Sunday, 19 June 2016

Father's Day


My father died back in 1989.
He was telling a joke at the breakfast table, or so the story goes.
I never knew what the punchline was.
Anyhow I guess I've saved 27 years' worth of father's day card costs.

Over the past two decades I have sort of inherited a new dad. My father in law is a genial, self effacing old buffer, who has a easy manner, and a rather small selection of terrible jokes .
Richard often reminds me of Nigel Bruce's Watson in those 1940's Americanised Sherlock Holmes, films, for he is a cheerful, slightly bemused and sociable old guy, a character which perhaps belies the fact he has the chutzpah to be able to drive over the entirety of Europe and beyond without batting a single eyelash.

So today, when Dads all across Britain are opening a card with a picture of a golf trolley on it, I send my father in law very best wishes for the day!
Have a good one Richard........

What are your best father stories? It's over to you..........

82 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. My father died many years ago a shrunken version of the military man he was. He had cycled home to Liverpool from North Wales where he'd been evacuated in the war, faked his age & joined the Royal Marines. Active service in the years that followed hardened him & made him into a heavy drinker who was incredibly hard on my brothers.

    Dad built amazing climbing frames and rope swings were strung up within minutes of arriving at a campsite. He had a magic tooth too ( which as a child I had no idea was a false tooth ! )

    I think that without the war my father might have become a master cabinet maker like his father, who knows.

    I didn't see much of him after he & my mother separated and he retired to Somerset with his partner & a homemade beer kit & bottles of gin. When I did stay, I enjoyed an early morning cup of tea with him.

    RIP dad xx

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    1. Everyone cycled then...my grandfather often cycled to Liverpool from wales...by tandem !

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  3. My Dad died in 2003, three months after walking me down the aisle. He had early onset dementia and his passing was an early reprieve from an increasingly disconnected and desperate existence. I loved him and I miss hm him gently. I also adore the lovely Ron, whom my mama met a year later and sensibly married. He is a much better match for her and she is a lot happier, and he is a good Dad too - ready with support and advice and all that dadly stuff.

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    1. Yayyyyy! Oets hear it for step dads!

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  4. So glad you inherited such a wonderful man to honour today. My father died in '87 and, although I know there are some good stories to share, the less pleasant still tend to remain closer to the surface.

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    1. I understand that one completely

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  5. I spoke to my father 6 times a year. On returning to school, or on returning home for holidays. "Hello old chap". or "Cheerio old chap" depending on which way I was heading. He was a rather nice fellow.

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    1. The spirit that won the war cro!

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    2. I, too, spoke to my father rarely, but usually to answer questions such as "When do you go back to school?", "What, are you on holiday again?" or similar remarks ! He was rather distant, although everyone assured me what a good father he was, and he was certainly an excellent provider. Even years later, and he died in 1984, I can't really remember us ever being close. My mother always said it was because he had three younger sisters, and the final straw was having a daughter !

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  6. My fother is almost 93, yesterday i told him that there are 10 people waiting to be his freinds on Facebook,he said that he is bord with Facebook.He prefers real books...

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    1. Or other works of fiction eh ? ! X

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  7. One day I will write about my father, but not yet. You have never mentioned your father or fa in law before, that I recall. You what is said about sons becoming like their fathers as they age.

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    1. I have written about both andrew.....but not that often....i had a difficult relationship with my faher until the last year of his life

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  8. Am I in the minority here? My lovely Dad died 50 years ago and I still miss him and get upset on days like this, especially when I hear of fathers who were not thought of as loved and respected. I'd give anything to be able to visit him today with a card and present.

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  9. There were 9 kids in our family...I was 6 before I ceased being an only child. I was a daddy's girl. We were always close and I loved him dearly. Dad was great when sober ...mean as hell when he wasn't. But we all made it thru.

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  10. Hmmmm.....Fathers. Well my own Father was always focused on being the right hand man/adoring Husband and enabler to my narcissistic mother {bitter much Margo ?!} to have time to be a Dad though the few glimpses I had of the personality he dared not show were pretty wonderful. I have only had one person in my life that has ever been like a Daddy to me, attentive, nurturing, guiding, gentle, firm, forgiving and offering unconditional love. I will always keep a special place in my heart for her. X

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    1. And yayyyyy for all of the surrogates too!

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  11. My dad was exceedingly tight with money, and quite frankly had no idea about how to spend it on anyone but himself (and then it was mostly second hand cars and parts to make them work). Anyway, one year he bought a two far electric fire for my mum for her birthday. In the middle of August.

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  12. My father pretended to be a racist all of his life, until my mother was extremely ill with heart problems, and was nursed at home by an African nurse called Christian.

    When my mother died, Christian took time off work to come to her funeral, and this impressed my dad immensely.

