Monday, July 13, 2009

inherited no. 2

my father, wearing some really unfortunate pants

as i was considering what sorts of things i might include among this collection of inheritances, i realized the list was getting quite long (and grows still). which is a nice feeling, actually, to be surrounded by things that once belonged to people i love. i thought i might begin with a most meager of inheritances, a letter from my father to his parents, scrawled in little boy cursive handwriting on tissue thin tracing paper. i should also say that, somewhere along the line, i became the treasurer of all the family photos and documents. not because my mom didn't want them, but because i pretty much demanded control of any material goods that preserved our familial history. (and now they're all labeled and filed away in acid free envelopes with family trees hand drawn on the back. and no, i don't need therapy.) i can't imagine life without all of these smelly old papers and crinkled photographs. if i didn't have them, i wouldn't be able to post embarrassing photos of my father on the internets.

this letter from camp reads: "dear father and mother, i am enjoying my stay here. i bought myself [a] davy crockett t-shirt and two dragnet pistols. [ed. note: pistols?!?] monday i rode ponys [sic]. tuesday i rode [a] pony and went to a picnic. wensday [sic] i went to stone mountain and the zoo. i took pictures of stone mountain and the animals in the zoo. i am a member of the davy crockett club. because davy came to atlanta. i am also a member of the dragnet club. i will bring doug [ed. note: his older brother] something back if i can. your loving son, scott p.s. i'll be coming home shooting and yelling."

ah, just what every parent wants to hear. also please note the artfully drawn floral motif directly above this threatening postscript. i love this letter, of course in part because it's a window into my father's childhood, and who doesn't enjoy that? but it's also that my father's letters to me when i was a child are one of the few things i have left of him. i can confirm that his correspondence remained charming and spunky, even forty years after he penned this epistle to his parents.

and because it's awesome, here is my father mounting what appears to be a triceratops:

i am feeling a bit self-indulgent (i guess i should feel that way by virtue of having a blog), but feel free to rein me in if i get too indulgent. xoxo.


  1. This tickles me, it's so good.

  2. "I'll be coming home shooting and yelling" is my new favorite line.