Sunday, August 25, 2013
My Father Visits Again
Twice in the last two days, check-out clerks have praised my father. Well, not exactly my father--but something my father used to carry--and now I do. It happened at Szalay's outdoor market down in the Cuyahoga Valley; it happened again at the BP station in Hudson. Both times it was the coin purse you see pictured at the top of the page. (The one you see is not my father's--but one exactly like it.)
But the last one he was carrying near the end of his life was the leather squeezy kind that brought me such notice this past weekend. Both clerks were women--but men have commented on it, as well, over the years I've carried it--since 1999, the year my father died, and my mother--for a reason I can't imagine--gave it to me. And I've been carrying it ever since.
Sometimes the reactions are quite enthusiastic. The clerk at Szalay's, for example, almost cried out about it: That is so neat! I agreed, then used the line I've always used since this purse-gushing routine began: It was my father's. [Pause.] When I was younger, I always thought it was, you know, weird. But then he died ... and now ... And that's usually as far as I get before my voice catches, or my eyes redden--or both.