The man, the legend (click to enlarge).
IT’S HIS CONTAGIOUS JOIE DE vivre. It’s his insistence that I watched Sgt. Bilko, Jack Benny and Ernie Kovacs reruns with him when I was a kid. It’s the skiing memories. (It’s also the memories of the Plymouth, New Hampshire diner he used to own.) It’s his contagious menschlichkeit. It’s his liberal use of Yiddish. It’s his generosity. It’s the way that, though I am 58 and he turns 84 today, he insists on always looking after me. It’s his delight in food, both cooking and eating it. It’s that he taught me right from wrong. It’s his didactic-without-being-didacticness. It’s his instilled-in-me restaurant practice of ordering whatever’s unfamiliar on the menu.
It’s the way he dawdles in grocery stores, always checking out unfamiliar prices / goods / services. It’s his delight in the Game of Thrift. It’s that he can’t pass a restaurant without examining the outside-posted menu. It’s his contagious neophilia. It’s that he’s been making the same turkey stuffing every Thanksgiving since I was a tyke. It’s the way he respects my religiousness. It’s his love of hiking unfamiliar territory both metaphorical and geographical. It’s that we’ve learned to be silent together and just enjoy each other’s company. And it’s that he actually reads my blog. Happy birthday, Dad.