Weekend bonus shot, 03.31.13

Pops, Berkeley, CA.

Dad, not quite a year ago, in the Easter bonnet I got him. OK not bonnet, but that’s how we jokingly referred to it.  Tried to get it on Easter, and the hat shop was closed (duh), so we went the next time he was in town with me. Hats like these are made for gents like my dad.

Thinking a lot about him today.  He is more gone than here, more out than in. Thus, the heightened value of stolen moments like this one, showing me him and his love, utterly present.

He would never ordinarily feel this unselfconscious in front of a camera–would always stiffen and pose uncomfortably, the ineffable essence of himself evaporating in a puff.  This image exists because I held the camera against my chest, and–yes, I’ll admit it–took three or four pictures stealth. He was looking into my eyes, not at the camera’s lens.

We sat under a shade on a sunny June afternoon; he’d just finished watching his youngest grandson “graduate” preschool in a ceremony the school held in our backyard with all the other kids;  he hadn’t tired yet. We had been talking about something or another which I totally forget now. Something that made him smile like this, mostly with his eyes, which have been capable of reflecting and inspiring so much mirth for so many decades.  And there he was. Being him.



14 thoughts on “Weekend bonus shot, 03.31.13”

  1. Your dad is one of my absolute favorite people-I-only-know-through-someone-else’s-blog-writing: to have someone who loves so well, and who inspires so much love, and someone who’s grown and changed and been there with you all through so much: just wow.

    • Thank you, Susan. And you’re one of my absolute favorite people-I-only-know-through-the-internet. An abiding and loving presence. In the end, that’s often the only and best thing we can do for one another: bear witness; abide with love. So for that: thank you.

  2. I love this picture. I like to think that I would love your dad, but I’ll never meet him to confirm this. But reading your posts about your dad inspire me to be a better daughter.

    • Thank you, Carmen. He’s a charmer, that’s for sure. Over the course of several days in the hospital, back after his 92nd birthday stroke, he pretty much had all the nurses charmed (after he had begun to recover his essential self). I’m pretty sure that’s where I picked up most of my best tutelage: watching him do what came naturally.

      As to being a good daughter: ah! Well. I do what I can, mostly loving from afar and as often as I can, up close. But I know others would see the large potholes and Achilles’ heels. We all do the best we can, I reckon.

    • Thank you, Julia! I would almost have thought you’d have met him one time (you didn’t come to one of our backyard puppet shows?). But yes: I feel lucky to have found a way to preserve this moment on film. All of photography is a theft of some sort, but the hope is that it’s one that gives back. I’m printing him a copy of this. Hoping seeing his loving self smiling back will be warming.

  3. I’ve said many times how much I think of your father -I am so glad you’ve shared the special relationship you two have had for so long. It’s really been a joy to watch.

  4. Beauty never fades in those we love and who love us. His love for you comes thru very clearly in this photo, LD, you did well getting it. He’ll dig a copy of it to look at, I bet.

  5. I found this post whilst looking for something else, and I felt that I had to make some sort of comment. That photo is beautiful, and all the more so because it was not posed; the love shines out. Your comments on it are equally fine. In the end all things go away, but love endures. It survives. Thankyou.

  6. I’m so glad you posted some pictures of your father, I’m so happy that he’s doing well. (-: My mother was one of your grandfather’s sisters), I met your dad in Eugene, when we had stopped by your aunt’s home. Your grandmother could play ragtime piano like no one I’ve heard before. My mom turned 92 last August.I have some photos of your grandfather’s brothers and sisters) I hope this reply finds everyone well.

    Over the last several years i’ve done a lotta research on our families.

    Don’t know if you have seen this. Hope it makes you smile. http://www.history.noaa.gov/cgsbios/biop1.html


    • You know, I had seen the picture (I’ve made a copy and hang it in my home!), but I’d not seen the more extensive write-up of his career. Thank you! I will totally connect with you directly. Our dad may be happy to hear news and be reminded of various folks that have figured so large in the stories and experiences of his youth.

  7. I found your blog fm a link a friend of mine posted about about Baba’s Day and I’m not a parent and don’t even want to be a parent but I clicked and read it and its really cool….Baba. I linked it to my friends who just found out on Memorial Day that they are expecting their first child as a mum & baba. 🙂 as a gay lady myself I get it so I read more of the blog and you know what tho?

    The beautiful, candid photography of your own father and the tidbits about him and what he’s like as he is aging? Are absolutely gorgeous and completely frame what you must be like in a nutshell as a parent yourself. Great work and kudos.

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