10.30.2010

Happy Birthday Dad! A Post from the Archives

Sibling Assignment # 102: Father Daughter Banquet, Bowling, and Lemon Fluff


I gave the sibling assignment this week. In honor of Father's Day I asked my siblings to remember a time that our father made them proud. You will soon find the much healthier RP's here and if Silver Valley Girl is off the links yet, hers will be here.

Being a member of Bluebirds and Camp Fire Girls was a big part of my growing up experience. Each year around Valentine's Day we had the annual Father Daughter Banquet. At our Camp Fire meeting we learned a song to sing to our dads and worked feverishly at decorating a box with a Valentine theme. The box held our banquet, which was similar to a box social meal.

One thing I loved about the Father Daughter banquet was the banquet we brought with us. Mom made the same food for us each year and the menu was our favorite. We had her cold fried chicken, homemade potato salad, and the famous Lemon Fluff dessert. If I remember right everything we needed was packed into our dinner box that I had proudly decorated. Now we often got to enjoy her cold fried chicken and potato salad, but Lemon Fluff was a treat. The dessert was discovered by a teacher partner of mom's at Silver King school as an inexpensive and fairly easy dessert to make, so it had been dished up at many an event at the school for PTA ,but we didn't get it often at home. This light lemon flavored dessert with a graham cracker crust was placed in little plastic square boxes for Dad and I to enjoy.

Another part of the Father Daughter Banquet that sticks in my memory is that for some unknown reason Dad always had a bowling tournament the same day. The coincidence was that the banquet was held upstairs in the same building as the bowling alley. Just as we sat down to eat our banquet here would come my Dad. Depending on the sponsor of his bowling team, he would be wearing a flashy,bright bowling shirt in red or gold advertising the beer company that was his sponsor. His forehead would be shiny with sweat, there would be a hint of beer on his breath, but he would sit down by me and enjoy the homemade banquet of food.

If my memory serves me right I think sometimes he would have to go back down when it was his turn, then run back up the stairs. While catching his breath he always savored every bite of Mom's chicken, potato salad, and Lemon Fluff.

This was a moment that made me proud of Dad. Sitting awkwardly in a seat a bit too small for him , perhaps with his mind on the next frame of the bowling tournament and the cold Heidelberg he left downstairs , he focused on me as I sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" to him joined by my other Camp Fire friends.

Through the years Dad embellished his version of these banquets over and over again as he was so famous for doing. There was talk of missed frames, %#2$% George Linney, someone drinking his beer, and having to squeeze in small quarters to join me for the banquet. What will always stay with me was seeing Dad's misty eyes when I blew him a kiss when I finished " Let Me Call You Sweetheart". He hustled off to bowl his next frame not realizing I had seen those tears. I felt proud of my dad that night upstairs at the bowling alley.

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