Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Remember Dad

I thought when I got home I’d fall quickly back into my routine, but obviously that’s not the case -- I forgot to make an entry on Killer Hobbies. I’ve probably not done some other things, so I’d better take a survey today and see where else I’m missing out. I apologize for missing my deadline.

The rest of my Great Train Journey went as well as the earlier parts. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of Embroiderers Guild of America put on a terrific seminar in Salt Lake City and I was proud to be a part of it. I gave a speech at the first of two banquets which was very well received, and sold a whole lot of books I was pleased to sign. I took a class on Romanian Point Lace, which is a thick, heavy variety and came away with an appreciation for the art of lace making and now, I think, I know how to make some of it. I went to the Salt Lake City genealogy building and delved into my father’s family’s past going back to 1679 in Germany. We flew home and after the hassle of security at the airport, the cramped seats, and the crying babies, we both decided that trains are the only civilized way to travel.

My father was born in Upton County, Wyoming, in 1919, the last of four children. He was a gifted story teller and loved to travel. We moved a lot throughout my childhood, and at last he got a job that called for him to work for weeks at a time in other states, even other countries. He always came home with great souvenirs and wonderful stories. I think I inherited both his story telling ways and his itchy feet. (Naturally, I married a man who dislikes travel and who has sunk deep roots into the city we now live in. Fortunately, he’s willing for me to travel with a friend.)

Dad was a hunter and fisherman, but it was Mom who loved sports, especially baseball, football and basketball. Dad would turn on the television to a game, but would fall asleep during it. But if one of us tried to sneak over and change the channel, he would wake and insist he’d been watching it and make us turn the channel back to the game.

Dad was very good with animals. Before I was born (I’m the oldest) he acquired a border collie mix he named Bingo. He taught that dog all kinds of tricks beyond the usual. For example, Bingo would “say his prayers,” climbing up on a chair and putting his forepaws over the back, lowering his head and closing his eyes. You could call him, order him down, and he wouldn’t move -- until Dad said, “Amen.” Mom could send Bingo after any one of the children, and the dog would go looking until he found the one she wanted. I can remember playing with friends and Bingo coming up to take my wrist gently into his mouth and pulling me away towards home.

Dad died of bone cancer at age sixty-five, after a long and immensely brave struggle.


Betty Hechtman said...

I'm glad the rest of your trip went so well. The flight back must have been a shock. It isn't what it used to be when people actually got dressed up to fly.

Your dad sounds like quite a guy. Bingo must have been a very special dog.

Linda O. Johnston said...
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Linda O. Johnston said...

Glad you're home safely, Monica. Your dad's story is really sweet--and of course I love your description of Bingo!

s said...
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