tonight, after andy got home from work, the four of us snuggled close and watched the “world’s strongest man” competition together with many “oohs” and “ahhhs” punctuating the various mind-blowing human strength tests. it is insane how a person can actually pull a firetruck or toss 60 lb. rocks around like they were eggs.
i was brought back to my youth in which i watched the same competition with my dad year after year. we’d clench our teeth, grimace for those who struggled and celebrate with our favorite competitors-lou ferrigno, magnus ver magnusson, john matusak and franco columbu. i (distinctly) recall the very first w.s.m. competition (1977) in which franco was carrying a refridgerator on his back when he badly broke his leg.
despite being exposed to subject matter that was oftentimes not age-appropriate, like saturday night live, pro-boxing, monte python, endless war documentaries and risque films of the era, the important part was that my dad and i shared the experience of what we saw together and the memories that followed. he had never met his dad, and was doing the best job he could at parenting. he was a loving and sensitive dad and i have no regrets. just a bit of scar tissue.
he may not have had the knowledge to edit what i was allowed to see on tv, but i sure am glad he had good taste. i owe my passionate love of documentaries and non-fiction to him and, if he were alive today, i am sure we’d raise a michelob to some u.f.c. and i’d introduce him to some kick-ass documentaries.
love you dad.