    When he fell mortally ill, Christian came round to nurse him - my father loved him, and if he would have known years before how intimate some of the nursing by a black African man was going to be, he would probably have killed himself!

    When he eventually died, Christian attended his funeral too. I was too emotional to thank Christian for all his empathy at the time, and I feel a bit guilty about this. He was a lovely man who single-handedly rid my father of stupid prejudice - in the nick of time.

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    1. A beautiful story, one of many here today i think

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    2. Yes a beautiful tale X

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  13. My father is a very bright man, who is slowly fading into a shadow of who he is and what he has accomplished. He taught me how to live comfortably on what you have and when, if ever, to use debt. From him I learned the value of doing something you truly enjoy in life, even if others question why or how you do it. If he hangs on a couple more weeks I am headed to Florida for a visit.

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    1. I hope your visit to florida is a sweet not bittersweet one

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  14. My father was always a contradiction in terms. He worked a blue collar job of driving a cement truck, yet in his black lunchbox every day, he brought a book. He read during his lunch hours, sometimes Westerns, sometimes philosophical "new age" material, and sometimes the classics. He adored trains and probably should have made a career in that area. He sang bass baritone, competing in the "Negro Spirituals" class at competitions, yet was the most pasty white man on the planet. He sang at my wedding. He believed in U.F.O.s, past lives, and all sorts of other controversial topics. His political views were set in stone and he loved a good political discussion (even though everyone else was wrong). He could fix and re-engineer anything he put his hands to, yet he cried during every episode of Little House on the Prairie. He loved a good story and laughed until he shook. He was also a nasty, maudling alcoholic for many years until he gave it up cold turkey. He rolled his own cigarettes and smoked a pipe, and gave those up as well. He was as skinny as a rake in his youth, and overweight and short of breath at the end. I loved him, at times I was embarrassed by him, and at times I hated him. He died in 2004 of pulmonary fibrosis at age 75. -Jenn

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    1. A contractiction in terms ..thats what people are......thank you for sharing this story........i could feel the pull and push of the man in your words

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  15. My father was quite uptight and stiff upper lipped; when we went out in the car with him, he said on several occasions '-and we will bloody well enjoy ourselves, won't we?!'
    One memorable occasion was when he was sitting in the kitchen eating his supper, and went to put ketchup on his meal - shook it too vigourously, top flew off and there he was with ketchup streaming down his bald head. My mother sent us out of the kitchen to try and stop us laughing.
    When he died, in 1992, he keeled over in the kitchen early one morning, still in his dressing gown. When the undertaker/joiner came to collect him with the coffin, he was too big for it, so they laid him on the landing till they came back next day with a bigger coffin.
    He wasn't a particularly nice man, I was never close to him, he said some terrible things to me. My father in law was worse. Not nuch luck on the men front lol

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    1. I think ( as i expected) we would have the whole gambit of father stories here...some sad some happy...thank you x

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  16. My dad had his faults like we all do, but he was a sweet, kind man who loved his family above all else. At the age of about 12, his parents sent him to live on the other side of the country to work for a relative. They did not treat him well. He did not see his parents and 7 other siblings again until he was in his 30s. He never showed bitterness and he remained close to them all of his life. He was a wonderful man.

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    1. A hero..........and a gentleman by the sound of it

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  17. my father is a vicious brute; I cut off all contact with my parents in 1990 to save my sanity.

    never had much luck with most men either. I was meant to be a loner.

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    1. Chin up AM
      At least you make a bloody fantastic fag hag x

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  18. My dad was mighty fine . . . in my book of life. Some of my favorite memories are of sitting at the breakfast table and listening to his stories of his life as a young boy . . . I guess the stories weren't always about him, it was the sitting at the "breakfast table" where he told his tales and even more, he LISTENED to mine. He died at 68 in '78 . . . I have missed him . . .

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    1. The sharing of family stories is vital for happy memories....folk tales, family histories, made up fun stories....the stuff of wonder for children x

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  19. My father died in 1979. At his funeral service the village church was packed - standing room only and out of the door on to the gravel path. I tried to sing "The Lord's My Shepherd" with everybody else but my voice quavered uncontrollably. I loved him and even now - thirty seven years later - I still miss him. I am sorry I couldn't drum up a silly story.

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    1. No you drummed up a sweet story YP ok a bittersweet one x

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  20. I absolutely adored my dad!. I was the apple of his eye, I was a total daddy's girl. We were never apart when I was growing up. Just about all photos growing up are of me n dad.
    I miss his gentle loving kindness. Huge smile n Huggs.
    Mother on the other hand is cold, hated me were inseparable.
    Dad died in 2004 at only 59 from myeloma. Horrid disease, he kept smiling and his spirits up being positive about every little thing, think was to protect us. Yep I had the best dad!.

