Davis, de Havilland, Flynn, Cagney, Bogart ...

Davis, de Havilland, Flynn, Cagney, Bogart ...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Know Where You Are, Dad...


This record album is one we had when I was a kid.  "Where Are You?" is still one of my favorite Sinatra songs.  We used to make my Dad pose just like Sinatra, arm over the face, cigarette held just so ... I swear, he looked just like him that way.  Dad would sometimes pretend he was annoyed when we clamored for him to pose, but he was such a ham, and he always did it for us.  He did everything for us.  He adored my Mom and devoted himself to her and his seven kids  He was a good writer and photographer, a devout Catholic who worked hard to put us through Catholic school.  He taught me to love reading, Shakespeare, classical music, and started me on my life-long love of classic movies.  He was wonderfully funny, with the kind of dark and intelligent wit I've always liked the most.  He was like ... well, like Robert Preston in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Clifton Webb in Cheaper By The Dozen, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird ... all rolled into one.  Shakespeare always says it best, it seems ... when Hamlet describes his dead father to friend Horatio, he says, "He was a man, take him for all in all.  I shall not look upon his like again."

My Dad, Don Barnes, died in 1978 at the age of 52.  The youngest of his well-loved children was only 15.  The absence of that powerful presence left its mark on all of us.  We all knew how lucky we were to have had such a father, and his place has never been filled.  When I think of him, I remember what went through my head the day he died.  I thought of it because I had learned it from him.  It is what Horatio said to his dying friend, Hamlet, "Good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."  Happy Father's Day, Dad.

24 comments:

  1. CB - what a fantastic tribute. You suceeded in putting a lump in my throat.

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    1. Just something I wanted to do for him...

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  2. What a nice way to remember your Dad, Beckers. Father's Day need not be a sad occasion provided you have all those wonderful memories.

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    1. There are so many happy memories, Ivers.

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  3. A lovely tribute. Thanks for sharing your memories, and your love for your dad.

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    1. Thank you so much ... he was very special.

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  4. That's beautiful, Becky. I'll bet your dad is posing just like Sinatra (just because you liked it).

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    1. I bet he is, Chick! I was so tickled to be able to find a picture of that album cover. It's my young Dad to a T!

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  5. Thanks for your touching thoughts. As a father I always hope that my children will be able to look back and have this nice of things to say about me.

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  6. You know, if you feel that way, you probably are that kind of father...

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  7. Becky, I was so moved by your soulful, loving Father's Day post! Since you're an amazing, wonderful person worth knowing, it's no wonder that your dad was equally as wonderful and well worth knowing. I think that remembering all the good times and all the positive things you learned from your dad is one of the very best ways you can keep his spirit alive.

    For the record, my parents are both gone now (Dad in 1994, Mom in 2009), and unfortunately my dad died of cancer years before our daughter Siobhan was born. On the bright side, we were able to keep a treasure trove of memories and funny family stories in our heads (and sometimes on our blogs :-)) to hand down to her! I'm sure you're keeping your family memories alive that way, too, Becks!

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    1. You hit it on the head, Dorian -- someday I want to make a book out of the blog (I saw something that says you can do that), and give copies to close family members, a remembrance of li'l ole me with some favorite memories.

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  8. A wonderful tribute to your Dad, Becky. Extremely touching. While you only had him for a short time, consider yourself lucky to have had such a great Dad and so many great memories that can never be taken away.

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    1. Thanks, John. I was so incredibly lucky with my folks, and I grateful to God for that.

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  9. You reminded me that our loved ones are always with us. Thank you.

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    1. That's the idea, CW -- and it's true.

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  10. Lovely, poignant tribute to your father, Becky. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Rick. He is one Dad who deserved it...

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  11. A moving tribute to your beloved dad, Becky. You were very fortunate to have him. It sounds as if he was a wonderful man. Well, he must have been, look at you. :)

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  12. Becks,
    There you go tugging at my heart strings again! What a beautiful and moving tribute to your dear father.
    Thanks so much for sharing some of your fond memories of your dad with your friends. (He had wonderful taste btw!)
    Love ya! (big hug)
    Page

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  13. How beautiful, true and heart-wrenching. You have the gift to make a package of special memories, and tie with emotion. Love yourself like Dad loved you.

    Laura

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  15. Thanks Becky for posting this. I never got to know my grandfather. Your post helped me understand what kind of man he was like. Wish I could've gotten to know him.

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  16. A beautiful tribute to your Dad, Becky. Your father tribute came at the perfect time for me.. A couple of weeks ago, my father had a heart attack and had to have a triple by pass surgery. I feel so blessed that he is now on the mend. Whew.. that was close.

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