How Do You “Look” 70?
Leap Year


I thought of my father when I woke up this morning.

Dad was a mystery in many ways. I have a picture of him before I was born, probably taken in the early 1930’s. There he is, the epitome of debonair in his knickers, leaning against his Hupmobile, his Lucky Strike cigarette in his very long cigarette holder clenched between his teeth. Mother always said he was a ladies’ man, but I’m not exactly sure what she meant.

Dad left home to earn his living at age thirteen. His resume is very, shall we say, eclectic? There were tales of his starting the first indoor miniature golf course (a disaster) and many other undertakings before he settled down on a path that led him to be a successful state-wide manager of a life insurance company. As a salesman early in his insurance career, he was on the road a lot, but my mother could always open the front door at 5:00p.m. on Fridays, and he would be pulling into the driveway. If it was the right season, she would have the pot boiling on the stove for the fresh corn he would have bought from a farm stand on his route home.

Dad never got used to retirement. He had only known work—no golf, no hobbies—and I think that may have contributed to his much-too-early-into retirement death. 

Even before his terminal cancer struck though, I remember him frequently remarking, “I ache all over.”

This morning when I woke up, I ached all over, and thought of my father whom I still miss very much.


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