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Father's Day radio show unearths gem



shadow
shadow
June 16, 2010
For the longest time my sisters make fun of me because I can't seem to let anything go. Its life isn't over yet.

They see an old stairway banister, I see a plant stand. They see a useless wine bottle and I see something to fill up with herbs and vinegar or a string of white lights. I make purses out of my mom's old aprons and picture frames with pressed flowers.

They get to a point where they joke even about my beloved Fiero—parked for years as it was in front of the house.

"She's going to turn it into a planter," Roseann says. And it's something I actually consider.

This is a long time ago, when I was able to create. To see something beautiful in everything. Another time when I'm someone who I am not now.

Still, back then I have an ally. Someone who also sees possibilities—who helps free the "inner art" of things. He doesn't make fun of my crazy ideas. He actually helps me make them real.

My dad. A man who's made wine racks out of shipping crates and trivets from corks—mirror stands and stepping stools from planks of wood that his father used for something else. Odds and ends he sees something else in. Things my dad keeps in the attic somehow end up as things we couldn't live without. Not only is the work beautiful, the story behind the work is beautiful too. My sisters and I are the lucky recipients of these multi-faceted things.

One day I'm driving down the road and it's near Father's Day. I'm listening to NPR and they're doing some sort of special program about fathers (go figure) and they're digging up all sorts of essays, poetry, and songs. They wrap it up with a song by Catie Curtis—someone I've never heard of and of course I don't listen to the intro too much because I don't know that what's coming is going to knock my socks off.

I listen and wish I was as good a writer. I listen and can sooooo relate. I spend the next week trying to find a copy of the song (NPR listeners know how obscure they can be) and have success at last.

This is long before the Internet. Long ago and in another time where I wasn't able to Google the title and get the lyrics.

The song is called "My Dad's Yard" and for all of you lucky enough to know what it means I encourage you to listen to it with your dad:

It's got an old chair that's got no seat

Cracked snowshoes and warped wooden skis

Hardcover books, pages all turned brown

Dad has a reason for everything he keeps around.

So if you need something when times get hard

You can probably find it in my dad's yard

And if you need hope, if you're coming apart

You can surely find it in my dad's heart.

You never really know just what might be in store

If you go in the barn and open the boxes on the second floor

'Cause underneath the paper crumpled up in balls

You might find a gem or you might find nothing at all

And that's the fun of it, it's that mystery,

And all these things burying other people's history;

You can look at this stuff and wonder where it's been

Or you can pick it up and you can use it again.

So if you need something when times get hard

You can probably find it in my dad's yard.

And if you need hope, if you're coming apart

You can surely find it in my dad's heart.

He can see the beauty beneath the dust and the grime,

He can see potential where the rest of us are blind

He will polish the grey until it shines clear blue

And if you know my dad, well, he won't give up on you.

So if you need something when times get hard

You can probably find it in my dad's yard

And if you need love, if you're coming apart

You can surely find it in my dad's heart.

Happy Father's Day.

Email Catherine at

cminolli@pageone-inc.com

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
Castle Creek
10 - 18 - 17
02:31
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