The memory that keeps occuring to me this Father's Day is this one time we went bluefishing when I was a teenager. I was reeling one in on an umbrella rig with multiple lures and snagged a second fish on the same line! I brought them both into our little boat with its' little cockpit and everything flopping around chaotically - The lures with their barbed hooks, two 5 pound blues with sharp teeth that have been known to bite off a toe (we were not wearing sneakers that day), and my dad with his spectacles jumping up and down at the end of his nose, one hand on the tiller, and the other hand wildly swinging a pair of vise-grips in a valiant attempt to crush some fish skulls- all with Andres Segovia's classical guitar blasting from the boombox. This had to be one of the most hilarious, bizarre, and scary moments we had shared together. That day I was glad he was my dad, and I think he was glad that I was his son.
The pic in this post was taken after our last sail together. When the conditions were right, we had developed enough rapport to sail the boat off the mooring at the start, cut a course through the LI Sound, tack back into the harbor, and luff the sails, coasting to a stop with my arm stretched into the water to grab the mooring line. An excursion like this, without needing to turn on the motor, we dubbed a "perfect day." This was a day like that, and a couple weeks before his failed surgery to remove a malignant tumor - he passed away six months later...I don't want to end on a sad note, and after 8 years past I feel no sadness- only gratitude. This is my favorite picture of the two of us. Happy Father's day to all dads everywhere, always.