Dad.

When I was about 12 years old I wanted a Barbie doll for Christmas. There were none left in town to be bought. I remember a couple of days before Christmas my Dad took me to every store within a 50 mile radius to find a Barbie doll. I don’t think he actually knew what a Barbie was so he had me come with him. We finally found one . It was the last one on the shelf and the first Christmas for Barbies. But this one was the bomb. It not only had Barbie but it was a kit with like 10 different outfits and of course, he bought it and told me to act surprised on Christmas morning so my Mom wouldn’t know what he had done.

MY DAD AS A YOUNG MAN!

I got my love of photography from him. He actually made home movies in the 40’s with special effects. His “Woofy Runs Away” was a hit in town. Woofy was a teddy bear who runs away. My Mom had him on strings like a puppet running through the woods. There were many more special effects that awed the boy scouts that he showed it to.

THIS MADE THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER BECAUSE HIS PHOTOGRAPHY WAS SO INNOVATIVE.

The last Father’s Day that he was alive a local magazine was looking for people to write in about their Dads and why we loved them. I had never written anything before in my life but I E-mailed this to the magazine. They liked it and contacted me within ten minutes asking if they could come and photograph us. Not being shy I said “Hell Yea”.

For me every day is Father’s Day. My father and I work together in a small store on Main Street in Falmouth. Everyday day on my way to work I look forward to seeing his little black car parked out in front of the store. He is 84 years old and we have worked together for 15 years. He never misses work and the one constant in my life is seeing his car every morning when I pull in the driveway. When I see it, I know it will be a good day and everything is right in the world.

He makes a fresh pot of soup every morning in the winter for our customers and everyone calls him Stan the Soup Man. If customers don’t see his car they will stop in asking if he is OK.

(Usually he is just out getting his car washed.) If my brother and sister drive by and don’t see his car, they will call me.

Seeing that car every morning symbolizes the fact that my father is with me, that he is the one person I can count on and we are going to have another good day at work.

THAT’S MY DAD AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE

MY DAD AND I ON THE COVER OF THE MAGAZINE

I am one of the fortunate ones to have had a wonderful and superb Dad whom I miss with all my heart and soul. He passed away on January 16, 2000. He made it to the new millennium. Every time I drive by where the store used to be I miss seeing his car parked out front.

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peter Parkour
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 01:25:43

    Yet another beautiful post. That’s quite a dad you had there, and a very heartwarming tribute to him. I hope you have a very Happy Father’s Day, Joan. 😉

    Peter, I’m trying a new way of commenting just to see what happens. Yea, he was a good Dad. I actually went to my Son-in-law’s grandfather’s 90th birthday party on Father’s day. Photos to come soon.

    Reply

  2. kaylee2
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 01:28:01

    Great tribute. Your father sounds like he was a great man! Hope you have a grreat day and weekend 🙂

    Kaylee, My father was awesome and I did have a great weekend.

    Reply

  3. c
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 01:45:00

    i think it is beautiful, the love and relationship you had with your dad.
    This post brought tears to my eyes.

    A loving tribute.
    He sounds like a wonderful person.

    c, Thank you, didn’t mean to make you teary but I still get teary over him which I know you can understand.

    Reply

  4. Laura
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 04:31:02

    That was beautiful, Joan. When you write about your dad, everyone who reads this carries a memory of what a loving and unique dad he was. I know you must miss him so much. Thanks for a moving Father’s Day tribute.

    Thank you Laura. I miss him sooo much but I know he’s with me. He damn well better be or he’s in big trouble when I get up there with him.

    Reply

  5. birdpress
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 08:11:37

    What a wonderful post! The pictures were great. I like his hair and his socks in the pic where he is squatting. In the later pictures it looks like he tried to keep that same hairstyle too! Your dad sounded like a very interesting and kind man who had a lot of friends, as well as a loving family.

    My dad always cut his own hair. He never went to a barber. It’s not that he was too cheap he just felt he could do juts as good of a job. He was quite a character.

    Reply

  6. Little Miss
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 11:00:10

    How awesome Joan. The special bond between you is evident. What a great man. I know he is likely still near you daily. 🙂

    Our whole family is very close. I can’t get rid of them no matter how I try. Haha, like I ever try. First my sister moved to the Cape, Then I followed her. Then my parents followed us, then my brother followed everybody and we’ve all been here ever since.

