To Herbert on Father’s Day

I was adopted at birth and never had a father. At least not a birth father that I knew. But I did have a father figure. A friend of my mother, Thelma. His name was Herbert Grannis. He was around as long as I can remember. He read the Sunday comics to me until I was able to read them for myself. He did so many other things for me that I never got to thank him for. So I’ll do that now.

Thank you, Uncle Herb …

For having the patience to indulge a four-year old by reading the Sunday comics to her every Sunday morning when I am sure you’d rather have dived into the sports section to check baseball scores.

For sitting patiently as you held me in your lap while I plucked hairs off your arm. It was this weird “thing” I did and I have no idea why.

For putting together my Barbie Dream House (it would be worth a small fortune today) and all the cardboard Danish Modern furniture that came with it so my dolls would have a place to park their plastic asses.

For attempting (that’s the operative word here) to teach me algebra and how to use a slide rule at the ripe old age of eight.

For not being afraid to let anyone see you cry inconsolably when our Pekingese died.

For driving across town to help me pick out a new kitten and cringing inside when I announced I would name the little black kitten Satan. (My mother vetoed the idea immediately so, fresh out of clever ideas, he became Toby.)

For telling me I was beautiful.

For telling me I was smart.

For being just as disappointed in me as Thelma was when I misbehaved.

You left too soon; you were 62 to my 16.

But you played a part in how I woukd grow up and choose my own mate.

And P.S., I think you would have LOVED Roberto!

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