Today would have been my father’s 65th birthday. He passed away on May 26th. This brief post is dedicated to his memory …
If it were not for the cultural influence my father had on my life this blog would probably not exist.
If not for him I would not have been introduced to the likes of Monty Python and by extension Fawlty Towers. Throw into the mix a heavy dose of Doctor Who (esp. the Tom Baker years) and the result is my admiration of British film and television.
If not for my father I would not wait in anticipation for the twice yearly Twilight Zone marathon that me and my brothers watch constantly (The Howling Man was his favorite). By sheer coincidence this year the marathon did not play.
And now the movies – where do I start?
It is not just the standard issue classics he introduced me to – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is most prominent in my mind (“They were just two fools.” he was apt to say).
Thanks to him I developed an appreciation for Alfred Hitchcock too – in fact, obsession with the Master of Suspense surpassed anything my father could possibly imagine but there was no going back (not that I would ever want to).
If not for my dad, I would not have been exposed to cult classics such as Plan 9 from Outer Space, the original Stepfather, Fright Night, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes; the list can go on and on. Our appreciation for things cult also extended to being great devotees of the “Mystery Science Theatre 3K” crew (now Cinematic Titanic).
There also cropped up the occasional film that sparked disagreement about its merits (I never got Suture, sorry Dad) – not to mention his love for made-for-SciFi Channel movies (goodness gracious).
With all my study and examination of the art of cinema, in the end my father taught me to sometimes abandon that critical eye and just enjoy a film as entertainment. And I am sure in the days, months and years to come, I will wonder he would have thought of this or that movie. I will miss being able to tell him that this movie is a “must-watch.”
This morning as our family head out to the national cemetery where he is buried (he served in Vietnam; fave Vietnam flick? Hamburger Hill) I will remember all those times we sat down, watched and talked about the movies with warmth and fondness.
We all love you and miss you dearly, Poppa D.