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  21. My nicest story about my father is too long to share, but when I was three years old, he planted a tiny sycamore sapling in the front yard of our home. I promptly pulled it out of the ground, and he spanked me with the sapling before replanting it in the original hole. I used to brag I had been whipped with a tree. At any rate, the sapling grew into an enormous tree that still flourishes in that yard and I am still around to tell the tale 62 years later. My father died in 2011 at the age of 89, a few weeks short of his 90th birthday and a few months short of my parents' 65th wedding anniversary.

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    1. Have you a photo of the tree michael?
      Id love to see it......its almost George Washington isnt it?

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  22. My father in law, who was a plain speaking man, and I became best friends one morning shortly after his son and I moved in with him and mother in law not long before we got married, whilst on a waiting list for our own council house. FiL came down early that morning for work, to find me in the kitchen making my fiancé's packed lunch. He stared at me in amazement and said "But you don't like celery!" (I was cutting it up to put in the lunchbox). "Well I'm not the one who's going to be eating it, he is" I replied. FiL told me later that was the moment he thought "she'll do!". Sadly, he died just 18 months after his son and I got married, he was the best father anyone could wish for.

    As for my biological father....the less said about him the better (he buggered off when I was 13 and I've not seen him since).

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    1. Funny just what you remember .......always the little moments

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  23. When I was about 11 my Dad painted a portrait of me that was put into a London gallery art exhibition. It was extremely unflattering showing off all my 'faults' greasy hair, wonky mouth, mole on cheek etc. I cried my eyes out when my Mum said 'it's just how Dad sees you'. I don't think they know how it has affected my low self esteem my whole life. I have from that day been very self conscious about how I look. If that is how my Dad sees me then what hope do I have of anyone else finding me attractive?

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    1. Id love to see it simone?

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    2. You really wouldn't.

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  24. I had a great father-in-law for awhile. Then my mother married him and then he died.
    That's the best I got concerning fathers in my life except for my husband and sons-in-law who are great fathers and their kids will remember them forever with a lot of love.
    Father's Day is tricky for some of us.

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    1. How true.....its not always a happy day forall

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  25. For me the best thing about fathers day is knowing that I have a dad who is a great Dad. He might not be my biological father, but he is a wonderful Dad and that is the best thing of all. He feels the same about me! Couldn't ask for more than that could you. Especially seeing as how the biological one couldn't give a toss about me!

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  26. Like Yorkshire P's father, mine also died back in 1979 when he was 69, the very age I am now. In fact the day after tomorrow is the anniversary of his death - as well as being the anniversary of my mum's funeral (2005).

    My dad was never the brightest of cookies, and it embarrasses me to recall how, in my teens and later, I hounded him to misery to try to get him to stop smoking. My tactics and cruel methods must have hurt him profoundly, but he never said anything. (He never had a temper, the way I've also turned out, though I do wish now and again that I had one.)
    I always took him for granted and never showed him any appreciation, and it was only late in his life that it dawned on me what a sweet man he was, someone who'd worked like a slave all his adult life (entirely manual work) to keep our large family housed, fed and clothed. I never got round to telling him how grateful I was for all he'd gone through for us - one of my life's biggest regrets.
    Here's to your loving memory on Father's Day, Dear Dad!

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    1. I suspect he knew where you were coming from Raymondo

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    2. I'd like to think so, J.G., but I honestly doubt it. However, I'm touched by your reassurance. So thank you.

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  27. Raybeard's story is one that many young people should read. How often we all wish we had said more to our parents, but we have to remember that in those days folk were just not so outspoken, so perhaps Raybeard's father would merely have been embarrassed. But it is nice to recall our Dad on Father's Day - I certainly remember mine with love and he died as long ago as 1972.

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    1. Many thanks, Weaver. Hadn't really thought about it having much relevance outside my own experience, but if it prevents just one person having to live with a similar lifetime regret it'll have been worth it.

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  28. My father is now 81 and I'm saddened that the only positive memory I have is when I was a kid and we built a model railway together. It's the only thing we shared as far as I can remember, and now he's an unsociable, opinionated and grumpy old man who seems to live life like he's just waiting for the inevitable.
    I go and see him every two or three weeks, but it's only really through a sense of duty and by the time I've finished my cup of tea he's making noises like it's time for me to be on my way.
    The upside is that it has made me determined to be a better father and role model to my own son.

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    1. Dave have you ever reminded him of those toy train days?

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    2. I have. A brief moment of reminiscence before normal service was resumed.
      He isn't outwardly emotional, being brought up with the belief that men shouldn't be like that. If he hasn't seen the light by now he never will.

