My Dad

This past weekend, my father was fortunate to acquire tickets to the Formula One Grand Prix here in Montreal from a company he works with. He was also able to get a spare ticket for me for the Friday Practice session. So we spent the day together following the festivities. At around lunchtime, those in the Paddock Club are allowed to walk freely through the pit area and take a closer look at the cars. Our hosts even arranged that we would be able to go up to the door of the garage to get an even closer look and have our pictures taken with the cars. We did all of that, then had time to freely check out all the other garages along pit row. As is my habit of late, I spent the time trying to get interesting photos of everything. So my father was sauntering along ahead of me while I kept trying to take shots.

At one point I lost track of him and turned around to see this:

Starting Up a Conversation

He had struck up a conversation with one of the firemen who was relaxing while activity on the racetrack had stopped for lunchtime. The guy was from Hamilton, Ontario and my father thought there might be some connection since he was stationed in front of Lewis Hamilton’s garage. But that’s my father. He’s the people person. While I tend to avoid social interaction, he seeks it out. Here was this guy sitting by himself while there were some of world’s highest performance vehicles across from him, and my father chose to talk to him and learn more about him. Or just have a light conversation.

No, the picture is not flattering. But what you purely see visually doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s inside.

You can see the happiness in the guys smile. Smiles like that are common around my father. He came to New York City while I was there for a hockey tournament in March just so we could spend a day together. When we went down to have breakfast at the hotel restaurant, he started joking around with the waiter. He suggested that we were big rock stars in town for a gig. Everytime the waiter came around he played along with it and had a huge smile on his face. Then after we had stepped out of the restaurant he called after us, wished a good concert, and had a good laugh. It looked like it really made his day. He called after us again when we returned that evening.

But that’s my Dad.

He’s also the organizer. With others in the family he’s planning an extended family reunion this summer. People are coming from as far away as Florida, Toronto, and of course Montreal. He’s one of those people who spends the time to see friends and family members who are not as good about keeping up with him (Another thing I need to learn from). He calls me every week to see what is going on with us. He still volunteers at the Neighborhood Boys (and now Girls) Club that I attended years ago. He’s actually organizing a golf tournament at Cog Hill to raise money for it. He still keeps in contact with his elementary school that bordered on the projects. Even after my parents divorced, my father kept in contact with his former brothers-in-law and gets together with them at least once a year.

Dad

And he’s been a model for being a supportive parent. Whenever we come upon problems we have not encountered before, he helps us learn what is the correct course of action tapping on his years of experience. He’s done everything he can to help us when times get rough. I’ve realized how valuable that is after seeing how some parents pass along their neurosis instead of mentally supporting and guiding their offspring. He’s a role model that I’ve tried hard to follow.

So Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You are one of the most caring and charismatic people I know and have been an excellent father to my sister and I.

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~ by Frank on June 14, 2008.

6 Responses to “My Dad”

  1. Thank you my Son for your kind words. I am what my Mother and Father guided me to be. We learn by example more than words, their love of life and importance of family instilled in me how I should live my life. I am so proud of you and your Sister in living your lives, always aware of the feelings and needs of those you love.

    I remember the time we spent as volunteers for Little Brothers of the Poor, making the Christmas packages and delivering them door to door. I knew it was a good thing to do when we saw the faces of the recipients light up as delivered the packages to them and told them the gift was indeed for them, mostliving in (SRO) single room occupancy hotels in the ghetto of Chicago. It was such a valuable experience for my children as well seeing how important and rewarding it was to share our time and life with others.

    Happy Father’s Day to you my Son. You children as so fortunate to have you as their guiding light!

    Love, Dad

  2. Tête rouge–

    Great photos of your dad. He is all the great things you say, and then some. Your father has been an important and valuable person in my life, certainly as a child when he was cast in the role of “Big Brother,” as well as “Uncle.” I learned so much from him and had a great deal of fun.

  3. Great tribute, Frank. Makes me want to meet him!

  4. He is indeed a great father, brother, uncle and of course, son. Excellent tribute! I think his friendliness is part of growing up with our grandparents, but perhaps it is generational also? I also notice my parents seek out others and can talk to anyone — no matter who they are or what age they are. They take an active interest in others. I also tend to be more reserved in approaching others. Whatever it is our parents have, it is a gift, and we have benefitted royally from it. Nicely said, cousin!

  5. He is also a great friend. He finds the time to help when you are in need. When my mother passed, he already knew what things needed to be done and stepped right in. We become better friends through his example.

  6. All very true. Thanks, everyone.

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