Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Dad

With today being Father's Day, I figured it would make sense to give a little verbal pat on the back to the man who has been in my life, loving me unconditionally, for the past forty-four years; my dad.

I think that if I was--for whatever imaginary reason--forced to come up with one word to describe my father, lest the world as we know it cease to exist (which, if I think about how much it cost me to fill up my gas tank the other day, might not be a bad thing), it would be simple. Now, I'm not saying that my dad is simple in the head (although after 50 years of marriage, I am sure there are more than a handful of times my mom would have disputed that statement) but rather that he's not swayed by fads, or things that are too fancy, or places that someone from his generation might describe as swanky. Nope, my dad doesn't need, or care about, or want expensive toys; he is happy with his old fishing pole that works just fine, and the practical car that gets him from Point A to Point B without going over the speed limit, or guzzling a lot of gas. And he doesn't crave fancy vacations (although my Mom certainly does drag him on them), but I am confident he wouldn't mind a weekend down the Jersey Shore, dropping his crab nets off of the pier, and pulling up a few dozen blue crabs for dinner, just like he did every summer when we were kids.

My father sure does likes to eat, but he is not swayed by fussy gourmet foods; a juicy burger off the grill, or a good slice of pizza from Capri Pizzeria will do just fine for him. I sincerely doubt my father would ever shop at a specialty supermarket or buy produce that was stamped organic, but each and every year for as long as I can remember, he's grown a small vegetable garden in a patch of land in the backyard, and he sure is proud when his tomatoes turn out well.

He also loves baseball; I remember when the Yankees were in the series against Boston in 2003, and my brothers and Dad went to the game. It was one of those magical New York nights, with clear skies, perfect weather, and energy pulsating through the city, but the Yanks were down, and it was getting late, and the group was starting to get tired, so they contemplating leaving early to get ahead of traffic, when suddenly in the 8th inning, Derek Jeter turned the game around with a double. Then Matsui hit another double, then Posada did as well. The Yankee Stadium crowd went crazy, as did the Miksad men, who at this point had no need for sleep, and could care less about Bronx traffic. So, they sat back down, and cheered along as their beloved Yankees came from behind, winning this white-knuckled game with a home run in the 11th inning. I swear, I never heard my dad as excited or animated in all the years I've known him, as he was describing the game to me on the phone the next day; I could literally hear the smile in his voice.

So, today, on Father's Day, I want to thank my Father for teaching me to appreciate all that is simple in the world; the taste of a ripe red tomato from the vine, sitting on a pier, catching crabs for dinner, eating simple foods, and enjoying a good, salty dog at Yankee Stadium on a summer's night. I'm sure he had no idea until this very moment how much of an inspiration he was for my book, Summer. Thank you Dad for always reminding me what's really important in life.

Happy Father's Day!
Suzanne Brown 6.15.08

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