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Dad and Dad Dad

Forty one years. We met in Spokane. I had finally gotten out a unhealthy, personality destroying relationship in California. I wasn't going to get involved with anyone else, but play the field. This after all was before AIDS.
I'd been coming into Spokane from my families ranch at Tonasket, WA to pursue my flying lessons. I rented a room from some friends and one night we went to Jack's Nighthawk tavern. A man in a business suit, rolled up newspaper and briefcase came in the front door and ordered a beer. I asked my friends who that was. "Oh just some guy who stops in here for a beer."
So I made it a point to be at Jack's at about that same time. I saw him come and go.
One night though he came and sat at the bar near the pool tables and I sat next to him and we started to talk. Now forty one years later we're still talking.
He'd just gotten divorced from his wife of eighteen years. He had three daughters, the youngest had just graduated high school and was soon to be married.
We went to his apartment and soon I was spending my Spokane time there. He also was adamant about not getting involved and finally accepted his being gay.
Soon I met the girls and we got on famously. But Dad needed to tell them about his being gay. The oldest was soon to have her twenty first birthday. We invited her to dinner at a fine restaurant and he told her. She was like Dad I know. And so it went with each successive birthday girl.
During the course of life together each daughter has lived with us. Our youngest conceived our grandchild while living with us.
Early on when we got cards, they'd be addressed to Dad and Dad Dad. Sadly we lost our youngest to a rare brain disorder. But have the joy of the remaining two. And as an end note. His ex-wife and I are chums. I think we are a family in every sense of the word.

September 07, 2012



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