My Favorite Memory of Dad

I’ve been silent for awhile.  You’ve heard about bumps in the road of life, and I’ve encountered a big one.  However, I have not given up on our family cookbook/memoir.  In fact, I have been quite busy with it.  Have you ever done one?  It’s a project, especially when you are involving several families and lots of stories and pictures.  But the more I do it, the more excited I get about it.  On that note, I am going to ask each person for their favorite memory of their mom and dad.  I can’t wait to read the responses.

Below is my favorite memory of my dad.


My dad was a complex person.  Life of the party, jokester, tough guy, disciplinarian, generous and scary.  I didn’t realize until after he died, that he was a big softie, just that he hid it very well.

Letter from dad 

I remember his letters.  Oh how we dreaded those letters.  You knew you were in big trouble if you got one.  I only saved a couple of them and I so wish I had saved them all.  They were a big window into his personality.  If you click on the letter from dad above, you’ll see what I mean.

However, my favorite memory is “America the Beautiful.”  Dad was a patriotic guy.  When Tom and I decided to get married,( much to my dad’s undying gratitude, as I was 27 and he was sure I would be an Old Maid and he’d have to take care of me the rest of his life), his one request was that we play “America the Beautiful” at our wedding.  I was stunned.  I said no.  Who has “America the Beautiful” sung at their wedding? How he pouted.  Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and my mom and I secretly arranged for the soloist to sing it.  A surprise for dad.  The big day came.  I vividly remember dad walking up and down the halls of our home with an oxygen mask on before the service, as he was more nervous about the day than I was.  We were married in the Catholic Church in town and of course my parents had insisted on a High Mass.  That’s the long version of the regular Mass.  It took over two hours.  I can’t imagine that today!  In the middle of the service, the soloist sang “America the Beautiful.”  I stole a glance at dad who was sobbing.  The reception was at my parent’s house where we had a pig roast and at least 200 people, several of whom weren’t invited.  The best man’s brother came down from Minneapolis (he wasn’t invited) with three of his buddies.  The day was the most fun and the happiest day of my life and maybe the happiest of my dad’s life.

I remember dad’s wine roast which he would make often on Sunday’s.  However, it wasn’t my favorite.  He was very proud of it but my favorite was his rotisserie chicken.  That was incredible.  This is how I think he made the wine roast:

Put a beef top round roast in a pan. Poke some holes in it. Pour a bottle of the cheapest red wine you can find over it. Marinate for a few hours while everyone is in church. Cook until well done.

Make your kids eat it.

What would your favorite memory of your dad be?


13 thoughts on “My Favorite Memory of Dad

  1. Liz Heery says:

    I only met your dad once and he was very scary! Maybe because you told me ahead of time during our road trip to Blue Earth. Funny stories!
    My dad rarely cooked because he traveled but every Sunday we had a huge fried chicken dinner after church. We were all so full Daddy would make a huge bowl of popcorn with lots of butter and chocolate malted milkshakes. Then we would watch Ed Sullivan. All my friends wanted to come to my house on Sundays.
    Think of you every day!

  2. Leslie Russell says:

    Great memories, Stevie!
    My Dad loved popcorn!! Every Sunday night, our dinner consisted of a huge bowl if popcorn , with a large glass of milk! He was so serious about his popcorn, that he hooked up the agitator of an old washing machine to the ceiling in our basement right over a gas stove. He attached a metal rod and a lid to it.
    Then all he had to do was put the popcorn in the matching can, attach the lid, and presto, he had his own massive popcon popper! It made serious noise as the motor agitated the can of popcorn! Lots of people came to watch! It was the best popcorn ever, and the memory still makes me laugh!
    Thank you for allowing me to jog this memory!!

  3. Paul says:

    Stevie I remember the wine roast! 😀 I think of both Denny & Dad every time I see Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino . They were both softies but could certainly be intimidating!

  4. Sally Coates says:

    Boy- cooking and my Pop. His specialty was the BBQ and of course, beef – medium rare. But actually his ultimate, #1, top of the list, have every day, would be the lowly hot dog. Naked with lots of salt and a toasted bun. And when he could not have hot dog, than pigs in a blanket would do nicely, thanks you. And those he didn’t have to worry about getting a perfect medium rare pink!

  5. will Brown says:

    Stevie, lovely memory of your father. It always interesting how my brother and sister remember things differently. Oh, well. Best memory of my father–We always went to the Moose Club on Tuesday night. We, my brother, sister and mother are waiting in the Hudson. After waiting several minutes Mom says, “Jesus, he always has to look like a million dollars!” And he would come out of the back door, bounding down the steps in a pin-striped suit with a fedora on, looking like a million dollars. This is the one memory my siblings and I agree on.

  6. Anne says:

    Oh my God, Stevie! I remember those letters and how you were always so afraid to open them! I didn’t remember how absolutely hysterical they were. So glad you saved the tire one!

    I also remember him walking around with the O2 and I was so worried that something was seriously wrong with him. You just laughed!

    What great memories!

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