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Father's Day
by Julie Michaelson
06/19/11
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They send
forth
their little ones
like a flock,
and
their children
dance.
[Job 21:11]
*******************
Time: A cool, crisp, October
Saturday morning of 1966.
The smell of burning leaves,
and fresh apples,
are in the air.
Place: Inside a pale
blue, 1961 used Chevrolet;
parked outside
Temple Judea,
Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania.
_________________
"NO, DADDY!
I DON'T WANNA
GO IN!"

(Patient sigh.)
"Well, Mamma says
you have to go."

(Loud, whine:
accompanied by a
weepy sniffle.)
"I HATE HEBREW
SCHOOL!"

(Patient pause.)
"How come your
glasses are crooked?"

"I DUNNO!"
(Sniff.)
(Shrug.)
"I guess they got
PULLED ON,
somewhere!"

"Well.....show 'em to
Mamma, when you get
home. You probably
need to get 'em
fixed."

(Pout.)
(Shrug.)
"I GUESS."

"Well......come on....
is that all your books?"

(Shrug.)
"I GUESS."
(Ten-year-old grimace.)
"I HATE it,
Daddy!"
I HATE IT!"
(Whine.)
"Do I have to GO...OOOOOOO....?"

"Come on........
Mamma's gonna get
mad."

"Did YOU have to
go to HEBREW SCHOOL,
DADDY?"

(Calm nod.)
"Yeah........
I had to go......"

(Whiny voice.)
"Well.......
NONE of the kids
LIKE me, THERE!
They're all a bunch'a
SNOBS! They're NOT
from our SCHOOL!"

(Patient voice.)
"Celia goes there.....
and Stuart."

"YEAH!
But, they're both SMARTER
than me, DADDY!
YOU know.....THAT!"

(Turning around,
patiently,
to pick up a blue
Hebrew school book that
has fallen behind the front seat.
The Chevrolet smells like Pall Mall
cigarettes, dirty kids' sneakers,
dried dusty umbrellas, and
old chocolate bar wrappers.)
"Celia has friends,
there,
Julbie.

"YEAH!
But, she's PRETTIER
than me!"

"You're pretty,
Julie."

"And......
EVERYBODY always
likes STUART! He's
ALWAYS got FRIENDS!"

(Patient sigh.)
"We're gonna be late....."
(Place the blue notebook
on top of a stack of other dirt-
smudged books.)
"How come your books
are all dirty."

(Shrug.)
(Look down at top of
small stack of blue
books.)
(Frown.)
(Grimace.)
"I always PUT them
at the BOTTOM of
my CLOSET......"

(Sigh.)
"Well........
Mamma's gonna get
mad.....
come on."

(Stamp of a size 7 and
1/2 sneaker'd foot on
the small, dirty blue,
passenger-side car mat.)
"Aw,
DADDY!
I HATE IT!"
(Whine becomes louder.)
"Do I HAVE tooooooooo?"

"Mamma's gonna
get mad. Where's
your jacket......it's
supposed to rain,
later."

(Small, dispirited
voice.)
"HERE it IS........"

"What's that big
stain on it."

(Dispirited shrug.)
"KETCHUP."
(Sudden, big ten-year
old smile.)
Isn't 'FLIPPER' on
TV, TONIGHT?"

"I think so.....
'Mission Impossible',
too."
(Patient nod.)
"Okay, Julbie.
I'll see you about 12....
okay? I'll be right here."

"Where YOU GOIN'?
Can I go... WITH YOU?"

(Carefully reaching
for the small, shiny black
yarmulke* from inside sharply
pressed jacket pocket.)
"Shull**;
I'll be back right at
twelve."

"What about CELIA?"

"She'll be here......
waitin' outside..."

"Ya know.....she never
TALKS to me,
DADDY! She's really
SNOBBY to me!"

(Calm nod.)
"Well......go on in.....
I have to go, and
park out in
front."

"DADDY?
Can WE GO PLAY
SOME MINIATURE
GOLF, TODAY?
In JENKINTOWN?"

"Yeah......okay."

"RIGHT AFTER LUNCH?
Just you.....
and, ME?"

"Okay."

(Pause.)
(Big thick glasses
slide down ten-year-old
nose.)
"Can WE GET A ROOTBEER.....
AFTER?"

"Okay."

"OKAY!
And......you'll be
right HERE....
right at TWELVE?"

"Hm, hm.
Right here."

"OKAY!"

"Gimme a kiss."

"OKAY,
DADDY!"

(Pause.)
"Okay.
Love ya,
Julbie."
***********************
The Lord
gave,
and
the Lord
has taken
away;
blessed be
the name
of
the Lord.
[Job 1:21]

________________
*Yiddish: pronounced
'ya/mah/kah'. Skull cap
worn inside synagogue.
**Yiddish; pronounced
'shhhh/ool': Sabbath
services.



In memory:
Julian Michaelson.
I love you,
Dad.


Copyright 2011.

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