Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dad – sometimes he’s too subtle.

Okay – this is one of those things that when it happens you don’t think anything about it.  You don’t realize what is happening or why.  You don’t realize how your reactions are less than expected even though you are acting politely and correctly in the reality that you are moving through.
My dad goes to the Indy 500. Sounds hoity-toity, huh? I guess it kind of is but it’s not like he has an inside suite or he has seats on a turn. He’s been going for a long time. It’s something he did as a kid with his father too. I don’t know when that stopped but about 10 years ago he started going again.
A few years back he invited to come along.  I went.  I enjoyed it; not nearly as much as he does but it was fun watching him.  His Indy 500 is like my ComicCon.  He preps and makes lists and checks them twice. He orders the tickets long in advance and even books the hotel room for the next race before he has checked out of the room for the current race.
He knows where’s he’s going and that he wants to do. He’s figured out the fun places to eat and the fun places he wants to visit while in Indianapolis.  He has his routine and he comes home very satisfied.
Me, I’m moving my way through this with different expectations and reactions.  He’s a race fan. I’m an autograph hound.  I naturally wonder about who might be signing where and when.  
I mention to him about changing some things up. I think I’m passive about it. He yields and we try something new. It doesn’t pan out but I don’t mind.  It’s a learning curve. I’m a newbie at this event and I haven’t networked with anyone to find out about the ‘in’s and out’s’.
The next year, I suggest something different again.  It doesn’t happen but it’s no big deal. It’s his event and not mine and its ‘quality time’ together. Something we don’t get as he’s in Jersey and I’m in Texas.
But this year we head to a different restaurant.  It’s actually a bar with a grill.  Dad tells me it’s a place the drivers hang out. I’m okay with some place new.  We go. I‘m thinking dad is looking to see some drivers and maybe shake a hand or two.
Not the nicest place.  Not a ‘tough’ tough place but someplace I want to sit so I can keep an eye on what’s happening in the room.  I figured my dad didn’t realize what kind of place this was and I’ll just keep an eye on things while we eat.  I’m being a good son by not comments on this location enjoying his company.
 No drivers were there that night. We were told they would visit in the weeks before the race but not the few days before the race.  Understandable.  We have an uneventful dinner and leave.
I never thought about why dad changed his routine that night.  Then this morning, a few years after that dinner, it occurs to me that dad did it for me. It wasn’t about him meeting drivers.  He was changing his routine to give me an opportunity to get some autographs.  He didn’t announce it to me. He didn’t make a big deal out of it. He just did to help me and try to make my trip more enjoyable.
His subtleness was missed by me for too long.  Something he did out of love and I never realized. Just some little thing he could do for his son. It was a surprise for me with no expectation of getting something back.
So thank you dad for helping me; like all of the other times you wordlessly did something I never perceived and may still never connect the dots. 
Thank you for all the times I never thanked you.
Your Son


  1. Great story man, parents do have a way of doing something like that for thier children.

  2. One of these days, when I grow up, maybe I’ll be less self-centered and see more of those things he’s done. And maybe when I grow up I can be more like him.