Today is the old man’s birthday; In my blog I refer to him as The Father Figure. TFF.

The Father Figure is a fortunate man. I am fortunate to have him as a dad.  He is genuinely happy. He has as loving marriage, he has four sons whom he adores. He is glad of his daughters-in-law (that includes Someone). He is pleased as punch with his grandchildren. He is the 12th generation Spo living in North America – his names live on.  After a successful career as an attorney, he now loves his retirement. I can’t get hold of him anymore for he is forever out and about.

My brothers all look like our mother, but I look like TFF. In fact we are alike as two peas. All my life I’ve been told I look/sound like/ and behave like The Father Figure. I’ve had strangers stop me on the street in Chicago, asking me if by chance I am my father’ child – they knew he had a son here and you look just like him etc.   True Story.

It is a run-on joke I grew my beard to tell us apart.

What he likes best are Great Lakes freighters. He follows them like others study cars. Happily there are many of his ilk – Boatnerds.

It is notoriously difficult getting him a birthday ‘prize’. For example, he will announce he is interested in a book. But before one of us can pounce, he announces he bought it himself.  We’ve seen this at countless Christmases and birthdays.

This year I found him a book NOT YET PUBLISHED, on one of the freighters that sank in the Great Storm of 1913. I know he will like it.

I have my fingers crossed the weasel hasn’t already ordered it himself.

So I have a small chocolate cone in his honor.