Sixty-one Things

Much in the same way I compiled a list of those things my mother had taught us, as Father’s Day comes around, the thoughts and reflections of Dad are strong. Those quirks and qualities, the small observances, have now become part of his children. Much the same as with our mom, after he was gone the emails began to fly back and forth between us as we added our memories. On his birthday and on Father’s Day, I share them with my siblings so we can again remember. As we added things to the list, we smiled, got some laughs and maybe shed a tear, too. What did you learn from your father? Here are sixty-one things (of many) we learned from ours:

  1. How to play chess
  2. It feels wonderful falling asleep before a dying fire
  3. How to draw
  4. An appreciation for diverse music, including classical
  5. Reading is enjoyable
  6. A love of Kurt Vonnegut
  7. To be a fan of Roald Dahl
  8. Finding the “Nina’s” in Hirschfeld’s drawings every Sunday
  9. The magic of Grand Central Station
  10. You can rise from the ashes
  11. How to reinvent yourself
  12. An appreciation of art and museums
  13. Sometimes it’s better to get someone else to teach your kids to drive
  14. Everyone should learn to drive a standard transmission
  15. An appreciation of film as art
  16. Creativity comes in many forms
  17. How to imitate Sean Connery and John Wayne
  18. Ego can take you pretty far, but not all the way
  19. You can go from the very bottom to the top and fall down again – and adjust to either
  20. Harsh verbal criticism is not easily forgotten
  21. Intelligent men can be made fools by attractive women
  22. Doodling on paper and paper napkins is a natural thing
  23. Don’t be afraid to dress in your own style
  24. No matter how old you are, you can pursue learning
  25. Naps are important
  26. How to give a good foot massage
  27. How to pour a beer without making a head
  28. A penchant for collecting things
  29. Fondue
  30. Try different types of cuisine
  31. Travel the world
  32. Exercise all your life
  33. First appearances can be important
  34. Baskin-Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream!
  35. Halvah
  36. The Sunday New York Times
  37. Crossword Puzzles
  38. The Funnies
  39. Word Play
  40. Crumb cake
  41. Not taking no for an answer
  42. Artistic ability
  43. A love of dogs
  44. A love of the beach
  45. A college education is important
  46. Promote yourself
  47. What a finger bowl is used for
  48. An interest in the Olympics
  49. An appreciation for great athletes
  50. How to box
  51. Camp songs around the fire
  52. Ghost stories
  53. Commercials can be an art form
  54. Cartoons are best drawn with a marker pen
  55. Bow ties can look cool
  56. Suspenders are not just for holding up your pants
  57. There is a nice aroma to good pipe tobacco
  58. The wonder of New York City
  59. Sen-Sen
  60. However simple the gift, give the best you can
  61. Be proud of your accomplishments

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