No sleep till…BROOKLYN!

Today is my father's birthday. He is 84.

Catfishndad Okay, no he isn't. I mean, I know lots of women my age have dads who are 84, but to me that is redunkulous. My parents dropped out of college to get married and I was born soon after, so they have always been what you'd call young. By my calculations, dad is 64 today. If I have added it up wrong, he will surely poke fun at me. He was going to be a nuclear physicist, so the math and science thing has always been his strong suit. But dad cannot spell his way out of a paper bag. I doubt he knows "paper bag" is two words. Together we make one well-rounded brain.

Remember the post I wrote about the bad art from my childhood? I am also going to inherit this sculpture up there, although believe it or not I like this one. The dark guy is the sculpture. The white guy is dad. In case you were confused.

Seeing as dad was always pretty close in age to me, he was never scary authority figure dad. Although he would spend the greater part of the weekend in the basement, watching sports on TV and swearing up a streak. But if I could stand all the swears, I could go in there with a small glass and he'd always share his Coca-Cola with me. He also ate boxes of Brach's Chocolate Stars while down there. What sugar high? Why so aggressive about the sports?

Mendadpool Other than that, he was pretty cool. Oh, except I had these gerbils, and they kept getting loose, and he said if the gerbils got loose one.more.time I had to get rid of them. So the next time they got loose, he was in the basement tossing out the F word at some football game, and my Uncle Jim had to sneak over and rescue Snoopy and Woodstock. Hey, I was seven. I wasn't good at gerbil naming yet.

When my parents got divorced, dad moved to Dallas, and I spent every summer and some Thanksgivings there, until I was, like, 25. I remember being there at Christmas the year I was 25 and it dawned on me, I am an adult now. I guess I don't have to schlep to Dallas all the time anymore.

But I liked hanging with dad. We went to Cancun, where we got totally ill from Montezuma's revenge. We went to the Gulf of Mexico, where I broke my toe and our hotel set on fire. And once we took a road trip across the country, where I had an allergic reaction to medication and my tongue blew up and we had to rush to an ER in Cheyenne, WY.

Good times!

But somehow they all were good times.



Dad was always a big hit with my friends when he came to see me at college. Here is is with Sleeping Beauty.

I remember I worked at a restaurant in a hoity-toity department store, and once when dad was visiting I had to work the dinner shift. "Your housemates and I will come get you at the end of your shift," dad said, "and we'll go out after."

There I was, serving quiches to the ladies who lunch and also apparently dinner, and there was a piano player entertaining us all with Killing Me Softly or something, and everything was soothing and monied and quiche-y, when out in the candy department was a clatter of drunken voices and singing and such awfulness.

It was dad. And my roommates. Drunker than I'd ever seen my roommates. And this was COLLEGE. I never saw my roommates anything BUT drunk. They used to get up and crack a beer at 10:00 Saturday morning to watch Pee Wee.

"HI, JUUUUNNNEEE!" they all screamed across the low-lit restaurant. I could not serve my last Manhattan fast enough to get those drunks out of there. Go, dad.

It was that same visit that it was time for the next term of school, and when I went to get my financial aid, I couldn't get enough. I was crying, and my father said, "F*** them. Get in the car and come to Atlanta with me" (he lived there briefly).

So I did. I packed my things and moved there. Like, right then.

In the car, I had brought cassettes, but my father had only one. It was the Beastie Boys, who I had never heard. He said, "You play your tape, then when it's my turn, just put in that Beastie Boys tape."

By the time we were out of Ohio, all we were doing was flipping that Beastie Boys tape over and over. She's crafty, and she'd just my type. I still love that song.

The living-in-Atlanta didn't last long, but I do have a memory of dad wanting me to go out one night, and me not being in the mood, and him doing an interpretive hula dance with him pantomiming drinking and laughing and having a gay old time.

I went.

Had we both consumed 50 salt licks apiece? Bloaty and his daughter, Miss Bloaterson, request the honor of your presence. And bring a container of Morton's, will ya? With salt.

Dad and I both lived in LA from 2000 till 2007, and that was fun. We took many road trips together, including the one we took to Colorado to the Mike the Headless Chicken festival. I participated in the world's longest chicken dance, and I think technically I am part of a world record. You knew you were here for a reason.

Dad was mostly in it for the fried Twinkies, and also he wanted to see the firefighters and police play football with a raw chicken, which we did. I kept worrying the whole town's police and fire would have salmonella and be out of commission. Because I'm breezy and fun that way.


Anyway, happy 84th or 64th birthday, dad. Here's to many more. Don't start eating healthfully and exercising now, it'd probably kill you.

And don't sleep till Brooklyn.

83 thoughts on “No sleep till…BROOKLYN!

