Tonight I would like to share with you the interview I was fortunate enough to get with my Dad this past weekend. Now, please note: I am in no way a professional reporter, journalist, or interviewer in any way shape or form. The reason I wanted to interview my dad was because I realize how important he is to me, and how little I really know about him; so lunch on Sunday was the perfect opportunity to learn a little bit more about the man I call Daddy!!! 😉
Christina: What was your earliest memory?
Paul: I remember my dad coming into my bedroom, and dumping my toybox. He cut a hole in it, and turned it upside down out in the backyard.
C: What was he doing?
P: He was converting it into a dog house for his dog that I just couldn’t stand.
C: Why not?
P: Well, this dog was a bulldog that my dad had brought home. I was on the porch eating an ice cream cone, and he knocked the ice cream off of my cone and ate it. I hated that dog!
C: Laughing – no one comes between my dad and his ice cream! What do you remember about school?
P: I remember getting into trouble in kindergarten because I would always slide into class on my knees, and I remember the teacher calling my mom, and mom giving me a talking too.
My favorite school memory was in first grade. Mrs. Fitzgerald let me draw pictures of ships for Columbus Day. You see, I was really good at drawing sail boats, and she had given me a large sheet of craft paper that I drew three ships on. She hung it right outside of the classroom door so everyone could see it. I was so proud of that picture. Yes, that was a good moment for me.
C: What do you remember about camp? [Side note: my family all went to Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glenn in Boring, Oregon – I believe starting with my dad’s mom; so I know dad started going when he was really young.]
P: My first camp was in 1960, and it was Women and Children’s camp. I was about 5 or 6. My mom, your grandma, was the counselor for the women. Alice [his little sister] and I shared a bed. Some of the cabins had big hospital beds in them back then.
C: What would you do at the camp?
P: Well Grandma eventually became the Camp Director for the Women & Childrens’ camp and she would bring people to come in and teach the women important life skills. For example, this woman came in and brought in $20 worth of groceries and not one piece of junk food. She taught the women how to grocery shop on a budget in a healthy way.
C: Ooh, that is really cool! That is so awesome that she did stuff like that.
P: Well, I also remember being 5 years old, and she dressed me up like a pirate, and she dressed Alice up as a princess. She made me sing ‘the Pirate and the Princess’ in front of all of the women. I was terrified, I hated to sing in public. I also remember she smeared some burnt tree soot from the fire pit on my face to smudge a “beard” on my face. I hated that because she would have to scrub and scrub until at least 5 inches of my face had been scrubbed off. The next time she made me wear the soot it was for another performance, but this time it was for ‘Barnacle Bill the Sailor’ and that time she took it off with cold cream. Ew – that was WORSE than the scrubbing!
C: Now, that sounds like grandma!! HAHAHA!
P: Yes, and she made me perform every year after that.
C: Tell me about your first date with mom.
P: It was at A&W.
C: Of course.
P: Yes, she wouldn’t let me spend hardly any money on her. She would let me get her a root beer float, and that was it.
C: That is funny, it doesn’t really sound like the mom, I knew.
P: No, she more than made up for that later, but that was the way she was in the beginning. She just had this funny way of not letting me buy anything for her, which made it difficult when I bought her wedding rings not once, but twice.
C: You bought mom 2 wedding rings I didn’t know that?
P: Yes, that is what got me into trouble.
C: What happened that you would get into trouble for buying a wedding ring?
P: The first time I met your mother, I knew I was going to marry her. So I told her, and she laughed at me.
C: That is funny, did you know that I laughed at Jason when he said I was going to be his wife??
P: I didn’t know that.
C: Yep, it must be genetic!!! How old were you when you said that to mom?
P: Your mother was 13, and I was 17. A year later, in 1972, I was in the Navy, and in San Diego at the time. There was this place called Tyrrell Jewelers. I had been drinking a couple of nights before, and as I was going through my bag I found this receipt; apparently I had purchased a $400 ring from Tyrrell’s, and it was on it’s way to your mother through the mail. Well, when she got the ring she was so excited that she ran in to show her step-mom, and she immediately was upset, and made my mom send the ring back.
C: She had to send it back?? That’s brutal! Is ring # two the ring you have now?
P: Yes, it is. Well, it was 2 years later, and your mom’s step mom was in the hospital with breast cancer, she had waited a year before she even got checked so, by that time it was terminal. Your mom and I were driving to the hospital to visit her, her step brother, Dale, and a friend of the family, Mike were also in the car with us. When we got to the hospital, I told Dale and Mike to get out. They thought I was kidding, so I had to tell them again to get out and they finally got out of the car. I told your mom to close her eyes and put out her hands. I took the new ring set out of it’s box and gently placed it on her 3rd finger of her left hand. I told her she could open her eyes. She saw the ring, grabbed me around the neck, and screamed really loudly in my ear.
C: I guess that means she said ‘Yes’! 😉
P: Well, there’s more. We found out that your mom’s stepmom, Marion, had 6 months left to live. Marion pulled me aside, and said that there was no way that she was going to let Cathy go live with her “bastard” father when she dies. So she asked me if I was serious about marrying your mom. I said I was, and she said, “no, I mean are you REALLY serious about marrying Cathy?” I said of course! So, she asked if I would marry mom now? I said yes, I would. So Marion sent me out of the room and told me to send Cathy in so she could tell her. I went into the other room, and waited. He then heard mom sqealing in the other room, and they got married.
Ten days later I was on cruise, and 6 1/2 months later I saw your mom, who was pregnant with you, and she was very fat.
C: Dad, you don’t say that about a pregnant woman!!
P: Well, I had never had a pregnant wife before, so I didn’t know what to expect.
C: Well, that is a good thing because she was 16 and you were only 21 when I was born!!!
Ok, Dad, if you had words of wisdom that you would like to pass on for future generations, what would those words be?
P: 1) Stay in school 2) Learn as much as you can 3) Treat other people the way you want to be treated 4) Don’t argue for arguments sake
C: What if you know you are right?
P: Then make sure you have proof.
C: Do you have any other words of wisdom you would like to share?
P: Yes, sweat the petty things, just don’t pet the sweaty things.
C: Ew- Gross, Dad!!!
Well, there you have it! A small glimpse into who my dad is! I hope this is not my last interview with him. We really had a GREAT time doing this!!! He is funny, and charming, and just really a hoot!! I love that Daddy-O of mine!!!!
Aloha nui loa, Daddy!!!
Before I leave for the night, I wanted to share one last inspirational thing that I saw on America’s Got Talent this evening (I watched it off of the DVR), but this little clip had me weeping like a baby – I hope it is just hormones!!! *SNIFF!* 😉
Have a FABULOUS evening!