That's another "D" word... And of course today is Father's Day. I read once a little statement that any man can be a biological father but it takes a special one to be a real dad. That is certainly true. My late husband was a good dad, often too lenient, especially with his only daughter, but remembered by his kids in many special and unique ways. I had two grandfathers who left me a good strong legacy because they were both of sterling character and greatly admired in their industry--railroading--and very admirable men. My father-in-law was another such man.
The picture at the right is my parents when they were dating--Dad was about thirty at the time and a good looking man, dark reddish brown hair, hazel eyes and a typically Irish way with a contagious sly grin, a wicked sense of humor and charm galore. He swept my somewhat shy and naive mom right off her feet! They wed two months after meeting and were together for over forty six years until his death in a traffic accident.
I had a rocky relationship with my dad. I was the first born and the only girl and he had tendencies to be a control freak--that was a bad recipe since we were both hard-headed and very determined Taurus people! Dad had a very hard time letting me go and grow into my own person. From my early teens on, there was constant conflict as he ceased to be my top hero and I turned attention to others, most of whom he found unworthy! He and my husband were like two dogs with a juicy bone--me!--over whom they could never do anything but conflict. That was hard at times but I was grateful Jim, my husband, was a strong man and able to back me in standing up to be my own person. I did not have much confidence or self-esteem and he helped me build them. Was he a father figure to me? Yes, in some ways. Until after his death, I had never seriously dated or had a relationship with anyone younger than me and most were considerably older. The 'shrinks' would have a field day with that I am sure!
Dad, too, was a writer and also a photographer. Although he tried his hand at fiction, that did not go well so he turned when I was small to writing for the men's outdoor sports magazines such as Field and Stream, Sports Afield etc. and photo-illustrating most of his work. He even had a piece or two and a few photos in Arizona Highways magazine which set a standard for excellence in scenic photography in its day. He was a very charismatic and outgoing person and drew "characters" into his life, and of course the family's, like a magnet. I got to sit and listen to many visitors who were tag ends of the old wild west, some amazing and incredible people! Many of them left a lasting mark on me and certainly color my fiction. I formed from these early images an ideal of what a "real man" should be that I hold to this day. From that start, he went on to write some diatribes about conservation and might be called an environmentalist before that became a common word. He probably influenced some like Edward Abbey who came along later.
So today I can say thanks, Dad, and really mean it. He never got a book published and I have had several, so I am slowly compiling into an anthology and lightly editing a bunch of stories and articles that either were not published or came out so long ago they are back in the public domain with rights reverted. I will probably self-publish it and it will not likely make a fortune but there will be a book out there with Charles M. "Chuck" Morgan on the cover and his sassy. humorous and sometimes wild tales will be available to readers. That will be my tribute and gift to him.
Besides the literary legacy, he left three kids, one now gone, who have each accomplished some significant things and used his legacy in individual ways. One brother worked for the railroad in maintenance and then became a union official, fighting for the rights and interests of the workers he represented. One became an attorney and used his flair for writing in legal work, only to die from an aneurysm at far too young an age (forty-six). I helped raise three step kids and became a multi-published fiction and poetry writer. Although I am not an extreme environmentalist, I do espouse conservation and stewardship of the earth and its resources and appreciate that part of his legacy as well.
Thank you, Dad. May you enjoy the well earned rest until we meet again as friends in some future time and place. Go in peace and harmony, of which you found little in your most recent life, whether by choice or chance I cannot presently say..
Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!