TBT – Looking Like Dad

This is a Throwback Thursday repost of a post about my Dad I that first posted in April of 2011 with the title Family Resemblance.   I miss my Dad every time I read it.

For most of my life, I thought I looked like my mother but as I aged and people saw me with my Dad, they began to say we looked alike.   This picture, taken at my daughter’s wedding rehearsal dinner, was the first time I ever really saw it.   But I had evidence of the family resemblance much earlier.

My Mom and Dad only made it to California to visit once, but my Dad visited twice after Mom passed away.   He has always been quite claustrophobic which made him reluctant to fly.  The first time he visited, I was in Connecticut on business and booked him to fly back with me.   Business was very good and I had several zillion frequent flyer miles, so, conscious of his claustrophobia, I booked us in first class.  Back then, first class included good meals served on china and unlimited drinks.  My father settled right in, blissfully unaware, I think, that everyone in coach wasn’t getting the same service.   The first time the flight attendant came by to take a drink order, she caught him by surprise and he sat there looking at her blankly.   She repeated, What would you like to drink, sir?  After a pregnant pause, he said, I think I’d like sarsaparilla.   He settled for a screwdriver.

For the first hour of the flight, he kept calling the flight attendant waitress, which was verboten for a regular traveler if you wanted good service, so I told him, Dad, they don’t like to be called waitresses.  They’re flight attendants.   The next time the flight attendant came by, he touched her on the arm, smiled his best old guy smile and said, My son says I shouldn’t call you waitress.  In case you haven’t noticed, women treat cute old men differently than they treat cute young men.   The flight attendant said, You can call me whatever you want, Mr. Reed, giving me a wink.  Dad nodded, then gave me a satisfied look that said, You just have to know how to handle them, Bud.   When mealtime came, a male flight attendant from coach came forward to help with first class service.  As he scurried about the cabin, my Dad leaned over and said, They must be really busy, Bud.  The pilot is helping them serve.   That was my Dad.

Once in our house, he took over my recliner as if it had been waiting for him ever since we bought it.   He’d sit there like king of the domain, watching TV or snoozing.   One day I noticed him eyeballing something in the TV cabinet.  He pulled himself from the chair and stood looking at a picture of Muri and I that was taken at an Old Time Photography studio.   We were dressed in old-fashioned Western clothing and I was in my semi-hippie long-hair-muttonchops period.  After watching him for a minute or two puzzling over the picture, I said, Dad.  What is it?   You’re not going to believe it, Bud, he answered.   The guy in this picture looks exactly like my Uncle Ed.

So, if you’ll excuse me, Old Uncle Ed is going to go to the kitchen for a sarsaparilla.  Miss you, Dad.

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