The winter of 1968 was long, cold, and never ending. In many ways, I am not talking about the weather. Many parts of the US set snow records, each in its own way increasing the tension and uncertainty that was plaguing society at the time. Jean Claude Kelly was winning Olympic medals, though some came with lots of controversy. For all its challenges, I do not remember minding the cold that came with the weather. It was on a brisk, sunny afternoon in Sacramento, I remember it as a Tuesday or Wednesday, that I confronted my father with my real opinion about his fashion sense. In a style normal and typical for a thirteen year old, my words were concise, black and white, and without any diplomacy. “Dad, you dress old. You think old. You are old.”
In hindsight, there were several points of fact that I find myself noting. My dad had not even reached the age of forty. In his era, he was as unconventional, forward thinking, and open as anyone I ever met. Worse yet for me, his fashion sense was a lot more current, hip, and informed than mine!
I can still remember the shock in his eyes. He did defend himself, though his words were much kinder than mine were. I also find myself reflecting on my ignorance, arrogance, and outright stupidity. It is hard to imagine how I could have been so blind. It is difficult to understand why I could not see beyond my puberty vision. It is baffling to look back and examine the foundations of my confidence.
I have long ago apologized for my remarks in a spirit of true confession. I have come to enjoy shopping with my father, comparing notes, admiring his ability to pick outstanding suits along with the accessories that come with them. Yet, I still find myself wandering back to the winter of ‘68.
“The people of Israel, though, are saved by you, God, saved with an eternal salvation. They won't be ashamed, they won't be at loose ends, ever.” (Isaiah 45.17)
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