Monday, August 2, 2010

Even on Mondays

I love the New York Times Crossword puzzle.

So did my Dad.

I do it every day. Well, except for Mondays and Tuesdays: those are chump days. My Dad, though, he didn't care. He did it every day. Every day for 50 years.

Dad at 35 in 1968. Looks pretty relaxed for just having had his sixth daughter with mom, doesn't he?

Anyway. I've got a story to tell, and I've got non-related photos to share. Bear with me, won't you?

Every day during his years and years working at Norwalk Hospital, he and another doc would share the NYTimes crossword puzzle: whoever got to the docs' lounge first would photocopy the puzzle, put the copy in the other doc's pigeonhole, and take the original for himself.

He did that every day for about 40 years.

Then when he retired . . . he still photocopied the puzzle every day, for his beautiful bride. He took the copy, mom took the original. Naturally. Mom would have it no other way.

Easter 1966. I'm the wee one. The wee happy one.

I love this photo because Mom is about to have Julie -- she's 9 months pregnant. But mostly I love it because . . .

. . . I'm rocking my Dad's "Hello my name is Joe" sticker.

Anyway. Oh dear, these photos are distracting, aren't they?

Anyway, Mom and Dad came to Fort Davis, Texas to visit Bill and me in 2007 and my dad was absolutely chagrined to discover we couldn't get our hands on a NYTimes out there, and I couldn't do the puzzle every day.

There was only one thing to do at a time like this.

Dad photocopied me the puzzle every day for months then sent me the stack in the mail. Of course he did.

The thing about Dad? In addition to being a great husband . . .

. . . and a great Dad . . .

. . . and a wonderful grandfather . . .

. . . and -- as Mary Beth eulogized -- "Joyful. Appreciative. Kind. Gentle. Funny. Silly. Capable. Warm. Skilled. And fully alive" . . .

. . . the thing about Dad was, in addition to all that, he was smart. He loved Jeopardy. He could quote Hamlet's To Be or Not To Be soliloquy from memory. He knew all the bones in the human body. And he did the New York Times crossword puzzle every day.

Even on Mondays.

20 comments:

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw, dad. I miss that dumb face.

Thanks, Ellie, that was lovely.

Xo

Jacquie

Meg Butler said...

This was beautiful - and got me crying again! You Corey girls are amazing. Love you all. Still thinking of you and your Dad every day.

thinking of you in Central PA said...

beautiful!
lucky family!
lucky man!
thank-you for sharing him.

Karen Archer said...

There's nothin' like a great dad, is there? Especially a appreciative, humble, funny, silly, kind, joyful, smart one like yours. Or mine.

I've found that the missing never goes away-just the daily awareness of it.

I wish I could've said goodbye to Uncle Joe. I loved him a lot. Thanks for helping with that, Ellie. xoxo

Pat said...

What a beautiful blog...and I too do the NYTimes everyday (ask Beth and Hap--on Sundays I am crazy til I find one).

Clearly, your Dad was wonderful.
Thinking of you all...
Pat

Shelbe888 said...

Loved this Ellie! I have a sneaking suspicion that along with "Old Mamie Riley" my mom ALSO picked up her love of crosswords and "Jep" from your dad.

Love you Corey gals!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Wonderful, Ellie! Love those photos. The photo of the newlyweds is incredible, it looks fake it's so gorgeous!

You've got a lifetime of memories for the keeping. Thanks for sharing some of them :-)

love u,
beth

MB said...

Beautiful, Ellie. Thanks. xoxo

Captain Dumbass said...

Your dad was pretty awesome, you were lucky to have had him.

XUP said...

So sweet. What a lucky passel of gals you are to have had such a wonderful guy to grow up with. And what a lucky guy he was to live on so well-loved in so many people's hearts.

Christina said...

Oh wow - what a beautiful post. Awesome photos - gorgeous smiles.

(six daughters?!! Ok, he was superman for sure!)

Thank you so much for sharing.

Springer Kneeblood said...

The New York Times crossword. That's like the triathlon translated from brawn to brains. Completing the Times crossword is akin to getting all gold in the Olympics. Your dad was an amazing guy; there's no question about that.

Debbie said...

What a beautiful, just gorgeous post. A lovely tribute to a remarkable man.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

julie said...

slay me again why dontcha? beautiful, el. i love you.

Autumn said...

I love this, Ellie! Again, I'll say how lucky your family was to have him! And, I'm just noticing how much Jimmy resembles him...

Joyce on Devil Lake said...

You have written beautifully about someone I never knew, but feel somehow now I do. Thanks for sharing Ellie. Doug and I will open one (maybe two) with our "Doc Corey" and think of all of you.

c said...

What a lucky lucky family you all are! What a terrific man.

nancy said...

Was researching "Old Mamie Riley" and came upon your tribute - what a lovely expression of the joys of your family and your dad. Glad you knew to appreciate him. thanks. nance

Unknown said...

All the bones in the human body, joyful, smart, skilled and more-- but solved the Texas NYTimes puzzle drought single-handedly?! That is an awesome Dad. And with more than a little embarrassment I say, thank Will Shortz for Monday and Tuesday! Your Dad is smiling down on the clan always. xo

Unknown said...

Unknown is me, now known. Jane Z xo