Saturday, June 18, 2011

Girl wasn't just about the cookies

"Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.”
- Gloria Naylor

When I was a Girl Scout at the ripe old age of 10, my Dad was 45 years old, and had lots of gray in his hair.  I guess his job as a New York City fireman helped contribute to that situation.  He was at least 10 years older than the fathers of my schoolmates and the kids I played with around the neighborhood.

Found my old GS sash looking for something else!
One warm afternoon in early June, our Troop Leader announced at our weekly meeting that our troop would be having a "Father-Daughter Bowling Tournament",  to be held the Saturday before Father's Day.  I looked at my two best friends at the time, V. and P., and said, "Oh, forget that.  My dad's too old to go bowling."  They both looked at me sympathetically and nodded their heads in agreement.  I crumbled up the letter that I was supposed to take home for my parents to sign, and stuffed it in my book bag. 

My Dad, age 27, Upstate New York
I pretty much forgot all about it, until one morning, as I was munching on my Captain Crunch cereal and reading my latest Highlights magazine before leaving for school, my mom turned from the sink and said, "Guess what?  Daddy got the day off."  I looked up and asked, "For what?"  Ah, the innocence of youth.  "For the Father-Daughter bowling tournament!"  Yikes, I thought.  Then she wanted to know why I hadn't shown her the letter.  And proceeds to inform me that my dear Troop Leader called to ask why we were not participating.  If a work conflict was an issue, of course, I could team up with her daughter and husband.  Well, once my father knew about this, he switched with one of his 'brothers' on the job and was free to go bowling.

Yours Truly, 8 months, with my dad
The morning of the tournament, I was dragging my feet around the house.  Had a bunch of butterflies dancing in my stomach.  We were told to wear slacks or "pedal pushers" (the equivalent of Capri's or crop pants today) but we had to wear our beret and sash.  I got into the car and sat with my legs sticking straight out in front of me.  My father, on the other hand, was as chipper as I've ever seen him.  He had on one of his shirts with the little alligator and smelled of Old Spice aftershave.  He chatted while driving to the bowling alley while I was silent and stared straight ahead. 

After a round of introductions, we were put in teams of 2 Girl Scouts/2 Fathers.  I was with V. and her dad.  I looked at V. and with a big sigh, said, "I'll keep score."  V.'s father went first.  Then V., then my Dad.  And my Dad gets the first strike........and another strike....... strike after strike...............other fathers were coming over to shake his hand and pat him on the back.  V.'s father was hootin' and hollerin'.  V. was looking at me with her mouth open but no words came out.  

He proceeded to  kick butt that day in that bowling alley.  And then it happened.  What would be my finest father/daughter moment.  It sealed for me what I had somehow known all along, but was still too young to express, that yeah, people take note, that's MY Dad. 

The drive home was a lot different.  For one, I didn't shut up.  Two, I was holding a trophy.  Three, I had a heart filled with memories that would last me a lifetime.   My father set the standard very high for me where men are concerned.  They don't make them like that anymore.  To this day the song "Daddy's Little Girl" still makes me  cry.........  and I somehow lost track of that darn trophy. 

Here's to all dads on Father's Day, wherever they may be.  For those Dads alive and well, when the Mrs. (or daughter or gdau) is pestering you to have your various checkups, GO.  Your family needs you, perhaps more than you know.

I will be joining Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper.



  1. Hello Barbara:
    Gosh, the Girl Scouts and all those badges. You were clearly the star of the troop.

    And, what a happy memory of your father who obviously stole the show at the bowling alley. As small children we do not, perhaps, appreciate our parents for what they contribute to our lives but we definitely become aware of this as we age. As you say, the importance of fathers as role models may be sometimes overlooked but they do have a significant part to play in the development of family life if one is fortunate to have a father such as yours.

  2. Barbara, what a wonderful memory! It made me both laugh and cry.Thanks for sharing that special day with Daddy and his little girl. If I had met him I know I would have loved him!

  3. Oh,Barbara♡♡♡
    What a lovely story!!!
    I'm happy for you to have such a marvelous memory with your father. I enlarged the picture of GS sash.

    My... I strongly remember my own used to take me and my bro to the bowling alley; which was really popular when I was a teenager; and we all enjoyed playing to the fullest. You brought me back my own memory with him,haha.

    Oh, It's 21:00 here in Japan. I will visit him to his old people's home with something. Hope he smiles seeing me!!!
    Haha, you made me in tears a bit.

    Many hugs and love, Orchid.

