D is for Dad

Go back
Pops, posing on the Central Freeway, San Francisco, CA.

Honestly, here’s what I remember. I remember us driving along the freeway, heading into San Francisco, around about the point where Interstate 80, the Bayshore Freeway, branches off due west and into central San Francisco. I remember us thinking somehow that this sign was hilarious, and then actually stopping the car along the freeway (was there some lane blocked off for road work that made this less insane, and actually plausible? one can only hope), hopping out, the both of us, him going to pose next to the sign (oh, yes, that is a four-plus story drop behind him), and me pulling out my trusty Olympus OM-1 SLR film camera, and taking this picture. Circa sometime in the late 1970s, maybe 1980.

What, exactly, about the sign we found hilarious, I can’t remember now. The thought that: DUH! If you are reading this right now of course you are going the wrong way. Maybe the lack of the article “the,” due, one must imagine, to the exigencies of getting the urgent message across: STOP, FERCHRISSAKES! Maybe also just the stark Puritanism of the statement, generally speaking.

Heaven only knows.

But I know that I have kept this photograph through the decades, a badge of his willingness to pretty much go along with anything that smacked of adventure with his daughters. A sign of his inextinguishable sense of humor. A reminder to try very hard never to take anything, even what seems like the gravest calamity, without a hint of mirth.

 

One Response to D is for Dad

  1. Cardamom November 6, 2013 at #

    Thank you so much for this alphabet of life. As a photographer I get a lot of added pleasure out of your use of the media, the reminiscing about how we used to create images, how we used to live really …
    I wish for your dad that there will be no wrong way, that the turns ahead are as soft as your daughter’s hands.
    And for you that the fact that you were able to travel alongside for so long will be a consolation when the loss comes.

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