Friday, February 15, 2008

Father and daughter

You never know when you are going to be surprised: two days ago, on behalf of my daughter trying to complete her homework assignment, I asked my father what his first job was. He promptly answered: navy officer, which of course I knew. I also knew he had gone to the Naval Academy straight from high school, as it was his only shot at getting a university degree in Engineering, given his family circumstances.

But for some reason I felt probing a little bit deeper (despite being in the car, at a busy junction, with two rowdy kids in the back, on a squeaky transatlantic connection): Yeah, I know that, Papa, but did you ever worked/helped out in a store, or a farm or whatever before the navy?

Mmmm.., yes, oh yes, I helped fixing bicycles in the bicycle repair shop in the country village I was displaced to during the war, I was interested about bicycles, and the guy fixed my bicycle for free, and in exchange I taught him to read! [pause] Oh, the things you make me remember...

The emotion in his voice was palpable, a rare thing with my father, as rare and precious as a true gem.