Birthday boys

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TODAY IS MY father’s birthday. Flag Day in the United States. That’s how I remember it.

I think about my father a lot even though I did not like him. In spite of that, we were very similar. About the only difference between us was that I like to travel. He loathed it.

Other than that, we were clones. That’s him in the photo, which was taken in an Atlanta farmers’ market in the late 1980s.

I never called him Dad or Father or anything like that. I called him Charles because that was his name. I don’t know why I did that. I never called my mother Mom or anything of that sort either. I called her Dee, a nickname.

My sister did call him Daddy.

Charles was a newspaper editor, as was I. He retired from full-time newspapering when he was just 49, having fallen into some money when his mother-in-law died.

He became a haiku poet, and became quite famous in the small world of haiku poetry. He died in 1991 of a heart attack at 75, just three years older than I will soon be.

He would have been 101 years old today.

He had his good points. He was a lifelong liberal of the classical variety, as am I.* One wonders what he would have thought of Donald Trump. Today is Trump’s birthday too. He’s 70.

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Florida beach, 1960. Charles on left, me in the middle.

(The bottom photo was sent to me about three years ago by the fellow on the right, John Zimmerman, a good boyhood friend who went on to fly tankers over Vietnam and later became an airline captain. He’s retired now.)

* Classic liberals are very different from today’s “progressive liberal”  collectivists of the Democrat Party.

4 thoughts on “Birthday boys”

    1. Angeline: I’ll pass along your birthday wishes to the old bird. Well, if I could.

      Yes, being just like him and not much caring for him is somewhat disturbing.

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  1. Felipe, I had an odd relationship with my father as well. Still it is good to recognize our parents, no matter the circumstances. I’m happy to see you remember your father. Respect.

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    1. Scott: He had good points. Gone now. My mother too. Nothing to be done. It’s one of the gospels of psychology that our childhood has a strong effect. I think that gospel underestimates. I think childhood experiences form us almost totally for the rest of our lives.

      My sister came to intensely dislike him in her adult years, far more so than I did. And since I am so much like him she transferred that to include me too based simply, I think, on physical appearance as much as anything. I haven’t spoken to her in years. It’s a sad mess.

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