A Memory for Fathers Day

My direct memories of childhood are pretty sparse, but I wanted to share one in tribute to my father, Goodwin Trent.

It was Halloween, sometime prior to my 6th birthday. I’ve had a fondness for dressing up since I was young, something I may well have gotten from my dad. My folks had decided that I’d be Ziggy Stardust that year. My mom put together a costume, though I don’t remember the details of it. I was generally known as Ziggy in those days, and still am to some family members so it seemed a good choice. I didn’t really know who that was at the time, but I approve of the choice today since I’m very fond of David Bowie.

At any rate. My father’s contribution to the costume was to make a toy guitar, in this case, a Stratocaster, if I remember correctly (which is pretty unlikely). It was cut from plywood and then covered on one side with different colored construction paper to give it the right design. What was most memorable was the construction process which involved a considerable amount of blood from cutting his hands and a good bit of swearing. Sure, it was all a bit scary to me at the time, but even then it struck me that he was suffering this ordeal to do something for me.

Reflecting on this, and other “Goodwin stories” of note, it’s clear that my dad has never let a lack of appropriate tools or careful planning stand in the way of an objective he’s set his heart on. Adapting and innovating on the spot is one of my father’s signature virtues, as is raw determination to see a thing through. I’d like to think I’ve learned a courage in the face of the unknown and a determination to find a way through from my father. I’ve tried to also learn a bit of having the proper tools and technique from my mother, something she excels at.

So, thanks for the guitar dad, and the lessons along the way.

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