American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Daddy's Little Girl - A Memorial to my Father

Cause not every post here will be about AG, or even dolls.1

My daddy, Harold, is and was as unique, strange, weird, and original as I am. He could make a quick snappy remark, he could cut his eyes at you with a glare that said "this some shit," and he would hold his arms out and let me run up and bound up to catch me in a big tight hug the moment I saw him every summer, smelling of Stetson or Old Spice. His colors were black and gold, because he was an Alpha Phi Alpha--the oldest black fraternity. For years he drove a gold sports car--I want to say a Fiero--with the license plate "AIR RAM." He had a Masters in Math, and he chose to drop out of West Point because he always marched to the beat of his own drum. He taught math at Milwaukee Public Schools and he was my first teacher, which is why I walked into my kindergarten class knowing up to my ten times tables and that 12 times 12 was 144. He liked big cats like Lions and Tigers and Cheetahs.

The family always tells the story of how, when I was two weeks old, my daddy brought me to visit my grandmother on the bike. And when she asked where I was he unzipped this jacket and I was asleep inside, not even disturbed by the ride. He would put me on the gas tank of his motorcycle and hook a helmet on my head, and we'd ride around Lake Michigan. Every summer before his accident, he would take me out on a ride without fail, and I learned to hold on and not be scared. He played chess with me after I learned how. He loved the Packers. He got me my first set of Prismacolors. He calls me his baby girl.

The first thing to check my eye when I went in his house after the service that made me cry was my wedding picture of me and Addy in our matching blue dresses, tucked lovingly in the back of one of his model trucks that sat on the mantle of the fireplace.

This one right here.
The other was the torn cover from this year's American girl Holiday Catalog, which I might get a new copy of to have framed and tuck my daddy's picture in.

Daddy was a collector like me. He collected everything from die-cast cars to comic books, motorcycles, Spider-man, black and gold things, and all kinds of toys. They weren't neat organizations of things, and a lot of it was haphazard and unorganized. But it was his. Like my collections are mine.

I am his baby girl. Even with him gone from this side of the living, I am his baby girl.

I love you, Daddy.

All I have
And all I do
Cannot compare
To the love of you

You make me feel alive
You are my highest high
All I can do is smile
When I look in my little girl's eyes

You're my star
And when I'm far
You're not alone
'Cause your heart's my home

You are my biggest prize
So beautiful and so wise
I can see the woman from within my child
When I look in my little girl's eyes

You make me feel, alive
And you are my highest high
All I want to do when I come into the room is see her smile
When I look in my little girl's eyes

--Lenny Kravitz, "Little Girl's Eyes"


1 And if you're not here for pictures of baby me and Daddy matched up with song lyrics that remind me of him, and just want doll stuff and rants, you are on the wrong damn blog. Get to fucking walking.


  1. Your dad seems like a really neat guy. I'm really sorry for your loss. :(

  2. (Regular lurker here) I am so sorry for your loss. Your daddy sounds like a wonderful person and the best kind of father anyone could have. And if people aren't hear to read about him they're just plain crazy, because it sounds like you wouldn't be the collector, artist, and writer you are without his influence. This is a lovely tribute to a man who was clearly lucky to have you as a daughter.

  3. You can definitely see how much your daddy loves you in these photos and he sounds incredibly cool. Sending virtual hugs seems so trite but my thoughts are definitely with you right now, Nethie.

    -Sar (fisher_queen because for some reason my computer doesn't like me signing in with ID here)

  4. It sounds like your daddy was really awesome. Though that doesn't surprise me because you're so awesome :) So sorry for your loss :(

  5. That was a beautiful tribute! Your father sounds like he was a wonderful persona and a great dad! I'm truly sorry for your loss.

  6. What an amazing man and what a beautiful and vivid tribute. Thanks for letting your readers share a bit of your father and your backstory. He must've been so proud of you and he still is, on the other side. My most profound sympathies for your loss. What I've learned (not that you asked and/or care) from loss is that they are still always with you. I don't claim to know what happens when we die, but I know enough that their leaving of this life and of the physical doesn't mean one bit that they're gone from being in our lives. Peace and blessings to you and your family.

    OT, but you were a gorgeous little girl and grew up to be a gorgeous woman and that pic of you and Addy is just beautiful. You can see in the pictures of you and your dad the love that shines through and how much that handsome man clearly adored his baby.

    Bright Blessings.

    - GNI

  7. I'd have liked your daddy. No question about that. He's an amazing man, and it's so obvious the love he had for you. He was and is a wonderful man, because I firmly believe that people who are on the other side of living don't leave us.

    My daddy also rode motorcycles and collected well not dicast cars but model cars. Sadly, I don't have any pictures on my computer, because he passed away before I had a computer or camera of my own. But seeing these of you and your daddy did my heart good.

  8. this is a beautiful tribute and I am glad to have witnessed it. <3

  9. Your dad sounds like an extraordinary person

  10. That picture of him holding you as a baby...you can tell he loved every bit of you. What a beautiful picture. (the others are very nice too, that one is just so gorgeous)


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