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ZION
 
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The parent gap

09 April 2013, 11:04

When I was young my father appeared to me as a giant but not one to scratch up the wrong way. The consequences of scratching him held dire outcomes any way: I was prepared to take it but knew the temperature would settle soon.

He was a friend rather than a father but it never was worthwhile crossing him in any way whatsoever because of occupying 2nd position but fortunately not for long. What happened today was gone and forgotten thereafter and tomorrow. A salient point in a father- son relationship was the father seen as a leader and the son will follow in his footsteps.

At the time, about four years old, I saw the smoking habit of my father and wondered about it and if I could have a smoke too but always wary of my mother who brooked no crap from myself or the other kids. I correctly presumed that had I smoked and my mother caught my I would not be here today. My father had a large circle of friends and that, to a degree, was his fall, although  just a step on the societal ladder.

He told me years later that friends are nothing but trouble and when the pooh hits the fan there is nobody around to clean up the mess. He was aware that popularity was only a function of the depth of the contents of a brandy bottle. And that level was a function of time and when the time ran out nobody, much less him had any friends left and that was liberation.

He often arrived at home with an entourage of pals and a bottle of brandy and it was always up to my mother to douse the fires of booze. And often separate inebriated boozed up pals who miraculously found themselves accidently entangled in a free-for-all. My father would casually croon a melody of a rather threatening nature and that would mean”Break it up, now, or else”. 

Yes, my father was an avid fisherman and was called out of bed in the middle of the night to provide fishing friends with hooks, line and sinkers and enjoy pointless angling in the lagoon where few fish dwelt.

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