Saturday, June 27, 2009


The difference always between my Dad and me was that Dad was into real estate, and I was into imagine escape.

Dad the civil and industrial engineer, Dad the buyer and manager of housing units, Dad the appraiser and developer of large-scale commercial properties—my Dad had a different sort of soul than I.

My Mom, if only by default, became my soul’s shaping influence. Since Dad was off to War for five of my youngest, most formative years, it fell entirely to Mom to care for me and educate me with stories and poems—Uncle Wiggly, Uncle Remus, The Child’s Garden of Verses, the giant Book House series—all to be read to from, and in time to read on my own.

Surely that’s what shaped my soul as an English major, English teacher, and English professor, one who loves to read and write, one who relishes imagining and inventing, and one who attends very little to real estate.

Dad’s influence on my character was strong but antagonistic—we wrestled for my soul until he died at 58 when I was 29. Since then, unreal estate has prevailed—happily ever after.