George was my dad. He passed in 2002, on May 30, so this will be the tenth Father's Day without him. I must say, the time has flown by.
George usually signed his first name in the abbreviated form, Geo. Thus, he was often refered to as Gee-oh by the family members, and mostly addressed as Pops, the same name he used to address his father. We boys also called him Dad on occasion.......he didn't seem to mind any of those names.
Pops was a pretty mild mannered guy, he mostly took life as it came to him. He was a WWII vet, but spoke less and less of his war experiences as the years went on. Like so many GIs, he came home, went to work, married (a couple of times), had a family, and settled into middle class life.
Pops was conservative in his politics, although by no means radically so. He was a right leaning moderate, if a label is neccessary. He voted his mind....once in a while it was for a Democrat, but mostly he voted Republican.
Sometimes, on election day, he liked to spar with me a little. He would ask me who I voted for (and my mother would always scold him for it, by saying ....."George, you don't ask people questions like that...its none of your business"). He'd reply "What? I'm just asking!"
Now, my politics weren't all that far off from his, but I often played the Devil's Advocate. Since he was trying to push my buttons, I'd retaliate, and tell him I voted for people I know he didn't/wouldn't vote for. He would always respond with "well, I guess my vote cancelled yours out, then". I'd laugh and remind him that my vote had also cancelled his.
One time, I threw a new tactic at Pops.....I told him "I never vote for an incumbant." He didn't seem to like that reasoning at all, and told me I was being immature with my right to vote.
We went on with the political ribbing for many years.
Pops had a heart attack when he was 77. Always a hard working, industrious guy who looked nowhere near his actual age, he rapidly became an old man. He mostly stayed home, but would venture out in the late afternoon to have coffee with some of his cronies. I would sometimes see him in the coffee shop.....he and the other old boys would be talking about WWII, something I hadn't heard much of, in many years.
They also talked politics, and mostly they were dissatisfied with political things in general.
One time, when the old boys were sitting at their table, grousing, I overheard Pops speak up. He said "I'm not gonna vote for any incumbants.......throw the bastards out....that's what my son says to do....throw the bastards out!" There seemed to be a general murmer of consent, but I doubt that any of those guys actually ever did vote to "throw a bastard out", unless, of course, the bastard was a Democrat. We have very, very few elected officials of that persuasion up this way, I might add.
I think about Pops and his politics ever so often. It puts me in a nice place. He paid me quite an honor by attributing "throw the bastards out" to me. I had actually never said it, but I'll take the accolades that come with the statement.....after all, it was a father-son moment.
And you know what? I now find myself telling people who ask about my politics, "I vote to throw the bastards out"!
Thanks for the line, and Happy Father's Day, Pops! I miss ya!