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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day! My Favorite Dad in Life & Kid Lit...

Dad holding my youngest kiddo
Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there!

If you have a chance to leave a comment on this post, I'd love to learn who your favorite fictional dad is. Mine has to be Danny's father in Roald Dahl's Danny, The Champion of the World

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My father has always been a fan of music, particularly songs that tell stories. His favorite singers (including John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin) are ones who have interesting things to say, and he's one of those people who will play you a song, pause it, then repeat a lyric to see if you've realized how cool or poignant or meaningful it was.

He probably doesn't remember this, but he once told me that Paul Simon's "Graceland" was the most perfect song ever written. So this one's for you, Dad:
Lyrics:
The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war
I'm going to Graceland
Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
I'm going to Graceland
Poor boys and pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland
My traveling companion is nine years old
He is the child of my first marriage
But I've reason to believe
We both will be received
In Graceland

She comes back to tell me she's gone
As if I didn't know that
As if I didn't know my own bed
As if I'd never noticed
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead
And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

I'm going to Graceland
Memphis Tennessee
I'm going to Graceland
Poor boys and pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland

And my traveling companions
Are ghosts and empty sockets
I'm looking at ghosts and empties
But I've reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means
She means we're bouncing into Graceland
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

In Graceland, in Graceland
I'm going to Graceland
For reasons I cannot explain
There's some part of me wants to see
Graceland
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe there's no obligations now
Maybe I've a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

29 comments:

  1. Thanks, Jess. I am blessed to have such wonderful, beautiful daughters (thanks in large part to your mother). And don't get me started about the grandkids.

    Love you, Dad

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    1. Thanks, Pop. Hope you had a great Father's Day!

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  2. Oh, I *love* that song. Your dad has the most excellent taste.

    And as for fictional dads, Mr. Weasley jumps to mind, of course! :)

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    1. Mr. Weasley's the best! Loyal and sweet, but also fun enough to want to bend the rules to make flying cars, etc. :)

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  3. Another vote here for Mr. Weasley! He and Molly definitely knew that loving your children and being there for them means way more than showering them w/life's finest things. And a sweet pic! Also, I'd not heard of that song before, thanks!

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  4. My favorite fictional dad is definitely Charles from ROOFTOPPERS. Mr. Weasley is pretty great, though.

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    1. Oh goodness, Charles is amazing! I wish I'd been homeschooled by someone like him :)

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to your father - he sounds awesome.

    I have to vote for Mr. Weasley too. :)

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    1. Mr. Weasley, I wish you were real so you could see how popular you are!

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  7. Have not read that Dahl book - but now I want to! My husband loves loves loves that Graceland song. I've never paid much attention to the words...beautiful.

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    1. We listened to it as kids on road trips and I never really processed the words either. But yes, it's got some poignancy to it :)

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  8. The first fictional dad who came to mind is one you've probably never heard of.

    It's Pa in a book called Save Queen of Sheba by Louise Moeri. I've been using this book with my high readers for 25 years of teaching. In the book, the main character King David (named after the Bible figure) discovers he and his sister Queen of Sheba (also named after the Bible character) are the sole survivors of an Indian attack on his wagon train. King David is wounded and weak, but he has to keep his sister alive and find help as they trek across the endless prairie.

    Every step of the way, he remembers what Pa taught him, what Pa would expect of him, what Pa would do in his shoes. Pa is the most powerful absent father I have ever met.

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    1. Thank you, Dianne. Thiis book is now very high on my TBR list~ this is exactly why I love posing questions to people who love books!

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  9. Looks like Mr. Weasley was the big winner!

    My fav fictional dad is Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird.

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  10. Atticus is my favorite fictional dad too!

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  11. Funny - the first person who popped into my head isn't really a father at all. It's Matthew Cuthbert, one half of the brother-sister pair who adopted Anne of Green Gables. Painfully shy, it was Matthew who insisted they keep Anne after they didn't get the boy they requested, and who gave Anne the dress with puffed sleeves that she longed for. The chapter describing Matthew's death is one of the saddest I read as a child. (I'm tearing up right now thinking of it.) Love the photo of your dad and daughter.

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