A Book for my Father

I posted this on my Facebook page November 8, and it resonated in the most unexpected way. While far from the length of my usual posts, I thought it would be nice to share all the same. To say the least, the idea is still resonating in the best way. 


I turned 51 today. I spent most of my time letting that sink in. It’s not so bad. My new age has me thinking a lot about my father. Because nearly every time I look in the mirror these days, I see him.

I’ve had at least three dreams about Dad this week. That seems odd, since he’s been gone nine years. Still, a lot went unsaid between us, mainly because of the Alzheimer’s. I hate that frickin’ disease.

When Dad retired, I hoped to get him into golf. I love the game, and he was showing interest. But the disease got to him first. But we did share a common language already. It was, of course, music.

Dad gave me my passion for jazz. I’m sure it came from hearing his records every Sunday morning. I cover this in my book. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the chapter is called “Jazz Day.” But while I wrote quite a bit about Dad’s music, I didn’t write a lot about HIM. Maybe it’s time to remedy that.

As I put he finishing touches on this book, I’m feeling the need start another. The title in my head is The Notes My Father Sent Me. I want to really look into the jazz musicians Dad loved, and how I came to appreciate them, too.

I spent a good chunk of the late ’80s and early ’90s sending Dad mixtapes of the new jazz I was hearing before I started sending him CDs. Even now, when I check out a new jazz musician or band, I can just imagine how much Dad would enjoy them.

The John Coltrane documentary I just saw pretty much drove the point home. Dad would’ve LOVED seeing it. We probably would’ve competed to see who could name the most songs we recognized. The very notion makes me smile.

I had at least two other books beating me about the head before this idea popped up. And I have a promotion test to study for. Still, I don’t think I’ll be happy until I at least sketch this project out to see where it takes me. The Muse has a funny way of going about things.

I’m not completely certain about what form this potential book will take. I only know it needs to be done. That way, I can say all the things I couldn’t a decade ago.

Thanks, Dad.




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