Friday, June 15, 2012

Week 4... Dad(s)


Week 4 takes us right into Father's Day weekend and I'm obviously remembering my Dad, who passed 20 years ago.  I had a very good relationship with my Dad and I have thousands of wonderful memories through the years of him, but I want to share just a couple here that stand out for me and I think (hope) might bring a smile.

In 1971, my Dad retired from Ford Motor Company in Dallas, where he had worked for 20 plus years at the Assembly Plant.  That summer, we moved to Houston and found a house in the Sharpstown area.  I was 15 years old.  The following summer, a couple of my friends from Dallas that I grew up with, came to visit for the weekend.  Between the three of us still growing teenage dudes, we had always been and still were pigs healthy eaters.  I will never forget dinner on Friday night of that weekend visit.  

My Mom was making spaghetti, one of our household favorites.  There was great anticipation because we were all so hungry and we loved Mom's spaghetti.  My Dad was sitting at his normal spot at the table (as he often did when dinner was coming), my two friends and I were sitting there as well, waiting.  Mom finally put the spaghetti on the table and my two friends served themselves first and I served my plate and then, oops well, hearty servings and all, there just wasn't much left for Dad, let alone Mom.  The look on his face at that point said it all.  He was disgusted upset and disappointed beyond all reason, but held his tongue because of my guest's.  My Mom scrambled in the kitchen to try and find something else for Dad and her to eat.  

In the meantime, Dad got up from the table and walked over to his favorite chair...  a Lazy Boy Recliner, to wait for dinner #2!!!  Now, imagine the 70's and kitchen appliance colorsRemember avocado green?  Well, that was the Lazy Boy ReclinerRemember jump suits or cover-alls that most older men used to wear all the time?  Well, that was my Dad (OMG).  He sat down in that recliner and in his disgust mood, he must have kinda slammed the side handle back to prop the foot rest up and...  oops again we heard a noise from the table and looked up to see (and could only see):  that foot rest sticking straight up in the air, the leg portion of his jumpsuit falling lazily downward toward his knees, and two of the whitest (untanned) legs and bare feet you ever did see...  just dangling there, an absolute "Kodak Moment."  Another piece of furniture obstructed our view of the rest of him and the recliner, now on its backside.  Now, my Dad, at that time, was simply not agile enough to get up on his own, so the next sound we heard was one I had heard throughout my 16 years (at that time) of living with Mom & Dad...  "Dor-thy!"  My Mom's name was Dorothy.  Most of the time when my Dad needed or wanted something (in this case, HELP), he would scream say "Dor-thy!"  Well, you can imagine the giggles smiles coming from the table, and not because our bellies were full of spaghetti.  A pretty funny visual memory.

As I said earlier, my Dad died in May of 1992 from a heart attack.   Shortly before that, my previous wife and I went to visit Mom & Dad for a weekend.  He had been trying for the longest time to get us to come to Gainesville, about an hour north of Dallas, to go fishing.  Now in retirement, he had bought a small boat and loved to go fishing.  I will never forget turning into their driveway that Saturday morning and seeing him at the front of the garage, now 68, looking thin and seemingly much older than his years.  

I remember us loading up the boat and the four of us driving to Lake Texoma.  With the boat in the water, Dad navigated to his favorite spot to fish.  Now, I'll be honest, I'm not much of a fisherman.  Just something I have not done much of throughout my life.  But on that day, for a couple of hours or so, I was surely on top of the world.  I was fishing with my Dad.  When we put our lines in the water, I swear, seconds did not go by without having a bite on the line.  We reeled in fish after fish after fish to the point that Dad started getting nervous because 1: we were catching too many fish too fast (over the limit) and 2: there was an "inches limit" that we were at times dangerously close to violating and while I could tell he was happy we were doing so good, he was also nervously looking over his shoulder and all around for the Game Warden, not to mention I did not have, nor ever owned, a fishing license.  But the day was absolutely spectacular.  I know my Dad had a good time because he could see I was having such a good time.  Smiles were abundant on that Saturday afternoon (and dinner was awesome too with plenty to go around).  Ha!!!

The following day, as my wife at the time and I left to go home, my Dad made me promise I would come back soon so we could go fishing again.  I assured him I would...  And then in May, I got that dreadful, ever so painful, phone call.  My very first thought (as I absolutely cried my heart out) was I did not get back to Gainseville to go fishing again and how much I was going to miss not doing that with him.  My Dad:  Herman L. Sluder, May 15th, 1992...

I saw a quote posted by a good friend on Facebook this past week from Dr. Seuss that is so apropos for this short story:  "Don't cry because it's over...  Smile because it happened."  Wow!!!  How sweet is this quote?  I'm smiling!!!

