The family storyteller

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.

Chuck Paska, the family storyteller

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved