July 29, 2018

So you're 70

I attempt to focus my posts on the Rising Daughters. I usually fail because I habitually revert to the most fascinating subject in the universe—me. However, this time it's all about The Dad, my dad. That's because he became a septuagenarian. It's a landmark age.

Dick O'Kerkinski has turned 70 years old.
How do you gush about your Dad without resorting to Father's Day bromides or the familiar tunes of Hallmark cards? His paternal love for my brother and me was demonstrated by all the numerous dad duties he did while raising us, and the things he gave up to do it. In truth, he still guides us. His demeanor is not as strict now, more easygoing Fred MacMurray-style benevolence. I gained a new appreciation for Dad as I grew into adulthood and spawned kids of my own. He chuckles when my sprogs/his granddaughters demand yet another handout of candy or whatnot. 

At 70 he is a still-evolving, even-keeled character, and a vibrant dude. He likes his beer & cocktails, enjoys a good joke, and is gonzo for golf. Yet Dick also cares about his neighbors, maintains his faith but does not preach, and is generous with his kids and grandkids. He ain't perfect: he drops the occasional malodorous daisy. He offers a stream-of-consciousness litany of expletives while driving.

But, in sum, an absolutely fine human being. Clearly old friends and new stick around. People like him.
For these reasons and many more, my brother S. O'Kerkinski and I were adamant that turning 70 required a celebration. So we rounded up a few of The Dad’s past and present friends and drank some beer, ate some cake, and showed we care on his birthday. The party guests provided an added blast of happiness.
Happy birthday Dad. You da man.

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