My dad disliked “Hallmark holidays” — his relationship with them fell somewhere on the spectrum between apathy and antipathy. But as I’ve built this series (started last week) around Father’s Day — today — and his yahrtzeit, it seems wise to post a particularly meaty missive from Young Harv.
This one lacks an envelope and, as my father was unlikely to put years on his letters and even less so months (he was more into days of the week in his dateline) I have to guess at its timeframe. Judging by his reference to “info on the festival” and who I was dating at the time, I think it’s from fall of 2003 (so, oops, this series is already out of chronological order), shortly after I attended my first of five Burning Mans.
Don’t turn away in judgement, friends. If so, you’ll miss The Harv’s response — the response of a jock born in Brooklyn in 1936 who had a brief boho period in his 50s — to the playa guide and other materials I must have sent him.
Themes visited herein include his weight, lists (there are three! kind of four!), and a more extensive takedown of the Republicans, thereby validating my frequent assertion that, had my dad lived to see Trump’s presidential campaign and ultimate win, it would have killed him. Also included is my father’s veiled likening of me to a mob boss or spy. Once again, all creative spelling and punctuation use is Harv’s.
Dear Stefanie –
I sit here at sunset, watching Mars move upward in the sky, and feeling very close to Cromagnum man (as Mars was this close at this time) — and won’t be this close to us for another 60,000 years. (I won’t be here then, although I might be coming back as a bull in Arizona) (an old Jewish joke).
I make the above declaration as I feel very introspective and wish to set the stage, so you can understand my feelings and therefore understand the inane ravings that are to come.
To tell the truth I never believed in a God (except in times of great danger or personal peril). I believe my soul will go upward into the air & disappear. My soul is contained in the DNA I pass onto my offspring. (God what a depressing paragraph.)
Anyway — I received the various info on the festival. It seems to be a cross between a baccanal and an out of body experience. I have the feeling a good part of it was a Timothy Leary/a nice time for introspection and a good time to meet alot of different people. It must have been a “good time.”
I brought bagels etc. to Danielle’s Sunday, as I had not seen her and the children for awhile. All is well. The children are hale, hearty and becoming real people. (You know, where you can have a relatively normal conversation, as they aren’t transfixed by the boob tube.)
1) Danielle is becoming a blonde, 2) I don’t have to have my eyes scraped, just glasses. 3) Grandma has told me she thinks God has forgotten she is here 4) I have lost 15 pounds in 15 weeks. Not great, but at least my body is going in the right direction. 5) I am seriously considering becoming a citizen of Sweden. The only minus is its cold there for about 9 months a year.
The government (George II, Condalesa Wrong, the VP. Mr. Sec. of State, Arnold S etc etc are breaking my heart (and pocketbook) the way they are leading us down the path of trouble. If this country re-elects the Republicans, cold weather or not I’m off to Sweden.
Thank God for California politics, there judicial system, for that matter anything Californian. It has, or will shortly take Florida’s place as the goofyest state.
I have given up reading new authors, listening to music written after 1961, repealing any changes in our constitution after 1790. I shall spend my declining years reading Othello and Chaucer (in the Olde English). The complete works of Dickens and Mark Twain are next.
Now that I have vented my spleen I feel much better. I don’t know how often my children talk to each other, so I include the latest news. [redacted to keep my family’s business private —ed.]
My life is OK. I’ve got all I need or want. I’m somewhat constrained by Grandma and the responsibility that comes with caring for a 97 year old. At times she is interesting. But more often there “is no joy in Mudville” (Casey at the Bat quote). She never smiles, finds things in life or the world around her interesting or God forbid humerous. And being around someone like that a majority of the time is difficult for me.
You are an extremely reticent child. I don’t know any of your room-mates names [there were SO many —ed.], very little about John [he got the name wrong —ed.] other than he is bearded and a poet. Your job I know a little more about. Who works with you, what your plans are, etc etc is like “if you tell me then you will have to kill me.”
I am telling you the following pearls of wisdom as they are a) tried and true b) well worn cliches (but true) c) gleaned from almost 70 years of experience and d) I’m egocentric enough to think I know everything.
Rule I – I don’t know everything, in fact I’m not sure I know anything for certain
Rule II – Don’t let the bastards get the best of you. In order to do Rule II you must a) take sometime each day & do a nice nice for yourself b) Enjoy the things that happen to you “in your day.” It’s terrible to be older and look back and say “that was a good time (in retrospect)”
Rule III – Be assured that the “bad times” will pass. “The sun will come out tomorrow” is a truism
Rule IV – Your family is the one constant that you know will support you regardless of the circumstances.
And now that I have fulfilled my parental duty (IT’S NOT A DUTY — WHAT’S BEHIND ANY ADVICE A PARENT GIVES A CHILD IS LOVE) I want my children to be happy! I want this for my children knowing how tough it is at times to be happy or find it. Keep enjoying the day.
Well my darlin — must end this as, although Mr. Weather says hurricane Isabel will go north, I don’t believe him. So I shall make my “arrangements” just in case.
Love & a hug