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  29. When I was a teenager, I was "dumped" by my boyfriend and thought, as teenagers do, that the world was coming to an end. The next day, I came home from school to find a single red rose on my bed with a card that read "from your Secret Admirer" in my dad's handwriting. He never admitted it was from him but, for a man that was not terribly affectionate, it meant so much. And the older he gets, the more openly affectionate he is. We have become much closer now that we are both older.

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  30. My father passed away at age 67 after being diagnosed with cancer three weeks prior to that...he died while I was on a plane trying to get home and see him. He was a strict, opinionated and judgemental guy, but I do remember the times he took time from a busy day to tell me bedtime stories (mostly stories from his youth when he lived in northern Canada). I also remember him putting cold cloths on my head and helping to nurse me and my two sisters when we all got measles at the same time. He was a master at making and repairing things. I do miss him. He has been gone 16 years.

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    1. I think we all need to juggle the good and bad memories of parents ifnot everyone eh?

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  31. My father was killed in an accident, months before I was born.
    My mother remarried when I was about 5. He was all I knew as a Father and he was a good one. Never spanked me, just scolding me would break my heart .. he was fun and I adored him.
    After I left home and married and had my own children, he and my mom divorced. His son is my brother .. I adore him.
    So while I no longer have any father, I really did have a good one ..

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  32. A note to say I loved my dad very much and miss him more. He died of cancer and it was my sister and I that took care of him for the last six months (along with Hospice). Our mantra was "It is a honor and a privilege" and indeed it was...

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  33. I nicknamed my dad Genghis Ken. Enough said.
    Oh and mother is called Attila the mum.

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    1. Am loving " atilla the mum" reference

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  36. Your FiL sounds the very picture of Britishness.

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  37. Can't go wrong with Nigel Bruce John.

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  38. My mother died back in 1994. We live in the US so, apart from the funeral and a trip the following Christmas we didn't see much of him for a couple of years until he and my sister visited us. The two of us were sitting outside with a beer each when dad leaned closer. "I loved your mum, and I miss her he said".
    "Same here", I replied.
    "I hope you don't mind" he said, "but I've got a lady friend."

    He was so sheepish and embarrassed. I told him it was great news as far as I was concerned and wished him happiness.

    Another story from the same visit I think:
    My parents were fairly formal in the way that they brought us up. We knew that they were Bill and Shirley but we were never allowed to use anything except dad and mum. I almost keeled over with shock when talking to our children he called himself "Grandad Bill" .

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    1. Sparks allsorts of stories fathers day!

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  39. My dad was a lovely man, incredibly silly, and doted on his kids. I think in a way mom was overshadowed to a certain extent as he was the joker and she was the one who had to dole out the discipline. It was only after he died that I realized that she was a pretty funny woman in her own right and retained her sense of humour right up until she died this April.

    We never had much money (7 kids!) and it was only later that I realized how much we owed to my dad for keeping not only his own family afloat but also my gran (who lived with us for quite some time), my brother's new wife and baby (for 6 years), two half brothers who moved in. It was that man's hard work that kept us all fed and warm. He would pull silly practical jokes, adored babies (just as well really) and was an incredible prude. If he saw a couple kissing on TV he would shake his newspaper and mutter "bloody rubbish" - embarrassment I guess. But having met others who were not so lucky, and indeed reading some of the comments here, I can only say that I really do realize how lucky we all were, not just to have dad but to have the mom we did too. My other half commented on this one day as did the Celebrant at mom's funeral, that she had never seen a happier family! I only hope I can make it like that for my kids and their children as family is everything in my book. Anna

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    1. Measure someone by their deeds eh?

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  40. Dad died last October. We shared a birthday and a special bond which sometimes made things hard with my siblings. I genuinely didn't realise they felt they couldn't talk to him like I did. I miss his pragmatic approach to life and being able to talk things through with him. He was the one person I could absolutely rely on to not judge me. Reading about all these different Dads has been so very therapeutic. Thank you

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  41. Dad died last October. We shared a birthday and a special bond which sometimes made things hard with my siblings. I genuinely didn't realise they felt they couldn't talk to him like I did. I miss his pragmatic approach to life and being able to talk things through with him. He was the one person I could absolutely rely on to not judge me. Reading about all these different Dads has been so very therapeutic. Thank you

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    1. Some sad some poingnt some happy, all heartfelt thanks all

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    2. Thank you for your good wishes John. I think my days of racing across Europe delivering medicine are well over. I now have had enough after an hour or so. You wait till you're 21.At least if I loose my memory I'll not forget any good jokes

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    3. Ill buy you a new joke book for christmas

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  42. Pop died a year ago today, Dad in 2008. I miss both my fathers quite a lot.
    Thank you for this post, it brightened the day a bit.

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