By Thomas Garcia
With Father’s Day just around the corner I thought I would share with you all a little bit about my dad, Ralph Garcia.
I remember when I was a youngster, each morning I would hear the water running in the bathroom sink and the closing of the medicine cabinet followed by the smell of shaving cream lingering in the air.
It was 5 a.m., or for my dad, who has gone by Central time ever since he moved to Nara Visa, it’s 6 a.m., and he’s already late for work.
My dad had a routine that I could set my watch by if I actually had a watch back then.
Each morning he would get up, get ready and head out to the restaurant he ran for well more than 15 years. The exact number of years is not known, since my dad sometimes counts the years he worked for the previous owner.
His day-to-day routines were set and for the most part they have remained unchanged even after retirement.
My dad hates the word “retired.” He’d say, “It makes me sound like I’m not doing anything. Like I’m just sitting around.”
Well I can assure everybody that even in retirement, my dad is doing anything but “just sitting around.”
Even when he’s sitting, he’s doing something, like word find or crosswords puzzles. It’s actually kind of cute to see my dad and mom sitting together in the living room working on puzzles. Sometimes my dad will finish and tease my mom by saying, “OK that’s my fourth one for today; you better catch up.”
My dad is probably the only person that makes a nap work. Makes it stick to a pre-determined time between starting the Village Water Well and the start of his afternoon TV programing.
My dad enjoys his TV time that consists of classic westerns and war movies, and shows including “In the Heat of the Night,” “Matlock,” “Bonanza” and “The Lone Ranger.” However, he could be midway through an episode of “Bonanza,” get a phone call and be out the door in an instant to go help with something at the community center or aid an neighbor.
Even his “down time” consists of work as he crushes cans with my mom on the porch.
I keep telling my dad he needs to relax and take it easy, to which he sometimes responds playfully, “Just don’t worry about me li’l boy, I’m fine. Where’s my paper?”
Of course my dad would probably tell you he always gets his paper late, even though his son works for the paper.
Some may know this and I’m sure he will throttle me for printing this in the newspaper, my dad celebrated his 74th birthday on Saturday.
That’s right. My dad is 74 years young still wakes up at 5 a.m. and spends the better part of his day keeping busy.
I don’t think I’d be waking up at 5 a.m., but I can only hope I have that much get-up-and-go at 74.
My dad has always been a man on the go you can ask anyone that knows him.
In fact, as I was writing this column, my dad called to inform me he was outside of the office. He was just stopping by with my mom to see how I was and to give me a Coke and dollar hamburger.
Then he asked for his paper.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org