Two weeks ago I got an email from the mother of one of the kids on my Y basketball team. The season was over so I was surprised to hear from her. I thought maybe she was going to report that her daughter had been recruited to play in the WNBA, and she was going to credit me for her advancement. That was not the case.
Instead, she asked me if I would coproduce a local show with her the week of Fathers' Day. When she told me what it was about, I jumped at the chance.
Lisa Ogburn is a documentarian and works to bring communities together through the art of storytelling. In June, the plan is to gather 12 folks to each share a story about fatherhood. The story can be read or just told. It can be about your father or about being a father.
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I was telling Michelle about this venture and asked her what her favorite father or grandfather story was. She was quick to recount.
"Do you remember the time we met Aunt Sallie and Uncle Matt in the airport on the way to the Grand Canyon?"
"Remember we were waiting on their plane - they weren't married yet."
"And do you remember what Pops said?"
"No. Not really."
"He said, 'I wonder where Sallie and Mark are?'"
My father-in-law actually called his daughter's boyfriend by the wrong name, Mark, not Matt.
That might not seem so odd but they'd been dating quite a while at this point and in fact when they did show up at our gate to take the last leg of our flight out west, Sallie walked up and immediately lifted her ring finger. The night before, "Mark" had asked her to marry him.
Now in some families there might have been some sense that we keep our mouths shut and not share this faux pas with the new kid on the block for fear of instant alienation. However, with Uncle Jesse and me in the mix, keeping quiet was not even considered.
"Sallie, we're so excited for you and Mark!"
"Yeah, that's what Pops told us his name was..."
With big bear hugs we embraced 'Mark' and told him how excited we were that he was joining the family. I informed him that Pops had never called me by the wrong name but I was certain there was no hidden meaning in his mistake.
We then proceeded to call him Mark for the duration of the excursion. The name has stuck and on our next whole family vacation, we even gave the other family members aliases just to ease Mark's pain.
DJ- Lizzy B.
Pops- Santa Claus
Aunt Sallie- Shush It (cause she kept telling us to be quiet)
If you have a story that you'd like to submit for our Fathers' Day production, or if you might want to attend to hear these tales, visit Liisa Ogburn's website. The event will be held at Peace College on June 10th. Hope you can join us!
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