The Literal Inheritance of a Father Figure

by ablue

This past weekend I was at RoboGames 2008, standing in a bot building area [commonly called a ‘pit’] and reading In the Beginning. The 220 pound combat bots were throwing each other around, the crowd responding to the action, and small children raced around laughing in excitement to meet R2-D2. My friend Dan popped up on his scooter and laughed “You can read anywhere can’t you?”

My family’s hobby, one thing we all do and could not do without, is reading. At parties there’s usually a point where everyone pulls out their book and we all sit together blissfully immersed in separate worlds and avenues of thought.

My grandfather worked six days a week for most of his life, but if he was home and wasn’t telling stories he was reading. He would read while eating, walking, and settling down for a nap. The happiest hours I had as a teenager were spent with Papa, simply reading.

Usually it was at the claw foot oak dining room table, where we would sit for hours as the light changed, sipping water and eating soup. He always crushed crackers into his while I nabbed the french bread. Sometimes if he was tired he would read on his bed, and I would stretch out on the sunlit turquoise carpet, in case he needed anything. It was wonderful to spend those years with him. When Papa passed away most of what he physically left us were his hundreds of books. Many of the books on my bookcases were his, including the copy of In the Beginning.

When I began it last week I plunged in and didn’t check the front cover. Sunday, Father’s Day, I opened it and found the inscription
To Warren –
Happy Father’s Day!
June 1980