Tonight’s chat with Pops

Most every night I talk with my dad on the phone. Nine-thirty, after the kids are asleep and the house is cleaned.  Or should be.  It’s a little late for him to stay up, but it’s the only time we can be assured of no interruptions on my end. It’s kind of like how I tuck him in at night, in return for all the years he tucked me in.

Tonight, Pops told me about his experience on the street corner earlier today with my sister, her son, and a spirited group of No on 8 people.

“I wore navy blue trousers,” he volunteered.   “And snappy white shoes.  And a necktie, so as to indicate that I was serious.”  A brief pause.  “I think I was the only one wearing a necktie.”

“That was a great idea, though, Pops.  Lends you moral authority.”

“I thought so,” he replied.  “It was a wonderful experience, you know.  People would honk and wave.  It was really quite something.”

At eighty-seven, I think it’s possible my father has never stood on a street corner and proclaimed anything.  Not like this.  I mean, he went to war, landed on Normandy beach.  But he’s never stood in public, in his community, bearing witness to a harshly contested, deeply held belief like this.

“One fellow had to leave for a moment, and I held his sign.  It read– now how did it go?  Let’s see… Yes.  It read, ‘Everyone should have the freedom to marry.’ I like that.”  Another pause.  “I mean, it has a different impact. ‘Right to marry’ is forceful, but ‘freedom to marry,’ that’s… That’s inspiring.”

fight [next in this marraige equality series: Prop 8 update the gazillionth: the day before]

14 thoughts on “Tonight’s chat with Pops”

  1. That brought tears to my eyes! Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that my little effort by way of Vikki helped 😉

    It’s going to be a nerve-racking few days. The world watches with bated breath.

  2. There is so much at stake this time around…on all levels. I find myself weeping easily. This morning, I cried on my way to work when I saw people on the street corners with their signs supporting public school funding. I cried when I saw all of the Obama bumper stickers and lawn signs. And, now, I cried reading this. These are good tears, though. These are tears filled with hope for the first time in a very long time.

  3. (tiny threadjack, with very humble apologies)
    >I mean, he went to war, landed on Normandy beach.

    Oh how humbling! Was he in the D-Day landings? My mother’s first cousin, who I called ‘uncle’, was in a ‘later’ group that landed there, after the true D-Day nightmare. Hats off to your dad. 🙂
    (end threadjack)

    pe-in-pa, with a daughter so excited to be casting mommy’s vote for Obama tomorrow, and watching California with much hope.

  4. “And snappy white shoes. And a necktie, so as to indicate that I was serious.”

    For this, and so many other reasons, your Pops is the best.

  5. All of your “Pops” post bring a bit of a lump to my throat. I actually teared up reading this one. What a good decent human being he is, and good for him for being so open to change.

  6. This was heartwarming. Your dad is awesome. I was inspired to call my estranged father for the first time since January.

    He lives in CA (Central Valley) and I made sure he is voting (Obama and No on 8). I listened to a long diatribe about the Catholics but have confirmed his intentions to vote No on 8.

  7. Last night I emailed all my family members who live in California and urged them to vote no on 8. In my in-box this morning was a reply from my stepmother informing me that she and my 77-year-old, devoutly Roman Catholic father had already mailed in their ballots with a no on 8 vote.

    Before this I wasn’t sure how my father felt about the issue (sex and love are not comfortable topics for a retired accountant). I am so proud that he let reason and a sense of fairness override the teachings of the church he has identified with all his life.

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