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Friday, March 25, 2016

And, He Made Me Laugh

How much impact did your parents have on your sense of humor?

The majority of the posts I've published about my folks have been on the weepy side. But as I paused to think about my Dad today on his birthday, it suddenly occurred to me how little I've considered his sense of humor - particularly his fondness for wordplay - and its effect on my own.

I still have a collection of some of his made-up words in one of my notebooks. On more than one occasion I've caught myself almost saying "digiltary" instead of dignitary. He also had a few un-PC expressions - my Dad was no political progressive - but most of his humor was not aimed at belittling others. I clearly recall what he told my friends who visited me in the hospital after I'd totaled his new (used) car in a snowstorm in 1969 - "Patrick had an argument with a telephone pole and lost."

And that humorous anecdote is itself another reason my love of my Dad remains undiminished. He'd owned that car barely six months and though I'm sure he wasn't happy it was trashed, I don't recall any anger directed at me. Instead, a joke. Dad would have been 98 years old today.
      

7 comments:

  1. Lucky to have fond recollections.

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  2. My dad would have 102. He remains one of the highlights of my life, including his wonderful sense of humor. We're two very lucky "kids" !

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    1. Peter; Thanks for the comment and your long-running support for my blog. And you are so right about us being lucky "kids".

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  3. Just yesterday as my children and I rode along the winding roads leading up to Easton, PA, I was reminded of my dad who died in 1985. The kids and I had just eaten lunch, and the roads were growing more hilly and spread ahead of us like a ribbon. My father, who was from mid-western PA, loved to drive roads such as these with the three kids in the back seat holding on for dear life. He would laugh as we complained our stomachs felt woozy, only to speed up at the top of the next steep hill. This sense of humor, if you could call it that, is passed down through the genes to two of my children who similarly like to tease and joke, to the point of others pleading for mercy. It's a fond memory only because I now have control of the wheel...but the story made my children laugh with the recollection of a man they never were given the joy of meeting. I often think of how much he would have enjoyed my five.

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    1. d; My hope when I started this blog five years ago was to get comments like yours. Each time I know something from my life experience lands with someone else - as apparently this post about my Dad did for you - I'm inspired to continue. Notwithstanding the public discourse and all the screaming that goes with it, I believe all human beings share much vis-a-vis their basic humanity. Your comments invariably encourage me to hold onto that belief. For that, I sincerely thank you.

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  4. What a wonderful post! I am impressed with how much you were able to convey about your dad just by telling us one of his jokes. (I would have loved to meet him!) I am fascinated by the power of humor, particularly as a bonding agent that can connect people in spite of significant differences (like opposing political views, which it sounds like you and your dad may have had) and as a tool for handling adversity with grace and love (like, for example, when your teenage son wrecks your new car). You managed to highlight both of those things - and stir up your reader's emotions and memories - in just three succinct paragraphs. Well done! I have to go call my dad now...

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    1. Unknown; Thanks for the nice feedback about my post but what makes me happiest about your comment is your last sentence about calling your Dad - I hope you did so. I wish I could.

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