DOD: Dear Old Dad – Happy Father’s Day!

a work photo of dad; he hasn't had his hair that short in a, well quite a while

a work photo of dad; he hasn’t had his hair that short in a, well quite a while

For the record – I have never called my dad “Dear Old Dad” but he tends to refer to himself that way so it seemed appropriate that as I write this that I include it. My parents are divorced but I’ve been blessed with the fact I have been able to maintain a close bond to both regardless. I think what I love the most about that fact is that my bond to my mom and my dad are unique from the other. For example – my mom and I could talk football and basketball all day long and I talk about soccer with my dad and he’ll also keep me up to date about what’s going on the cycling world. I’ve already talked some about my relationship with my mom (though I’m sure that’ll come up again) and I’d like for this Father’s Day to talk about “dear old dad.”

My dad, Patrick, was born in Boise, Idaho when my grandpa Bill was still in the Air Force. There would be some moves and changes of scenery for a bit there, but in the end, the Denevans would all end up in San Jose, Calif. My dad’s the oldest of the four, with my aunt Lennie, uncle Liam and aunt Donna rounding out the fearsome foursome – okay so they’re not so fearsome but certainly some of the most interesting/talented/fun folks I’ve had the privilege of knowing. It’s always a fun time when the Denevans are together. They really are likely to break out into song, but probably either with the radio, singing or pulling out some instruments – a very musical family.

There was plenty of mischief too. I need to get more stories, but my dad would tell me that my aunt Lennie was fairly apt to trying to get my dad and Liam in trouble as kids. Then all three (my dad, Lennie and Liam) harassed my aunt Donna something terrible by calling her the Johnson Baby. That still happens to this day. There was a temporary mix up at the hospital when my aunt Donna was born with another baby, the Johnson’s baby, so the kids teased her about not really being a Denevan. Oh those rascals! Despite those little things, they’re all pretty close and I benefit from that. Time and distance tends to keep them apart unfortunately, but when they get together it’s always an adventure.

liam, lennie, donna and my dad; taken in 1959; my dad was seven

liam, lennie, donna and my dad; taken in 1959; my dad was seven

Growing up with dad was definitely different than when mom was in charge. He had his own style of parenting and while at times it frustrated me, he knew what he was doing and was almost always correct about things. Dad liked, and still does like, to be active. When grandpa Bill visited, we’d usually go hiking; dad had us biking and doing a variety of different things. Mom supported our being active, showing up for all our events and even being my brother’s soccer coach for a time, etc., but hiking wasn’t her cup of tea. Dad wanted to go different places, see the sights, etc. He got us out and about. He’s why I got into soccer.

My dad played soccer for a lot of years, even played in college. He even got to play ins Switzerland when he was going to school there for study abroad. As a kid when I decided to give up dance and wanted to do something else, he put me in soccer. I loved it! I ended up playing for about 13 years and totally regret not continuing with it somehow now. Anyway, that lovely sport is one of the things we bond over.

One of my favorite memories was two years ago when I was watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer team in the FIFA World Cup. It was probably one of the best matches I had watched between the U.S. and Brazil and it was the final moments of a hard fought match. Dad called while I was watching and before long I just started telling him what was happening as it was happening. I was getting so nervous that ladies were going to lose and then the miracle happened – Megan Rapinoe placed a beautiful cross almost directly to Abby Wambach’s forehead and it was the tying score of the game! I remember telling dad the game was down to less than two minutes and I kind of paused as I watched this play transpire.

Soccerball with USA flag

Soccerball with USA flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I couldn’t even speak for a moment or two and then bam! There was the header by Wambach! I just started yelling and screaming into the phone and jumping up and down. My neighbors probably thought I was a total fruitloop. It was so awesome getting to share that with my dad, even though it was by phone. Living far away means you take what you can get and that was a fantastic moment shared with him. It was so intense I had to look it up on YouTube just now and I’m right back in that moment with him. I love to talk about soccer with my dad, especially now that I have more appreciation for watching it on television than when I was playing.

My other favorite thing about dad – talking music. Holy cow the two of us can talk about music for hours if phone batteries didn’t die and we didn’t actually have other things to do. One time my dad sent me an email with a list of bands who’s names were food related. We had been talking about select-a-sets for a radio station in Denver, KBCO. That station will get suggestions from listeners about a set of three that has some common thread. That time it was food. Other times it’s been about oh shoot, lots of things. One of my favorite sets was one I created with Phil Collins, Dave Grohl and Don Henley – all were drummers turned front men. My dad has had some pretty awesome sets also. We still go on about this.

One of my favorite music memories was going to see Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett at Red Rocks Amphitheater in south Denver. If you’ve never gone to a concert at Red Rocks – do yourself a giant favor – DO IT!! The sound there and the scenery is just amazing. Couple that with wonderful musicians like Raitt and Lovett and it was pure magic.

Outside of those memories, one memory that sticks in my head was being a kid and going with my dad to see “Flight of the Navigator.” We had some daughter-father time, had dinner and then went to the movie. My memory is a bit foggy and disjointed – I was really little then, but I clearly remember a giant chocolate chip cookie. That was marvelous.

I love you dad! Thanks for all the memories and can’t wait to see what else is in store – hopefully some more soccer and music magic!

I couldn’t do all this without a lil’ music – so here is Paul Simon singing “Father and Daughter.”

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