Daddy didn’t share much about his childhood. In fact, he didn’t share much about his teen years or even early adult years. All I know about him is what he was like as a mid-adult (about 30 years) through 60 years. Today, on what would have been his 67th birthday, I have to wonder what he would have been like as a child, teen, and young adult. So let’s take a short journey into my imagination, and based on what I can piece together from family; friends; and what little he did share, to see what Daddy — Tony Frank Smigin, Jr. — would have been like. 🙂
As a young boy, Daddy probably was constantly making messes both inside and outside his childhood home on South 11th Street in Kansas City, Kansas. I can see him playing baseball in the alley behind his house with his cousin and neighborhood friends. He probably hit a ball into a window or two. Most likely he even was called to the garage to help his dad, Papa Tony, work on their car. I’ll be he struggled to see above the steering wheel to help, but couldn’t wait until he could finally see above it and drive himself. Fast forward a few years to teenage years.
I’m very sure at this time Daddy struggled to get along with his sister. Heck, I’m sure they fought every day even as younger kids. I’m sure he was even called a girl at about this time because his hair was always so short, but had lots of curls whenever he was really hot. These curls probably made him the butt of many jokes until he learned to straighten them with gel. It was probably also about this time he started experimenting with cooking. Probably because he had to make snacks for himself and his sister when they’d get home from school. He also learned to sew because he was growing so tall and in order to stay in clothes his mom had to sew quite a bit and keep his pants from becoming knickers. He also had been sent to the principal’s office on more than one occasion due to his unique sense of humor and drive to be the center of attention. His love for sports grew, but his love for music probably grew more and he entered the high school band. Somehow his love for music, sports, and his unique sense of humor probably garnered him more than his fair share of friends (and girls probably clamored for a chance to date him). Daddy may not have been the sexiest guy in his class, but he sure got a lot of attention. He also probably had to struggle to keep up with classes and keep his grades up. I’m sure he was harped on by his parents to be the best he could, why else would he have graduated with honors in high school?
By college age, Daddy learned he’d have to work hard if he wanted to go through with it and get a degree (or later two). His parents were unable to help him pay for his education past high school. So he saved up his money, worked as a sacker at a grocery store, and once again struggled to make decisions about whether to go out and party or to stay at the apartment and do homework. Surely, he also made his way to Sunday Mass every weekend. Somehow he also drew attention to himself once more with his sense of humor and his love of sports and music. He also now had to learn to adjust to wearing glasses.
You know what? I think this is a good place to stop for the night (mostly because I’m getting tired, but also because I’m running out of ideas). Daddy and I have/had a lot in common; I can see that now. I have to wonder, though; if Daddy was still here would he and I have more in common now than we ever did before? We’d probably be spending a good deal of time together. I’m sure we’d have more time now to be together and he’d even have time to take us on vacation again. It’d be nice and I have to wonder where we would go this year. As is, I have to wonder if we’ll ever go on another family vacation. I have to wonder, what Daddy really was like and what he would be like today.
Alleluia! Jesus is risen! Alleluia! He is risen indeed!