Friday, December 05, 2008

My Dad's Reflections, upon Turning Fifty

My dad - Curtis Claunch Gillespie, Jr. - wrote this out on sketch pad in 1980 when he was fifty years old.  Note the references to Chapel Hill and the Gator Bowl of 1949. 


As I approach my own half century the reflections are awesome, vivid, and lovely – Why the reflections at this age – maybe fear, joy, or what? Am I afraid to pass this milestone – King of my Grammar School – the Jewish girl who could beat me up but love me – The fights as a twelve year old – Columbia and Woodrow Street – Hand, Dreher – Pawley’s Island – Drinking White Doves Beer at Davis’s – Falling off the back of the pavilion – The cashmere sweaters and pegged pants – Knocking down the door at the girl’s house party – I was bad but I guess normal – The Dark Horsemen, my girls, Woody’s Band at the Jefferson – The Parkway ??? - The Green Derby – The Cotton Patch – the Citadel & that beautiful redhead – My roommate pissing in the middle of the quadrangle & getting kicked out of school – the wonderful years at UNC – The Frat House – My brothers, many of whom are dead now – the Bowl games – The Gator  Bowl in ’49 which will never be topped – The Air Force -  My love for Maurine - our marriage   Denver - St. Louis – Our beautiful children in the 50’s – The Little League teams – The troubles and trials of growing children – My careers mostly successful – My art which I loved – The rest seems to glide by to now – Why am I scared – These reflections make it passable (?) so maybe instead of fear I should look forward to The second half – It could be the best of all – But of all these reflections the thing that made me the happiest were my father, my mother, my wife, my children, all individuals with different personalities and goals – I am sensitive and meditative about these people who I love so much – I have not given enough – But I am me – maybe I can reflect again when I approach 75 – The only regrets I really have is that I have not been able to love enough for I have so much in me


My dad died suddenly in a freak accident in June of 1989. He was 59. He never got to have those reflections he wanted to have approaching 75. He would have been 75 in 2005. 


betsy clark said...

Wow. Significant to read this. Family stands out, and moments that were not planned but happened. Pretty amazing.

Tom C. said...

Your blog got me thinking as I turn fifty this week...What am I leaving to my sons...little in manuscript... perhaps I should start. Thank you for sharing your Dads letter. He gave you a great gift:-)