    Reply

  7. writerchick
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 14:58:07

    Hey Joanie,
    I love this post. I could swear your dad and mine were related, they sound so much alike. Like you, I am and will always be my father’s daughter. Happy Father’s Day – hey maybe those two are playing poker together, right now?
    Hugs,
    Annie

    Hi Annie, I am glad you liked this post. We are fortunate to have had such wonderful Dads

    Reply

  8. Trackback: Father’s Day « home & amateur
  9. teeni
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 23:20:04

    Awww, what a sweet soul he sounds like. I’m so glad you got to have so much quality time with your dad in his later years. I always feel bad for dads who don’t get to bond with their children. And even though you say yours didn’t talk a lot, the love was obviously there and you didn’t have to wonder if he cared.

    Hi Teeni,
    My dad never talked to us much when we were younger but as we became adults he talked to us a lot. I just don’t think he knew what to say to us when we were kids. As an adult working together we used to talk all day.

    Reply

  10. Sarah (the daughter)
    Jun 16, 2008 @ 00:12:59

    I don’t post a lot but “Gubby” (as the grandkids called him) was the most amazing man. He could make anyone laugh. I miss him a lot and I wish he could have met my husband and my cousins husband because I know he would have loved them. But I know he’s with us cheering on the Red Sox and helping mom get through everyday.

    Oh sweetheart, I’ll bet he’s still watching the Red Sox. He never missed a game. I wish he could have met Obie and John too. He would have loved them.

    Reply

  11. Red
    Jun 16, 2008 @ 00:27:21

    How nice, Joan! What a handsome man!

    Red, He was a nice looking man and he loved the ladies.

    Reply

  12. CuriousC
    Jun 16, 2008 @ 06:46:03

    Very nice, very nice.

    CuriousC

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Reply

  13. odette
    Jun 16, 2008 @ 09:13:28

    very touching joan!!!
    and thank you for sharing that magazine feature of you and your dad, just priceless! i can imagine how much you miss him now, you’ve been very close to him!

    Odette

    I’m glad he and I got to do the magazine article together. Yes, we were very close.

    Reply

  14. Just a Mom
    Jun 16, 2008 @ 10:13:19

    Great post for apparently a great dad!

    Thank you, I’m glad I have such good memories of him.

    Reply

  15. Wendy
    Jun 17, 2008 @ 13:30:31

    Happy Father’s Day, Soupy! ♥ You’re one of the best old men I ever knew.

    Awesome post, Joan.

    Oh, That’s funny. I forgot you used to call him Soupy. That’s so funny to hear again.

    Reply

  16. mrsvierkant
    Jun 17, 2008 @ 23:02:10

    (((Hugs))) What a lovely story. I’m glad you shared it.

    Mrs. V. I’m happy you enjoyed it

    Reply

  17. David
    Jun 18, 2008 @ 20:04:46

    Really nice reminiscence Joan! Thanks. I wish I had been able to try some of your dad’s soups!

    David, Everyone called him “Stan the Soup Man”. He made the best soups. You would have loved them. He used all fresh ingredients.

    Reply

  18. JavaQueen
    Jun 19, 2008 @ 05:26:44

    Awww, this is beautiful. Just amazingly written and such a sincere tribute. Your love for him is just emitting from the page…………. {{{hugs}}}

    Thank you, My Queen. I sure did love that old goat. We always used to call him an old goat. One year for Christmas I actually found “Old Goat” soap. He got a hoot out of that.

    Reply

  19. shornsheep
    Jun 21, 2008 @ 21:25:33

    Awesome tribute, Joan. Really enjoyed learning more about your dad. What a neat guy he is!

    My dad was definitely a neat guy!! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Reply

  20. Nancy
    Jun 26, 2008 @ 06:52:16

    Oh Joan
    I loved seeing the pictures of your Dad. I didn’t know you were on the cover of a magazine. WOW!

    Nancy, my bestest friend in the whole world, fancy meeting you here. I never told you about the magazine? What the hell time do you get up in the morning? It says you left this comment at some ungodly hour in the morning. Let’s see, how long have we known each other–I think I was 10 so that would make it 49 years. We should celebrate our 50 the anniversary next year.

    Reply

  21. Rooha Tariq
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 14:58:21

    May his soul rest in Peace!
    Amen!

    Reply

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