Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14

Today is June 14, Flag Day.  But it is also my Daddy's birthday.  He would have been 83 today.  He passed away in 1993, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him.  To me, he was a pretty great guy.  He was a mailman, a letter carrier.  He carried the mail in the business section of our home town, and the people in these businesses knew my sister and I on sight.  We couldn't do anything wrong without someone finding out and telling my Dad.  Many times I would meet Daddy as he left the post office to start his route and walk the main street with him.  Everybody knew and loved Buzzy, as he was known.  My dad was also a musician.  He played the trumpet.  And I loved to hear my Dad play his horn.  But he also loved music, and taught me to love all types of music.  If you check my Zune you will find that there are many types of music there.

When I was a kid, my Dad played in my Uncle Ray's dance band.  The chubby lady on the right was my Grandma.  She lived with us most of my life and was my hero and mentor.  Next to her is my dad.  The band was called "The Silver Dollar Band", and I still have the silver dollars that my Uncle Ray used to give us on our birthdays.  Uncle Ray is the second to the right of my Dad.  The dances I remember them playing for the most were at a local fire hall.  There were steps leading up to the stage, and my sister and I thought we were really special since we were allowed to sit on the steps while the band was playing.

But Daddy also played in a marching band, which was also a concert band.  On July 4, my mom would drop him off at the beginning of the parade route in a nearby town, and then drive to our favorite parking area.  We would walk to "our spot" near the end of the parade route where many of our relatives would be waiting.  We would all sit together until the parade was over.  Then we all shared the picnics that my aunts had provided, and get ready for the concert.  This group of guys that were so good at playing all the patriotic marches that are so well known, would take their places on the stage and begin their concert.  The music was incredible and included the patriotic songs that were not marches, some classical pieces, and ending with the Overture of 1812.  After the concert, we had more time with the relatives, playing games and using our sparklers, before finally ending our long day with an incredible fireworks show.  Ah, those wonderful memories.  And so, Daddy, as another birthday passes without you, I salute you for all the wonderful things you taught me, all the love you gave me, and all the great memories that cannot be taken from me.

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