When i was a little girl watching my daddy work around the house, he'd let me be in tow (i would hand him his tools and sometimes he'd let me hammer or use the screwdriver).
While I was watching, he was busy teaching me REAL things...usable things that I remember to this day.
After he'd finish his work, wherever we were, he'd reach in his front shirt pocket for his Pall Malls...pull his stainless steel lighter out, clicking it open and watching him cover the cigarette from the wind as he lit it. There would be an engulfing puff of smoke as he lit up ... surrounding his head...his face would crinkle with a squint until he blew out that first puff, usually holding the cigarette in his teeth out the left side of his mouth and speaking with just the right side of his mouth!
Now, I know smoking is definitely NOT the thing to be doing...but it was a part of my Daddy I will never forget--it was uniquely him and I so rarely was around him without his "lighting up"...he's definitely the only "smoky" smelling person I ever wanted to hug...but nothing beat his hugs
....or, when I would get to sit on Daddy's shoulders while rubbing my hand back and forth over his flat top after he had just gotten it trimmed. It felt like a wonderfully SOFT boar's hair brush...I could play with it forever!
If you're not familiar with a flattop, it's very short--deliberately styled to stand up on top (typically no more than an inch or two) and is cut to be flat, resulting in a haircut that is square in shape. My daddy would work on it to achieve his flat surface--using "butch wax" to stiffen the front.
That "butch memory" made me think of another "Butch"...and wonderful memories...
I'm gonna miss Paul Newman who died yesterday, 9/26/2008. He and his wife, Joanne Woodward, are part of my family, too...at least they feel like it to us. When I was a kid we loved watching him on TV and on black and white movies...and nobody could have been better in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID!
And, his Hollywood years didn't hold a candle to his post-Hollywood years...race-car driving and the epitome of compassion and charity...Save me a place at the table, Paul...we'll miss you 'til then!
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.