I grew up loving Cary Grant, Paul Newman and John Wayne, actors portraying my dad on the screen. Dad was my very own movie star- dancing like Gene Kelly on the small stage, our kitchen linoleum. Strikingly handsome with the most beautiful pale blue eyes, charming, mischievous, talented, sensitive, stubborn, kind and generous, Bob Matthews was a big-hearted, big bearish guy. An outdoorsman and champion golfer, he was as comfortable in a saddle as he was in a top down t-bird. And he adored me. No matter what.
Today would be his birthday- right after mine, his day too often a footnote to my princess celebration. My mother was just telling me that when I was born, though I was the first, he was never afraid of me. He tucked me under his arm like a pee-wee football and took me wherever he went, happily taking on any challenges that created. He did that kind of thing so well throughout his life- for my brothers and me. I love this picture- me in that favorite blue dress, wrapped under his arm still. He was a good, good man, easy to admire, harder to get to. I wish I could be that little girl there again, just one more hug, one more chance to tell him how much I love him. One more look into those so gentle blue eyes. Happy birthday, Dad. Here's to towers of pink cupcakes and barrels of black coffee. Our love to you - always.