Especially to you, Pop!
One father is more than a hundred school-masters.
Everybody has these great and moving tributes to Dads worldwide. I'm afraid I lack the words to express the complex, complicated, extraordinarily ordinary relationship I've had with mine. He's my pop. He's entirely too dignified to be called "Pop", and, yet, he seems not to mind too strenuously when I call him that.
This week, Pop has already repaired the front porch roof (see picture, above), and is now resting after having denuded the garage of its poor, sad shingles. He does not work out there in the heat of the day. He may be a little crazy, but he's by no means stupid.
Pop is the smartest man I have ever met -- and I haven't spent my entire life in this cow town out in the middle of nowhere. I've been places, shaken hands with all sorts of folks. Pop was a college professor, a nuclear physicist, a published author (and of a genuinely, deliberately humorous piece, no less!), and still is a hard-working fellow who likes to solve puzzles both on the page and in real life. He's also pretty handy-dandy at woodworking, but, since he's extremely self-critical, he doesn't do much of it, any more, more is the pity. Pop has a marvelous eye with his cameras, keeps a beautiful, neat, and functional garden, can cite verse both high and doggerel, was once a champion-level square dancer, knows the difference between a Fragonard and a fragmentation grenade, and is as great a cook as his mother was (actually, slightly better).
In other words, my father is pretty close to Renaissance Man.
It's hard as hell to live up to that standard. I figure I'm doing well if I keep my hair combed and my fingernails unchewn. But I try, because Pop would appreciate it.
Isn't that what Father's Day is supposed to be about?