Scent of My Father
Reflections of a Young Man Lost – “Daddy Are You There?”
My dad was taken from me when he was only 43 years old. He was a well-liked man with a barrel chest and big strong arms from spinning 100-pound steel rods as a diamond driller. No, he didn’t drill for diamonds, he would be hired to use a diamond head drill in order to find deposits of precious metals deep within the earth. If the metals were found, the next step would be to open a mine at that location.
To say this was hard work is an understatement. These drilling rigs, as they were called, were fully open to the elements…so you would freeze in the winter and boil in the summer. I remember those days as if they were yesterday—the smell the diesel engine, mixed with oil and grease, still comes to my nose, some 50 years later.
Dad liked to party on the weekends…almost every weekend…and Friday nights were ‘fight night’ in the kitchen of our trailer house, with mom who was also drunk. A highly charged environment to grow up in.
I remember seeing my dad being approached by many women and flirted with. They would come up to him and rub his big chest saying to him that they enjoyed his beautiful Pendelton Wool shirts. I’m sure this gave him many opportunities for straying from his wife, although I do not know for a fact that he ever did.
He wore Old Spice Cologne. A very popular scent of the 50’s and 60’s. I remember television commercials of men in pea coats and mariner hats, toting sea bags and smoking a pipe…showing they were manly men. They had beautiful women around them enamored by their handsome appearance and smell of the sea. Those commercials may have had some impact on my decision to join the Navy after graduation from high school and stay there until I retired late last century—I love saying that—do you?
I remember a time when my dad was encouraged to play golf so he could network for jobs for his company. He was horrible at it! However, I was his caddy and so I learned how play golf from his pro by watching and replicating the moves, club selection, pointers on putting etc. FREE lessons!
Dad never wore cologne unless he was going out. His after shave was the same scent only stronger because of the alcohol content. I can smell him right now as I write this article…
I started smelling the scent of Old Spice Cologne about a month ago and was awakened from my sleep calling his name after all of these years. The distinct scent was so vivid that I believed he was not only there, but I should be able to see him. In fact, I called out “Daddy, are you there?” After a few seconds, I realized I was in my bed, now wide awake and still wondering if he was really there. He passed over 47 years ago and I had never experienced this before.
My dad knew his craft well by the time I came along. He went to work for his oldest brother as soon as he finished 7th grade, the minimum in those days to quit public school and go to work, so he was 13 or 14 when he started and I came along some 13 years later. He had worked his way up to regional manager of his brother’s drilling company that, at the time, was the largest such drilling company in the world.
Dad had his first heart attack at the age of 32. His eleventh one killed him 9 years later. Those 9 years were real up and down years because his doctors were experimenting with diets that made his blood too thin and he would bleed for hours after cutting himself shaving. The other end of this was that my dad loved to party so beer drinking was a top priority of his. More so after he and my mother divorced when I was 14. He married a woman who also liked to drink, as much as he did, so they would sit at home and drink over a case of beer each night and drop into bed. Not a good scenario for a person with heart disease.
My father loved me—period. Unknowingly, he caused me to suffer a highly emotional childhood resulting in self-sabotage related behaviors all of my life. It wasn’t until completing a Repetitive Behavior Cellular Regression™ Session from one of my Master Practitioners that I was able to stop this behavior permanently.
I honor my dad on this Father’s Day much more than I ever have. I love you and miss you Dad.
See you on the other side.
Your son, Terry Lee…
Also published in The Good Men Project today: https://goodmenproject.com/uncategorized/scent-of-my-father/