Sunday, April 18, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY





Today would have been my Daddy's 71st birthday. He passed away when he was 46 years old. And I am sad because even though I have looked through a whole bunch of boxes I can't seem to find a picture that defines him.

My Daddy had salt and pepper hair and Paul Newman blue eyes, so handsome... he was the most charming man I have ever met. He was quiet and sat back and listened while others talked, unless he was playing a practical joke (usually on me).

It was because of my Daddy that my family moved to Florida. His company was transferring him to Puerto Rico. So he got on the first airplane he had ever traveled on to check things out. He had a layover in Miami and had to stay on Miami Beach (not the South Beach of today, but the pastel, crumbling building, live flamingos in the lobbies of hotels Miami of the '60's) and he fell in love.

Daddy returned to Pennsylvania, quit his job and we all moved to Florida. Our life? the beach EVERY SINGLE Saturday and Sunday. Going to the Ft. Lauderdale Airport to watch the planes. It had two gates, arrivals and departures.

My Daddy was a business man, an interior decorator and later a VERY talented florist. But those things did not define him.

His happiest moments were sitting quietly in the elaborately tropical backyard he created, it was a work of art. When you went to Daddy's house, you sat outside, whether it was 50 degrees or 100 degrees. He shared the Updegrove philosophy that you don't go in the house while the sun was still shining. And with him, you often sat outside long into the night.

My Daddy had a short life, way, way too short, but he had a full life with a huge amount of people who loved him dearly, I was one of them.

2 comments:

Leah said...

Your daddy is watching over you. Happy birthday to him. xoxo

Writing Without Periods! said...

Ah, your dad sounds so great. I love your photos.
Mary