As some of you know, my father passed away unexpectedly around this time last year. I hope you will indulge me a little if I dedicate this post to him.
My dad was a drama major. I wish he had pursued acting for a living, instead of becoming a lawyer, but he had a family to support. I often wonder what life would have been like, if he had... but it is what it is.
This is my father playing Lachlen MacLachlen in The Hasty Heart (he's the one in the striped pyjamas). I recently saw the movie, and it was easy to picture my dad in the role (I'm sure my dad would have been much better, of course). Dad's story from this was that he had to wear a kilt, and had no idea how to put it on or wear it. After one of the performances, if I remember correctly, a Scottish woman came up and explained that he was wearing it backwards.
I seem to think there is another photo of him with the kilt and bagpipes, but I'm not sure, and I don't know what happened to Grandma's photos after she passed away.
This is my dad and some of his theatre friends. I can't tell you how many photos I have that are almost exactly like this from my own college days - my friends and me sitting in the green room in Neely between classes. I wish I could have known this version of my dad. I did see glimpses of this guy when Dad would come up to college to see me in a play and would go out with me and my friends afterwards. There was this look of happiness plastered all over his face when he was listening to us as we rehashed the performance and generally worked off the excess energy from the show.
My grandmother said that my dad's Hamlet was the best one she ever saw. I imagine she was somewhat biased. Whenever I would talk about theatre, she would tell the story of his "To be, or not to be," and how he would sit on the edge of the stage and quietly do the speech. She said he seemed so real, like he really understood what Hamlet was going through.
What I wouldn't give to have seen that.
Thank you, Dad, for encouraging my love of theatre. I miss talking with you about all the shows I've seen, especially the racy, avant garde stuff, since I know you got a kick out of that. Most of all, Dad, I really, really miss you.