Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feb. 19,

First off I must again thank all of you for the out pouring of good vibes and heart felt words of support everyone continues to send our way. It makes each day less windy and a lot sunnier.

Dad is feeling pretty good today, but a little crabby. Now that he is feeling better and steadily making progress towards going home he has becomes a little more anxious and his patience wanes.
Day after day in the confines of any small room for what ever reason works on the mind.

The trick now that he is taking his Diuretics in the pill form instead of the intraveiniuos solution that is more potent is to adjust the dosage amount to achieve the same results. When dad was switched the the pill form he started to retain a little more water so the doctors have made the necessary adjustments to maintain his progress towards going home.

Dad is looking forward to this afternoon and a visit from Tom Noddy. Tom is one of his dearest friends and an amazing bubble magician. Bubble magic cheers everybody up.

Friends, steep some tea bags and pull up a chair, it’s once again story time.
Eight years ago we took our first winter road trip together. It was the longest amount of time that I had spent alone with my father since the old family trips through southern Utah nearly forty years ago. The trip started out cautiously, neither of us knowing what lie ahead, it was a new chapter in our lives. For the first few hours the silence of the road was sporadicly interrupted by the usual small talk, you know things like, what have been up to , hows your mom, what are your hobbies. Looking back I think we were both just trying to get comfortable and feel each other out. But the road has a way of prying things out of people and breaking down barriers. The more we drove the more we talked and the more we talked it became apparent to the both of us that we were not merely father and son, we were indeed two old friends that hadn’t seen each other in a very long time. At some point during one of dads fifteen mile marker rants and his voice started to fade, concentrating on the road I caught myself reaching over to the radio and turning up the volume not wanting to miss a word, but it wasn’t the radio, it was my dad talking to me in the car, it was all so surreal.

It was on the last day our stay in Spokane and we were having some breakfast in a small rail car diner with my sister Morrigan before hitting the road to Kennewick Or. for another show. We were all sitting around the table talking. I was reading the local rag when I came upon a article stuffed at the end of the main section ( the palace that news papers print most articles of importance) an article titled Activist Dies. I read on, it was an story about the passing of Daniel Berrigan. I asked dad if he knew Dan and before I could say anything he launched into a long story about Daniel and his great works. Any body that has listened to my dad knows that my fathers command of English and spoken word is such that once he gets started you rarely have a chance to jump in. Now I feel that I have a decent working knowledge of social justice, Civil Disobedience and activism in general and as I listened to dad speak I pondered on how I was going to tell him that Dan had died. When dads words started to slow I told him the article was about Dan and that he had passed away. When I saw the indescribable look on my dads face I realized how little infact I knew and how much work lay ahead.

So was the start of our many, many road trips together. To date we have logged more than twenty thousand miles and are still counting.


gordon said...

hey Duncan-
that part today about driving around with pops is cool and meaningful- I have two daughters and always want to get them into a road trip, for the very reasons you state. you have very special life long road trip memories.
gordon 95959/SF

Bill Elston said...

Hi Duncan-I'm a friend of your father's from Spokane. I met him while he was working at the World's Fair. You probably don't remember me, but you may recall growing up with a couple of paintings that I did. One was of a small pond in Vermont, near an old house that Billy Shubart of Philo records owned, the other was a still life of some of your father's favorite things.

The last time that I saw him was at a concert in Seattle. I recall you were there as well. He told me then that he was having problems with his ticker. Please give him my best wishes. Although we haven't been in touch much over the past several years, I've always regarded him as one of the great people that I've known.

Thanks, and take care - Bill Elston

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered your blog but I have been a huge fan for years. In fact your post today reminds me of my trip, inspired by some of your father’s words, with my dad. It was about four years ago and my dad was diagnosed with chronic diabetic neuropathy and was so heavily medicated he could barely remember his name and some doctors only gave him one more year.
It was father’s day and my brother flew in from Arizona thinking this might be our last, we surprised dad late in the evening to tell him that we were going fishing the next morning. The look on his face was something of great achievement and love… we’ve finally learned the lesson and value of fishing. We spent the day on the water fishing, only two bites in 10 hours, but we talked and learned from each other. We now take every effort to sit and talk for a day or two every year, even if we aren’t fishing, and dad may not be getting better but we know he enjoys our time together and we know to cherish our time together.
Please continue to share what you will as I do love your dad’s words much as I love my own father’s…

Susan said...

An anoymous poem:

Here lies her
Gone and departing;
She failed English grammar
And died broken-hearting.

Susan, again

Casey Neill said...

Hi Duncan
Thanks for the stories and updates. I first met your Dad at an event for the Headwaters forest in Oakland. Jello Biafra, he and I were performing and Judi Bari was speaking. Utah challenged me to somehow work the word "inveigle" into a song. It only rhymes with bagel. I am still working on it but vow to get it done. He has been a huge inspiration to me over the years. My best wishes to both of you.
Casey Neill
Portland, OR

gary said...

never thought i'd see the day - Utah and Joanna posting blogs!!! Now, that is a new chapter in history!

Now that Utah has issued the challenge, it'll be fun to see the creativity pour forth!

Thanks so much for the daily updates - i look forward to getting home each evening so i can check in with you all - It means so much to be kept posted on Utah and all of you ... We're turning lots of folks on to the blog, and they're loving it. Hope each day is better than the one before, and that you get to go home soon .. love and best wishes, betty and gary