Saturday, June 16, 2018

Remembering my Dad

I am now a senior citizen and this will be the 39th father's day spent without a dad with whom to celebrate. I still miss him terribly. Time does not fully heal all wounds, certainly not the loss of a parent. Not one like him anyway.

He and I shared a passion for sport. We played catch on endless loop through the baseball season, we golfed together through countless rounds often sprinkled with my unseemly bouts of melancholy at my incompetence. He coached my teams, leaving work early, taking a bus from New York City to suburban New Jersey, often stripping off his tie and jacket just as the game was about to commence. 

But the winter was mostly a fallow period, a time for hibernation. There was no activity pulling at our sleeve. No reason to brave the cold. My most lasting memory of a repeated outdoor activity with him was of shovelling snow, and that hardly qualifies as sport.

Skiing was not on our collective radar. He had never been drawn to this undertaking, and as a child growing up in the 1920's, it was not even something one did. Aspen and Vail were not Aspen and Vail then.

Winter vacations focused to two locations, one in Miami , the other Pocono Manor in Pennsylvania. ln Florida we indulged our passion for golf,  soaking up the sun without lotion or hats, chasing a ball hither and yon. But Pocono Manor had no such defining undertaking. Ice skating? Hardly. Relaxing? Not with a frenetic kid. So what then to fill the hours.

There was a single rope tow at this resort. It took a skier up what I can only imagine was a tiny hill, maybe even something less than that. But, on this particular day, maybe as a result of running out of other options, my dad and I found ourselves standing on top of the one lonely run, looking uncertainly downward.  Neither of us with any notion of what was required to get from here to there. Only my dad had no equipment to help propel him. No boots, no poles, no skis.

I don't recall anything about my skiing. Not how often I fell, not how much or how little I enjoyed it, not of the fear or of the excitement. Not of others on the hill, or where my mom and sister were. Not of the cold or even of the hotel where we stayed. Just an indelible image in my mind, possibly as much  imagination as recollection, of my dad running along side me, up and down, up and down. A father and son performing a dance together on a tiny slope, fueled by the sheer joy of being together.

I did not become enamored with skiing until many years later, long after my dad had died. I have had the wonderful good fortune to share this passion with my wife and two children all with consuming love for this endeavor. And one day soon I hope to take a run with a granddaughter to be. But as much as all of this means to me, nothing can ever surpass that day at Pocono Manor.

       The one and only time I skied with my dad. Almost


Harvey F Leeds said...

Wish I knew your dad!!! Would have loved to drank hot chocolate with him!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.... Certainly a special time to remember those guys who meant so much to us.


Anonymous said...

just beautiful


Anonymous said...



Robert said...



Anonymous said...

Beautiful Robert. You had the most amazing relationship w your dad