[14] That’s Not Bill Cosby, That’s My Dad

It’s Father’s Day again. So, this year I thought I’d blog a bit about my dear old dad.

King of Comedy right here.

King of Comedy right here.

When I was a kid, I thought I had the meanest dad on the planet. When my sister and I would fight, his face in the doorway and his death stare was enough to make us freeze in place.

My dad’s “you’re in big trouble, missy” voice cut through me like a knife (my mom has “the voice” too). Still does when I think about it today.

My dad was in the Navy, so he would be gone for extended periods of time, aka “Happy Days” in my 6-year-old book. My sister and I could “fight like cats and dogs” (as my dad put it), and my brother and I could horseplay and break everything (as long as my dad didn’t notice when he got home).

But there were some good memories of my dad when he was around.

Let’s see… If I hadn’t mentioned it before, my dad and I went to Tijuana together. I must have been 5 years old at the time. I asked my mom recently why we had gone, but even she didn’t remember. I remember it being hot. That’s about all I remember.

Then there was that time I scratched my dad’s eye. Okay, not a “happy” memory, but something I thought about recently. Since I hated sleeping in my own bed, I’d frequently sleep in my parents’ bed. One night I must have swung my arm out and poked my dad in the eye. I remember seeing him come home. The garage door opened, and my dad had a white patch over one of his eyes. Thankfully it healed okay. To this day he has 20/20 vision. He only needs reading glasses due to the natural aging process.

Even though my dad was serious most of the time, he could be funny, in an extremely not funny way. In today’s PC world, his joking around probably seems racist. But for me, it was funny. It was my dad letting his hair (the few that he had left – haha) down. He’d do these impressions where he kind of sounded like and moved like Bill Cosby. If you can recall from The Cosby Show opening themes where Bill Cosby is dancing, but being real stiff, that’s kind of what my dad looked like. I’m sure most of his “comedy” came from watching TVs and movies from the 70s featuring black characters.

Recently, someone asked me what types of music I like to listen to. I basically responded that I like everything not from today. I like stuff from the 50s through the 80s. And I also like talk radio. I remember my dad always listening to records and radio. He had one of those cool-looking rack stereo systems with the big speakers. He also has a radio console where it doesn’t even look like a radio at all. Deep in my heart, I love Elvis. My dad has a lot of his records and tapes.

My happiest memory to date is seeing my dad on the dance floor at my wedding reception. There is so much I don’t know about my dad, especially what his likes are. I honestly didn’t know that he likes to dance. I’ve never seen my dad’s feet on the dancefloor prior to that day. I mean, he rarely leaves the house. So, it’s definitely a moment I treasure and glad I have pictures to look back on.

My dad doesn’t celebrate holidays, so traditionally I don’t give him gifts or call. I don’t recall my dad ever giving me gifts, except ONE year (though my mom forced him to get me something). It was my sixth birthday. He got me a “Romeo” sprite from the Rainbow Brite series. There’s a picture of me clutching it tight. Even then I knew it was special.

Also, a few years ago, my dad picked out a Christmas Card for me. Now that kind of blew me away. It had been 20+ years since my last gift. I ought to frame that card. He got it for me while my was away on vacation. It makes me wonder how different things would have been had my dad been left to make decisions.

I know I’ll see a lot of posts on social media about how much people love their dads and post pictures of themselves as kids with their dads. I don’t think I have any pictures of me as a kid with my dad. It’s kind of strange to me. It makes me wonder if my dad ever held my hand. If my dad ever picked me up when I was a baby.

One thing I do know – He walked me down the aisle. And I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.


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