He always knew the correct answers to questions that stumped me. I thought he knew more than my school teachers. I wanted to learn from him and, someday, know as much as he did.
He studied to be a contestant on a San Francisco radio quiz show among local newsmen. The subject was Abraham Lincoln. Daddy knew everything about Lincoln. Daddy was smart; I knew he would win.
At the appointed hour, Mom and I sat by the radio. Men answered the questions, but we didn’t hear Daddy’s voice at all.
“Is Daddy there?” I asked.
“Shh! Listen,” Mom said.
When he came home, Mom said, “I know you were there because the announcer introduced you.”
“Christ, I was so nervous I just froze.”
One winter weekend at Twain Harte, Daddy drove us above the snow line until he saw a “nice little slope” as he called it. He parked the car off the road and lifted the rental toboggan from the car.
“Let me try it first,” he said, “to make sure it’s safe.”
He pushed off down the slope and disappeared over a rise at the bottom. We waited for him to reappear. And waited. And waited.
I ran down the hill and over the rise. There he was, sitting on the toboggan in the middle of a shallow, icy stream.
Daddy planned more than one vacation a year: summer at the Russian River or southern California beaches, and the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game New Year’s Day.
Mom & Lynne – Dad & Ransom, La Jolla Caves, 1948.
I thought we enjoyed our times together.We never missed an episode of Hopalong Cassidy after Daddy bought our first black and white television set. For Christmas in1950, Daddy’s coworkers presented him with a Hopalong Cassidy doll.
Daddy looks happy in all my album photos. Decades later, however, I heard that “his life was filled with unhappiness and frustration.”
He sure fooled us.
Additional excerpts from my memoir, His Daughter’s Remembrance, to follow . . .