Sound Memories of Jack

Jack Slater 1927-2009

My father passed away three years ago. 

I have been thinking about the many sounds that remind me of him as I go about my day. If you try and live in the moment it means you are very conscious of all that is around you. Memories can be triggered by the crinkle of paper, wisps of the wind or even the sound of a remote control changing the channels.  The following sounds remind me of my dad Jack. 

Marching bands and especially any music by John Phillip Sousa

Scat singing by Ella Fitzgerald who he loved

The crack and pop of an old vinyl record starting up on an old school record player

The sound of an his old fashion adding machine clunking and chinking along as it adds numbers on his office desk in the back of the house

Bad reception on a portable FM radio as we tried to tune in a baseball game while sitting on the front porch

His whistle to call me in from playing in the back yard when I was a child

The crunch of a pretzel being eaten from another room when my mother walked toward the back of the house

A knife slicing through an apple while the TV hummed in the background

Football fans roaring in a stadium while the Giants take the field

The crinkle of a $20 bill coming out of his pocket and into my hand

His 1972 Buick Electra starting up in the driveway

Sweet and low being poured and stirred into his coffee as the spoon touches the mug

A click from his Nikon camera as he photographed a moment from my childhood

Film running through his 16mm film camera as he makes family movies

In The Mood by Glenn Miller Band

The carbonated pop from a can of diet soda being opened

The distinct belch after drinking a soda that was all Jack

The very subtle sound of his cuff links being locked into place on his shirt

Sharpening a knife to cut a Thanksgiving turkey

Creaking sounds in the metal structure of his chair as he would lean back and recline

Footsteps and floor board noise when he would walk down the hall from the back of the house to the front

The sound of an old fashion remote control that changes channels on a TV 

Tapping the end of a bottle of ketchup to start the flow

His laugh at Archie Bunker or an old sitcom 

His voice calmly explaining to me and my wife in 1976 what a balance sheet was all about

The crack of a baseball bat at a little league game

Blowing his nose into his white linen handkerchief that my mother would religiously launder

Singing the national anthem off key at the start of a ball game

Snapping fingers to any music by Frank Sinatra

Calling my mother’s name when he was in a different room

Hearing his voice tell me he loved me

 Dad, I am still listening. 

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