  4. What an amazing Father's Day memory! Loved reading this and I loved the photos.

  5. How sweet! You dad looked so Italian!!!
    Love, Lorraine

  6. What a wonderful tribute to your father, Barbara! Dad's are special to their girls!! Thank you for sharing!

  7. What a sweet story, I loved it! And what a handsome dad too. :D

  8. I'm tearing up yet smiling. Very nice tribute Barbara-Happy Weekend:@)

  9. Hi Barbara,

    This is the best story; it made me cry! Your dad sounds like a wonderful person, and what a difficult and dangerous job he did. I can see why you are so proud of him. Dads do set important examples; our son is an Eagle Scout, and his dad was there every step of the way. I think it's neat that you were a girl scout; scouting really does help build character. This is a great Father's Day tribute; thanks for sharing it with all of us.


    Denise at Forest Manor

  10. I'm teary, too. I remember my father taking time off to go with me to a father-daughter breakfast in 1962 where Frank Gifford spoke. My dad wasn't a great football fan, but it was something I wanted to do. Weren't we lucky?! The pictures are great and thanks for sharing such sweet memories.

  11. Beautiful tribute to your father. How wonderful that was the day he bowled so well. Many Blessings, Marlis

  12. What a wonderful tribute to your Dad. What great memories. Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  13. Oh Barbara, that is just a wonderful post and paints such a lovely picture of your father!! Thanks for sharing:-)

  14. Barbara, What an absolutely wonderful story about your dad! You were so proud of him that day and I know he must have loved every minute of being with you.
    I packed up your glassware today- I had to find another box because the little bowl was a bit too wide! Only me... I'll get it out to ya on Monday. :-) Sue

  15. Beautiful post, Barbara. I lost my dad when he was only 62 years old. He is still with me though ~ very close in my heart. He, too, set the standard high! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. ~ Sarah

  16. Beautiful tribute to your father. I had an older father, too and he was always there for me. Sometimes I didn't really realize it. He's been gone over 30 years. Miss you Daddy!

  17. When I read your blog today, I was transferred back to the day and felt I was standing next to you watching the events unfold. You have a great talent putting words out there. Honestly, you need to write a novel. You would be so great! I couldn’t agree with you more when you said “They do not make them like that anymore” Your dad should be a role model for men and dads in this day and age. I love the photo . Your dad was very handsome.

    Happy Fathers Day to all!

  18. Great tribute to you're Father. Thanks for sharing and thanks for dropping by, My Old Historic House.

  19. Barbara, I love your story! I hoped all the way though that it would end the way it did.

    Leave it to a great dad to have yet another trick up his sleeve that you didn't even know!

    I love the picture of the two of you, too.

  20. Such a fantastic story. It could be a tv sitcom! You have a way with telling a story. Precious pic of you and your dad. Firefighters! Yea!


  21. This is such a sweet post, Barbara! My Dad was over 40 when I was born so I also thought he was much older than my friend's fathers. We were lucky to have such good Daddies!

  22. Oh, I loved this story! What an amazing father he must have been, and what a wonderful memory and lesson you have from that day. I'm so glad you shared this and so glad I got to read it. laurie

  23. This is such a beautiful tribute to your dad, well, to dads in general. There probably isn't a one of us who isn't guilty of being embarrassed, or at least a little concerned over something that seemed out of our Father's area of comfort. And yet they were there for us. Sometimes they knocked our socks off, other times they just managed for us. Either way, they cemented themselves as 'MY' dad.

    Blessings, Debbie

  24. Thanks for your comment on my review blogs $100 HomeGoods store gift card give away, Barbara! I thought of all the dish lovers when I shopped there --I was so tempted by so many of them, but tried to buy practical things my daughter needed. I ahve to go back for myself ..and soon!

  25. Barbara, this is such a lovely tribute to your Dad. How dear that you have such a lovely memory in your heart! Daddy's are the best.

  26. This was a cool story. It's great when people defy our expectations in a good way.

  27. Hi Barbara, Loved your story, so sweet. My Dad has been gone for many years and not a day goes by that I don't think of him. Have a great week my friend.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  28. Hi lovely lady.
    I love your story about your wonderful Dad Barbara. I also miss all the good times my Dad and I had together !! I hope you have a Great Week. Thank you for your comments on my new Tablescapes.
    XXOO Diane

  29. What a beautiful tribute to your dad. I really love your way with words. Great post.

  30. What a lovely tribute to your Dad! I am a 61 year old Italian Daddy's girl and although my dad's been gone 11 years now I miss him every day.We were very poor and my dad worked so hard-he could never take time to do anything with me or my brother like this but I knew he adored me.I love your photos too and thank you for sharing the story. I have the same Girl Scout sash still!


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