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William Manchee

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My Dad Led Two Lives
by William Manchee
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Not rated by the Author.
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Memories on Father's Day

My Dad Led Two Lives

My father was a quiet man
A steady worker who didn’t complain
Went to work each day at eight
Came home at half past four

Every night was pretty much the same
He’d get the newspaper then hit the couch
Not saying a word until dinnertime
Then we’d all eat and talk about the day

After dinner he’d watch TV awhile,
Then fall asleep until the news at ten
George Putnam was his evening friend
And when he was over he’d go to bed

My dad was forty when I was born
Older than the other dads
A Canadian, born in Toronto
Didn’t have a lot of friends

He and I didn’t have a lot in common
He had no interest in politics or sports
But he did come to my baseball games
And tried hard not to look bored

My father wasn’t mean or strict
He pretty much left me alone
But he did lay down a few fundamental rules
He expected me to follow, and I usually did

I loved my father, even though we weren’t close
But I thought he could have accomplished more
Had he been more aggressive and ambitious
Life would have been easier had we not been so poor

But I don’t remember a single day I was hungry
Or didn’t have a place to lay my head
So, I can’t really complain about my childhood
I was lucky to have two parents to tuck me into bed

But what I most remember about my father
Was how each week his personality radically changed
Where his workweek was very boring and mundane
That all changed when the weekends came.

In his weekend life he was a wanderer
Who dreamed of strange and wonderful places
And on Friday night we’d all jump in the car
And set out for a weekend of fun and adventure

It could be the mountains, the desert, a valley or the beach
We’d leave with no particular destination in mind
Just wandering and enjoying the beauty of the land
Until the setting sun forced us to camp each night

My weekend father laughed and joked, had a sparkle in his eye
He was happy, optimistic and so much fun to be around
The summertime was even better because we had more time
And could stretch our wanderings to more distant lands

It was a miracle we had the money to take all these trips
Luckily gas was cheap back then, just 19 cents a gallon
But even so, we often had to search the roads for empty bottles
So we could turn them in for cash to get us back home

My father’s dream was when he retired to buy a motor home
Then hit the road, roam the land and never come home
Unfortunately, soon after he retired cancer struck him down
And his life long dream was forever lost and gone

But I thank you, Dad, for all the wonderful memories
For your perseverance in sticking with your mundane job
And for giving me the opportunity have my own great adventures
My only regret is that you died so young and missed so much

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 1/11/2013
lovely tribute
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