My father passed away Monday morning. Having suffered through chemo and radiation treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a very aggressive cancer, he died of heart failure. I am finally crying for the first time today. I feel relief for him, and hope that he has found peace.

He was my inspiration. A physicist with premature grey and then white hair, it was rather like being raised by Einstein. So, when my four sisters and I learned that our father had passed, we compiled this list of the odd, quirky and fun things he did. These are the things that we remember about our father.


I waited each night for Dad to come home, he’d always greet me at the driveway.

Dad modeled parenting skills that I use today – spend time with your kids –if it works, use it and have fun, who cares what it looks like.

Dad ran with me in his business clothes during one cross-country practice when I needed encouragement.

In his funny voice, he’d mimic Mary’s basketball coach “Pass the ball harder next time.” The next pass smacked into the wall and he would crack up echoing the coach “not that hard.” He was so proud of Mary.

He waited in rollercoaster lines for hours. He would talk about physics and I had no idea what he was talking about, but somehow it didn’t matter.

Dad did donuts in parking lots on snowy days when mom wasn’t in the car.

He took us fishing at midnight because that is when the fish were biting.

Dad cut the top off a tree in the front lawn for use as our Christmas tree. There in the front lawn was the stub of a pine tree. The neighbors immaculately trimmed lawns adjacent. He then stuffed the whole Christmas tree in the fireplace and Mom screamed “Louis” while flames engulfed the mantle.

He calculated the cost of heating fuel required to heat a bedroom closet that was left open.

Dad made an entire set of Lincoln Logs, in the basement. He made some lengths that couldn’t be purchased. I literally had the best set.

Dad made new wooden doll beds for us one Christmas on his lathe. He stayed up all night building them.

He played Nertz, spades and other card games with us for hours on the living room rug. He never seemed to get bored playing games.

Dad took me to chess club with him on Friday nights.

He made us bike helmets out of hockey helmets — I was so embarrassed by them as a child.
Dad calibrated the cadence of each of our bikes gears and glued cards with the numbers on our bikes, so that we knew which gear to shift in when he told us to shift.

He took us on 20-mile bike rides until we were exhausted and he had to bike home to get the car and haul our bikes and us home.

Dad ate my horrible cooking while I was learning how to cook. I believed for years that he liked burned food.

Dad said some things that brought me through tough times. 1) If you work as hard at getting a job as you would at the job, then you will get a job. 2) Keep 6 months of bill money in the bank. – that one saved my bacon a few times.

Dad prayed when it got tough.

In loving memory of my father. May his soul find peace and comfort.


Please send your own Dadisms. I’d love to read them.


4 Responses to “Dadisms”

  1. What a wonderful tribute by you and your sisters. Here’s one of my own Dadisms. Around age ten, I started cooking. You might say I started experiementing. I was also into art and painting. So, naturally, I combined my two interests. I put food coloring in practically everything I cooked. One of Daddy’s favorite meals was my breakfast of green eggs and blue bacon. He always ate every bite, never complaining about the unappetizing colors.

    I really miss him. He passes away in August 2005.

  2. Trisha,
    Thank you for making me smile. Green eggs and blue bacon. What a wonderful way for you to express yourself. I’m sorry about your loss.


  3. Memories about my brother, Louis Allen. From his sister, Lois.

    Since I was 14 months older than my brother, my mother gave me the job of “watching out” for him. He did not want me to hold his hand or make him go anywhere! He could do it his self! However, I hovered close until one day walking the mile home from school, a larger boy started teasing and tormenting him. I walked up behind the teasing boy and clouted him in the back of the head with my little blue dinner pail. He ran away but my brother was mortified. He told me to never do that again! He didn’t want the kids to think he was a sissy!

    I took him to school on his first day of school. He was just starting first grade and I was starting second. We had neither gone to kindergarten because it was not free. When school was out, I couldn’t find him. A kind teacher found me crying and asked what was wrong. I told her I couldn’t find my little brother. We looked in his room and my room and then started searching the building. We found him in the kindergarten room, happily playing in the sand!

    He and his brother who was 2 years younger climbed the big elm trees in our yard to the top until they were in the little limbs where I was afraid the limbs would break. The limbs didn’t break and the two brothers spent a lot of time climbing trees!

    We played Tarzan in the back yard through our horseweed jungle. He was Tarzan, I was Jane, our younger brother was Boy and our younger sister was Cheeta! We even had a rope tied to a tree limb so the boys could swing out over the ditch and give their Tarzan calls.

    We played dominoes and card games outside using the cellar door as our table. We went to 5 cent Saturday afternoon movies. Daddy said to give Mama a rest! Daddy was the projectionist. We learned to play cowboys with good guys and bad. I always took my brother down sat on him holding his elbows down with my knees. He couldn’t move so he would holler until I let him up. He got even though. When I was going with the boy who would later become my husband, he (skilled in electronics) fastened a wire to the screen door and promised to shock my boyfriend. He tormented me all day with that until Mama made him stop!

    My family camped with his family and we have so many treasured memories.

    I have oodles of other memories, like when our family of six and our uncle’s family of six and another uncle all crammed into a coup what had a box step sort of thing behind the seat. We sat 4 adults in the front with a baby or two on the laps up there and 3 deep largest to smallest behind the seat. We always got to our destination and when they spent the night with us, the boys rolled up in blankets like Indians and slept on the floor or under the table. What fun! Well do what you want with these memories and maybe you’ll enjoy them anyway.

    Love & Prayers, Aunt Lois

  4. Thank you for the memories, Aunt Lois. I can picture it all.


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