Thursday, December 28, 2006

My dad

When I got up this morning, my dad asked me if I would be interested in going down to the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville and looking at an exhibit they have up right now about the portrayal of race throughout the history of film. Um, of course I would like to do that.

It was a nice exhibit, but we were both a little disappointed that it was pretty much nothing but posters. There wasn't a whole lot of real in-depth analysis, aside from an explanation behind the story of each film they had a poster for. They had some cool stuff though, like an original Song of the South poster, and an original Birth of a Nation poster in Spanish.

The best part though was a pretty large exhibition of Eudora Welty photographs on display in a different gallery of the building. I've never really seen her work, and always just thought of her as a writer.

My dad impressed me today. Not because he wanted to go see an exhibition about race, because he's super into old jazz and blues and gospel, all of which are predominantly "black music," and he's into history. He's always been a subtle champion of the underdog, in life and politics, he's just not overly exuberant or showy about it. He did know who Eudora Welty was, though, and that surprised me.

After that, we stopped at a little coffee shop to have a sit-down and some coffee. Talk eventually drifted to some friends of my parents who's two grown children have had all kinds of awful problems, not excluding drug addiction and prison time, which one of them is now facing for violating his parole (he's looking at 8 years, in fact). My dad was telling me about how the husband of the couple is extraordinarily conservative and homophobic (I grew up with these people and played with their daughter, and I didn't know this), and at one point the husband had said, "I'd rather have my son be a criminal than be gay." My dad scoffed at this and said, "I'd like to ask him how he feels about that statement now that his son is facing prison time, for the second time. And I have nothing but pride in my sons."

Holy shit, did my dad just make a direct reference to my being gay, and how proud he was of me? Methinks he did. That's the first time he's ever said anything to me about it, which sort of confirms what I already thought about my dad, which is that he just really doesn't give a shit about that stuff. I always kind of thought my dad was very much a live and let live kind of guy, and as long as you're not hurting anybody, why should anyone care? He also doesn't give two shits about what anybody thinks of him, and I have to say, I have mucho respect for that.

After that, he took me to the new natural foods store in Rogers, which I have to say I was pretty impressed by. It's the real deal and it was neat. And cute boys work there.

Then we went to a big flea market where I found a whole bunch of old Time Life sets of classical records divided up by composers. They come in these really neat, brightly-colored cardboard carriers, and each one has 4 records, a book about the composer, and a listening guide to the records. And each one was only $5. So I bought three: Beethoven, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. Even though I don't have a record player, I was excited about them, since I plan on getting a record player eventually, and I've been wanting to start collecting old classical records. So these are a good starter kit.

I couldn't even tell you the last time I spent an entire afternoon with just my dad, and it was really pleasant. I'm lucky.


Mandy said...

Sounds like you had a good day. I've always liked your dad, and I think you summed up his philosophy nicely.

Did you go to the natural foods store that is in the old post office building? I've driven by it a couple times and was intrigued. Remember when they tried to make that building a club, and we went to a rave there? Good times.

ryan said...

Yep, that's the one. It's a nice store. It's a lot like Wheatsville in Austin, about the same size. And how could I forget about the rave we went to there? That was one of the last. Also, there were several shows there I remember going to. Not sure who they were though. Just Rogers bands, I'm sure.