Sunday, June 20, 2010

THE MAESTRO

My father was far from ordinary. Other children’s dads were doctors, lawyers and teachers. Their dads went to work in the morning and came home for dinner. Their dads played golf on the weekends. My father was a maestro.

I grew up hearing him play the violin, beautifully. He had a lovely one, with real gold on the pegs, and also on the bow. It had a beautiful velvet lined case, with little pockets for rosin and extra strings. There was a silk lined velvet blanket to cover the violin. When he played, I used the case as a doll bed.

I grew up in concert halls, sitting very quietly during rehearsals, where my father stood on a big podium in front of the orchestra, waving his arms. Everyone in the orchestra seemed in awe of my Dad. I thought it was because he was so handsome. But I knew he was the boss of all of those musicians, and I was very proud.

When my father went to work, it was at night. After an early dinner, he would get dressed. I loved this ritual. First the beautiful white shirt with all the little pleats. Pearl buttons. Black pants with a satin stripe down the sides. Cummerbund. Dad had a few different pairs of cufflinks, and I got to choose which ones he wore. I felt so important. Then the shiny patent leather shoes. And finally, the tails and bow tie, which he tied himself. He was a glorious man.

I hated actually going to see him conduct, because those evenings were long and boring. I got tired of watching him in front of the orchestra after about five minutes. My mother had made it clear that there was to be no twitching, no neck craning, and no noise. I perfected this, but for years afterwards, I hated going to concerts, remembering the constraints of childhood!

My father was magnificently handsome. He was tall, dark, and charming. He was the object of many women’s fantasies, and I think indulged many of them. It made me cherish him all the more, because I think in my childish subconscious, I was afraid one of his admirers might carry him away from us.

The maestro was my biggest fan. He thought I was beautiful when I had pimples. He was the first person to tell me that I should be a writer. He was never too busy to hug, or to listen. We watched “The Tonight Show” together every weeknight. He concocted very interesting late night snacks.

The Maestro died when I was a young mother. I wish I could go to just one more concert. I wouldn’t move a muscle.

36 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and moving tribute to your father.

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  2. What a fascinating and unique father experience. Very well written. I can tell the impression he left on you.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your special memories of your Dad. I lost mine a few years ago and I too would give anything to be able to listen to him tell one of his long and winding stories just once more. Thanks again. Mo

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  4. What a beautiful post. Thank you for this. It sounds like you had a very creative and colorful upbringing. I loved how you put it together.

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  5. Tnank you for this.

    My father was both ordinary and exceptional. He would spin the most exraordinary yarns purely for entertainment value, and would then be deeply wounded when having told me something unusual but true, I doubted it.

    Long dead and still much loved.

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  6. How incredibly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. What a lovely tribute to your father. As to the last line - yes, I know what you mean. I wish, too.

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  8. What a wonderful way to remember your father and for us to remember his as well. Thank you for sharing this.

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  9. This was so beautiful. I'm so glad I happened by.

    Laurita
    Brain Droppings

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  10. Dad's are such wonderful people, and so often we don't appreciate them as we should until they are gone from our lives. I posted your link on my fb page to share with more folks.
    Blessings to you
    okiewife

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  11. I can imagine how hard it was to sit still at a young age, and how you'd be willing to sit still today. These are beautiful memories.

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  12. Thank you. This is beautiful

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  13. A lovely tribute to an evidently loving & charismatic man. A greatly heartfelt piece of writing, Molly.

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  14. Thank you all. I wish I could tell my Dad about this. Love, molly

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  15. Thank you for sharing such beautiful memories of your Dad. One thing that's struck me this Father's Day is how the 'typical Dad, is not always the good Father'. Or vice versa. I searched high and low for a card with my kids for my husband, their step-dad. There wasn't one. Good Fathers come in all shapes, sizes and flavours, don't they!

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  16. You've captured the specialness of your father here. Lovely.

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  17. I love this. Happy Father's Day.

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  18. What a beautiful, moving tribute to an obviously much-loved father. He was very special to you, and you had a wonderful experience growing up.
    Thanks for sharing..I know exactly what you mean about missing him still after so long.

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  19. I love this! What wonderful memories to have of your dad!

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  20. Oh, this is so wonderful ... I know exactly what you mean. I still have my dad, but the ache from the loss of my mother surprises me still. I keep expecting to find the bottom of the well, and it's just not there.

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  21. What a beautiful tribute, Molly! And an important reminder to treasure every moment we have with our loved ones. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  22. Lovely post. Now I want to know what those snacks were!

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  23. Came to read your blog after vegemitevix recomended you. And I'm very glad she did, what a wonderful tribute to your father and a beautifuly written post.

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  24. What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. So glad we stopped by, thanks for sharing your memory of your dad. Happy Father's Day!

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  26. This is very good! I really like it :)

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  27. What a unique and fascinating profession your dad was in!!! Thanks for sharing this!

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  28. A beautiful father's day tribute to your dad, The Maestro. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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  29. of course I'm a bit late to the party, but this is just beautiful. certainly the only way we keep alive the memories of special people is by reminding ourselves of the small details - the pearl buttons, the satin stripe, even the midnight snacks. *Those* are the things that made him your dad.

    What a lovely tribute.

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  30. What a beautiful piece of writing. The way you decribed your father ~ I can see him. Glad I had the chance to read it. Keep writing. jamie

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  31. Thank you all so much. I just wish Dad knew all of this. He would be so very proud.

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  32. I am so happy to have found this, even if after Father's Day. Simply. Beautiful. Thank you.

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