"Did you know your brother Mike is moving to Sante Fe?" my Dad asks.
"Yeah, next year."
"He's closer to a post office there." Uh, huh. See Mike works for the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Apparently, they don't have post offices there.
"Do you know what Sante Fe means?" he asks. The usual preliminary to a story.
"I don't know."
Well, you have to know my 92 year old Dad. I don't think he has EVER asked me a question he didn't know the answer.
Before there was Google, there was George McGeary. Just ask the Dr.s at St. Charles. He was a legend. I grew up in a house with 10's of thousands of books most of which he had browsed, at least. Facts stuck with him. Genius I.Q. turned to the collection of facts.
Our typical dinner would be a discussion until something came up we didn't know, then it was a scramble to the encyclopedia or dictionary or some other reference book.
I always feared that look he gave me when I said I didn't know something, like -- What kind of idiot am I raising? Of course, as the years went by and I accumulated facts of my own, I realized that there were few if any people who knew as many random facts as my Dad knew.
At the same time, he was a hell of a storyteller and the 'facts' could be --- bent, let's say. Most of us in the family knew when a story he told was being embellished, but visitors to our table were totally convinced.
So when Mom would say, "George!" when he told some whopper, we'd all laugh. And our visitors would look around and say, "What?"
There was always a grain of truth to his stories -- maybe even essentially they were true, just ...you know, fixed up to make them more interesting....
So I was talking Dad home from our weekly pizza this morning in my Toyota Camry, and he says, "Your car is smaller than Linda's...."
"Yep. The smaller the woman the bigger the SUV."
"When I was a kid, they didn't have cars. Horse and buggy."
So, here's the thing. He was born in 1920. So...well, do the math. But we just nod at his stories now, even when they are a little wacky. Which have gotten wackier and wackier.
So I pull out my Iphone, and I say, "This is the same kind of new tech. The same world changing tech..."
Dad is really deaf, so I'm never sure if he understands anything I'm saying, so I tap the dashboard and point to the cell phone.
Anyway, about then, I get an inspiration. I pull over in a parking lot, and while he's saying, "Why are we here? You turned into the wrong parking lot" I look up the meaning of Sante Fe.
I enlarge the words: "HOLY FAITH" as big as I can get them, and show him.
Well, he puzzles that out. Doesn't seem that impressed. And we go on.
What my Dad could have done with Google!
Then again, he might have felt displaced.
2 days ago