My Dad in Plaid

My dad is a thin man, not very tall, with bony white bow legs which are offset by his clean-shaven face, sharp, handsome features, and hair dark as charcoal. What stands out from the many childhood memories I have of Dad are the brown-and-orange plaid swim trunks he wore for nearly fifteen years until they became tattered and thread bare. Friends and family teased him about how ugly they were, which always amused him.

Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, Curse of the Double Digits, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon mysteries

Pam, Me, Cindy, Aunt Clare, Dad
1969 – Crestline, CA

His comical disposition, silly ad-libs, and impersonations triggered countless giggle fits as I was growing up. Tick him off, though, and the quake of his roar turned my insides to Jell-O. My four siblings and I didn’t want to give Mom the slightest reason to threaten us with, “Wait till your father gets home.” Just the thought of his booming rebukes send shudders through my veins to this day.

Dad’s always been agile and seemed to master any sport with ease. This stems from his adolescence when his stepfather barred him from participating in sports because of Dad’s small frame and a fear he’d get injured. He weighed a whopping 117 pounds at age 19 when he married my mother.

Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, Curse of the Double Digits, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon mysteries

Dad’s 80th Birthday – February 2013

In February, he turned eighty. An official octogenarian! The swim trunks, symbolic of Dad’s glory days, faded long ago, yet bits of his youth remain, for his hair is still shiny black with a tad of gray. Boyish expressions light up his face when he entertains us with wisecracks and quips, and he plays tennis twice a week with the gumption of a young jock.

Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, Curse of the Double Digits, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon mysteries

Cover of an altered art book I made for my parents. These are childhood photos of Mom and Dad.

(View the entire altered art book here.)

Dad married my beautiful mother 61 years ago next month. They raised five children who have blessed them with sixteen grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and more to come. I’d say we have many reasons to celebrate today.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Not many 80-year-olds can dance like my father.
This video is from July 2012 when we celebrated my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.

Do you have any special memories of your father or a loved one you’d like to share with us? What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day?

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18 Responses to My Dad in Plaid

  1. clay says:

    enjoy your day with your dad…

  2. Aw, what a wonderful ode to your dad! I loved this, Lynn.

    • Kristen – What a wonderful surprise to see you here! Thanks so much. I’ve been thinking about you, and Kathy and I are looking forward to seeing you at your book signing and launch. We’re super happy for you!

  3. What a lovely tribute to your dad! Your dad being skinny reminds me of both my dad and my FIL on their wedding days…both gaunt and skinny fellas. So glad that your dad is active at 80! I think my dad (who’ll be 80 in 4 yrs) will be active too. My FIL had a stroke when he was around 75 and from then until he died at age 86 this year, he couldn’t be very active which was a bit hard on him. I hope you’ll enjoy a wonderful day with your dad!

    • Teresa – I’m sure your dad will be just as active when he’s 80. That’s so sad about your FIL having a stroke which kept him from being active. You’ve had a rough year as far as losing loved ones. I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day!

  4. Yvette Carol says:

    Thank you darling, for sharing your pictures, and stories, and memories of your dad. It was a wonderfully well-written and engaging post. I especially loved the pic of your dad on his 80th – the cheeky twinkle in his eyes says it all!
    My dad’s famous for his jokes, you’ll be mid-conversation, something serious, and the next minute you realize he said, ‘the priest walked into the bar and…’ He’s built up quite the reputation as a joke-teller, you know he has the voices, the right nuance and knows all about how to use the dramatic pause 🙂
    But dad’s line he says most often is, ‘I’ve been so lucky in life; that I met your mother, have a beautiful family, and I came to NZ (and found the lovely land they live on now)’ No matter how difficult things get in his life, he remains grateful, and it’s his example I try to follow.
    lots of love, Yvette

    • Yvette – Thank you! I bet you learned to tell jokes from your dad, huh? That’s where I learned, but I have a hard time remembering the punch lines these days! I bet your dad and my dad would have a good time sharing favorite jokes! I love what your dad says most often. Wonderful man! You are blessed.

  5. I think your dad looks rather spiffy in those swim trunks! Hope you and your family had a great day, Lynn!

    • Kassandra – Hahaha! You made me laugh with the “spiffy” comment! I agree, he did look spiffy in those trunks. I hope you and your family had a good Father’s Day, too!

  6. Jennette Marie Powell says:

    LOL @ those orange and brown swim trunks! But hey, that was in style in the 70’s. I had my dad and mom (whose birthday is tomorrow) over for a steak dinner last night, which they always enjoy. Hope your day was as fun as it sounded!

    • Lynn Kelley says:

      Jennette, Yes, I guess that was the style back then. They’ve probably been in and out of style again since the ’70s, too. Glad you had a nice get-together with your folks.

  7. Aw, lovely post, Lynn!

  8. Diana Beebe says:

    What a great post, Lynn! Your dad is awesome.

    My dad had plaid golf pants in colors I dare not describe. 😀

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