Wow! I’ve Still Got . . .

June 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm (By Amba)

. . . my Dad!

I originally posted this photo more than 4 years ago!!!!


  1. Danny said,

    Your parents are amazing and that top picture is my favorite. It so beautifully evokes a bygone era. Where was it taken, what’s that building in the background? Were you already in Hyde Park then?

  2. amba12 said,

    Danny, that’s our house — a row house on 50th Street, facing the block of park then called Farmer’s Green and Farmer’s field.

  3. A said,

    I love that top picture too. Quintessence of little girl/daddy mutual adoration.

  4. Ruth Anne said,

    The little girl in the top picture looks like a twin of my Pink Girl. But she has a twin who looks nothing like that. Weird?

    Congrats on the healthy longevity, but more that you treasure it so much.

  5. amba12 said,

    “Healthy” mentally and spiritually, which is what counts. My dad has spinal stenosis and scoliosis (arthritis, basically; most people that age have spinal issues), and, despite years of diet and exercise, clogged and narrowed arteries all over his body, a hereditary problem; he takes Plavix, among other things, to keep his blood from clotting. One bypass in the nick of time in 1985, when he was 67, the age both his parents died (he started to have that massive heart attack on the operating table), gave him another quarter century. It only took one because he has nice low normal blood pressure. Somehow he has developed collateral circulation so that despite carotid arteries that are far from great, he has no cognitive impairment at all.

    It really is quite miraculous. I describe him as running on love. He lost his younger brother in WWII, and was what he had not wanted to be, the sole survivor of his family of origin. At which point God, whom he doesn’t believe in, said, “Enough.”

  6. William O. B'Livion said,

    My father passed away in the mid nineties of a broken heart. He was just short of 64th birthday.

    You’ve read Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”? My father was as out of place in the country of his death, nominally the same country as his birth, as the main character in that novel. He just couldn’t deal with the way the world changed. Then my mom divorced him and he started spiraling. For a couple years I kept expecting the phone to ring and a voice telling me he’d had an accident and ran into a bridge abutment while driving. Then the phone did ring a voice did say that he’d had a heart attack. You expect it, but you don’t expect it /today/.

    I still miss him.

    You’re incredibly lucky that you still have your parents.

  7. amba12 said,

    I am incredibly lucky. I know.

    Yes, I read and loved Stranger in a Strange Land a very long time ago.

    I am 64 now.

  8. Theo.Boehm said,

    Thank you, Annie. I always enjoy reminiscences of your father, and, of course, that picture, which has got to be one of the all-time greatest father-daughter photos.

    My father, like William’s above, died a broken man, six years younger than I am now. I pray for him every day and hope he is at peace, which he never knew in this life.

    But I like to focus on this world, and cherish my own role as a father, and to congratulate all those who are fathers, and those who are fortunate to have had loving relationships with their dads.

  9. Icepick said,

    My father was as out of place in the country of his death, nominally the same country as his birth, as the main character in that novel.

    I know that feeling well. Nominally I live in the city I was born and raised in. I’ve spent 33 of my 42 years living here, and six of those other nine were spent just a couple of hours away. But I don’t recognize the place at all. There’s too many people, too few trees (yes, that includes the orange groves), and most of the old landmarks are gone. Roads have been rearranged. The language of my youth is increasingly rare and they’ve even torn down the schools I attended.

    The hospital building I was born in still exists, but it has been virtually entombed in all the expansions and additions. I mean just to that building itself, I’m not including all the other building that have been added – the power plants and other utility buildings, the parking garages, three new hospitals added to the ‘campus’, etc. My own daughter was born in that complex recently, in one of the new hospitals. I took some pictures of the building before we left for her scrap book. At least forty years from now she won’t have to wonder if the building was torn down or not, she’ll just be able to look in her files and then spend a couple hours trying to find it on satellite images.

    I miss my home town. It’s a shame I can’t even visit it these days. The man that invented air conditioning ruined Florida.

  10. david said,

    Mom and Dad came up to our ‘burb and watched Gabe (my 14-year-old son) play in a Pony League game. Dad was the only one in the whole place who noticed that, in the 4th inning, our team batted out of order.

    The other highlight was me deflecting a foul ball — right into the back of Mom’s head. I think Dad considered that a nice little subversive Father’s Day gift.

  11. amba12 said,

    One thing the feminists never acknowledged is how much heartbreak and defeat there has been in the lives of men. Survival in society was brutally unforgiving, and for many there was no way to admit weakness or seek help. Those stories surface on Father’s Day — as well as, Victoria (@vbspurs) told me, stories of people who hate their fathers (tragic in itself). Hail to all fathers who are breaking those chains.

  12. amba12 said,

    Ice, I’m going to find you (when I finish unpacking my books) that passage I’m remembering from James Hillman about how we are mourning places and often don’t even know it (an unacknowledged cause of much American depression — the relentlessness of commercial change, the pace of which we are not built for).

  13. Icepick said,

    Amba, I look forward to it. I don’t think I could have appreciated it when I was 20. Maybe a little when I was 30. But in my 40s? I’m there, baby!

    At some point when I was younger I realized that Thomas Jefferson’s desire for a revolution every 25 years or so had been achieved in the United States. From the founding of our government in 1787 until now I do not think one can find any 25 year stretch in which the country largely looks the same at the end of that period as at the beginning. Unfortunately despite all that tummult in most of our lives the politicians have figured out how to keep a stranglehold on the body politic. It’s amazing to me that many of the people ruling the countryr have been in office since before I was born.

  14. Icepick said,

    And good luck with finishing the unpacking. We’ve been here seven years and I still have a few boxes loaded up from the last move.

  15. amba12 said,

    many of the people ruling the country have been in office since before I was born.

    Right! LOL! The one thing that NEEDS to change — the faces in Congress — is the one thing that doesn’t!

  16. Dave Schuler said,

    If you come to Chicago, I’ll take you to dinner.

  17. E. said,

    What a gift to have a picture like that of you and your daddy. Priceless! E.

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