Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"A very good man..." ~ Jane Eyre

My father turns 60 years old tomorrow.

I can hardly believe it. As I sat and drank coffee yesterday morning, at my sister's, I watched him with play with Jack. Their silhouettes were like a deja-vu to me; images that appear in old photographs. A man who looked like my grandfather smiling over a curly haired baby who looked like me or any one of my sisters.

The aging of my parents is bittersweet. I love that they are enjoying their grandchild so much, for the smiles on their faces when they are around him are smiles so unique to a grandparent-grandchild relationship. However, knowing that they are grandparents depresses me sometimes, because I want them in my life forever.

This photo of my dad was taken three weeks ago. As part of his 60th birthday present, I drove him out to Brooklyn, where he grew up. We visited the Homecrest section, where his childhood home is located, and to Coney Island, where I treated him to Nathan's. He is standing in front of his old elementary school in this photo. There are other great photos from this day that I shall share when I do a post on Coney Island in the weeks to come.

I am grateful for the many gifts my father has given me. He gave me my education, my love of reading, my passion for history, my stubbornness, my love of jazz, my gregarious nature, my giving spirit, and my sense of responsibility when it comes to family. A single post on my father does this man no justice, but here is a meme I created to celebrate this special day. We are gathering at my sister's for cake tomorrow evening, and my father told me to bring plenty of ice cream for his grandson (who is totally loving vanilla ice cream lately).

Top Twenty Terrific Things about Thursday's Pop
1) He had a Volkswagen Beetle in the 70's that was yellow
2) He knows every fact, significant or petty, about the American Civil War
3) When he had a moustache when I was a kid, I swore he looked like Teddy Roosevelt.
4) He is an amazing photographer
5) Growing up, he always gave me books that I "needed to read" and he still does
6) He leaves messages on my machine about important PBS shows airing that I need to watch
7) He is a Trekkie
8) He loves anything nautical theme-related
9) He likes to drink Grey Goose Vodka with tonic and a twist of lime when we are drinking because he doesn't like beer
10) He knows every damn answer on Jeopardy
11) His obsession with Hemingway was passed on to me
12) His favorite Armenian food is lahmajooon (Armenian pizza)
13) He still lectures me at times
14) His jokes tend to be very corny
15) He loves New York City
16) He belongs to a local chapter of "Sons of the Desert," a group of Laurel and Hardy fans who meet once a month to watch old reels and chat
17) He will still come and hang things in my apartment for me or help me if I am having car trouble
18) My mother's nickname for him is "The Professor"
19) He loves popcorn
20) His heroes are his father, Abe Lincoln, and Alexander the Great


Blogger Marty said...

Happy Birthday to Thursday's Pop!!!

My dad is 77, so I know how bittersweet these birthdays can be.

What a nice tribute to Pop!
My dad tells corny jokes too. And he loves Thoreau. And I'm totally his little offspring (I'm almost a duplicate of him, sometimes, in how I think and act).

Hope your pop and your family have a great day when you celebrate!!


6:52 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I loved the LOVE in this post. My mother is from the Bronx, but she spent every summer in Coney Island, so maybe she and your father were once on the Cyclone together!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Amy, when I read this post, not only did I smile, but every hair on my arms stood straight up: my father ALSO knows every fact about the American Civil War AND...
AND--(there's more, you say??)

he is also a major, major Laurel and Hardy fan.

=-) I remember when my father turned 60..it was odd and bittersweet. Now, both my parents are much closer to 70..which is almost inconceivable to me...

Anyway, happy birthday Pop!

7:54 PM  
Blogger the queen said...

Okay, at first I wanted to grow up to be your Dad, then I thought maybe I could get something going between him and my Mom. Then he started looking pretty good to me and I don't think I want to share him.

8:03 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Marty ~ Cheers to being daddy's little girls. :) A Thoreau man, eh? Excellent! I think all dad's are expected to know corny jokes before they have offspring. Thanks for the kind wishes, m'dear!

Neil ~ Perhaps they did! Did your mom also like going on the Wonder Wheel? It really has changed for the better now that Keyspan Park and the Cyclones are there - lots of families and such! Your mom is automatically cool if she was born in da Bronx.

Ryane ~ Our dad's MUST have attended the same Dad University! :) Laurel and Hardy, eh? Without fail, we still watch "March of the Wooden Soldiers" each Christmas! I love Stan and the peewees! :)

8:06 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Queenie ~ My pa is already spoken for by my ma ;)

8:10 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

Nice that you have a dad you adore

3:03 AM  
Blogger PeeJ said...

Happy Birthday Thursday's dad...

I had visions in my mind's eye of him being a bit like your namesake's dad, a time-travelling Knight Templar. But hey he's pretty cool anyway. Anyone with the nickname "The Professor" gets bonus kudos points also.


10:43 AM  
Blogger afromabq said...

I love this post. I want to meet him just based on what you've written about him. I bet he's a hoot!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Princess in Galoshes said...

I've only just found your blog, but I've started to read some of your older entries.

You have a really strong voice, it's very fun to read, even if the entries aren't all about pleasant subjects.

And it sounds like the apple didn't fall far from the tree- great tribute to dad!

6:20 PM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

This is the very best week to have a birthday:-)not that I am at all biased. Happy 60th!!!!! Beautiful post, Amy. I loved it. xoxo

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummmmmm, your dad is ONLY 60. Say ONLY 60 over and over.

He's ONLY 13 years older than moi, for crying out loud. I hang with folks that are that young. And I plan to be hopping all over the place at 60.

Anyways, he sounds like a great dad and a great friend. Many, many happy and healthy returns to him.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Bird said...


happy birthday to your dad. such smiles i had while reading this post.

my dad is gone (ten years next may) and i miss him more and more as time passes. off i go now to write about him. don't know if i'll post it though.

thanks for this post!

12:21 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Barry ~ Yah, he is the best. :)

Peej ~ Indeed, my pop is not at all like TN's dad in that he never traipsed off for months...er, years...at a time!

PToes ~ He is a hoot and I think Jack is getting his nature of being a "ham" from my dad!

Princess ~ I love your name and I am so happy you came here to visit! Thank you!

Kels ~ As I was writing this piece, I was thinking about the amazing post you did about your father. :) Oooo...Happy Birthday Kels! xoxoxoxoxo

Schaumel ~ He is ONLY 60. :)

Birdie ~ Even if you do not share all writings you have about your father, I hope you share some. I would love to hear about him.

1:44 PM  
Blogger work in progress said...

I find it marvelous that you are able to express these feelings to your father. This was a beautiful post. It's wonderful that you share this connection with your dad. I'm sure he is a man worthy of the love and admiration you so eloquently put forth.

Nicely done.

7:52 AM  

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