A Birthday for My Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I wish for you the happiest of days.  I remember once upon a time when your birthday fell on Columbus Day (or is that a yearly occurrence?).  We made hats out of newspapers and dressed up like pilgrims and Indians (more officially known as Native Americans these days), and we gave you a ladder.  You always liked ladders and tools and the Pittsburgh Steelers and golf.  I think I was maybe four, which would have made you thirty-seven.  I hope we ate a football cake that year – do you have one for this year?  Last weekend I told the story about what happened when you shaved your moustache and Ashley cried and cried.  How many times in your life have you spelled out the word moustache?  I think it’s a silly word.  One time, when we were all a little older, you shaved your moustache and got a buzz cut and I thought you looked like a handsome Jewish gentleman.  All you needed was a kippah on your head.  Do you remember when I was in fifth grade chorus and we had to sing holiday songs from around the world?  I still remember a little bit of “Oh Christmas Tree” in German and a lot of the song that went like this:

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah
We’ll have a party and dance to the hora
Gather round the table, we'll give you a treat
Spinning tops to play with and latkes to eat

But, it’s your birthday, and we aren’t Jewish.  Today you’re in the mountains, and I’m in the mountains too, but just in a totally different spot.  I’m sorry I can’t be there to spend you special day with you, but I’m thinking about you lots.  And I love you for coming to my chorus performance when I was ten.   Happy, happy, Dad!  After twenty-five years of being your favorite daughter, I still think you’re even cooler than the cat’s pajamas.

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