this was the only photo of my dad that i could find just quickly and while it's an odd one in a way it fits pretty well.....
thats dad with the rumpled hair and liam, who he taught to play, on his left (some unidentified bald guy between them)
dad is seventy today (happy birthday!!) and we dont do birthdays in grand style, which is a good and a bad thing but anyway, i thought it was a good time to tell you a bit about the old man.
dad spent his working life as a technician working in telephone exchanges, first for the PMG, staying through corporate identity changes to telecom and telstra. telephone exchanges are those strange big brick buildings with few windows. they seem secretive because they contain relatively few people, being full of equipment. nobody seems to come or go from them too much and nobody knows what happens inside. i'm here to tell you it's lots of technical electrical stuff, lino floors and noticeboards full of jokes and safety bulletins.
i have a vague picture of what dad did all those years but of course his work was his place and i can only imagine what it was really like.
i do know that dad's workmates would have been subjected to his dad jokes, only there they would have been "john jokes". i would think that my own workmates would probably regard my jokes with a kind of pained affection similar to what dad would have been given.
i know, too, that they would have heard him hypothesise and philosophise ( i suppose thats where i got it)
they would have known his measured responses and they would certainly have known his love of music, brass band music, in particular.
dad has played cornet for most of his years, he has taught and he has played with various bands, he has played the calls at anzac services, he has played at funerals where a little music made a lonely end a little warmer.
banding is dads great love and he has given wholeheartedly to the bands he plays with, always present and punctual, uniformed and rehearsed.
oftentimes i was embarassed by dads intense interest in folks' ethnic backgrounds and squeamish about him making generalisations based on heritage but if you can't beat it, you join it and dad's continual interest has rubbed off onto me. my interest extends to food in particular and i am always secretly pleased if i manage to impress somebody with my knowledge of their food and/or culture.
oh yes, dad "blessed" me with eccentricity, with his bone structure, with his humour and with a need to see the english language well used. (actually i got the double whammy on that)
he also taught us to appreciate music and not to feel intimidated by a serious concert at a serious venue, he taught us to be reliable team members and to look for the oddities and ironies in life.
i could go on but i am nearing the end of my cohesive thought (i wont try to examine the origin of a short attention span!)
(but no thanks:)