Today is my father’s birthday. This would have been his 100th. It has been twenty-five years since he left us. I miss him.
I’m the youngest of three brothers. I recall my parents telling me that they were actually hoping for a girl when I was born. I appreciated their honesty. As my father said, “B’y, it’s not like you were a trout. We couldn’t throw you back.” He was a story teller and had a great sense of humour. And I’m thankful I wasn’t a trout.
I recall the day our toaster lost its ability to pop-up when the bread was done. Dad was quite handy and figured he would try fixing it. I was eight or nine years old. It was a nice evening. After supper I went outside to play with my buddies. Dad had newspaper spread out on the kitchen table and started to disassemble the toaster. I remember thinking, “Pop can fix anything.”
When I returned home some time later, he was still tinkering with it. I was surprised it wasn’t fixed. A short while later he started to reassemble the toaster. When he finished, he gathered up the corners of the newspaper and carried the toaster out to the garage. He placed the toaster on the floor. Without saying a word he picked up the 5-lb maul. He raised it in the air. He brought it down on the toaster … again … and again … and again. He then picked up the four corners of the newspaper and carried the rather flat toaster to the garbage bin. He placed it inside. He got into the car and drove to K-Mart and bought another toaster.
As my father later said, “My only regret was that it didn’t squeal when I hit it.”
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