Daddy is 94 now. It boggles my mind to even thik of him being that old. Enough so that I've started asking him to tell me stories about his life, in hopes that I can chronicle some of them for the rest of the family. Anyone who knows my father can attest that getting him talking is easy. Its keeping up with what he's saying that's difficult. Given the opportunity he'd argue with a fencepost... and win!
Daddy's favorite topics are politics, unions, religion, and "rasslin'."
Daddy can talk about politics and unions 'till the cows come home. He's a die-hard democrat and makes sure everyone around knows why. I know that this is partly because of the unions's support of the democratic party. He was a member of the Iron Workers' Union for many, many years. I used to doubt that Daddy was strong or brave, until I realized that he walked on those narrow I-beams high off the ground on a daily basis. I have to admit I agree with Daddy on some things but, instead of being a die-hard Dem like him, I'm a die-hard "don't tie me to any one party" person. I won't even call myself independent or undecided, because those are just pigeonhole. As I said, part of Daddy's Democratic ties are because of the unions. To him they are irrevokably tied together in a neat little package,so his talk of politics and unions tend to be one and the same..
Daddy's next obsession, though probably not less of one than politics and unions, is religion. Daddy is Southern Baptist down to the roots of what little hair he has left on his head. Actually, I come from a family of highly religious people but, as usual, I'm the rebel. Well, I'm one of them. Some of my earliest memories are of the old Calvary Baptist church in my home town, complete with Sunday School every week and old-time tent revivals. You'd think with this upbringing I'd be religious, but I'm not. My break with established religion started when I realized that the kids in my Sunday School class picked on me because I wasn't as afflent as they were. Now I tell people I'm an equal opportunity blasphemer. You name a religion and I'll find something about it that just isn't right.
And on to Daddy's third obsession, "rasslin." That's wrestling to the rest of the world. As a kid I thought everyone watched every wrestling match that was televised. I never LIKED it much, but I watched it because I didn't have much choice. Those were the days before video games, a TV set in every room, and instant entertainment at one's fingertips. I even vaguely remember Daddy taking me to a real live wrestling match in our little town. I don't remember much about it except the crowds and the yelling. Maybe that's why to this day I dislike large crowds. Anyway, nowadays Daddy watches rasslin' any time its on TV. He doesn't care if its broadcast in English, Spanish, or any other language since he's as deaf as a doorpost. He just loves his rasslin'.
When someone expresses concern about Daddy's health going downhill I point out that until he stops arguing and talking about the things that are important to him, I figure he's going strong. Even though I disagree with him on many matters I hope to hear him talk about politics, unions, religion, and rasslin' for a long time to come.