Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tribute to Bruce Elving

By Karin Clements

Some of my earliest memories of my father involve playing games such as “rubber baby buggy bumpers," “log and an airplane,” and “swinging on daddy.” He would hold us, and we would put our arms out pretending to zoom around the room like an airplane. Then he would get close to a bed or couch, at which time we would turn into a “log,” and he would drop us down. "Swinging on Daddy" involved him holding us and swinging us while singing, “Swinging on Daddy, We shall go rejoicing, swinging on Daddy,” similar to the “Bringing in the Sheaves” tune. He seemed to always have time to play with us. As we got older, he played “pig in the middle” with a bouncy ball with us as well as went on bike rides with us.

Since he worked at home, I would go to his office sometimes while he worked and pretend to read his customers' letters (before I could read). He would always be amused by that. We used to awaken (too early usually for our liking) often to the sound of his radio DXing, which involved a lot of static-filled music, and the sound of him jumping around singing, “All the joy!” He was a morning person but didn’t seem to go to bed too early either.

I remember holding his hand and going to the library with him, where he would make me go ask the questions I had to the librarian instead of doing it for me. Being a shy child, it was helpful to me to be pushed like that.

I remember him reading the newspaper on the couch, and when bored he would read the encyclopedia for fun. We would play a game with the atlas where we would try to guess and learn the colors of different countries’ flags. We really enjoyed that for some reason. He would read children's books to us, too, with
great gusto. Our favorites were Winter Hut and The Princess Who Never Laughed. When he was visiting
me in 2009, he read the latter to my kids. At night we would run to him for “Daddy time,” which would spare us a few minutes before the dreaded bedtime. Sometimes he would ask me to tell him about cartoons I saw to bore him to sleep. It seems I could go on and on about The Flintstones for quite awhile.

When I started playing the flute at 12 years of age, he always took an interest in my concerts and activities.

When I got back from Bolivia, he was so excited that I could speak Spanish that he would go up to random strangers that looked Hispanic and try to get me to speak Spanish to them.

He was unpredictable, quirky, and unconventional, and I wouldn’t have wanted any other father.

No comments:

Post a Comment