Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

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.)

I'm not sure when my father started carrying that little purse, but he always had some kind of coin-carrying device in his pocket--he was not a "loose-change" guy.  I remember the little plastic squeeze-kind bearing the logos of car dealers or other enterprises.  But they never lasted too long: They would start to tear at the ends, and, pretty soon, Dad would be carrying another one.  I think I remember a device even earlier than that, a little baggy kind of thing with a snap-fastener on the top.  And he also had the kind that folded (see image).

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.

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