Missing My Dad

dad-playing-hard-heartedhannah-239x300Some days are just harder than others.

Today I’m listening to my favorite Bruce Springsteen songs. I had the Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town album’s in the 70’s and I would play them over and over in my dad’s apartment. I would watch his foot, the one that was attached to his brace start to move to the beat of the music. One day, he said “Who is this guy, he’s very talented”. “Bruce Springsteen Dad, isn’t he great?”

I miss sharing the love of music. I miss sharing the love of food. I miss sharing the love of people. I miss my dad!

My dad played the harmonica. So did the Boss.

The last night I went out with my dad was when we met at the House of Blues. His friends, the Gittlesohns invited him. They told him there would be this harmonica player performing. Everyone was saying this guy was great. The guy hadn’t gone on stage and it was going on midnight. I bailed. My father, at age 85 stayed out until he saw the guy perform. Ever the hard core music supporter and enthusiast, he wasn’t home until nearly 2 AM. That night at the House of Blues, I wore this tight gold dress. My father said he loved my dress.

My dad was gearing up and very excited about a pitch meeting he had. He wanted to produce a music special that would be all harmonica oriented. It would have the biggest names in music stars that play the harp. Bob Dylan. Neil Young. Stevie Wonder. Toots Thielemans. Larry Adler. Mick Jagger. And of course Bruce Springsteen.

My dad suddenly had a heart attack. He was critically ill in the hospital. I refused to believe he was dying. We put that meeting on hold.

me-and-my-dad-on-set-of-lohman-and-barkley-300x215After a long twelve week battle, my dad, lover of all music and all people everywhere, died. I wore that same gold dress to his funeral.

A few weeks later, even in my grief stricken state, I called CBS to reschedule that meeting. I would go in place of my dad. I hoped to produce the show of his dreams for him.

Unlike my gutsy dad, I stink at pitching. I came equipped with books and harmonica’s and tried and maybe did succeed in getting across my father’s enthusiasm for this project. I also sobbed through the whole meeting. Sobbed. The wound was too fresh. I could barely contain myself long enough to get any articulate thought out. But, here is what happened. I wasn’t turned down. The project would later die, like most show business projects. But Terry, the man I pitched to called a big time producer of music specials, Ken Ehrilich and sent me to his house in Encino to try and entice him into joining forces. My father would have seen this turn of events as being in pre-production.He would have told me and everyone that the music special was green-lit. That is how he saw life.

Today was a hard one. I miss my dad.

My dad went anywhere, anytime to hear great music. Someone told me he once went to that famous church, First AME Church in downtown Los Angeles to hear gospel music. I love it!!! One place I never went but really want to go for their Sunday Gospel Brunch is House of Blues. And, they offer a whole southern meal, like Fried Chicken, Biscuits and Gravy, homemade Waffles with Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream and Cajun Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy. Who is coming with me? 


Fredrica Duke shares how she discovered her love of food while growing up in Los Angeles on her blog Channeling the Food Critic in Me.