Friday, March 1, 2013


Dad in high school

Several years ago, one of my favorite blogs dedicated their daily posts to fathers (sorry link is not currently working). Each woman had another unique and beautiful perspective on their own fathers or the ones in their lives. Those posts inspired me to write one about my own dad. And what better day to do it, than in honor of my dad's 78th birthday?

Dad, his sister Marva and his brother Jay
Duane Lyman Bishop grew up in Salt Lake City, UT, born several years after the Great Depression, but into a time that was still strongly feeling the effects thereof. His parents were hard-working, industrious and profoundly faithful people who determinedly raised their 10 children to believe as they did. They were strict about the rules and although they did not have much money, theirs was a house rich with love. I never got the impression from Dad or his stories that they ever really wanted for anything of significance.

According to Dad's stories, in fact, his childhood was a constant adventure. His left-handedness was the cause of repeated mishaps and injuries (and later scars) and the source of my favorite "Dad" stories. He has, of course, many other stories. There's the one where Dad & some of his siblings decided to use oil-based brown paint to paint a little toy boat and got it EVERYWHERE in Grandma's clean house and all over their nice Sunday clothes. There's the one where he used his mother's best sheets to see if he could fly off the roof. The one where he was disciplined by a substitute teacher for humming in class by being shut in a closet.  In retaliation, he found a rope and tied the door closed from the inside and refused to answer to her knocks and pleas until he was "rescued" by the fire department who had to remove the door from its hinges to let him out.  Hahaha!  I still love that one.

Dad has always had a great love of music, specifically classical and opera. Because he was always playing classical music in the car, one of Dad's favorite games was to quiz his children "Okay, what's playing, who wrote it and when was it written?"  9 times out of 10 we would make some lame attempt that involved Mozart or Beethoven.  To our delight, we were more often right than deserved.  Dad's love of opera, I think, heavily influenced my own love of story. Much like my cherished memories of listening to Mom read me books as a little girl, one of my favorite memories is of listening to opera with Dad and having him tell me the dramatic and often tragic stories behind the beautiful music.  Some of my earliest memories included the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet and Tosca by Giacomo Puccini.

Dad has always been the best counselor. Serving as bishop to the congregation of our Latter-day Saint ward (congregation) for more than seven years, he was a source of strength, support, counsel, love, dedication and service to many more than just myself.  As my dad, he was the one I called for advice or comfort, especially when I was first away at school.  Even over the phone, he always had a way of making me feel like things would be alright.

Dad has always loved games and introduced us all to lots of different games like Panjandrum, and Tuxedo.  He tried to teach me chess as a little girl, but that one didn't stick.  (Sorry, Dad!)  He loved Trivial Pursuit and used to carry stacks of cards around in his pocket so that he could quiz himself at a moment's notice, if he ever had down time.  In fact, I remember seeing him reach into his shirt pocket a time or two to quiz himself during Sacrament Meeting!  Well, at least he was learning something, right?  Dad never shows mercy when it comes to strategy games.  This was a source of major frustration as a kid (Who am I kidding?  I still find it frustrating!), but it taught me how to be a little more cutthroat and crafty when I play games.  This has come in quite handy with my favorite game of Carcassonne -  a game I think I've gotten Dad hooked on too.  I now realize this could be both good news and rather frustrating news.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should have reconsidered...  Nah!

Dad is one of my very favorite people in the world.  He is absolutely one of the very best people that I know.  Happy birthday, Daddles.  I am proud to have you as my father, my counselor, and my friend.  I love you very much.

This song is a bit sappy, but the sentiment definitely hits the right spot for me.  You'll always be my father and I'll always be your joy.  (Well, one of them.)

1 comment:

Heather S. said...

I love your dad's love for rocks and geology. Happy Birthday to your dad!