It's a difficult day. My Dad was born a little bit before the 1929 stock market crash and grew up, third from youngest of a very large family, in the shadow of the Great Depression and World War Two.
Competence, thrift and frugality were not mere concepts to him; they were ingrained characteristics. He did what he could to teach them to his children, though I think he despaired of succeeding. Nothing mechanical was a mystery to him, though he'd hire a plumber or an electrician if the job was too big or required specialized equipment. He did woodwork with ease -- nothing fancy, never an extra bit of ornament or fancy finish but all of it square, true and plumb.
He didn't suffer fools and had scant patience with pretended competence. He had nothing but admiration for people who could do a job well but found the lazy, uncorrectably ignorant or foolish beneath contempt.
And he was the funniest angry man I ever knew. Not always; he could be moody and a truly towering rage could leave him at a loss for words, but usually the things that annoy most of us, he could turn into wonderful slow-burn rants and flights of fancy, and end up laughing himself. It was a valuable skill.
My Dad's been gone well over a decade now. I still find myself thinking, "Oh, Dad would know that!" and starting to reach for the phone, or wanting to tell him about something that happened that would amuse him. I still miss him.
2 months ago