Eugene N. Doherty

Posted by Censor Librorum on Jun 17, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

Today is Father’s Day. My last Father’s Day call, gift and card were in 1989. Dad passed away on Thanksgiving of that year. But the fact that he’s gone doesn’t mean I spend this day without him. I have so many happy memories of Dad from growing up in New Jersey and summers in Vermont, and his visits to Alaska when I lived there. The salmon fishing trip on the Situk River near Yakutat will forever be etched in the family lore!

On the bureau among Lori’s and my family photos is a wonderful picture of Dad taken in the woods near by my old house in Pennsylvania. It must have been a warm fall day – all the leaves are down but his jacket is open. His hair is silver-just the color mine will be someday. I have silver streaks in my hair and I’m silver at my temples. Just like my father.

When he passed away I was bequeathed two specific items: his graduation ring from Rutgers, and his pen. He used this pen for everything, from correcting his students’ compositions, to writing checks for monthly bills, to the warm and affectionate dedications on the books I received at Christmas every year. The pen is old – it was his father’s; and now it is mine. It is a dip pen and inkwell. I never saw him use anything but burgundy ink.

Besides my eyes, smile and temper, I inherited many other things from my father; his love of working in the yard, fishing, an appreciation of irony, watching TV and working, antiques, our Irish heritage, sunsets, and a love of butter pecan ice cream-especially in a “Dusty Road” sundae.

By the time I was ten I could handle a 22 rifle with ease (he was a former Marine sharpshooter) and had also started to learn how to tie my own flies for fly fishing. I was inclined to invent long colorful streamers, but my father insisted the “little, ugly ones” were the best to catch trout in the local ponds and streams. He was right.

One fly I will forever associate with him is the “Muddler Minnow.” We made them with caribou hair and they were really fun to make and use. My father also could make a beautiful Royal Coachman, but try as I might I could never make one with his finesse.

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