My dad was born at a young age and he already had an older brother. He started out by getting his tonsils removed immediately after he was born, because I guess that’s what they did back then, and he cried so hard he had a hernia, so then they had to fix that.
After that, my dad was never sick a day in his life unless you count things like cancer, which he got over, or lymphoma, which is looming in the distance but so far has kept away. Oh, and there was this weird thing with his throat where he had to have throat surgery and then do throat exercises, but he got over that, too.
Every day of his adult working life my dad ate the following for lunch: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Dannon yogurt, and a piece of fruit.
When he was 6 or 7, there was a vegetable man who would drive in a truck and sell vegetables. In the spirit of the Lone Ranger, my dad yelled “Hi Ho Succatash, Away!” and the vegetable man chased him down!
He was the proud holder of the 32nd chair out of 33 clarinets in high school. In college at Case Western Reserve, his brother was sought out for fraternities and partied and made friends, and my dad hid from everyone, but it was discovered that he is Jewish, so one fraternity sought him out. He joined, they realized he wasn’t the kind of Jew they were expecting, and some sort of awkward “don’t call us, we’ll call you” thing happened. Then, as he puts it, he failed out of college, which I think isn’t actually true. I think he dropped out.
When he was really little up to high school age, he and his brother worked in their dad’s pharmacy. They didn’t have registers that told them how much change to give, etc, so the two of them (ages 7 and 10 at the starting point) would add everything in their heads, calculate tax and come up with the total. To this day my dad can go grocery shopping and come within a few cents of the total.
The only pet my dad had as a child was Alexander Graham Bird. When I was about 10, my mom randomly rescued a dog from a shelter and brought her home. We all sat on the couch when my dad came home from work and let the dog greet him. He said “Whose dog is this?” and my mom said “Yours”. He said “Seriously, whose dog? I don’t want a dog” and my mom said “Yours” and then my mom, brother and I went into the kitchen while my dad sat on the couch and the dog jumped and sat next to him. My mom called “So what’s her name?” and he said “Copper” and that was the beginning of a beautiful and abusive relationship. And by that I mean Copper abused my dad. But we LOVED her! After Copper died at age 17, my dad swore, no more dogs. Then he started volunteering at Rescue Village. He quickly shot up to being the best volunteer. He not only walked the dogs, he took extra time and sat in their cages with them, talked to them, and pet them. At Christmas, he wrote a card FROM every dog with a check to Rescue Village in it. He became obsessed with having his name on things, so he started donating more money so his name would be on things. He has 3 (possible 4) benches in one area with his name. And I think possibly a tree. He had an amazing talent to bond with every dog and not take a single one home. Until Brady came in. Brady looked like Copper, and was sad and depressed. They were starting to think he was unadoptable, so my dad took him home. Brady was an awesome dog. After Brady, it was declared – NO MORE DOGS. It didn’t help that I had moved back home with my cat, who instantly found the weak point in the family (my dad) and targeted him for daily torture. She slept on his head, so he’d close his door. She’d knock on his door all night until he let her in. He woke up at 6am, she started slapping him around at 5:50am for her breakfast. My dad now sets up a barricade with a giant purple ape so my cat can’t get to his door – instead, she gets behind the ape and gets stuck between the ape and the door, so my dad has to wake up and tend to her anyway. During the day, she sits next to him on his giant Shaq sized recliner chair, and when it’s time to eat, she slaps him until he obeys. As you can see from the pictures, he’s very broken up about it.
My dad has always had a thing for cowboys. His favorite memories from his youth are going to the movies and listening to the radio, and it was ALWAYS cowboys. He currently owns over 1,000 cowboy movies and serials (like, the old ones, not current ones) on DVD and spend pretty much the whole day watching cowboy movies and serials, and Court TV shows.
If you ask my dad if he’s hungry, he looks at his watch and answers according to the time.
One time when my dad was working, he arrived in the parking lot and saw a semi truck rolling backwards towards a guy in a parked car. My dad jumped out of his car, climbed into the semi and stopped it before it hit the guy. My dad has never been in a semi in his life, he just jumped up there and did it.
To make people forget about this incredible act of bravery, one day his trash can caught on fire at work. He panicked, jumped on his desk and yelled “fire” until someone threw some water on it and put it out. In a similar incident, we had a mini earthquake once, and everyone in my dad’s office didn’t even notice. My dad got up from his desk, ran to the door, saw that no one else was moving, ran back to his desk, decided that was not the place to be, and ran back to the door.
My mom has a history of leaving the house, and two minutes later coming back because she forgot something. One time my dad was standing in the kitchen watching her, and when she came in for the fourth time, he said “When you get Alzheimer’s, it will be an improvement”.
The only time my dad got drunk was when he was very young and working with a new company. He had a few beers, came out of the bar and couldn’t find his car. When he finally did, he drove a few feet and was pulled over for drunk driving. My dad spent the night in jail!
My dad was in the Army and his job was to write messages to people on the other side of a glass wall, which meant in order for the people to read it, my dad had to write backwards. He can fluently write in complete mirror writing, and he writes every birthday card in this manner.
As classy and astute as my dad likes to think he is, nothing will make him laugh harder than fart jokes/incidents. He will kill me for putting this in here, but if you end anything with “and then he farted”, my dad will laugh uncontrollably. In their early days of marriage, my parents went on vacation and they were looking at some kind of horse exhibit, but there weren’t real horses. My mom had some intestinal distress, and immediately vacated the area. My dad came over to her and said “Wow, they make these displays so real, it actually smells like horse poop in here!” When my mom told him what had actually happened, he laughed from Michigan to Ohio on the drive home.
Rescue Village had a volunteer appreciation dinner, which my dad appreciated. But it wasn’t quite right, so he wrote a letter. He said that if they really wanted to appreciate the volunteers, instead of spending money that could go to the animals on a big dinner for them, he’d rather the employees say hi to him once in awhile, or learn his name, or smile. They have a tough job, and he knows that, but my dad would appreciate a smile and a “hello” more than he would a dinner.
My dad is very similar to me (I guess I’m actually similar to him) and we started seeking out places to pet animals a long time ago. Before we were familiar with horses or the way they worked, we were at a barn and there was a horse behind a fence. We wandered away from the group we were with, and we were petting the horse. I got too close, and the giant horse wrapped his neck around me, sort of like a very scary hug that might have killed me. My dad, instead of coming to the rescue, turned around and ran, yelling “Run Darcy! Run!!!!”
There are a million other stories, but I will end Part I with this – more animals and people have been helped and even saved by my dad than he would ever let anyone know. He is the epitome of giving, even if he does yell at me when I give away too much money and have none left. All he ever wants in return is to be able to visit and pet animals. Oh, and he donates money to Rescue Village in honor of people (or pets) who have died, and he made a donation in honor of Barry Gibb. Yes, THAT Barry Gibb. Of the Bee Gees.
I think I’m going to make a video section just for my dad’s videos – I have a ton of recordings where I got him on a rant on video and he didn’t know it. I just have to sort through and find the good ones!