Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Here's to all you great dads out there! This is my dad, Richard Henderson Howard. You can call him Henderson, H, Henders, Der or almost anything that sounds similar. My dad's nicknames for me have included Cucky, Grippie, the Grip, Monkey, Monk & Champ. I'm still called Champ and I love & deserve it ;)

This photo below is with my great grandmother, Pom Pom (my mom's grandma) in our apartment at Carriage Hill in Richmond, Va.

Below is my dad as a young boy. This is one of my favorite pictures of him. He is not a fan of organized religion, to say the least, so it's funny to see him with this book.

Dad spent his summers as a kid fishing & crabbing in the James River in Newport News. Despite coming from a rather eccentric family, his childhood was pretty close to idyllic. I remember Grandma Howard as a sharp, witty and very pretty woman, while my grand dad, Head (as in head of the household-- really) being hard to know, at least from my young perspective. Dad had one older brother, Morris, who I thought was just the most fun. 

Above, 1968 with his college buddies, clockwise from left-- Bob Arthur, dad, Paul Pascarosa, Bruce Behrman, Bob Hungerford, Donald Butler (seated). Dad remains friends with Donald & Bob, unfortunately Paul died in the early 1980s. My parents met at the University of Richmond, a beautiful campus in Richmond. Below, my dad with Donald, who hosts a wonderful Christmas Eve (eve) Party each year! He's an amazing chef :)

I am very lucky that both my parents love animals. Animals particularly take to my dad. Here I am with our 1st pet, Cubby. I found him while playing outside and because our apartment didn't allow pets, we had to hide him until we moved. I thought that was kind of fun. We always joked that he's the reason we found a house, but think it was in the works already.

This was one of the sweetest dogs in the world, Ricky! Once we moved, our neighbors, the Clements (family of 8) baby sat me during the week and their dog had puppies. I spent each morning with them. I was sooooooo happy we took in Ricky.

Here are Bruiser and Ilsa. These were two beautiful Golden Retrievers we had. Bruiser was another incredibly sweet dog and Ilsa, who meant well, had a habit of eating album covers, toys, magazines, cake, anything she could get her paws on.

This is Jake, a fairly crazy dog, but we loved him & he adored my dad!! A friend of mine found him during my last year of college and I kept him. He had some behavorial issues and an eye injury, so hard to imagine finding him a home. I lived in the fan district of Richmond, attending VCU. On his way home from work, dad would often check in on Jake, especially days when I waitressed after classes. When I moved to NYC, my parents took him for me. They had 3 dogs for awhile. Jake and my dad were best friends until Jake passed in 2003. Now, they have 2 cats, Panda (below) and a funny black & white cat, appropriately called BW. He basically found my dad by coming to the backyard for visits.

Here is our house. I know dad doesn't think I care about the yard, but I am very proud of all the work he does to keep it nice!

Mom likes to take photos of us in the kitchen for some reason, think you can tell in top one that we are pretending to be in the middle of a conversation. Below is a picture of dad in a T-Shirt he designed. He often draws funny characters on cards mom sends & I used Cafepress to have these 3 faces printed out. I call the design "Triple Threat".

My parents have always been great to my friends and my friends seem to enjoy them just as much! This is an old shot with Marshal (far left) & Kelly (right), two close pals from college. Nice puffy, blonde hair-dos on the ladies ;D
Below is my great uncle Tommy who died very recently. I'm happy I found this photo of him with my father in better times.

I've included these photos of my dad visiting horses, because I think it shows his genuinely kind nature. This must be why animals are so drawn to him.

Yep, that's Ashanti!

I have been blessed with parents who have always been involved in my life. My dad is a unique person who speaks his mind, has his own way of looking at situations and has a great sense of humor. I have always respected his opinions, his open-mindedness, belief in equality, fairness and justice.
Finally, I just want to say Thank You Dad...
Thank You for teaching me to swim, to build a sandcastle, ride a bike, write a check, drive a car (including clutch)... Thank You for playing nerf ball at the apt pool, keeping Cubby, taking care of Jake, volunteering as a timer at every single summer swim meet, being an extra parent to my friends, driving me up to NYU in a Ryder truck, honking with abandon in the streets of New York... Thank You for taking an interest in everything I do, being so funny, being a good Democrat, pulling through a tough illness & taking such good care of yourself since, taking care of mom when she needed it most... Thank you for teaching me patience, though not by example ;)
Believe it or not, I think about something you've said to me over the years, almost every single day! I LOVE You! Have a Very Happy Father's Day!!!!!!!!
*Sorry no pics of BW here...


kristine said...

This was so sweet! And thanks to your dad for creating such a nice person who I am delighted to have as a friend.

Allyn said...

Oh go on ;)

ahoward0005 said...

What a beautiful post for your Dad. He
appreciated so much and was surprised as
well. Will send BW's pic soon! Love, Mom

Margaret said...

Great post, Allyn. Curious what it is H. said that you think about?


Allyn said...

These come to mind; "make sure all the lights are out", "close the fridge door", "time waits for no man", "we all end up in the same place"... guess most related to energy conservation & the existential crisis we all grapple with-- upbeat stuff ;D


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