  1. That is totally sweet! The relationship you and your father have is totally awesome; I wish I had that kind of relationship with my father. You are a very lucky woman. 😀
    God bless you daddy and wish him many more to come.


  2. Ah, how could I forget Jacobsen’s, seeing as it was based in the city I grew up in? Best hot chocolate ever, we used to go there before catechism on Saturday mornings.


  3. And I know I put every at the end of my post about proof reading, but I have the fibro fog. It makes one do crazy, crazy things.


  4. I would like to mention two things:
    1. Happy B-day June’s Dad
    B. Are you on the Topamax again? with the lack of proof reading your post?…………..
    (sorry, I’m a bit sensitive about lack of proof reading at the moment as I just bought and started reading a book by one of my favorite authors, and due to the number of proof reader errors, the only thing keeping me from sending it back with everything they missed marked is the fact that it’s signed. Cue end of longest comment in parentheses every.)


  5. A great tribute to your dad. I loved the photos, especially the one of you on the pool table and the one on your wedding day. If your hair is that white and beautiful let is go natural, girl. I vote for the pool table photo for the wall at your new job. Look at the bottom of your feet and that bat on the pool table.


  6. You wrote a very touching tribute to your dad. Any Hallmark sentiment would pale in comparison!
    It couldn’t have been any more perfect, timing that is, when I logged onto your site the advertisement on the left was titled “What Makes a Father Special.”
    I hope your dad has a very special birthday celebration!
    Take plenty of photos tomorrow! :O)


  7. June, I can only imagine how warm and fuzzy your dad must feel, what with having you say all those lovely things about him. Kinda makes me want to burn down a hotel and sing “When I’m Sixty Four….”


  8. Jan Hey, June's Dad... if you're looking for a birthday date, call my aunt... she's still in your area....

    Your dad reminds me of my favorite chef, Jonathon Waxman. I am semi-obsessed with Jonathon, I hope I don’t transfer that over to your dad. Because how embarrassing would it be when your dad tells me I’m too old for his liking and I just keep asking him to make me a bowl of pasta???


  9. Tiffaney who's fresh out of wit and vigor today, thank God I don't have a blog because otherwise I'd surely be harassed by Carin

    Happy Birthday, June’s Dad!


  10. Hulk (Who takes Hulkette to all his softball and basketball games, and even though she doesn't really watch them, he hopes she remembers...)

    My dad watched sports all the time too. Whenever I walked in and asked him who was winning, he’d always say, “The team with the most points.”


  11. Great pics, June! Happy Birthday to your dad, looks like he can still have some fun!


  12. Yeah, Hulk, my ex-best-friends cat lived till 25, as well. Anyway, Pal from MA, I remember your dad used to whistle, and be totally NOT in the basement on weekends, and Id think, God, what is WRONG with that guy? He is so CHEERFUL. Why doesnt he swear?


  13. Happy Birthday, Dad-of-June!
    You definitely won the most-fun-Dad competition. My Dad? Plays golf. That’s about it. Oh, and he was a radio announcer, which was cool, but it didn’t make him fun. Sorry, Dad!
    Anywho, Hulk? My neighborhood friend when I was a kid? Her cat lived until it was 25! And it was an outdoor kitty! HAH!


  14. Happy Birthday June’s dad!
    I see where you get the thick, wavy hair from! Your dad sounds like fun. Beastie Boys are awesome and I have my kids listening to them now. How weird is that?!


  15. Happy Birthday to your Dad! He sounds like alot of fun! When I was growing up, I didn’t think my dad as fun. Now looking back he was fun I guess I was just too young to appreciate it.


  16. Fried Twinkies? Hmmmmmm…i may just have to give that a whirl!
    Your dad sounds super, and dooper, and fun fun fun.
    Great post.
    Happy to dad!


  17. It’s like we have twin lives! Your dad listened to the Beastie Boys and my dad listened to Tennessee Ernie Ford!
    Happy birthday June’s Dad!


  18. Happy Birthday, June’s Dad!
    I got a little verklempt about you taking your small glass into the basement and your dad sharing his coca-cola with you. That was just sweet. Then I misted again when Uncle Jim had to discreetly rescue the gerbils.
    Wonderful, sweet, touching. Perfect tribute.


  19. My dad looks like Kenny Rogers too!
    I love your family June. It sounds like there is never a dull moment around your dad.
    Happy Birthday, June’s dad!


  20. I Loooove Beastie Boys! And I loooove your dad, now!
    Happy 80 whatever birthday, June’s dad.
    My dad used to say, “What are you going to remember years from now, the good time you had or the sleep you got?”
    Dads who know how to coax you into fun are the absolute best.
    Great tribute, June.


Comments are closed.