20 June, 2010

Father's Day: A List

I received the most incredible and unexpected email today from one of my oldest, dearest friends David Fetzer.

Three things I miss about your Papa:

1. Hearing him shout "Fetzer!" either from across a room, or hallway, or on the other end of the phone, in the background.

2. His talent for singing ever-so-subtly off-key.

3. His crazy infectious perma-smile, especially in the context of watching his daughter when she performed on stage. Which I did get to witness.

Thinking of you both today.  =)

* * *

It inspired me.

- Burger flipping in home movies

- Turning up the volume full blast on the television and marching to the University of Michigan “Hail to the Victors” theme when they scored.

- Running in the rain.

- Driving to Chicago to get Jeremey Catterton for Christmas.

- Our favorite game: 20 turns (every time you get to an intersection you choose left, right or straight ahead— after 20 “turns” you find yourself someplace new and do something fun!)

- Seeing Beauty and the Beast.
- and A League of Their Own (he loved both musicals and baseball— these cinematic experiences stood out)

- Driving to Interlochen in 1998 to see the Academy and listening to the cast recording of Ragtime. Whilst stopping at the gas station the “New Music” intro began playing and Dad, in typical Dad fashion, changed the script eeeeeeeeever so slightly… in what would have become a classic family line he spoke along with Brian Stokes Mitchell “..this is called, RAGTUNE…” Ragtune? RagTUNE?! Totally straight face. Amazing.

he had a heckuva Jerry Lewis impression...
- Prom with Bill Bradley:
I was a young Freshman on my way to Prom with a senior boy who was a little too fond of me for my taste, and the three of us had talked about sort of lightening the mood when he came to pick me up. My mother and I  were absorbed in the girl stuff and so off course did not catch the fact that my father had decided it would be really a trip if he dressed up in a full tuxedo (with no shoes) and greet Bill, my date, at the door. When he opened the front door, he look at Bill and said, “Hi Bill... ya look good... Al’s not quite ready yet.... let’s go for a little drive.”
They drove around the block and talked a bit and I think after Bill got over the initial shock of how strange this was, he realized it was through humor that my date was lightening the moment.
    Of course, as Bill and I left the house, Dad had mysteriously disappeared, and as we were about to get into the car, my Dad popped out of the bushes in the tux and screamed
    “HAVE A GOOD TIME!!” Whereupon he continued to dance around barefoot as we pulled out of the driveway.

- Playing frisbee with the popular kids. It went like this:

Freshman Al: Hello, Silber residence.
Popular Senior Guy: [awkwardly] Hey Al, this is Popular Guy calling.
Freshman Al: Oh. Um, hi Popular Guy, what’s going… on?
Popular Senior Guy: Well…
Popular Junior Guy: [calling from the background] Ask him *Number 1*! He said! He said to call! He said he’d play!
Popular Guy: Eh, sorry that was *Popular Junior Guy.*
Freshman Al: I see.
Popular Senior Guy: Well, we were calling because we were just hanging in the park and wondered if...
[Al thinks momentarily “Ohmigod the popular guys want to hang with me…”]
…If your Dad wanted to play Frisbee with us?


Popular Junior Guy: [yelling from the background] will he come?!
Freshman Al: Let me… um… get him… one second…
Popular Senior Guy: Well, we’re actually… like down the street can we just come over?
Freshman Al: Eh, sure. I’ll get my Dad.
[Hangs up. Calls upstairs] Dad!
Dad: Yeah?
Al: The Popular Boys wanted to know if you want to… play FRISBEE with them…? Did you say you’d hang out with them? [disbelief]
Dad: …well… yeah. Can I go? I promise not to say anything embarassing. I’ll be really cool I promise!
Dad: But Al I really want to play frisbee! Pleeeease?
Al: Oh God FINE.

[Doorbell rings. Al answers door…]

Al: Hey.
Popular Boys: Hey.
…Is your Dad home…?
Al: Yeah.
Popular Boys: …Cool…
Al: …okay…I’ll go get him…

[Al turns around and sees her Dad right beside the door looking really really cute and anxious to go and play with the boys. Like a kid.]

Oh go ahead Dad heavens sake!
Dad: Thanks Al! See ya!
Popular Boys: Later Al.

…[Al. Alone. My Dad is more popular in high school than I am… Awesome.]

- Family vacation to Mackinac Island

- Seeing Camp Tanuga

- Peeking from backstage and watching his illuminated face during his first viewing of my high school performance of She Loves Me


  1. My great honor to have known him :)

  2. he was amazing....

  3. love to you...and michael.

  4. AnonymousJune 21, 2010

    He "sees" you and is missing you too. Hugs!

  5. Now I am...:)

  6. YOU, were his masterpiece abd how rewarded his efforts have become!! Such a wonderful, positive, gentleman!! xo

  7. i miss him too, he was amazing

  8. Al, I'm sending you warms hugs right now. I enjoyed your dad, and you must know how proud he was of you!

  9. I remember your amazing Dad, and miss him as well. ::hugs!::

  10. love and hugs to you, he is always with you:)

  11. I LOVE the last photo of the two of you!!XO

  12. what a wonderful man xo

  13. Dawna KuhneJune 26, 2010

    Al: read all your comments about your lovely Dad! Do remember fondly the tuxedo/Prom night!!!!He truly was one of the most wonderful guys I ever have had the pleasure of knowing! Thanks for the laughs and memories of him! Love, Dawna



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