My dad passed away in 1991, yet I remember him every year on his birthday–of course, he comes to mind many other days, too.
I think I got my storytelling gene from Dad. He was always telling us stories, entertaining my sister and me and our extended family.
When I moved to Wisconsin, I couldn’t hear him telling stories so I asked him to write them down. Dad dragged his feet at first–he said he wasn’t a writer. He only had an 8th-grade education. Eventually, he started writing.
Though Dad wasn’t as good a writer as he was a teller, I’m honored to have some of his stories in print and I do mean in print. That’s how Dad wrote, he printed everything, all caps and only rarely punctuated.
Here’s one of my dad’s written stories that I think is perfect for his birthday:
Layer cake by Charles Paska
I can remember coming home from school and my sister Bea calling me. “Charlie, come here. I want to show you something.”
Downstairs, in the kitchen on the table sat a giant layer cake, at least four layers high and very big around.
“Wow!” I gasped. “Can I have some?”
“Sure. Help yourself.”
“Can I have two hunks?”
“Sure. Have all you want.”
Well, that remark was a big mistake. Sister went upstairs and I stayed with the cake.
About an hour later Bea came downstairs looking for some cake. “Charlie, where did you hide the cake?”
“I didn’t hide it. I ate it.”
Bea could not believe her ears. “What?! You ate it all?”
“Yup,” I said. “You said to eat all I wanted and I did.”
You would think I would have been sick of cake for a while. Sure I was! ‘Till the next cake.
Happy Birthday, Dad. I hope you are getting together with friends in heaven, telling stories and playing music.
Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved