As we celebrate Father’s Day, I can’t overlook the reality that I am blessed to still have my father, who is 84 years young. My dad worked for the United States Postal Service for as long as I can remember, and retired after 33 years of service as a mail handler. Growing up in a household of six, my mom and dad learned how to make things stretch. We always had everything we needed, and my day was a true example of a provider for his family. As the youngest of four (baby girl), my sisters would claim that I was spoiled and took advantage of the situation. My dad and I spent a lot of time going to the movies to watch the latest “Bruce Lee” movies or other action movies of the time. But the one thing that I looked forward to was my daddy’s barbeque.
A typical grilling weekend would consist of going to “Banfield’s Meat Market” to pick out the meat, which primarily was bologna and chicken. On special occasions, my dad would cook a brisket or ribs. I know many of you are thinking “barbeque bologna”; yes it still remains a common stable in Oklahoma. No matter the main dish, my dad knew his way around the smoker; the meat would be seasoned and cooked to perfection. While the meat was cooking my mother would be making the usual side dishes to go with the meat, potato salad and baked beans. Mmmmmm… good!
The most memorable and joyous experience with my dad’s grilling is when he cooked 5 briskets for my wedding rehearsal dinner. My husband has a large family and many of them traveled for the wedding. I remember bringing the meat to the house for dad to cook and mom saying, “That’s too much food.” Believe it or not, there wasn’t a piece of meat left over.
As we honor father’s this weekend, I want my dad to know how much I love him and thank him for looking out for your baby girl! Dad, I also want to thank you for the special attention and care that you gave to my mother during her last phase of life.
Happy Father’s Day – John R.