|Donald Dorsey (1/18/1934-6/8/2000) on the back patio of our old house in Reading with his gill-bearing winnin's.|
But back to my dad.
He worked his ass off. So much so that we didn't get to hang out with him nearly enough. And after he retired and had more free time, we kids had our own shit going on and unfortunately missed out on better getting to know this amazing man. Here's what I DO know...
- My dad liked to fish. I totally get that. I also like to fish. I don't necessarily like being IN the water, but I am enamored with beings that are able to breathe that shit. Fascinating. And about the most peaceful pastime ever (except for the murdering of living things part).
- My dad was an amazing golfer. I don't know if this is actually a fact, but it's what I gathered from the stories I heard, and he DID actually get a hole-in-one once. There's a trophy to prove it.
- My dad loved watching birds. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, he and my mom moved to a condo in northern Cincinnati-ish. Their unit overlooks the lake, and my dad kept a pair of binoculars on the table by the window so that he could watch the ducks, swans, cranes, etc. that frequented the area.
- My dad was a pretty good artist. One time my mom and dad took a painting class at a rec. center somewhere. I remember seeing their work from that class and being impressed by both of their abilities (this was before I made art myself). My dad's paintings had a raw sensibility that showed the perfect combination of untapped skill and passion. If you asked him to talk about his work he would most likely have squinted at you with his head tilted and told you that, "The instructor set up a table of objects that he told us to paint." What's to talk about? Duh.
- My dad was funny. He liked to watch shows with funny people. He loved the old greats. Bob Hope. Bill Cosby. Benny Hill. And for a laugh he would take his teeth out and smile. His signature move. Classic.
- My dad loved sweets like it was his job. Donuts almost every weekend growing up. And don't even get me started on his endless supply of chocolate-covered bridge mix that he squirreled away. He was always saying, "Don't touch my secret stash!" But he always let me have some. I made sure there was bridge mix at his funeral. That was important.
- My dad was a simple man. No bullshit. If he was mad, he was mad. This was not very often, and when he was no one felt the least bit threatened. If he was sad, he was sad. When his younger brother died, I saw him cry. It was the only time I really remember him crying. If he was happy, EVERYONE was happy. He really loved his grand kids. I don't think I ever saw anything but a smile on his face whenever the whole family got together. Unless someone left a half-emptied pop can lying about. That was his thing. Leaving non-consumed pop in a can. It became a family joke. I think about it all of the time.
You were awesome Donald L. Dorsey. I am so blessed to be your spawn. I will see you again in a bit. Save me a spot.