But I knew renting was just throwing money away. My dad, who had moved to Florida, suggested I build a home and be the general contractor for it. Eliminating the general contractor would save money and make it possible for me to become a homeowner.
But being a general contractor means you have to know something about the business. I didn’t know an anvil from an ax. Fortunately, my dad did. So he really did all the work. When it was over, I had a home. My dad had come through again.
Newspapers can be funny
So could my dad. Long ago, when I was single and a bit crazy, I had some friends visit me in Florida. They were single and a bit crazy, too. My dad, who knew lots of people who knew lots of people, offered to set one of my friends up with a date. When my buddy came back, I asked him how the date went. “She was an ex-nun,” he said. “All she did was pray.”
Yep, my dad was a real piece of work. Complicated, intense, awkward at times, smooth other times, unforgiving one moment and emotional the next. Just like newspapers.
A few days ago, he died, somewhat unexpectedly. In the end, he was alone. My brother, Dan, had lived in California for years. And I had left the nest, too. My sister, Danette, who lived 10 minutes away from Dad in Florida, was on vacation at the time.
But he really wasn’t alone. He had recently joined a Christian fellowship and made more friends. Plus, he always had that phone. When they found him, he was sitting up on the couch in his living room. His trusted phone was just a foot away.
At his service in Florida, I slipped a phone calling card into a pocket of his suit. If there’s a phone where he’s at now, he’ll find it. Just like a good reporter would.
Love you, Dad.