Sometime in early 1973 my Dad dropped off a suitcase with my mother and I. He was a bit mysterious about it but the vibe he put off was that it contained "important and valuableĒ items. He was adamant and made us promise that we would not open it until he was no longer around. My mom and I and my grandmother Mary wondered and joked about what might be in there? Stock and bond certificates, cash, rare stamps or coins, unpublished musical compositions of his; we speculated on all of this but we just had no clue. We were quite tempted to open it and at times we almost did but ultimately we respected his wishes.
Soon after my Dad died the three of us opened it together. Tears flowed as ďimportant and valuable" items were indeed contained within the suitcase. Early childhood pictures of my Dad and his family, his playing drums as a young man in the Catskills, the playbill from his Hunter College show, his beloved Pollyís memorial service announcement, love letters to and from my mom, pictures of them when they met, my parents marriage certificate, and locks of my hair as a baby.
In that one suitcase he shared with us what he loved and treasured most in his life. Recently I rediscovered in the suitcase the note that is posted below. Quite simply itís a snapshot of a beautiful moment in time shared between father and son.
I want to thank all you sweet people who still remember my Dad and show such respect, love and kindness with your postings here. As long as I continue to feel that good energy from you Iíll keep sharing memories that I have of him and with him. He has been gone a long, long time and yet we all still hold him close, each in our own unique way and for our own personal reasons. Thatís a very beautiful thing to be part of as his son.
Happy Fatherís Day everybody.
All the best,
P.S. The first time my Dad saw me in the hospital he told my mom I looked like a bull moose. He called me Moose all of our days together. When he would occasionally address me as Dodd, I knew I had done something wrong and was about to get an earful!
"Moose slept over last night & we came to swim today-but he was coughing and I felt it better not to let him expose himself to a cold. He evidently went to the other room sometime during the day wrote the note on the other side- What a precious sensitive young man he really is. I am so proud!"
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