June 15, 2003

A Tribute to My Father, James A. Igert

It's Father's Day, 2003. I last had occasion to gift-give on Father's Day in 2000, of course not realizing that this would be the case. We humans don't know these things. I gave him a fishing-themed remote control apparatus, and I learned that he did indeed enjoy it.

Our parents impart so much knowledge to us, but with my father's special way of providing guidance, I really didn't see too much of him in me until I was a few years into adulthood. Every time I curb my type A personality and tell it to take a rest, that's my father speaking. And he does so gently, usually in a silent and reserved fashion, at least that's the behavior of his visage in my head.

My father was a peacemaker and a simple but honest person. He preferred the outdoors and tried to teach me so many of the things I would like to know now but didn't have the patience for at earlier ages. My gardening stint of late is descended from my father's experience and success with gardens when I was younger. He planted a lot of corn, tomatoes for my mother and me, green and wax beans (which he peppered every night with generic pepper because he swore this kept the rabbits at bay), watermelon, and piles and piles of strawberries. I remember blisters from preparing these strawberries every late May.

When I was a child in Michigan, my father would construct an ice rink in our back yard every winter. And he'd use it, too. There would be dad and daughter, twirling on skates on our rink, radio rigged outside to pipe in the music of the day. He'd build sled runs out of snow and ice them down with the water hose to provide that extra sledding thrill.

And in the summers, there was softball, something he always encouraged. Any skill I have I can attribute to his working with me.

It's hard to synthesize the general memories into a short blog post. The only gift I could think to give would be another long, long day fishing, maybe 13 years ago.


Posted by hln at June 15, 2003 09:13 PM | Anecdote