Ode to Dad
I’m a Daddy’s Girl
Ever since I can remember I have been a Daddy’s girl. As a little girl growing up in Tropic Terrace, I remember most every night, my Dad would lay on the floor in front of the TV, a couple of big pillows propped against the coffee table (which I believe we still have the table plus the couch in storage) and I would snuggle up under his arm, laying my head on his chest for a full night of TV watching. My favorite night of all was Sundays…at 7 o’clock … Wonderful World of Color (I think “Color” changed to” Disney” later) Sunday night Disney movie (lasted an hour and started at 7 p.m. (I think it started out on ABC and then went to NBC for some reason). We only really had 3 main stations then, ABC, NBC, CBS…later came cable on 44. Anyway, I had to be ready and in position before Tinker Bell got the show started (anybody who is around the age of 50 knows exactly what I mean)… man those were the days…I bet I am not the only one that thinks that way…
Another strong memory I have of Dad and Lou times was Dance class night from Miss Marion School of Dance. At that time, Miss Marion’s studio was in the back corner of Sun Plaza downtown on Hwy 19, where 3 Sisters Antiques is today (with the Wash House Laundromat next door) Mom had a conflict that night, so Dad was in charge of picking me up on dance night. Dance night was steak and french fries night too. He would let me bring a friend home from dance and we would swim while he grilled. Great memories…
As I grew up, I always took for granted the safe secure feeling I had. I was never scared or worried about anything…dad always took care of everything. Even something as silly as locking the house every night before we went to bed…remembering back…I always remember Dad walking around the house locking up…even still today he does the same routine. Is that odd?…I guess not… just made me feel safe.
Dealing with friends…there were many occasions, Christi Allen, best bud and next door neighbor then and now, would come over to spend the night…most of those nights, dad would have to walk Christi home, in the middle of the night, because she decided it was time to go home…ha-ha… he was so good about that. Ha-ha..sorry Chris…just had to share Blessings…
Getting older, I decided to go to school at Citrus High School, my Sophomore & Senior year (transferring back to Crystal River in between). Dad would take me back and forth my Sophomore year because he was the Property Appraiser for Citrus Count and his office was located in the Inverness Courthouse, so it worked out perfectly. It was at that time I took up his favorite sport, tennis. Dad played most anything and played it well. He was the club champion, from what I recall, at Inverness Golf and Country Club. I also became great friends with Brenda Bellamy Blitch when I went to Citrus (better known as Bean to our family). She was also a great tennis player. I improved but not as good as Bean! He encouraged me to take lessons and practice, practice, practice. He was always proud of me, win or lose.
As we grew up, my Dad always insisted on singing the prayer before at our Holiday family gatherings …
Be present at our table Lord
Be here and everywhere adored
These creatures bless and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee….Amennnnnnn…..
My brother Huey always sings most the prayer off key….not sure if he can carry a tune or not because he is always silly during that prayer…ha-ha. If any of the Tolle/Fitzpatrick family reads this, they know exactly what I am talking about…ha-ha…sorry Hugh…but you know it’s true…ha-ha
Dad did just about everything imaginable….from the professional side to the creative side. Being the County Property Appraiser, Bank President, Real Estate Broker & owner, Builder, developer, sang at weddings & funerals, sang in choirs & solo at church, served on Crystal River City Council to the peanut cookie baker, bread maker, re -caining antique chair seats, refinishing antique pieces …and the list goes on and on…but most of all he was just my Dad…my hero …the greatest man I know…I love you Dad! Your pixie…Lou