My father was a great one for buying gadgets. A tall man with widely spaced eyes. A cheerful pipe-smoking man of ruddy complexion.
He was born in Seattle. At the age of sixteen he left home, a kid with no more idea of what to do than the man in the moon. He spent a year in the wilds of Canada. He dined outdoors, comforted by the crackling sounds of the fire.
He had a phobia about being under water. A phobia of germs. A snake phobia.
One of my earliest memories is of sitting on his knee, bouncing up and down on the mattress.
(Okay, that’s it, you’ve cried long enough. Come on, silly.)
He was lavish with his hospitality. He was very giving and supportive. He fathered three children. He wrote almost every day. He spoke fluent Spanish. He was a model husband and father, a tenacious local legend.
His bicycle was found close to the start of a forest trail.
I thought the world of my father. You don’t get men like him anymore. We’re in sore need of him.
I would write to him if I knew his address.