Wednesday, February 1, 2012

7 days of Bob: Say hi to "Poopsie"

Dad turns 70 on Tuesday, February 7 .... 7 days from today.

So ... what better time and excuse to provide 7 days of tribute to the inimitable Bob .... teacher, singer, golfer, editor, world-champion television-sports watcher, grandpa, unpaid family historian, advisor, quiet man in a sea of loud women and, like anyone who has made it to 70 successfully, so many, many more things.

You'll see tributes to the man in this space for the next week.  I've asked some other family members to chip in with their thoughts.  My older sister Kristin, a paralegal in Minneapolis, the girl whose birth made him a father back in 1971, goes first.
*    *    *

"For some reason that I can’t recall, I’ve always called my dad “Poopsie”…. I’m not sure when it started, but it had to be when I was in elementary school.

Not long after I learned to type, at least with two fingers, I was trying to figure out a way to finagle something from my dad … probably cash for some purchase that I wanted to make.  In an attempt to butter him up,  I worked up my request on one of the old Smith-Corona typewriters in the office and headed it with the now-immortal:
“To my dearest, darlingest, most wonderful, most handsome, most fabulous, amazing fantastic POOPSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
(And yes, with that many, or more, exclamation points.)

Bob signs the final paychecks at the
Towner County Record Herald --
Dec. 2008 retirement party
I can't remember if my sucking up got me what I was seeking. But what I do know is my dad kept that typed note of flattery taped to the lamp at his desk at work for, truthfully, decades after I wrote it.

As editor of the county newspaper, Dad was able to satisfy his love of (almost) everything sports-related by being a constant fixture at the sidelines, courtsides and bleachers of most every high school sporting event in Towner County and beyond. Even though my sisters and I were might have rolled our eyes at it, he got a real kick out of the high school kids calling him “Scoop” – it was a title that he wore with obvious pride.

How Dad survived 20-plus years of being the only male in an entirely female-dominated household, I don't know. Even our first dog was a female. I have to give him lots of credit for putting up with my sisters' and my mother's mood swings, our petty disagreements, innumerable ballet costumes, prom dresses, hairspray-soaked bathrooms, and silly dinner table games.  (Frequently we would be sitting at the dinner table, already eating, when he arrived home from work, and rather than happily greet him someone might whisper “let’s go hide in the garage” or “let’s pretend we’re all asleep” or “let’s say body parts backwards and try to guess what they are."  Sinep, anyone?)

Dad – my "Poopsie" – is one of the kindest, most loving and most wonderful people I have the privilege of knowing .... even when he doesn’t bid on the King of Clubs and it's the last hand of Backstreet Bridge.

I wish him nothing by love, joy, laughter and happiness as he turns 70 years old. I feel very blessed to have him in my life.

Much love now and always, 

No comments: