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Ordinary Fathers

“The abandoned infant’s cry is rage, not fear.”

—Robert Anton Wilson

Today’s story is by Pam Houghton.

For many years, I was a little sad and wistful whenever Father’s Day rolled around because inevitably, there was some article in the newspaper that celebrated a bunch of dads doing ordinary things for their families every day.

Pam and her dad, 1992

Pam and her dad, 1992

My dad was sort of ordinary, at least for a while. He built ice rinks in the backyard and burned piles of leaves in the street (back when it was legal) with a fearlessness usually reserved for Tom Cruise action movies. For a few years, that same bravado turned him into a star salesman, one who traveled and sold the type of stuff surgeons used in the operating room.

After my parents divorced when I was 12, he turned into the kind of dad who’d drop in now and then, with a showman’s flourish, then leave for months, or later, years without ever contacting us.

My mother raised us — three kids — alone. READ MORE