Growing up I knew my Daddy was different from other people’s Daddy. He sang these crazy songs I didn’t realize were actual songs written by actual people and sung back in the 50’s until I was grown up and heard them on the radio. He called my friends either “Sam” or “George” and I still don’t know how he came up with those names. He drove a green Falcon that had seen better years when he bought it, but in later years (when I was in college) you could look down at the floorboard and in places see the road beneath your feet. When he got rid of that car, I think we all cried.
Last night, I watched “Red Riding Hood,” the latest movie about a little girl and a big bad wolf, but with a twist—the wolf is a werewolf. There are two reasons I mention this in a story about my father. First, when I was two years old my mother tells me that he told me the story about Little Red Riding Hood and used some pretty awesome sound effects. My mother has told me this so often that I can almost remember sitting in his lap and listening to the story. He scared me so much I wouldn’t go near him for a week. The second reason is because he had a friend of mine convinced that during a full moon he turned into a werewolf. The beard my dad sported probably didn’t help.
Did David Leslie Johnson who wrote the screenplay of the latest tale hear my dad’s version and think it was cinema worthy? A little far-fetched, maybe, but I know my dad’s version is just as good. Who knows? Maybe my father is a werewolf. He did spend a lot of time travelling when I was growing up. But, on the other hand, I never heard him howl at the moon. Wait, maybe I did, or did I? At any rate, I’ve never transformed into wolf or felt the urge to howl at the moon, so he didn’t pass it along to me.
Thank you, Daddy, for being different. I didn’t realize when I was growing up how having a Dad who could sing about a dead skunk in the middle of the road and calling my friends names would mean so much to me when I had children of my own. I’ve come to appreciate all the gifts you gave me that I can pass on to my children and their children. Happy Father’s Day to the best father and grandfather in the world.