I am participating in #SOL2018. Thanks to the twowritingteachers blog team for their hard work and dedication to this annual March event. Slice of Life provides all of us with a wonderful writing community – a chance to write, read, and respond to others.
This week I received a notice from the City of Philadelphia about three outstanding parking tickets that dated back to 1994. They were tickets my dad had acquired, but not really. Sounds like my dad – parking illegally and ignoring the tickets. Or he would have asked me to pay the fines. Or he would have asked me for money for something else, and then would have paid the fines.
But in 1994, my dad was 87 years old and not driving anymore. He did still own a car, or maybe one too many. My dad always had a fleet of used cars. A neighbor would sometimes make conversation by asking Dad if he was a car salesman or manager of a used cars lot. But no. He sold insurance and real estate and for a long time, had a little office in the 6900 block of Ogontz Avenue where my mom forbade us to visit.
Getting back to the tickets….Well, here it is 2018 and I’m going to have to drive downtown to take care of the tickets. I will have to bring a death certificate to prove my dad passed away in November 1997. I cannot mail it; I have to go in person. Really?
How did he get those tickets? I can only surmise that he let one of his many “friends” (that is not what I would have called them) borrow his car. I do not remember what make or model it was, the color, and certainly not the license plate number. But I am almost certain it was Tony, who borrowed Dad’s car and, of course, did not care where he parked since he wasn’t going to have to pay the tickets. No, ultimately that task would fall to me.
Once again, it is my problem, falling squarely into my lap. Thank you, Dad. But really, I am not surprised or disappointed or angry. In fact, I am smiling as I write this. He was quirky and often did not know how to step up to the plate and play the fatherly role. But he had a funny sense of humor, loved animals the way I do, made a great corned beef and cole slaw sandwich on Russian black bread or rye, and sang songs with my mom (Dad did the harmony) all the way to Coopersburg each Sunday where we had dinner with my mom’s parents. And he loved when we addressed his birthday card envelopes with “Daddy”.
Dad loved us, and we loved him. We miss him. He was our dad. So these parking tickets? They made me remember Dad and all the crazy things he did and all the good things, too. It’s just another Dad story I have to tell, so I’m actually grateful.