A Tribute to Dad

Today is Father’s Day, a day to celebrate all the dads out there. Happy Father’s Day to my son, Matt Manos, who is a super father. Just ask his children.

I think of my father every day but on this day, there is a particular vacancy, because Dad isn’t here and I can’t hear him sing those old songs, see him dance a jig, or bake him his favorite pie. But, I can remember. And I do. This Father’s Day, I’m re-printing last year’s post because all these things are still true.

His character was as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar.  He was stubborn and he could be stern. He didn’t talk an awfully lot but he had a keen sense of humor and liked a good joke. And whatever he said, I knew was the truth. The whole world might be wrong, but not my dad. He was always right.

I could count on him to stand between me and any sort of danger or threat. He wasn’t a large man, just average size but lean and tough, sort of like good saddle leather. He took up a large space in my heart and life and now that he’s gone, I miss him more than I have words to say.

I was named after Dad, R. B. Day. My initials are the same: Roberta Blanche. He set a pretty high example of truth, honesty, and hard work for his children to follow. We did try and, mostly, succeeded mainly because we didn’t want to see those blue eyes narrow and his face grow stern.

Dad was Irish through and through. Maybe that’s where he got his love of horses. He could size up a good horse in no time and felt a lot more at home in the saddle than he did behind the wheel of a car. His children used to joke about Dad’s driving. He had one speed in town and the same speed on the highway. He liked to turn corners without braking which sent his passengers grabbing for door handles.

The first horse I remember he had was a black stallion he called Billy. The last one was a beautiful palomino he named Mr. Ed. He dearly loved that horse and liked to show him off. I’ve never seen a more beautiful animal.

Dad  loved playing horse shoes and in the side yard of my parents’ home there are still indentations where horse shoes hit the ground around the stobs. His favorite plant of all the flowers was the yucca in the corner of the yard. I think it reminded him of the western states.

Many times now I’d like to ask Dad’s thoughts about a problem or how he would handle a situation. I’d like to hear more about his childhood and his parents and grandparents. I would love to hear some of those boyhood stories but, sadly, I didn’t think to ask.

Dad’s old work-day hat hangs on my hall tree. I don’t need to look at it to be reminded of him but somehow, I feel better knowing it’s there – more secure, I guess. If he were here, I’d bake him his favorite pie, coconut cream, and get him some sort of small gift. He’d give me a hug and say, “Much obliged.” I miss him every day, but particularly on Father’s Day.

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Comments

  1. Michelle Albrecht says

    Hey! I know that chubby baby! (She hasn’t changed so very much!) And i LOVE that grandpa!

  2. I remember that baby too and she grew into a lovely woman.

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