Last night we held a public memorial service for my father. All of his closest friends came. One after another they told heartfelt stories of how my dad had been a good influence in their lives. One lady said my dad gifted her youngest daughter with his old car. A young man recounted stories of golf lessons he had received from dad: "What the hell do you think you're doing kid?! Who taught you to hold the club like that?! Jesus!" And there were many stories of his heroic drinking capacity. In that regard, let me share with my four loyal readers a story about my dad.
I was born when dad was in his forties. When I turned twenty-one he was in his sixties and unable to move as quickly as he once could. A rite of passage for all young men is beating their father at something, often sports. I called dad and said, "Hey dad. You can't play football or baseball like you used to. So what do you say we have a few drinks instead?" Dad immediately picked up on what I was suggesting. "Son," he murmured, "Are you sure you want to do this?" I, being the young arrogant buck that I was replied, "Come at me pa." I could picture his nostrils flaring and his piercing glare. He said, "Boy, you don't know what you're getting into."
So we went to one of the local watering holes. Then, as now, I spent most of my disposable income on books so dad was good enough to buy. We began at about 7 pm. By 1 am I had had more than eight pints of beer and a few shots of whiskey (I can't remember the precise numbers. You understand.) I was in bad shape to put it lightly. Dad was smiling, laughing, and carrying on as normal. The next morning he called me. "How are you feeling Kevin?" I groaned and said not well at all. "You never stood a chance son, but I admire your fighting spirit."
I never did beat him at drinking. But we had many good times. I will have several Masses offered for the repose of his soul. Heres to you dad. I hope to see you again some day.