Today is Father’s Day, so I posted this picture of my Dad as my Facebook status. It generated much interest (and a few questions), so I decided to blog about it.
My parents, both of whom I lost during this last decade, were . . . unusual. They were a pretty typical mom and dad in most ways, but they were also Hams with a capital H. For example, they loved to go on cruises that had costume contests, and for every talent show at their retirement village, they’d dust off an old vaudeville routine to entertain their neighbors. But the highlights of their entertainment career were definitely their “performances” with Don Ho.
Mom and Dad weren’t rich–Dad was a school principal–but they were careful with money and after retirement, they were able to spend two months every winter in Hawaii. They adored Don Ho and at one of his shows, Mr Ho asked who in the audience had been married the longest. At nearly 60 years, my parents won the contest and were invited on stage. Don Ho didn’t know what he was getting into when he asked the old dude in the pink leisure suit and the elderly woman in the muumuu to join him. Dad started telling his jokes and Mom did the hula without waiting for an invitation. The audience loved it so much that Mr Ho invited my parents back. Again and again.
Even after my parents could no longer travel to Hawaii, Don Ho didn’t forget them. When Mom was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack, he called her to wish her well, impressing the nurses no end!
I probably have some of these details wrong (in which case my brothers and sister will be along to set me straight), but I think you can get a pretty good picture of my parents from this post. My siblings and I are all into the arts in some way–writing, art, theater, music–and we often say that “we don’t know where we got it from” because our parents never pursued any of those creative avenues. But maybe it simply boils down to a desire to entertain. That we come by naturally.