Sunday Post 120: Where is my father?

Where did my parents go?  Especially my dad.

I remember as a kid attending a lock-in at our church.  My dad, being a minister there, somehow drew the short end of the stick and had to chaperone.

They tossed all of the third grade boys into a room called “The Parlor.”  At the time, I wasn’t  sure what a parlor was, I thought it was a formal name for the scariest place in our church.

Nearing the midnight hour, we moved all of the antique chairs out of the way and laid our sleeping bags out.  My dad turned out the lights and barked at us to go to sleep.  There was one little problem with his plan.

In the front corner of the room, on either side of the fireplace, were portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Snyder.  The church was named for these dear old people, Snyder Memorial Baptist.  I’m sure they were lovely, but at midnight, in October, to a ten-year-old, they were just plain creepy.

Mr. Snyder wore a black jacket with a black tie and white collar that popped up on the ends.  Mrs. Snyder’s hair was gray, she wore a blue Sunday dress complete with matching lace.  A hat donned her head.

Where ever you walked in the room, both Snyders’ eyes were directly focused on your head.  Move to the left, so did their eyes.  Move to the right, they followed.  You couldn’t get away.  It was like a Scooby Doo episode.

It took one good howl from Edwin Martin, and we were done.

“Ahh!  They’re coming!  Help!”

My dad stood up and let us have it!

“They’re dead for heaven’s sake!!!”  He could have chosen different words, for that’s what was freaking us out.

“They can’t hurt you!  It’s just how a good artist paints eyes.  It’d be the same if it were a picture of you.”

He went and got some sheets and draped them over the portraits, as if they couldn’t peer through a thin layer of cotton.

This man who struggled for patience when we were young will let a ten-year-old granddaughter stay up late and eat extra ice cream!  His legs are stiff, and yet he’ll play with them in the floor.  Read the newspaper?  Who cares about that when a grandkid wants to play Old Maid?

Now I’m not saying my dad never played with us when I was a kid.  He certainly did and was a really great father.  But I’ll tell you this, my brother and I didn’t receive the same level of tolerance when we did something stupid that our children do now.  And a game of Battleship seldom outranked Walter Cronkite!

I nearly believe there was a twin at birth – and that perhaps they have been switched.

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12 Comments

  1. Mel Ham

     /  June 2, 2013

    Only at Mae and Gaga’s do you get your favorite mug, angel pie is made for those special occasions, board games (vintage ones that are probably worth so much more than paid) overflow out of the ottoman. Gaga researches games for special times, he shows up at the beach like Santa, Bingo games are a must, he has that special way of making little things so special. Not too long after being married into this wonderful family, I had something I had to do and cam had to go with me….he said can’t I stay with someone..he said what about Mae, hair appt I said…then he said “I can always go play with Gaga.” I think he called mae and asked if he could play with Gaga. He takes the prize. Mae’s has her own with game playing and making things special too. Great blog! love mel see you in 6.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  June 2, 2013

      they can’t come soon enough!

      Reply
      • Mel Ham

         /  June 2, 2013

        remind me to tell you to what lengths my mom will go to do the grandparent role…ice cream and late nights is small stuff…

  2. MeAningful post!

    Reply
  3. Wayne

     /  June 2, 2013

    Speaking as both twins–With you guys it was my responsibility toughen you up to be worth something…and I succeeded! You both make me proud. The present twin is responsible for making the grandchildren happy. You get to make them tough. I’d say we’re both doing our jobs well…but my job is easier than yours! .

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  June 2, 2013

      Now it is – I guess it wasn’t as easy back then!

      Reply
  4. Aunt Susan

     /  June 2, 2013

    just wait unti you get to be gaga, and yes your kids are so lucky to have them. I enjoy seeing them too.

    Reply
  5. Zyriacus

     /  June 2, 2013

    There is a big difference between kids and grand kids. As a parent you have two duties: to love your kids which means to guide and teach them (and that includes sometimes scolding or harsh measures). As a granddad or grandma you are free of the second part – you only have to show them love and spend as much time with them as possible. :

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  June 2, 2013

      I think you’re right. He was a great dad, but we had to tow the line. Not so much with his grandkids!!

      Reply
  6. David K

     /  June 2, 2013

    Grandparents and grandchildren have a common foe.

    Reply
  7. Great post . . . and their eyes STILL follow you when you go in that room! Will they EVER die . . . really??

    Reply

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