Friday, March 01, 2013

Keep Calm and Kick Argentina's Ass

Random Stories About My Dad, Vol. 1

Remember the thing in the Falkland Islands, back in 1982? I was eight years old, I barely remember it -- it's one of those sort of hilarious* "wars" that was baffling to Americans (because we weren't in it, and all we care about is wars that we're kicking ass in, USA! USA! USA!) and over before anybody really got a grip on what what was happening. 

So, I don't know, but my dad -- who for purposes of this blog, I'm going to call Robert Nathan Fox -- must've been at loose ends that spring and early summer. He was a writer who worked construction of all types to pay the bills, so both the work and the money had their ebbs and flows and riptides and eddies and cataclysms and whatnot. He was super into the Falklands War, and he -- so therefore, we -- came down reaaaal heavy on the British side of things. I think that despite his affinity for Latin America and Spanish speakers globally, he sympathized with the Brits on grounds of the Old Order, the Right and Proper, the Empire on Which the Sun Never Set -- very taken with that sort of prim yet romantic faded grandeur, he was. I remember Sunday lunches at my grandmother's (his mom) where he'd read the latest news of the war from the Ft. Worth and Dallas papers to us; quizzes on the former colonies of the British Empire; scoffing at Argentina's upstart stupidity in picking fights with Mother England, who taught "these Nazi-hiders" everything they knew about civilization. Or something like that -- I was eight, I was heavy into Garfield at the time, so who knows. 

One day, we even made a Union Jack -- my dad cut up a sheet*** and brought us some huge wide-tip red and blue permanent markers (provenance unknown, like every other thing he ever brought us), marked the stripes using his drafting table and engineer's precision, and set us kids to colorin'. We flew it outside for the duration, then it hung in his office upstairs, where it hangs still. I can't look at it without thinking of the way he could carry people along on the tide of his own enthusiasms, make them think his was the only true and right way of seeing a thing, at least for awhile, and somehow get more color out of life than most people were accustomed to seeing. Rule Brittania!

*A lot less hilarious when you realize, as I did when reading this Wikipedia article, that nearly a thousand people died in the course of its 74 days, ugh. 

**When they got paid, that is, which was a pretty erratic and unpredictable occurrence, which is one of the root causes of me feeling insecure around people who came from money, and more specifically came from financially stable households -- no wild swings up, down, sideways, just knowing that the mortgage would be paid and there was enough cash for food in the house because at least one adult in the house had a job that came with a paycheck on the reg. My Psyche: You Din't Ask, But I'm Tellin! 

***Which if he followed true Dad Form, was likely one of my mom's good, new ones. [facepalm]

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Blogger francine said...

I kind of want to cry I loved every bit of this so much. Fantastic writing. I hope you put this into a book so I can buy it and show it to my friends. I need to know more about Robert Nathan Fox!

5:42 PM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

You are, once again, too kind! More tk as they occur to me ...

11:29 AM  

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