Happy Birthday Dad!
My dad died 25 years ago, only six months after my mom passed away. I’ve been feeling very nostalgic lately, especially after having just lost my husband of 25 years (timing was good and bad the year we got married) and a close friend three months before him. But we humans do find strength and manage to carry on with our day and get through it, no matter how painful.
Allan King, my dad, was many things. He was warm and generous with a wicked sense of humor and had an adventurous spirit. He loved kids and animals. But he was also unconventional, complicated and restless. He loved a good card game and played for money. Red was his favorite color. He was extremely smart. He skipped grades at school and as a result hung out with an older crowd. He got bored easily. My mom always said she knew him better than he knew himself but even so, didn’t really know him. Maybe that’s what kept them together.
He was born in Russia of Jewish descent and emigrated to New York as a young boy. He spent many years in Manhattan before deciding to move to Ottawa, then Montreal, where he met my mother. He loved everything Montreal. He was friends with Lorne Greene (Bonanza + Wild Kingdom whom he met in Ottawa) and knew William Shatner. He knew a lot of people.
His easy come, easy go carefree attitude was daunting to some, and at the same time admirable, as he lived life on his own terms.
He got lots of speeding tickets and refused to wear a seat belt. He smoked but never touched alcohol (except for the occasional toast).
He was compared to handsome actor John Garfield (Postman Always Rings Twice…..)
I would stay up late and watch the Tonight Show and old movies with him, even though I should’ve been in bed.
Main thing I remember was that he cared about us and that’s really what mattered most.
I miss him and will celebrate him in spirit.