Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fathers Day...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I know, I's been a while.
No real excuse, just got out of the habit.

Today is Father's Day...I lost my Dad almost five years ago to lymphoma.

So instead of a cookout and a carrot cake (my Dad LOVED Mama Bears carrot cake) it was a trip out to the cemetery.

I took instead another of my father's favorite things,
Jack Daniels Bourbon whiskey. I did a shot with Dad in rememberence of better days. Well, I did a shot...Dad's was poured upon his grave.

That swig of Jack took me back...

Years ago my Dad and Step Mom (who was never like a step to me) used to go camping every 4th. of July week at South Higgins Lake State park. They went with other family and friends and between them they took up about 8 camp sites.

This tradition started around my junior year in High school and continued on for a decade or more.

It was always a great time, I got along well with my step siblings and I went every year that I could.

Our days were spent hiking, swimming, and walking the park. My step Uncle Bob was the "King of speed boating" and always brought the coolest boats!!! He was more than willing to give every and all a ride. My favorite was a black picklefork(hydroplane) with a built 454 cu. inch marine engine that would do well over 80 mph on calm water.

Evenings were spent around a campfire...and with not much else to do, talk and drink. Back then the legal drinking age was 18.

One year there was to be a lunar eclipse during our time there, and of course we were determined to see it permitting.

We were sitting around the campfire as the hour grew late...the younger kids hit the tent. A long day of activities wearing them right out. Finally the womenfolk had had enough, and they turned in as well. Leaving about ten of the guys to drink beer and wait.

Someone produced a half gallon of Jack Daniels, the seal was broken and it started making its way around the campfire.

Now my Dad was a quiet, unassuming man(this definitely skipped a generation)...hardly the type you'd have pegged as an ex-Marine. But as the Jack made it's way around the group, it's effects lubricated Dad's jaw to the point he was becoming quite talkative!

The bottle was well past half empty it's fifth or sixth time around, when it came back to my Dad.

He was sitting next to me on a log we had drug out of the woods, when he lurched to his feet.
He held the bottle over his head and raised a hand for silence. When he had our attention he began:

"I have been a Marine! I've been around this big wide world more than once, and I've been drunk on everything there is to be drunk on! And I'm here to tell ya, there ain't NUTHIN' better than Jack Daniels!!!"

He allowed the wisdom of this to sink in a moment before adding:

"HEY! Something's eating the moon!!!"

At which point our attention was diverted from the virtues of Jack Daniels to the occurring lunar eclipse above us.

That was one of the few times I saw my Dad unresserved, a rare and refreshing glimpse into the uncensored mind of my father.

Sadly those glimpses were too few and far between, and now are just memories.

Happy Fathers Day Dad,
Love You.

Be Well Folks,

Beastly Bear


  1. Glad to see you back Joe! And your post makes me wonder how reserved my kids think I am... Happy Father's Day to you...

    1. Thanks Mary! I don't much Jack do you do?!? Lol!

  2. My dad was very reserved. One time while barbequing chicken we both crossed our limit of gin and tonics and he loosened up. Great night I will never forget!

    1. Great memory joeh, I'm glad you had that night with your Dad!

  3. I just can't bring myself to go to the cemetery at all. My mom gets so angry at me but it's just not something I can do. I'd rather look at my photos and have my memories.

    1. Some people just can't do it JoJo, and there's nothing wrong with that. Remembering the good times and reminiscing over photos seems a wonderful way to remember your Dad to me!!!

  4. Joe, as a fan and consumer of Jack (just did the tour too) I applaud your memories and writing about it. My Dad is 83 this past June 8th and we still have him to talk to and have a drink in person. I know that the years are finite and that he will be gone one day. I treasure every conversation, laugh and agreement on how things can be made better.

    1. Thanks Dave! I hope you have your Dad for many more years!

  5. I can count on one hand the number of times I ever saw my dad drink, and that was only A beer in that hideous, humid, heat of summertime in Michigan but I remember people trying to get him to drink all the time.. We'd go to Christmas parties and someone would shove a drink in his hand and he'd be at the sink tossing it out, rinsing out his glass and pouring pop into it. He'd nurse that pop all night long to avoid someone offering him another "drink." That being said, there are pics of him in his younger days with a drink in front of him or a beer, so I'm sure at some point he did partake but once us kids came along he just didn't. - My dad's been gone since 07' and I miss his every nano second of every day and night.. :(

  6. Really MiMi? Ithought you and your sisters would drive a man to drink! Hahahaha
    He must have stayed sober to keep a close eye on you because he loved you so much!!