Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Skelton's People

Early one Saturday morning, around November 1969, I would make my way in to watch my Father as he gets ready to leave for the day. He's just finished putting on a crisp white shirt. A tie is draped around his neck as he adjusts his collar. I'm just in time to watch him fling and twist the necktie into submission. Within seconds he's cinched the perfect knot. The precision and grace registers for the first time in my young mind.

I begged him to teach me this slight of hand. Looking mildly amused and maybe just a little impressed he was surely having flashes of me stepping up to the corporate ladder whereas I was thinking how cool this would look performed for my friends. It was right up there with Michael being able to blow soda out of his nose or Gordon's folding eyelid trick.

Without missing a beat my Father took an older tie from his closet. And after a brief demo from the master himself I stumbled through my first attempt and then a second. Another demo and a bit of fine tuning and I think I had it. Okay maybe not but it was going in the right direction. My Father gathered his wallet and pocket change from the dresser as he watched me with a smile. "Keep it" he said. "Practice and show me when I get home". And off he went.

I practiced in front of the mirror for a magician polishing his opening hook. This was great. Such speed and dexterity. I actually looked like I knew what I was doing. I was a genius. I half expected a call from Red Skelton's people. Once they got wind of this kid from Toronto with the amazing necktie schtick surely they would want me on the show.

Well the call never came but I still perfected my act. My Father was duly impressed and had let me now start his necktie on more than one occasion. And for Christmas that year my Father included a necktie as a gift for me. But the real gift had already been given. The necktie is long gone but those few simple minutes he spent with me are still one of my fondest flashbacks.

My pic today is a example of placed stonework from another Japanese garden. It's one that takes your eyes on a journey as they follow the simple path looking for that next amazing discovery just around the bend.

1 comment:

Don Mills Diva said...

What a wonderful memory - it's a great reminder to always take time for people because you never know what aspect of you will stick in their memory...