Meg Tilley Anderson BLOG

      "We've gotta laugh. We swapped immortality for accessories."
      -- meg tilley anderson

Monday, August 12, 2013

Daddy 'Poked Me' From Beyond the Grave

Our dogs just loved my dad. He grew up with dogs worthy of the long stories he repeated whenever we asked.  But he only owned one during his adult life, and that great dane, Missy-dog, stayed at home with Mom while he lived in a apartment to teach at the University during the week or traveled.  At times we couldn't tell if he'd come to visit his house, us, or our dogs.
Birt, our newest house dog would've been especially enamored.  We've been taking him to work with us at our office/studio.  Although we provide rawhide chew sticks to keep him occupied, Birt prefers paper towels and napkins out of the office trashcan.  If Daddy was still around, Birt would have a handy supply at every table and in every chair because Daddy left a trail of tissue.  Whenever Daddy wiped his beard clean he'd put the napkin in his pocket so he'd have one to go with the rest of his kit, a pocket sketchbook and pen. And there's a limit to how much a pocket will hold.
Last weekend I finally got around to moving obstacles from the concrete pad in front of the ancient garage we use for storage.  In 1997 we had hurriedly  unloaded a mess of 16ft. long heart pine boards torn out during renovating our buildings where the office/studio is now.  We'd planned to return that week with a crew to put the wood up on racks and then use it for sculpture crates.  The strong young men who worked for us soon moved on to other jobs, and then the European Union passed a law that all wood shipping crates must be stamped 'kiln dried'.  That put that project on the back burner. For 16 years.  True, most of the wood had been eaten by termites and I could throw it on the truck by myself, but enough boards were heavy enough for me to welcome having two teenagers to direct.  Troy and Ka'Harie have been helping me clean up all the abundance ever since they moved to Parrott three years ago. It has been a long list.
With visions of "American Pickers" invading the garage, and room to park and fill up (finally! because we re-cycle) our curb side trash bin, the first storage item I got rid of was Daddy's suitcase with summer clothes.  I remembered seeing him in each shirt, pair of pants and even the turquoise swimming trunks, on our trip to Mexico the summer of 1966.  That trip was before he discovered guyaberras. Those were distributed to family members when he died in 2005. All these shirts were dacron polyester/cotton mixes no good for rags and too hot for us to wear even if we overlooked the paint stains.  Still, I set aside 2 and the only pair of cotton pants, tan classic bell bottom corduroy Wranglers, knowing it would be a miracle to get out the funky old garage smell.
I put the shirts and pants in to soak over night in 20 Mule Team Borax and Wool Light. 
This morning I finished the cycle on the heavy-duty agitation mode and spun out the water.  I pulled out the pants.  There were little pieces of paper stuck to them.  I checked the right pocket.  Sure enough, an ancient  much agitated wad of paper napkins. 

Hi, Dad!