Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday card, 2004

Table rod-hockey guy, linocut.

This one has gotten mixed reviews. I don't think folks always understood that it was a figure from a hockey game toy. But I still like it and stand by it. I have my reasons.

So, 2004 was a big year. I became a father. And about six weeks later, my own father died and we all were on a plane to Toledo for the funeral. My dad had seen pictures of his youngest grandson, but unfortunately, he never had the chance to meet him in person. I remember him telling me over the phone, maybe the last time we ever talked, "He looks like a character, Pack. I can tell he's a real character."

My dad was a good father and maybe even a better grandfather, as often is the case with fatherhood, maybe. And I still miss him, of course. For the card that year, I wanted to use an image from our childhood, a favorite toy that my brothers, my sister and I all played with. One Christmas, my brother received a tabletop rod-hockey game, and I remember it as a toy we all loved to play with. My brother carefully put the stickers on the little flat guys -- one team was the Bruins (his hockey team, and the team of his beloved Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito) and the other was the Blackhawks (where Phil's brother Tony played goalie). I guess partly too because we all had a soft spot, and still do, for Chicago teams, since Chicago was our mother's town.

So the hockey player relates to my dad. A Christmas gift from him that we all loved. I loved the way the puck dropped from a chute on the scorboard which arched over center ice. This card was just a private nod to Dad, from a guy who was just beginning to learn what being a dad means.

And the Peace and Joy part, I guess I just thought was a little bit funny.

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