Monday, July 28, 2008

I just hope it's in the genes

My indefatigable 81-year-old father got up this morning at what my friend D calls dawn's early crack, hopped into his little 18-year-old Holden Astra and drove 200 kms, up one coastline and down the other, to attend the funeral of a man who lived on the next farm up the road when they were both children in the 1930s. No doubt at the burial he did a bit of surreptitious checking-up on the state of his own grandparents' and great-grandparents' graves.

Somewhat to the relief of his wife and three daughters, he's opted to stay the night in a coastal town about a quarter of the way back and drive the rest of the way home tomorrow morning, rather than drive a total of over 400 ks alone in one day with a funeral and fair amount of social catching-up in the middle. And an hour ago I got a text message: 'Good trip, excellent socialising, now propping up the bar. xx'

18 comments:

ThirdCat said...

Do you know, that's just made me cry. A lot. But in a good way, a totally good way.

So, you know, all those 'no one keeps diaries, what's with these blogs, there's no poetry anymore'...they're not right.

Thanks, PC.

ocky said...

champion...

Ampersand Duck said...

I hope it's in your genes too. I'd like to be reading a blog post about the bar-propping you did last night when you're 81.

Elsewhere007 said...

I'm impressed.My mother refuses to learn how to text.

Pavlov's Cat said...

3C, I'm very glad it was a good way.

Ocky, yes he is. Grumpy, unreasonable, and increasingly deaf -- but nothing defeats him.

&D, I hope to be still blogging, if not bar-propping, when and if I get to 81.

Elsewhere -- yes, he has mastered texting and is about to move on to the intertubes. God help us all.

tigtog said...

Indefatigable is the most perfectly cromulent word. I hope to be indefatigable, curmudgeonly yet compassionate when I reach 81. Cheers to Papa Cat and all who sail in him!

Mindy said...

What a wonderful Dad. I hope he is still texting and propping up the bar at 91, 101, etc.

Mummy/Crit said...

I loved this post so much I had to read it out to the beloved over the breakfast table. Kinda like reading bits of the newspaper to each other, but more 21st century. His mum is 80, and similar, but hasn't got the hang of her mobile. We're working on it.

innercitygarden said...

Earlier this year the Bloke and I drove from Melbourne to Warrnambool in a day for a funeral. God I wish we'd been able to stay the night and do some bar propping, we were wrecked all the next day. I think that amount of travel in a day shouldn't be contemplated by anyone over 21. Your Dad, as the kids say, rawks.

kris said...

Will he start a blog do you think?

Ann O'Dyne said...

what a star!

Jen at Semantically driven said...

I know the feeling of driving up and down that coastline all too well and unfortunately I've also done it this year, albeit for someone much younger! I wonder which bar he propped up?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Jen -- funeral service in Pt Vincent, burial in the Curramulka Cemetery, post-funeral socialising back in Vincent, I think, and late afternoon bar-propping in Ardrossan. I think he must have done a fair bit of bar-propping in Ardrossan back in the 50s and 60s when he was trucking the wheat to the silos.

Kris, I don't think he'll start a blog, but at my request he has written up a couple of guest posts about being a kid and a teenager and a young sailor in the 1930s and 40s and we are still negotiating a day when we're both free (hah) so he can come to visit, choose pics, watch me write up the posts and approve of them before I upload them.

M-H said...

I'll look forward to the posts you upload for him. I'm hoping to see more of the capturing of oral histories on teh interwebs. So many of them are being published through council grants etc and they sink without trace. And I agree with 3C.

Anonymous said...

A sailor in the 30s & 40s? Did he know Flexmore Hudson then?

the feral abacus

Pavlov's Cat said...

I don't know whether my dad did, but my friend D (she of 'dawn's early crack') used to teach with him at Adelaide Boys' High, back in the day.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Hm. I've just checked the WW2 Nominal Roll for Hudsons in the RAN; there were 35, but none of them had Flexmore as a first or second name. Are you sure he was in the Navy?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my confusion; I was thinking merchant shipping. I recall being told by a couple of his former students that he'd spent some years working on coastal ships.

'Tales From Corytella' has a frontispiece photo of Flexmore '...at the wheel of the Schooner "Coringle", during a hurricane...' Looks remarkably poised given the conditions.

tfa