Wednesday, November 06, 2002

The Carnival

When we went to the outer banks of North Carolina with my family this summer, we had great fun with the word Ocracoke. Specifically, with my father's insistence on pronouncing it "Orchid Choke". I made the analogy that his brain was like a carnival ride. The word pays admission at his ear and goes in, but by the time it comes out his mouth it is so dizzy from being on the rides in there it has no shot of being correctly pronounced.

To some, that can sound like criticism. The thing is, I wouldn't have it any other way. One of the funniest memories I have is of being in a hotel room in France somewhere with the four of us, listening to my father read the fire safety instructions in German. OK, not exactly German. But that's what made it so funny. I think my brother and I hiccuped for about an hour afterwards. Painful, but worth it. Totally. Dad may not have been granted an ear for languages, but in its stead he has been granted great humor, a real desire to help people, and a gift to put people at ease, even complete strangers. We can't go anywhere with him without running into somebody that he knows, and who wants to talk to him at length. People gravitate towards him; he is everyone's friend.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you.

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