created memory in Thomas Patrick McBride
I found a few emails that dad sent me. When I re-read them, they made me laugh a little. They are so typical of him. I'll paste the first one below and then add the other one...
Kathy, I thought you would get a kick out of this.
A Daughter-Father Talk
One time there was a young teenage girl that was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and her father was a rather staunch Republican.
One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to programs like welfare. He stopped her and asked her how she was doing in school… She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party and often went sleepless because all of the studying. She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of all her studying.
He then asked how her friend Mary, that was attending the same college, was doing. She replied that she was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA, never studied. Was very popular on campus and was at parties all the time. She often wouldn't show up for classes because she was hung over.
He then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and ask why she couldn't take 1.0 off her 4.0 and give it to her friend that only had a 2.0. That way they would both have a 3.0 GPA.
The daughter fired back and said "that wouldn't be fair, I worked really hard for mine and my friend has done nothing". The father smiled and said: "Welcome to the Republican Party".
"Big Body, Little Brain"
For my first communion mom bought me a snow globe with a little girl praying. After I opened it, dad asked to see it. The snow globe fell to the floor mid-handoff. Of course I blamed this on dad. I was so mad I wouldn't even talk to him. Mom ended up going back to the store and buying me another because I was so upset. There was glitter all over that carpet until the day they replaced it.
Dad used to cry watching movies all the time. Two that I remember well are Rudy and any old war movie. I remember watching an old war movie with dad and as people started dying, dad started crying. I honestly believed, for much of my childhood, that Grandpa McBride was killed in war because of the way this man sobbed. I would always laugh at him, probably because I was somewhat uncomfortable with the sight of this big man crying, and he would call me a "little wretch" and ask me to get him a handkerchief.
This cannot be a Tom McBride tribute without at least one golf story. As you know, Dad had a very Zen approach to life. This carried over to his golf game.
When I was in high school, Dad took Bernie and I golfing a few times with a guy we went to school with and worked with named Mike Wagonner. We usually played a place over in Illinois called Triple Lakes. There was a par 3 there where the tee box was on one hill and the hole was on the next hill. In between was a valley with a lake.
Dad's first shot landed in the lake below with the trajectory of a hall of fame curve ball, gathering speed as it fell. As the ball splashed down, my father raised his club to the heavens and hurled it directly at the front of the golf cart Mike and I were sitting in. He was, of course, cursing in the manner he taught us, but Mike, Bernie and I were laughing so hard, we could not hear it. The club bounced off the cart.
Dad's second shot cleared the lake. He had hit the ball with such force that it stuck for a moment in the side of the next hill, before rolling gently into the lake below. My father must have had a rare moment of clarity at this point, "I almost killed my first born and his dim-witted, slack-jawed friend with the first throw of my club. I shall throw it the other direction this time."
The club flew down the side of the hill end-over-end, bouncing handle-first and clefting in twain before landing in the lake. Mike, Bernie and I were, of course, in enough pain from laughing to require medical attention. Dad, of course, was still cursing.
When the noise subsided, Dad turned to me and said with a smile, "Hey Mikey! Let me borrow your 8-iron!"
When I was 17(!!!), I remember coming home around 2 or 3 in the morning. Dad was laying on the couch and I woke him. He was not worried or upset, he just wanted to talk! This may be verbatim...
Dad: Sit down a minute. I wanna talk to ya.
Dad: Your smart enough not to take drugs, right?
Dad: And I think by now you know everything you need to know about sex, right?
Dad: OK, I just wanted to make sure. If you ever have any questions, just ask!
Me: I'm going to bed.
This is the Tom McBride version of the sex talk. Feel free to use it on your children in their late teens
Dad once told me on an election day that he didn't know what was on the ballot so he was just going to vote Republican and No because when you vote Yes on things, taxes go up and when you vote Democrat, taxes go up.
When I would hurt myself and I was crying, he would ask, "Where's the blood?" And if there wasn't any he would say, "Then what are you crying for?"
Dad loved to spend money. He loved to buy cars. Specifically, he loved to negotiate any purchase, especially the purchase of a new vehicle. I watched him walk out on so many dealerships and salespeople. He had no problem telling them to "go to hell." They would always call him the next day, though with a better offer. He had some serious skill in negotiating. :)
I always loved the story that dad used to tell about the goalie he had at Maryville who was an Art Major. He said his defense was so good that she didn't have much to do during the game. So she drew a mural in the dirt. After half when they switched sides, the other team's goalie was kicking the dirt to mess up her artwork when his team moved in a scored!
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