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Content for Thursday, June 15, 2000

News & Stories

29 Reader writers on their fathers

To commemorate Father's Day, this issue contains a collection of reflections from Reader writers about their fathers: The Last Tag Sale — Jeanne Schinto An Air of Exoticism — Duncan Shepherd Kinder Than I Would ...

June 15, 2000
The Last Tag Sale

I notice he has thrown away some color slides — family pictures. The bag breaks and they spill out. I don’t say anything, just pick them up off the driveway and put them in a ...

June 15, 2000
An Air of Exoticism

My father was older than other kids’ fathers. The disappearing and already disappeared hair on the top of his head offered testimony to that. The mustache that linked him to an earlier generation of Hollywood ...

June 15, 2000
Kinder Than I Would Think Possible

When I got in trouble, my father’s impulse was to hug me. He did punish me for the little things, but when I did something corrupt, committed a youthful transgression that had the potential to ...

June 15, 2000
What He Is, Is Dead

Dead, dead, dead is what I think now when I think, “Father.” My father’s dead. My father’s underground. More than a decade, my father’s moldered. His big belly’s deflated. His big belly’s dust and rubble. ...

June 15, 2000
Positioned on a Pedestal

My father died in the autumn of 1989 of congestive heart failure. His name was Lester and he was 79 and, as he recedes into the past, he gradually ceases to be a single human ...

June 15, 2000
Put Something on Those Feet

Moe: Not with the bare feet! Susie: Dad, I’m just going in the back yard. Moe: I wouldn’t go out there with the bare feet, Susie. You don’t know what’s on the ground. Those birds ...

June 15, 2000
Coffin Nails

I was born on a Sunday evening in May 1953, so I probably first tasted cigarette smoke, first inhaled it, the following Wednesday. If my dad smoked as he drove my mom and me home ...

June 15, 2000
A Self-Made Man

There were six pairs of Sunday school shoes lined up on the kitchen floor every Saturday night, three little patent-leather pairs with rounded toes and a single strap across the top of the foot, and ...

June 15, 2000
By No Means Mr. Mom

Wolf’s Breath Chili. That’s what I’m making for you, Deeda my pigeon sweeta.” The words whistled out from beneath the chip in my father’s front tooth. He danced around the kitchen and executed a combination ...

June 15, 2000
Bopodondo from Macondo

As my father lay dying, on June 29, 1990, I held his ice-cold hands. We didn’t say much, at first. Didn’t know where to start. Then I asked if the legend was true. His family ...

June 15, 2000
Real Parents

At breakfast my father asked me what I thought we should do if, in Grandma and Grandpa’s safety deposit box, we found the document identifying his real parents. The year was 1967, and he and ...

June 15, 2000
Sugar Jones

For a whole year — beginning in 1959 — I stole from my father and I never got caught. I was 14 years old, a freshman at Saint Augustine’s High School on Nutmeg Street in ...

June 15, 2000
Why the Tie, Why the Canoe

There is nothing better for a man but that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God. — Ecclesiastes 2:24 My father’s ...

June 15, 2000
My Father Never Stopped Moving

During my adolescence, my father had a hard time keeping a job. His problems began when I was 11. We lived in Pine Valley out in East County. My father sold surgical supplies for a ...

June 15, 2000
Time on the Court

I have never thanked my father for one of the nicest and most difficult things he ever did for me, because until I thought of it just now, I didn’t realize he had done it, ...

June 15, 2000
The Man Who Loved to Dress Women

“Never put a rat on your back.” I was five years old, hurtling through the subway station in New York, on the way to the garment district with my father when he gave me my ...

June 15, 2000
The Collector

He is old, now, my father. If he were a Toyota Corolla he would have well over 200,000 miles on him and you’d be wondering just how soon the old heap was going to seize ...

June 15, 2000
Friends Called Him Bill Daugherty

I don’t believe he liked me, but I can’t tell you that for sure. I can say I don’t think about him. Mom, I think of every day. I talk to her in my head, ...

June 15, 2000
Wild and Crazy S.O.B

Perhaps it’s a question of semantics, who knows, but I feel incredibly relieved to be done with “family,” “home” — these are things you grow up to leave and be done with, at least as ...

June 15, 2000
The Guy Who got the Lazy Boy off the La-Z-Boy

He likes rhubarb, polish sausage with sauerkraut, and mincemeat pie. He looks like Paul Newman and walks with a John Wayne swagger. (My sisters and I thought he was just cool, but later in life ...

June 15, 2000
His Lightness, My Weight

Until he lost consciousness eight hours before his death, my father was lucid. He did have night terrors, usually around 4:00 a.m., when, animated by morphine dreams, he’d rise cackling from his bed, hairy arms ...

June 15, 2000
You Don’t Have to Like Him

This Father’s Day I won’t send my father a card. I won’t see him, I won’t call him. I probably won’t think much about him. I’m being paid to think about him now. It’s not ...

June 15, 2000
Blue Milk Tickets

My father went to work 6205 days in a row, give or take a few, from 1945 until 1962. Until I was 16 and my cousin, Jackie, 18 or 19. We were both old enough ...

June 15, 2000
He Hung On For Dear Life, And So Did I

On December 31, 1997, my wife was five months pregnant with our first child. We’d gone to bed early, I’d dreamed a bad dream, and then in the earliest hours of the new year I ...

June 15, 2000
Pleasure Principle

I’m grateful to my father, Bill Grimm, for many things, the first and most fundamental of which is my life. As the 16th of 17 children, I’m thankful to my dad — and my mom ...

June 15, 2000
Don't Wait to Ask

Oh yeah. This sepia one is Dad, the 19-year-old skinny kid in the lieutenant’s uniform, with the canvas strips wrapped around his legs, huddling on the Turkish cliff in a trench, waiting for orders. Not ...

June 15, 2000
Lost

Sometimes, when I hear or think I’m hearing the voices of the dead, they thrum in my head like hundreds of bees I once heard in a blossoming almond tree. Other times they are the ...

June 15, 2000
Make Sure You’re Funny

Artifacts of a life surround me. Here is a penmanship certificate from 1933 and a diploma from St. Mel’s High School dated 1937. Here also: an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army dated January 1946, ...

June 15, 2000
Hike or bike along the rim of Upper Newport Bay, Orange County's best coastal estuary.

The marshland surrounding Orange County's Upper Newport Bay is but a small remnant of a wetland that once reached inland to the present city of Tustin. During the past 100,000 years or more the Santa ...

June 15, 2000
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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