They say itís your birthday

My father, were he still alive, would have turned 57 years old today. Itís been almost three years since his passing and I often wonder to myself what he would think of our current state of affairs.

Locally, I can only imagine his laughter and disbelief at our cityís continued crow phenomenon. Iím not entirely sure what he would find more humorous, however Ė the Jurassic Park soundtrack which welcomes me to work every morning or the fact that the crows, while no longer infesting the park, have migrated north and east to an area surrounding my little one-room apartment (as an aside, Iíd like to take a moment to apologize to the collective crow consciousness, there will be no more down-turned thumbs from me).

Gas prices wouldíve had my father fit-to-be-tied, of that I can be certain. The man absolutely hated, with a passion, gassing up the old work van. I can still remember, vividly, his unbridled rage when gasoline hit $2 per gallon. What he would think now, I donít care to speculate on.

Politically, Iím fairly certain my dad wouldíve remained indifferent. I never knew him to vote, locally or nationally, and he had very little use for politicians as a rule. He despised his ever-rising taxes (although he always paid them on time) and he had very little interest in any political agenda, no matter which party.

Of our beloved New York Giants, he wouldíve been flabbergasted by this yearís (so far) continued success. The poor man was a Giants fan his entire life, as I have been, and if youíre a fan of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew youíll understand just how frustrating that can be and has been over the decades. One of my biggest regrets when it comes to his death is the sad fact that dad died just two weeks prior to the Giantsí victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. He wouldnít believe it.

As for the current music scene Ė my father was a bass guitar player, most famous for his years as the bassist for Ivan Shroud in the 1970s Ė I think heíd be amazed in some instances, dismayed at other times and genuinely surprised by some of the changes which have occurred (I mean really, the guy from Hootie & the Blowfish is a country singer now, what gives?).

He was an interesting man, my father, who had a number of hobbies and passions. He was a fantastic pool shooter who tried his best to teach me all he knew of the game while he was still here; our chess matches reached a point where they took upwards of five or six hours before a winner was determined, and Iíd give just about anything for another match (or ten) of table tennis, at which he excelled. He was simply good at so many things.

Of myself and the many changes which have taken place in my life since his passing, I truly donít think heíd be all that surprised. He was well aware of my love of reading and writing, so Iím fairly certain heíd enjoy and approve of my most recent career change.

As to his birthday, he wouldíve ignored it. He rarely celebrated when November 10 rolled around, especially as he got older. I donít think he like to be reminded of the fact that another year had passed him by.

Me, on the other hand, letís just say that memorable days like today, which I used to find so depressing, are much happier now. Of course I miss the old man and all, that goes without saying, but in the last year Iíve found that these days are better spent remembering all the good times, the laughter and the memories of all the good we accomplished together.

Happy birthday, dad.

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