Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Late Birthday to the Late Donald Dorsey

Donald Dorsey (1/18/1934-6/8/2000) on the back patio of our old house in Reading with his gill-bearing winnin's.
My dad was one of the most benevolent humans that ever existed. Even his punishment was a joke by today's standard. "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about!" What does that even mean? You'll make my favorite t.v. show star Anne Coulter and Bill Maher? And would that even be a bad thing? O.k., I just want to pause right here to say that if any reality show producer runs with this idea, I want a cut. Add some boxing gloves... Some Jello... My money's on Coulter. I think she's part giant.

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...

  1. 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).
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
I like to think that I was my dad's favorite. I may have not been the easiest child, but I think that my dad got a chuckle out of the way I lived my life. He teased me constantly (something my older brother apparently inherited). He made fun of the way I looked or dressed, but always with a smile on his face. Before he died, he told me that he "got" me. I like to believe that he finally understood why I lived the way I did. He was 66 years old. I was with him when he died. I was sad. I am sad.

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.


  1. You are awesome Sharon ?. Dorsey- Didn't get to meet Donald, but if he sounds like an awesome dude.