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June 19, 2011

Stories about my dad

My daddy is very silly and funny and cool. He started off my life by teaching me the wrong names for things.

"Whaddat, Dada?" I would ask, pointing to a couch.
"Elbow, sweetie," he would respond. "That's what we call an elbow."

"Whaddat, Dada? Whaddat?" I would ask, pointing to his nose.
"That's an alligator," he would respond.
"Yes, honey."


My dad's favorite game is called "Weird Way." It's when you're going home from a frequent destination, like the synagogue, and instead of taking the direct route that would get you there in five minutes, he weaves along the city streets for an extra 20 minutes or so. All the while he sings, "Weird way! Weird way!" in an eerie, high-pitched voice. 


Here are some of my dad's favorite jokes:
Whenever we leave Tobie's Bakery in Hinckley on the way to or from Duluth and Minneapolis, he'll ask if we know why there are fences around cemeteries. "Because people are DYING to get in!"

Whenever we pass a gymnasium, he'll say, "Gym (Jim)? That's my name!"

If you say, "I'm tired," or "I'm hungry," or  "I'm thirsty," he'll say, "Nice to meet you, Thirsty, my name's Jim!"

Every time a Victoria's Secret commercial comes on he shouts, "Bras! Half-off!"


When we were little, all four of us would crowd into my parents' bed on weekend mornings to hear the latest installation of the Big Butt Family Saga. The Big Butts were my dad's other family that lived across the bay in Superior, WI. His second wife was Deborah Uranus Big Butt and his other kids were named Fartus and Bobo. They got into a LOT of hijinks.


He started a tradition of writing a poem at each of our bar and bat mitzvahs. My dad is a HUGE softie and will weep through the life cycle ceremonies of kids he doesn't even like. When it's his own kids up there he can barely keep it together. So there I was, 12 years old, a bunch of my seventh-grade friends sitting in the audience. My dad climbs up to the bima and blubbers through his poem to me. 
"When y-y-your mother and I/ M-m-melted into each other/ Like water-c-c-colors," is all I hear.


I distinctly remember going with my dad to see Father of the Bride in the theaters when I was 6 years old. He, of course, wept like a little child, and wondered how he was possibly going to be able to walk me down the aisle when he was the father of the bride himself.

You'll be fine, Daddy. Just skip the vaguely sexual poetry at this one and you'll be juuuuuuuuust fine.

I love you. Happy Father's Day.


  1. He's a special daddy--but then, the same was true of my dad.