Telling on Dad

My dad was a man of simple tastes and simple pleasures. He enjoyed his family and took extraordinary pride in his work and his home. He accepted everyone at face value—in fact, I hardly ever heard him speak negatively of anyone and, when he did, he usually softened the criticism by turning it into a story that was either funny or instructive. By time I became aware of him as a person (with his own dreams, desires, needs, etc.), Dad was so completely engaged in the non-stop pursuit of a paycheck and the demands of family and home that it was (and still is) hard for me to imagine him as a carefree individual. In fact, I suspect the last truly “carefree” day Dad ever spent was sometime before he joined the Army during World War II.

So, I’m happy to share one of my dad’s stories—a tidbit that always made him laugh (at himself) and, to this day, makes me smile. The event occurred in 1964, shortly after our family moved from a small town in North Dakota to the considerably larger city of Great Falls, Montana.

Dad was making his way around town, probably doing errands on his way home from work, and was surprised at how many people were waving and tooting their horns at him. His first thought was how nice it was to be in a place where everyone was so friendly. And being the easy-going person he was, he responded in kind—tipping his hat, waving out the window, and tooting his car horn too. Until, that is, he realized he was driving the wrong way down one of Great Falls’ many one-way streets! Although the “friendly” waves and toots stopped as soon as he made a U-turn so he was traveling in the same direction as everyone else, I think that was the day Dad decided Great Falls was his new home.

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Posted for Sian’s Storytelling Sunday, a first-Sunday-of-the-month meme. This year’s optional theme is Pick Your Precious where we are invited to celebrate the things we love. Feel free to join in with your own story—about a souvenir, a family heirloom, a memory, or something completely different.

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15 thoughts on “Telling on Dad

  1. Oh Wanda your poor dad! I did have to laugh though, sorry but it was funny. Lovely story of a kind man and a funny moment in your dad’s life. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog. Much appreciated.

  2. A lovely story, Wanda…in many places he would have been shouted at…he obviously HAD made a good choice!
    Alison xx

  3. Oh, I love this story – you have captured your father’s personality and character in such a memorable way. This put a smile on my face.

  4. Wanda, What a heart warming story, which speaks perfectly to the period, how a community would express welcome and or concern in such a polite manner. Please take care, Bill

  5. What a lovely story. I’ve driven the wrong way down a one way street or two myself – but can’t say that my fellow drivers were ever so congenial. Thanks for sharing your story, it has bought a huge smile to my face.

  6. Oh that made me smile to think how pleased he was to be in such a friendly place. But then there weren’t any angry shouts – just waving and horn tooting 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Your lovely writing has brought a smile to my face – and a touch of poignant sadness too that his great conscientiousness did not leave much room for carefree. I am imagining a wry smile as he told this!

  8. Oh, I liked this story. From your description, I can almost see him waving and tooting his horn back to the other drivers. Bet his eyes widened when he realized it was a one-way street. Thanks for brightening my day with your story.

  9. What a lovely precious story this is! Its charm has left me with a smile on my face. ..perfect! Thank you Wanda; I’ll be thinking about him tipping his hat as he drove the wrong way for the rest of the day now 🙂

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