Today is my daddy's 90th birthday!
In honor of this very special occasion, my sisters, Gayle and Paula, asked me to put together a special list, one entitled "90 Things We Truly Love About You, Daddy!"
My sisters thought it would be easiest for me to do - because I'm a writer. Well, they were right - and wrong. I had to think about exactly how I wanted to tackle this project before I could begin. And, then, once I got started, it was difficult to stop. As it turned out, 90 things were too few to tell the whole story about my dad.
Still, he was presented with the list — on parchment paper, rolled up like a scroll and tied with golden ribbon. It was a hit. He truly loved it!
Each of the "90 Things" brought back fond family memories and sparked lively conversation and lots of questions from the grandchildren who wanted explanations and more details.
It was a simple idea, but it was a good one. So, I've decided to share!
Ninety Things We Truly Love About You, Daddy!
You have always been so very good-looking.
You always honored your father and mother.
You were full of fun and mischief as a kid.
You didn’t like school, but you encouraged us to view it differently.
You’ve always loved and admired your brothers and sisters.
You tell great stories about growing up in Brooklyn.
You introduced us to Pistachio ice cream.
You have always been a dog lover.
You delivered ice as a young man to earn your own spending money.
You love Italian food and passed it on to us.
You played baseball like a professional.
You taught us the rules of the game.
You never forgave the Dodgers for leaving Brooklyn.
You’ve stayed loyal to the New York Yankees.
You watch your second-favorite team (The Braves) affectionately too.
You suffered patiently through our years of playing Girls Softball.
You took us to see a big league game at Yankee Stadium.
You let us eat all the peanuts and popcorn we wanted.
You never minded when we wanted to watch games on TV with you.
You made us love Mickey Mantle too.
You are brave and heroic.
You volunteered to serve your country in the military.
You served in both the Navy and the Air Force.
You served in WWII and in the Korean Conflict.
You earned a chest full of medals.
You tell great stories from your years of flying.
You retired from the military after nearly 20 years of service.
You often wear a cap that acknowledges your years of service.
You share your special base privileges with us.
You fly the American flag proudly every day.
You weigh the same today as you did the day you married Mother.
You have real style and always look sharp when you dress up.
You never use four-letter words and taught us not to either.
You love dogs, and let us have not one but two cocker spaniels named Skipper.
You have the best singing voice in the family.
You have a great sense of humor.
You have a memory for details that is truly amazing.
You always have chocolate and sweet rolls in your house, and we appreciate it.
You taught us the value of a dollar.
You always set a good example.
You’ve always had great taste in cars.
You bought your first car, a 1931 Chevy, for $65. You were 17, still too young to drive it.
You bought Mother that very cool 1956 red Chevy convertible.
You kept that Chevy for years for us girls to drive when we grew up.
You taught us to drive well and safely.
You taught us that 20 mph means 20 mph on a military base (and elsewhere).
You taught us how to parallel park, even though it took awhile.
You taught us how to wash a car and dry it with a chamois.
You never really expected us to learn how to change a flat tire.
You provided gas money for us whenever we needed it.
You immediately recognized “a keeper” when you met Mother.
You got Mother’s attention with your dark, curly hair.
You didn’t waste time with long courtships or engagements.
You demonstrated your ability to make an excellent choice in matrimony.
You changed the pronunciation of our last name because of Mother.
You embraced and loved Mother’s family.
You learned how to shoot rifles and hunt deer.
You never minded driving to Arkansas to see relatives.
You learned how to eat and enjoy Southern foods.
You never complained about the outhouses.
You always worked hard to support our family.
You started a photography career with a $4 camera.
You gave up taking portraits of others’ kids before doing so drove you crazy.
You introduced us to Mister Lynn and made us cover girls.
You made sure we knew how to stand in the model’s pose.
You took risks in your business and were successful.
You took pictures of lots of movie stars, and we got to meet them.
You are beloved by all you photograph.
You taught us how to buy cameras and take good photos too.
You are still the best photographer in Louisiana.
You took us to see the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
You took us to lots of baton and dancing lessons and performances.
You took us to Coney Island and rode with us on the roller coaster.
You took us to lots of modeling classes and fashion shows.
You took us to see the Alamo and San Jose Mission.
You took us to airshows and taught us about airplanes.
You took us to Washington D.C. and showed us the sites.
You took us to lots of beauty pageants.
You took us to see the Statue of Liberty, so we could climb to the top.
You took us to task if we got out of line.
You loved Mother deeply, and you keep her memory alive.
You’ve left things in the house the way Mother had them.
You use a photo of Mother as the screensaver on your computer.
You bought the Ruby Tree to honor Mother.
You watch Mother’s favorite shows and turn her photo toward the TV.
You admit to still telling Mother about your day (from time to time).
You still go to the restaurants Mother liked to go to.
You always thank God for Mother and your lives together.
You visit the cemetery often to be with Mother.
You sit on your 60th anniversary bench and praise God.
Beverly, Gayle and Paula
Beverly, Gayle and Paula