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IN WHICH THIS IS HOW I KNOW HIM

03/12/2010

A wonderful, moving story by a son about his father and illustrated in photographs: PICTURES OF MY FATHER by Tyler Coates

The first real memory I have of my father is, like most of my “first memories,” actually something that was captured on video when I was about three years old. My father came home on his lunch break, and he walked into the house to find me screaming at my grandmother. Instead of calming me down or telling me to shut up, he instead took the opportunity to capture the moment on home video. So somewhere in my parents’ house there’s a VHS tape with clips of me stomping around my living room and screaming, “Day-day,” which was what I called him until I was about five years old. I think that perfectly introduces the relationship I had with my dad. I always joked that my mother was The Boss. At a very young age I understood that she was the breadwinner; she worked for the Navy as a computer scientist, whereas my father was dispatched around my rural Virginia area from the local Coca-Cola bottling plant fixing drink machines and fountain units.

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