Monday, March 19, 2007

Some Thoughts about my father.

I don't have many photos of my father really. There are no colour ones and only one closeup taken in 1949 on his honeymoon. I was reminded of him the other day, St. Patrick's Day actually... and for a few moments transported back to a sort of conglomerate memory of him.

Dad was killed by a drunk driver in 1969 when I was 15 - only a hundred yards from home. He was walking. I can still recall what he had on that evening. Grey trousers, a white shirt and a morone woolen cardigan.

but its not sad memories this time I want to write about...its good stuff.

My father had the sweetest whistling I have ever heard to this day, apart from an old man I followed around Coles who was whistling pur and sweet one of a Mozart I have always loved well...he didn't miss a note...

(Taken in 1957, my father, sister June 5 and myself 3, taken behind our old green Cheverolet ute.)

But Dad's wonderful whistling was accompanied by such beautiful memories that to recall the sound is to see and to feel again those times. One which happened weekly, was when we would visit mum's elderly Aunt and Uncle (brother and sister) way out in the bus at McCully's Gap west of Aberdeen NSW). We would go out and have lunch or Tea and stay till quiet late. The adults would often sit out on the verandah and talk (in summer) or by the big fore in winter.

I remember the smell of the cold air when we three eldest loaded into the back of the truck, covered in blankets (winter) or letting the mild night air blow around us in summer. The youngest at that time Joanie got to ride in the front with Mum and Dad.

After a few minutes I would doze while watching the amazing stars in a sky as black as you could want..not light at all and just the quiet crunch of the truck on the gravel road... no street lights, no guide posts, just us. No radio, only soft talking.

Then...he would begin to whistle. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. For some reason I connected that music with the stars and the stillness of the bush. It was a combination of majesty, magic, safety, oh just everything. Earlier I posted a small story about this time minus the whistling which amazingly I had posted to the back of my mind...till I heard...wait for it..."Danny Boy" played on St Pat's day...Dad whistled up the best Danny boy ever. I was too young and unsophisticated to be critical, a place I am trying my best to go back to.

A good place. I am going to re post this story next.

To outsiders my father's life may have appeared, short and hard (he began working at 12 in the local abbatoirs) but there was a romance and softness about him... and I am sooo lucky only one man has ever come anywhere near to unlocking this place in my heart...

And I married him in the 70's. I won't say that I haven't lived in "interesting" - oh dearie me!- times... but here now I feel more blessed cursed.

(My father and baby sister Jackie takn in about 1967 a couple of years before he died)

Isn't the clothes line a treat... ?

Actually apart from the trousers, this is what he wore when he was killed...I only just realised this...after all these years...sometimes we are so blind.

1 comment:

rosemary said...

Daddies and their little girls...I don't have a sound memory, I remember how my dad smelled...a mix of wood and cigars. You have made him proud with these memories.