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Archive for January 3rd, 2009

Daddio’s Birthday

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

My father died in 1973, at the age of 40. I was 14. January 3 would be his birthday. I think of him nearly every day even after all these years. What a dynamo he was!

My favorite story about my father, I learned from my mom (who is a truly excellent storyteller). She explains that they both grew up in a small town, total population about 430 people. If you could run, you played sports or there may not be enough kids to put together a team.

My father was not all of 5 foot and 6 inches, but he had more energy than a half dozen other kids combined. He was good at whatever he chose to do.

Dad was one of those kids that others loved and followed. He was a natural teacher. He was a natural athlete, playing football and baseball, as well as playing cornet in the band. He loved music as much as he liked sports.

Dad was left handed. He taught all the other kids how to play sports. So: The entire baseball team in Hanska, Minnesota in perhaps 1948-1950, batted left handed.

Nobody even questioned what he said! He said “you hold a bat like this” and they did! Too funny. But that was the charismatic way of my father, and it does not surprise me at all.

I figure as long as I can tell stories about dad, he’s not truly gone yet.

The photos are my father’s senior portrait, and my 4th grade school photo. Same ears, same eyes, same nose, same upper lip. My eyes are brown like my mother’s, though, and my frame/height is all mom. I think I move like her, too.