A toast for Dad

A toast Nellie wrote on the occasion of the death of her father, Aug. 30, 2002

Posted: April 08, 2007

My father wasn't perfect. Dad snored, and even though he tried valiantly, he never knew quite how to dress. Rumor has it, when he was a little boy, someone in authority said to go find out what George Greene was doing, and tell him to "stop!"

My father wasn't perfect, but he had the gift of curiosity and sense of adventure that made being with him just plain fun! He took our mother on her first airplane ride in the 40s, when flying aircraft was a fairly new phenomena. And on their honeymoon on Montauk Point, he dove in the ocean with just a baited hook in his hand, and caught a fish for their breakfast.

When we were little girls in Sea Island, and an alligator swallowed his favorite fishing lure, he didn't let that poor old alligator get away with it. He jumped in the marsh, and caught that darn alligator, and brought it home to mom. In those days, we could ride on the tail gate of a car. We were riding like that in Sea Island one day, when we saw a big rattle snake in the middle of the road, and started yelling. Dad pulled over to the side of the road, got out of the car to look, and Nancy dashed off, and came back bearing a heavy stick.

Dad straddled the snake, swooped down, and grabbed it. We found a beat up old rubber band in the back of the car, Dad wrapped it around the rattler's mouth, and in much excitement, we brought it home to mom too! (She was not pleased. . .)

Life with Dad was like that. He was full of adventure and fun, and continually getting in to scrapes with poor mom. She came first in his life though, and he never let us forget it.' When my sister, Lilah, had her emergency appendectomy in Walterboro, South Carolina, Dad came down to drive my sister Alyn and me back home to Philadelphia. What a trip we had! We stopped; loaded up on fireworks, and when we saw a sign about a Mushroom Factory, we drove in and got a tour.

Dad took my Sister Nancy and me to Coney Island, and gave us the time of our lives! I don't think either of us will forget riding that

parachute. Mama said he was a true feminist.

He taught all of his girls how to hunt, fish, shoot skied and throw ball BUT Lilah was his special fisher woman. (He said I talked too much in the boat, and scared away the fish. . .) He also taught us how to b­ait a line to catch great big snapping turtles in Hook Pond, because they ate the baby ducks. We had to put the turtles in burlap bags... BUT SOMETIMES HE HAD TO GO BACK TO Philadelphia, and leave Nancy, Alyn and I to retrieve them. ( Nancy and Alyn did all the work. I tagged along as cheerleader.) One time the turtles got out of the bag, and under the seat of the car, and mama had to drive them very gingerly to the market.

Dad was a beekeeper a bird watcher, and great athlete. AND MAN! could he yodel. Everything that is good. Everything that is true, and everything that is beautiful I have learned from him and mom. No, my father wasn't perfect, but they were a perfect team.

I'll miss you Dad. We will all miss you. But the strife is oar, and your battle is won. I love you more than you'll ever, ever know. Rest in peace. Amen.

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