I was lucky. I had a good variety of Dad.
It’s Father’s Day this weekend in Oz. We are being encouraged to buy buy buy. Wearing our Covid-safe masks, we queue at acceptable distance out the door of the post office.
If we have a Dad, that is. If we have a Dad who is still alive and craving a pair of socks or a power tool, who resides far away.
That was not my Dad.
If there were any commodities he was into, it was musty secondhand books. He was more into creativity, kindness, humour and people. Lucky for me, he made all the time in the world for his family of women. My Mum, my sister and myself. Oh and Isabel and Soxy the cats when they were alive.
Dad died ten years ago. I sometimes share bits and bobs of his creations. Here’s a link to some of those previous David Swain mentions.
And what a legacy of inspiration!
Here’s a glimpse of one of his books I haven’t shared much before…
One Thing and Another. A selection of ten years of cartoon and verse from his weekly column in the Canberra Times.
I know my Dad was rare for his times. Rare at any time. So I think of you with compassion if you had a less than lovely father.
some David Swain delight
And here’s a poem that my Dad gave to a neighbour years ago. The ex-neighbour found the poem on a scrunched-up, nearly thrown-out scrap of fax paper. Fax paper! Faded but not forgotten. She photographed it and PM’d me. Aww.
In case you can’t read the Faded-but-not-Forgotten Fax:
IF GOD EXISTS
I CANNOT SAY
BUT DO KNOW WHAT
I HEAR TODAY
FROM BONDI BIRDS
IN DRAWN-OUT NOTES
OF NEAT DESIGN
PLUS SOUND LIKE ‘BOMP’
TO END EACH LINE
OF LYRIC LIFE
TILL MOST AGREE
THAT KNOCK-OFF TIME’S
AT HALF-PAST THREE
David Swain and his Lyric Life?
He started out as a cheeky Cockney barrow boy. When he was sixteen, a headline in a local paper pronounced him London’s youngest greengrocer. (That’s what you do to keep the family afloat when your own father dies).
In the early 1970s, he initiated Australia’s first professional writing degree.
And there he was late in life, sitting at his desk in the flat with the view of Bondi Beach, wondering at squawky rainbow lorikeets and modern fax machines, slowly heading towards dementia and decline, still writing.
What a journey. What a Dad.
with love, art and soul