Friday, January 14, 2011

Many happy returns

I used to meet ladies occasionally who knew my father when they were all in their late teens. They would recognize my last name and ask me if I was my father’s son. When they got confirmation, ancient crushes would rise to the surface. It was always a breathy variation on the same theme: “Oh, he was so handsome ... and such a gentleman.”

I’ve seen the pictures, and he was handsome. (My late mother was extremely attractive, too, which tells you genetics doesn’t always work in a straight line. Mom herself once made a admiring comment to her mother-in-law about dad’s deportment was tartly told, “Of course he has good manners. He was raised at my table.”)

He’s 87 today. Still handsome. Still a gentleman. Still incapable of seeing anything but good in his friends and family. Still utterly, permanently, loudly, and forever unforgiving of anyone who has done any of us dirt. Still too cheap to hire someone to plow his driveway after a heavy snow (oh, my aching back!) But also still generous to a fault to others.

Happy birthday, Dad!


Martin Benedict O'Brien II said...

Hi Mark,

Please give my best wishes to your Dad. I have some fond memories of him.
Happy Birthday Uncle Dick!


Mark Alvarez said...

Thanks, Marty. I'll pass this along. Little party tonight...a glass or two of bubbly.