Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Thinker

My Dad graduated summa cum laude from the school of journalism at the University of Minnesota. He went on to a career in finance but he was still a writer. He never sent anything in to a publisher, but he was still a writer. I remember saying to him--Dad, why don't you send this in to someone, The New Yorker maybe? And he said--It's too personal, I don't want some stranger reading this stuff--it's none of their business. But, he was still a writer.

He had great stuff too, maybe I'm biased (of course I'm biased--it's written into the rules) but I know great stuff and this sir, was great stuff. Personal? Hell yes. But isn't all writing personal on some level? I didn't have the argument back then to convince him to send his stuff in, but if he were alive today I'd like to think I could cajole and maybe convince. Or bully him if necessary.

I read one of his poems at his funeral, 13 years ago--my sisters and I displayed some of his other pieces, some poems, some just ramblings, all art--he's probably still mad at us...except, no one there was a stranger, so maybe he's okay with the whole thing.

Don't know what got me thinking about my Dad--except I always think about him, but it's not a birthday or an anniversary. It is almost Father's Day, but I think what it really is, is baseball season, it was his favorite sport--a thinking man's game, what better sport for a poet. And I would give anything to have him be able to see another grandson play ball.

He'd kill me, or worse yet ground me, if I ended with one of his poems, but I will end with an Al Kennedy quote: "It's alright...well, it's not alright, but it's okay." This was him trying to make me feel better about him dying of cancer--what a mensch.

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