Happy Birthday, Dad

Captain’s Log    5,216

I have had three offers from Disney die-hards to take me back and make sure I have the experience of a lifetime.  That is so very sweet.  Not sure I am up to the challenge.  At least not for quite a long time.  My mom always said, “Never say never cuz you never can tell.”


My dad would have been 103 years old yesterday.


He was such a great guy.  

For the most part, he was fair-minded, musically gifted, witty, and such a hard worker.  He worked Monday-Saturday from 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM.  I can count on one hand the number of times we went on vacation.  Four.  The big trip was to New Jersey and New York to see Grandpa Brandes and the relatives there.  I have connected with Cousin Valerie on Facebook a few years ago, and that has been a truly wonderful experience.  She remembers that visit, but not well.  I really need to visit her in New Jersey or have her come to San Diego.

My dad drank once or twice a year.  He sang in the church choir and with the International Barbershop Group (cannot remember their actual name).  He had a terrific voice and a fantastic grasp of harmony.  He taught me to listen to how music is crafted.  I used that skill later in life to work as a professional musician and storyteller.  I owe a lot to him.

My dad was an interloper in a town that was predominately Catholic.  There was a fair amount of scandal when he breezed into town, fell in love with the pretty girl working in the popcorn stand, and married her.  They were not allowed to get married in the church.  All sorts of shit like that. But he was a good player and let my mom raise us in the Catholic church and attend Catholic school.  I never heard one disagreement about any of that.

I got my work ethic from my father and he also taught me to remain cool and collected when under adversity.  I think about him all the time when someone gets in my face over something stupid – or when some reporter throws me under the bus about a decision the museum makes about this or that.  My dad is always with me.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

20 responses to “Happy Birthday, Dad

  1. You were really a lucky lady. Yes, later when it is cooler, take the Disneyfanatics up on their offer. 🙂

  2. bholles

    We were so lucky we had two great parents.

  3. Patty O'

    Those of us who had fathers who were GOOD JMEN were so blessed. Mine died in1989 and I still miss him every single day.

  4. Valerie

    I’m so glad that we reconnected. I find it so interesting how solar we are in our perspectives and views. My dad was also a good singer , a tenor, and loved to sing in church. Music can evoke such memories! There are times that we sing a hymn in church that I can clearly hear my dad’s voice singing the tenor part and that’s usually when Charlie just quietly slips me a tissue. Sometimes I’m so emotional that I have to walk out of the service until the singing is done.

  5. My dad passed away 24 years ago today. Amazing how time flies… You have some very wonderful memories of your father. I don’t know how well I really knew my father, but I loved him dearly.

  6. Such wonderful memories of both of your parents. You had quite the childhood…..

  7. Sally Vangorkom

    A lovely man.

  8. Penny Tushingham

    Wonderful memories. Still remember the day he passed.

    Pen Pen

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