Better Late than Never/A Father’s day Tribute To My Dad

As I wrote a tribute to my mom on Mother’s Day, I intended to write a similar tribute for my father this past Sunday, which, at least in the United States, is Father’s Day. As I have a lot going on around here at the moment, the tribute never got written on time. However, there’s no such thing as an inappropriate time to pay tribute to one’s parents and, since I have a bit of spare writing time, this is definitely an appropriate moment to write my thoughts and memories about my dad.
First, it’s interesting that this past Sunday was also the day when Catholics, and possibly some Protestant denominations, celebrate the most Holy Trinity. I love it when secular holidays intersect with liturgical ones with a similar theme and this past Sunday was such a day. Catholics, as well as the majority of Protestant Christians believe that God consists of three persons who have been identified as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I realize that there are some who like to identify the first person of the Trinity as Father and Mother but we address him as Father because we learned this from Jesus and, after all, who would know the Father better than his only begotten Son? Therefore, as we honor our heavenly Father I’d like to also obey the fourth commandment and honor my father who, thankfully, is still with us on earth.
My dad, like me, grew up in Philadelphia and worked all of his life in the food industry, starting out working in his dad’s store. He and my mom gave birth to two kids, my brother and I, during a time when we didn’t have the resources and technology we take for granted today. This never seemed to bother my dad, as he always treated me like any other “normal” kid. He was never overly protective and always wanted me to have the same opportunities that were available to other sighted kids my age. He found a tutor for me who was able to teach me how to read Hebrew Braille, so that I could go to Hebrew school. I vividly remember how proud he was when I had my Bar Mitzvah ceremony just before turning 13.
while my dad enjoys sports, I never really developed a passion for any of it growing up. Thankfully, he never pushed me into trying to enjoy it. However, he had other interests which were more to my liking and which remain with me to this day.
Since I was a kid, I always enjoyed fiddling around with the radio. While I enjoyed listening to television programs, there was something for me which was so magical about pulling in stations on the radio, particularly those which were far away. At some point, when I was around 10 or 11, my dad told me that he once had something known as a shortwave radio when he was younger, which allowed him to tune into stations from other countries. I was positively intrigued and asked him if he would buy one for me, which he soon did. Over the years, the landscape of shortwave radio has changed and there isn’t as much content as there used to be but I still enjoy playing with my Sangean ATS909 to this day. By the way, that particular receiver was actually my dad’s radio, which he agreed to trade for my Grundig Yachtboy 400PE, a trade that I thought was a bit unfair as the Sangean is a better receiver. I own three shortwave receivers but the 909 is my primary unit and it is even more valuable to me since it was once owned, used and enjoyed by my dad.
My dad also told me about the radio dramas he grew up with when he was a kid, particularly the Shadow, which was one of his favorites. When I was around ten, he bought me a record (on vinyl) of one of the early episodes from 1939 starring Orson wells as Lamont Cranston. The episode, compared to later ones in the series, was particularly dark, involving a dancer who, as it turned out, knew who the Shadow’s actual identity was as her uncle was the person who taught Lamont Cranston the ability to cloud the minds of men (and women.) This girl was also a telepath and was using telepathy to force someone into drug smuggling, keeping the poor kid addicted both to the drugs as well as to her. As I said, it was pretty dark but it got me hooked. Radio drama, or audio theater as it’s called today, is still one of my favorite passions, inspired and encouraged by my dad.
My dad was and still is a fan of super-heroes. When I was a kid, Batman was definitely one of my favorites in that particular genre, although the shadow and superman are now at the top of that list. Another passion given to me by my dad.
My dad also enjoys science fiction, both on the screen as well as in written form. From the time I was a kid, this has always been one of my all-time favorite genres.
I love puns. I have a quirky sense of humor and love a good, clean joke. My dad also has a rather dry sense of humor. When I was a kid, I remember sometimes saying “Dad, I’m serious” to which he responded “I’m Roebuck. who’s watching the store?”
I had an aptitude for playing music and my parents always encouraged this. My father bought me several keyboards and eventually bought me an upright piano when I was 16. I don’t know how he managed to afford it but it was always one of my most valuable possessions and has been with me ever since.
I always had a love for radio broadcasting and wanted to pursue it as a career. My dad could have told me that pursuing such a dream would prove to be too challenging and silly and that I should consider something more practical. It seemed totally OK and natural that I should go after this dream and he always encouraged me to do it.
My dad has a strong desire for justice. When I was in high school, I had a teacher who felt completely incapable of working with a visually impaired student. After I got into a bit of trouble as a result of causing a bit of mischief with this particular teacher, I was afraid my father would be furious with me. Instead, he came to school with me the next day and spoke to the principal regarding his complete dislike for this individual.
I always look forward to my visits with my parents and my brother. I still always have a wonderful time visiting my father. He may not be someone who has accomplished great deeds which will be recorded in the annals of history. He may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. However, his warmth, passion, good humor and his sense of justice make him a super hero to me. Thank you, Dad, for all that you’ve done in making me who I am today.


3 thoughts on “Better Late than Never/A Father’s day Tribute To My Dad

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  2. Pingback: Major Family Milestone/My Dad Turns 75 Today | Thoughts from David Goldfield

  3. Pingback: My First Life Lesson About God Outside Of a Classroom | Thoughts from David Goldfield

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