ThE EmAnCiPaTiOn oF pAmMiE

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sunset Monologue 142

Daddy's Little Girl

Long Post Alert but worth the read!

My Daddy

Today is my daddy's birthday. Let me tell ya'll about my daddy. Even though my parents separated and divorced when I was like 8 - I don't remember a time when he was not in my life, so I honestly don't consider myself as having grown up in a single parent household. My life was seamless as far as I was concerned.

My Daddy was a sharp dresser. He was always up to date and dapper. Clothes hung on his 6'2 slim frame like they hang on any male model today. I don't have any memory of my father wearing jeans or sneakers. His casual clothes were a shirt be it polo or collared and old slacks. He always said that a man in athletic gear was ready for sport and a man in a suit was ready for business.

When my parents separated - my mother made a vow we would grow up around our father so we always lived...literally...around the corner. Where ever my father lived we lived within walking distance as small children from him. Waking up in my home or my dads with him reading the paper to us -was not anything out the ordinary for us.

My daddy was EVERYONE'S daddy where ever we lived. If you didn't have one - well you had one now. Boys were drawn to my daddy and he always had time for them. He was always speaking, teaching and pulling young men aside to impart some wisdom. Kids would wait outside for him to come home to talk.

I have never known my father to work for another man. He always had his own thing going. From running a magazine called Hi-lites when I was little to running a successful jewelry business that came about because one time we were hungry and he took all the forks in the house - made bracelets went downtown and sold them all - eventually owning a business and traveling the world. He did early jewelry for Whitney, Anita and several others. He said that a man should do whatever it took to remain free, be your own boss and be in charge of your destiny.

He was admired by folks in all walks of life. When he moved to Philadelphia (the ONLY time we were ever apart) - he moved into the worst damn neighborhood bought the entire block changed the name (the sign with my family name still hangs) and cleaned it up and hired ALL the young men in a two block radius to work for him. He was so well respected that folks would be cursing and cutting a damn fool and get to our block and STOP! Everyone who came by said As-Salaam-Alaikum and would chastise others who chose to disrespect our block. I remember every Sunday he would get up and make these HUGE breakfasts and the neighborhood men would come and listen to my father speak.

One of my fondest memories of my father (I have so many) was one time my sister had gotten slapped at the park by a grown woman. Anyone who knows philly - it's very territorial so it became family vs family. We all around the corner ready to fight and then all of a sudden this whispering started...Bro Solomon is coming, Bro Solomon is coming and the crowd parted and he came thru and said real calm "Everyone that belongs to me you have three minutes to get back around the corner" Adult and Child booked, lol lol.

My Daddy has 12 children (the last one is mentioned below) and he tried to spend quality time with all of us. My time involved one of his favorite pasttimes...gambling, lol. He would wake me up in the summer when I visited and be like Babygirl let's go and he would tell me "here's $5, no matter what don't give me that money we have to get back across the bridge" and we would go gambling. I was too young to really get in - so I would put on his hat and jacket and slide on in, lol. These were the times that he shaped me - told me about boys, told me what to expect from a man - how to be a woman.

My Father died of a heart attack 19 years ago this past December. His youngest child was in utereo. The day of his death the entire neighborhood shut down out of respect. He did not get to see one Grandchild or his youngest son who is now a student at Temple University.

Over the years, I have had men in particular come up to me and burst into tears at what an influence he made on their lives and how if it were not for him they would not have had a Father.

So I would like to honor my Daddy today - sometimes folks wonder why I am like I am about the concept of men/women and my definition of a man - I had the VERY BEST example in my life already and so I know what it looks like and that's what I look for - some glimmer - of - my - Daddy.

Posted by Pamalicious :: 10:07 PM :: 4 comments

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