Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Day Tribute to: The Admiral

The Admiral's icy gaze of disapproval.  Man, if I had a nickel...
Just look at the fella in the picture. Pity him, for he has endured no small amount of nonsense from yours truly.  Good guy, The Admiral.  Puts up with a lot.

Here's a tribute to The Admiral, the guy who has been in the role of "Dad #1" for at least the past 36 years that I'm aware of.

The Admiral is A Business Man.  As I understood it while growing up, this meant leaving for work very early each day in a mid-priced sedan while wearing a suit and tie, carrying a briefcase, and working with an incredible number of people named "Bob" and "Bill" and "Jim" and "John".  Lots of people out there named "John", it seems.

But all of that shuffling of paper and making "harumph" sounds that I imagine he and his colleagues must have been making all these years never meant The Old Man didn't make it to games, plays, disciplinary meetings with teachers I was irking, etc...  And he always made it home in time to deliver a particularly long and boring lecture when I'd screwed something up, good guy that he is.  When I was a young lad in a scout uniform, he helped lead Cub Scout troops when my mom had finally had it with smelly boys, when math became a bit much he did homework with us, and did all those other things dads supposedly do.  And he was not afraid to tell us to knock off the damn noise when Jason and I were hitting each other with pieces of furniture and performing other acts of destruction.

The Old Man has an appreciation for antiquities and/or stone boobs
Before I paint too good a picture of him, he was shit for teaching me anything about football or baseball, and I had to learn that all from friends and school.  But he was okay with at least posting up on me in driveway basketball.

I don't know exactly what my earliest memory is of my dad.  I have this memory of assembling a train set with him when I was very little.  And, of course, evening after evening The Old Man made an appearance at the table as the only one who did not have milk with his food (he always had this gross iced tea).  Sure, I also believed my dad could reconfigure himself into a newspaper with legs that sat in a recliner in the living room (a newspaper that would tell us to "knock it off, people are trying to read here"), but, anyway, dude was around, is the point.  He did the fatherly thing up all proper.

Much like the Karebear, the Admiral did not screw around when it came to keeping us on the straight and narrow.  We had expectations on us, and much like Pa Kent, The Admiral was there to make sure we knew we were supposed to not be crooks and liars but we were to use whatever tools we had for making the world a better place.  Its only decades later, of course, that you find out that not everybody's folks are like that.

A lot of dads blessed with a child like The League would probably just shake their head and sigh in despair (I was a weird little kid, I've been told), but I think The Admiral basically got and gets the whole comics and superheroes thing, and I know he's had no small amount of enthusiasm on his own for sci-fi, fantasy and adventure tales over the years, even if he processes it differently.  The man is still an avid viewer of SyFy and all sorts of action flicks.  From small times, he took me to see all three Star Wars movies in the theater, Last Starfighter, Buckaroo Banzai, etc...  and these days we'll hit Thor together, and I'll occasionally even find him picking up my comics and reading them if he thinks nobody is looking (he asks lots of questions about Power Girl). 

But mostly one appreciates the fact that I've got a dad that never thinks his son is some sort of weirdo for having a living room full of Superman junk, because most dads would be judgey, I believe.

Now, if you want to get on The Admiral's good side, I recommend you find a place for a nice meal and a better bottle of the vino.  The man has good taste, and will rarely turn down a glass of a decent red (but he'll send back a bad one, so no Mad Dog for this fellow).

The Admiral and an unidentified friend
As far as Dad's go, I did pretty well in the lottery.

After decades as A Business Man, The Old Man will be retiring this fall.  We're looking forward to his westward migration here to the greater Austin area where he and The KareBear have already picked out their HQ.  It'll be great having them both here, and who knows what sorts of madcap schemes the The Admiral will concoct once he's a permanent resident?

I have no doubt many of those schemes will be aeroplane related.  He's an aviation buff in much the same way I'm a comics nerd, and can talk all about planes when you get him started.  I know shit about planes, but I try to keep up.

Anyhow, happy Father's Day to a great dad.  I'm sorry for all the property damage, that whole "I'm gonna go to film school!" thing, and, uh... well, the list is pretty long, so let's just take it all in stride.

Me and The Admiral at the British Museum.  I'm the one on the right secretly wearing a "The Flash" t-shirt.
So, a special Thanks and Attaboy to The Admiral, The Old Man, Mr. Won't-Raise-My-Allowance-and-Account-For-Inflation, Old Windy Chaps, Professor Makeupfactswhenyoudon'tknow.  We salute you on this special day, because Hallmark, calendar makers and a small branch of the US Government probably thinks we ought to.  But we like you well enough, and we're going to make sure people know you're a straight shooter.

Happy Father's Day, Pop.  We love you and think you're an okay guy.

1 comment:

Steven said...

A fitting recognition!