My father – equal time and all that…
My father was one of 9 children of an occasionally employed and usually drunk Irish Catholic father from County Donegal. There have been many rumors about his mother’s pedigree, the most persistent being she was a German Jew whom his father married to save from certain death. All details of their meeting are sketchy but still it lives on.
My dad went to Catholic school and was an altar boy. He was drafted not long out of high school but was lucky to serve his time during the Korean conflict in Germany as a communications specialist.
My earliest memories of my dad were when I was maybe 5 or 6. He would make me breakfast, always just the way I wanted it.
By the time I was 10 or so I curried favor with him by getting and opening his beers, for which I got to have the first sip.
In the ensuing years every bartender in 3 counties got to know me well as my mom would send me in to drag him home.
My dad was mostly a calm, happy drunk who never missed a day of work as a manager at AIG. My mother was a cranky, miserable teetotaler who physically beat on my dad – quite a few times I called the police. I was too young to explain or even be heard, I wanted *her* taken away but they always took him.
I had probably an average childhood for my generation, but I knew my father would always have my back, and he did.
Eventually he got sober – I guess waking up in a coat closet will do that to you – and I got to see the real man. He was awesome, so funny, would give you the moon if he could.
He moved on 15 years ago this July and I still miss him every single day.