I’ve not been able to directly say Happy Father’s Day since 2001; that year I think I was on the road in Australia and he was home in Florida hanging out with cancer, before passing away in August. I had brought him  an Aussie belt

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

My mom ended up sending it back to me in a box of other special items, and I’ve worm that belt almost out in the last 9 years.

So given a lack of direct communication, I spent an hour riffling through old photos and memories…

Our lawn was a source of pride for Dad, and after years of various push mowers (and I did my own fair share of pushing), one of his dreams came true when he bought himself this little riding mower. IN fact, his email address included “lawnman” in it.

Dad did sure enjoy eating steamed crabs (and I am living proof of genetics), and many a summer night, as this one from our annual August trip to Ocean City, was a marathon of crab picking and claw hammering.

I recognize this smile from the older photos of me as a child- here it is again in a photo with his first grandson.

That smile says a lot to me. I can feel it.

Even with a much smaller lawn in Florida, Dad still got his work fix in tending the gardens. He did pretty well planting the tops of pineapples and later harvesting new ones that grew out of the plants. In fact, a few times, his pineapples were stolen!

My Dad was not extremely verbal, but his actions said a lot, but more than that, it was always a known that he was there for me, no matter what.

So while Dad’s not here, he is here.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. My father passed away in 1998. I got a call from my mother. I asked what I could do. “Just come,” she said.

    I took the bus from Brandon through northern Ontario, overnight in the dead of winter, to arrive in a couple days and in time to be there.

    I’m glad I was able to achieve some kind of reconciliation before he died. We were ICQ buddies, and would chat about all manner of things. I finally got to meet my father the tinkerer and inventor, rather than my father the father.

    I had long known that this day would come, as he had been on transplants for something like 20 years. I guess we all know, in our different ways, that it would come.

    After the funeral I gathered by brothers and cousins and we went to a bar in South Gloucester. And as I had long planned, I stood up, called for everyone’s attention, and told them to drink a beer to my father, because he was a good man, and should be remembered.

    My father’s birthday was in June, matched up with Father’s Day. My mother’s is in May, matched up with Mother’s Day. It’s hard not to think as a chile that this was all pre-arranged, when it works out this way.

    But I don’t think of my father on father’s day. I think of him every four years, during the Winter Olympics, to commemorate that long dark journey through the cold and the snow. Knowing that there were many possible worlds in which I would not have made that journey, would not have met my father, would not have ever reached a reconciliation.

    People who say the internet doesn’t touch people personally know nothing.

  2. Hi Alan,

    You probably don’t remember me – but I met you in Hobart Tasmania at one of your may workshops you gave in Australia on the “50 ways”. Our organisation is still talking about that session and getting inspiration from it. I think it really showed us (in resource development) that it is important to plan for your resource and carefully select from the variety of tools available to us the one which will best suit our needs. After all there is a plethora out there and they all have their own unique features.

    I am posting today to let you know I am still following your blog – many years later (I’m kind of a lurker) and that this post is really special. I enjoyed listening to your story.

    I agree… there is something special about your Dad’s smile – it’s infectious

    1. Hi Jacquie,

      Your comment is the highlight of my month; it reminds me of the value of being connected. The Hobart workshop was memorable in many ways, for one, it was the very first one of the Australian tour I did in 2007, and I can never forget the energy of the 60+ people who were there. Thanks for writing!

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