Traveling With Dad
it’s hard to get back to business as usual. During my radio dj days, going on the air after Christmas was floating time. All anticipation was outside the radio station. Insiders know Hollywood leaves for Aspen or Vail by Dec. 15. See you in January. All work is anti-climactic this week.
was a good but very unusual day. Don’t know what to make of it at this point. Dad wanted to drive up to see the small town and the house where he was born (Westminster, TX). Then, because we were so close, he wanted to cruise up another 15 or so miles to Sherman. Dad was “from” Sherman and to me it’s always been where my grandparents lived. I knew from the way he presented this idea that A) he wanted to go and B… yea! there is a B) he wanted me to go with him or he wanted me to see it… and see it with him.
is not very sentimental-nostalgic. (I cover that base way beyond anyone else’s mere human ability.) In my whole life we have never once driven through Westminster even though it is very close to Sherman. For many years it was on our way to & from Sherman. I did not know it was there. If it meant anything to dad, you’d think we’d have been through there at least once before 2009. Dad took mother through there sometime in the past 10 or 12 years. Now out of the blue he wants to go there before the New Year and show it to me — “before the end of the year” is how he presents the idea to Me. No idea why not with my brother – or with both of us. Me.
NORTH OF DALLAS – NORTH OF PLANO–
and a bit to the east we rolled into a town that has mostly evaporated. We saw the handful of vacant windblown storefronts where there was once a town with a bank and a drug store and 4 or 5 other shops. The stores surrounded a large square lot where dad says the townfolk would congregate when the Traveling Medicine Shows came to town. We saw the streets and one house still standing that dad knew. We visited the cemetery. His great grandparents and some other family are buried there. I watched as dad walked the small field to find the graves. He talked, but only about things that had happened. Nothing emotional or attached to feelings. Just reliving long ago times.
THEN WE DROVE–
to Sherman. He showed me another house I did not know he’d once called home. Of course we drove by all the places and down all the streets that held any lasting value for him. More stories. Remembered names of people now gone or unfindable. Tales and details he wanted to speak out loud – to bring back to life a moment or a world he once knew that no one else he knows will ever see. He wants me to know its there. What’s important about it is something he’s going to leave for me to sort out.
THE TRIP UNDERSCORED–
that time is fleeting and my time with dad is precious. There’s nothing ominous on the horizon. I just sensed this was a way to visit some of the old home places one last time. Dec. 28, 2009. It was a good father-son day.