I am the father myself of two amazing sons, one now 32 years old, and just recently a father himself for the first time.  The other, now 20, has said he wants to have "a basketball team (5)."  I told him to hang on...  that he might want to consult with his future bride on a number.  She might only want "a tennis match (2)" or maybe just "a golfer (1)."  I am truly blessed by these two guys and could not be any more proud of the men they have become.  They both bring lots of smiles.  And then, well, there are the step-kids that number into the thousands up to 4 and they all have "their significant others" and there is also "munchkin" and now "baby geo."  It's a motley crazy, large crew and they absolutely make the world go 'round for this very happy Dad.

My oldest Son, Justin, and his new "little man"
My 2nd Son, Shane
PhotosHere are a couple of pics of my Dad with my two guys when they were little...  and then one of me with them "all grown up."  ha!!!

My Dad & Justin around 1981
My Dad & Shane, 2 months before he passed

A proud Dad & his two sons (The 3 Amigos)
If you are able, make sure you give your Dad (and Mom) a hug this weekend...

Recipe's:  This week, although simple, one of my Dad's favorite meals to cook was  breakfast and he was a master at milk or cream gravy (I wish I had learned that from him, it was awesome).  But, on the weekends, he would cook scrambled eggs, biscuit's with cream gravy, real bacon, and serve it with some cold milk...  and you just had to cover those eggs with that gravy as well.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Yummm...  And to top it off, my Mom used to make a Pound Cake that my Dad loved and it is absolutely my favorite cake.  Donna has the recipe, has made it several times for me and quite simply, it is amazing!!!  If you like, we are sharing the recipe and it can be found here.

Our "little" Wine Corner:  Hard to keep it full...  :-)
Libations Anyone???This weeks recommendation is coming your way from my "little bride," Donna, who is absolutely the wine expert in our house, so I asked her for a little help in choosing a wine that she has tried before and likes a lot.  Donna chose a wine from the "Hill Country" here in Texas, a Cabernet, and says she really loves the "spicy smoothness" in this particular bottle.  From Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels, we hope you'll check out this Cabernet Sauvignon.

Music:  I love Smooth Jazz and one of my favorite bands features a "funky groove" kind of jazz that is a little different than say, Rick Braun or Chris Botti, both of which I love for their own particular trumpet style.  But I would suggest you check these guys out and enjoy Down To The Bone.  One of my fave's is their track:  Brooklyn Heights

Market Watch:  Now a month into going Public, Facebook opened this morning above 28 and for the first time, is actually showing some life, now down just under 10 points.

The EndLast Weeks post, Having Fun, generated more page views than the previous two by one third.  So, we're building each week and I just want to say thank you and how much I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to check out Slu's World.  I'm truly having a blast putting these together each week.  Have a great Father's Day weekend.  Be sure and scroll down for the extras...

Be safe, be smart, and always smile...  It's "Happy Friday"  



  1. Well said, thank you for the memories. I miss them both so very much. I think they would both be very proud of our families, just like we are. Happy Fathers Day Little Brother, Love You,
    Big Sis :-)

    1. Wow!!! right back at ya... love you (y'all) too and thanks Big Sis.

  2. Very tender memories of your Dad, Slu. I know how much you must miss him. My Dad passed died in 2005, but for over 57 years was a wonderful father to all 7 of us Angelica kids. I am proud to know that you have picked up the best parts of your Dad and are a great father to your own (very handsome) sons. Sounds like your Mom and Dad loved each other very much, just like you and Donna. I am very happy for your good fortune, great memories, and positive outlook on the future for your family. You did things right and your Dad is surely very proud of you. Hugs to you on Father's Day. Your friend, Donna Angelica Scott

    1. Donna, thank you so much for the very kind words and thoughts... and for your "family" as well: ditto!!! have a great weekend yourself, slu

  3. Very funny story Slu. You know I can't remember for sure, but I might have been there and I remember it a little different on the serving side. Your two guests took normal servings, but you piled so much on your plate it was falling off on to the table--leaving nothing for anyone else. HaHa


    1. ha!!! dude, you were there... was wondering if you would see this. not gonna lie... did love me some spaghetti back then. normal??? not so sure, ha... take care buddy.

  4. I LOVE this one. I laughed so much as I read it. I thought that kd had to be one of the buddies there. :-) I loved hearing about you and your dad. So many memories of both of your parents. Loved going over to you guys house. My parents are 83 and soon to be 80 and I think about what it will be like without them and I don't think about long...TOO HARD. Looking forward to reading more. Blessings. Dee

    1. Lots of memories from yours as well... i will never forget all the Church softball memories of both our dad's... thanks


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