Saturday, May 2, 2009

IF DAD WAS ON FACEBOOK

In the final weeks of his life, Dad raised the question many times about joining the FB community. After all, there was a growing number of family members regularly posting updates, photos, and communicating with each other, and most recently, he had received an invitation from a Glad World friend asking him to join FB so that Dad might see his gladiolas. I mean, how could he resist such temptation?

Now the discussion among family members about the prospect of Dad on FB was filled with humor. While he was incredibly talented in his professional career, Dad had always been "technologically-challenged." When Scotts first issued computers to its sales team and sent its managers for corporate training, Dad returned, proudly proclaiming that he had learned a great deal about his "calculator." Dad's running jokes about his computer knowledge generally centered on one of these two - "How many 'K's' does it have?" or "You probably just need some more 'K's.'"

Dad's struggle with change and consumer advancements became the basis of family mythology, with the stories truly being more fact than myth. His first experience with a drive-through fast-food restaurant was at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Marysville, a carload of children giving food requests to Mom with Mom providing a summary of the order to Dad. Suddenly a scratchy voice called out, "Welcome to KFC, may I take your order?" There was a very pregnant pause, Dad began to stutter quietly, then more loudly, and finally shouted, "CHICKEN!"

And then, of course, there was the everlasting "clicker" problem. The TV clickers, the cable box clicker - and of course, different "clickers" for the bedroom TV because it used a different setup...."Lois, what channel is MSNBC again?"

That's right, Dad needed Mom to watch TV...Dad needed Mom for most everything, and they made a terrific team. Several years ago Dad was named editor of Glad World, the bulletin of the NAGC (North American Gladiola Council). Editor? What a wonderful job and title for a "closet writer"! Well, just a bit of a "hitch" when Dad discovered that as editor he had to completely prepare the 50-80 page magazine type publication for the printer each time - yes, he would need to use a "calculator" aka computer, word processing program, and wait, oh, no, graphics program. "Lois....!" A few years later the NAGC dutifully named Dad and Mom co-editors of the bulletin. Dad continued to do all the writing and proofreading; Mom did a wonderful job with layout and print preparation.

So, Dad on Facebook? Well, it could have happened....

  • Of course, Mom would have to log Dad in every time as even if he could have finally figured out how to operate the "calculator," he would have become lost immediately as he always referred to FB as "Spacebook."

  • All of you would have been his "friends."

  • His status often would have read "Jack G. Welch is relaxing in the recliner watching Y & R after a morning of working on the glads."

  • His groups would have been Family and Friends of Peace Corps Volunteers, My Pond is Bigger than Your Pond, Gladiolus Flowers, English Bulldogs Rock!, All of You Who Love Jazz, One Day My Stamp and Baseball Card Collections Will Pay for My Great-Grandchildren's College Education, Body Surfing, Union County Democrats, and I will make an excellent curmudgeony old person (yes, that is a real FB group).

  • He would be a fan of MSNBC, The Young and the Restless, The History Channel, Keith Olberman, Ice Road Truckers, Survivor, the Cleveland Indians, and The Vicar of Dibley.

  • His favorite applications would be Pass a Drink, Lil Green Patch, Mafia (which he would have already won by now),weRead, and I think we all know what the answer would be if he took the quiz "What Swear Word Are You?"

  • He would, undoubtedly, post the most profound notes for all of us to read - to make us laugh, to make us think, to make us cringe, to make us remember him.

  • Finally, he would have the most fun changing his profile picture often. But always, it would have Mom by his side, as she has been, every step of the way.


2 comments:

Pricilla said...

Beautifully written...wonderful memories.

Just Me... said...

I am so sorry for your loss... I jumped over here to read this after you posted the link on our BwhoUR Network.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to your Dad. Through your fantastic application of FB to his life, I feel as if I actually knew him! You did a great job-

May time and memories help ease your pain.

Casey