My father had a love affair with Germany. For all I know, he had a love affair IN Germany, but he doesn’t talk about such things. Not directly, anyway.

“Get those pictures out of the closet, Linda. Those ones of me in the army.”

“I’m not digging those pictures out, Roy.”

“But they all” – indicating MTM, my mother-in-law and me – “they want to see ’em.”

“I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, DAD!”

“I’m talking about Germany. The army. How good looking I was. I had to beat women off with a stick. Did I ever tell you about that one time—”

“EW, DAD! STOP!!! I’LL GO FIND THE FREAKING PICTURES……….HERE!!”

“See there? I was handsome, wasn’t I?”

“Where are all your chins, Roy?” (MTM isn’t favorite son-in-law for nothing.)

“Yeah. I always wanted to go back to Germany……..”

Dad was stationed in Germany in the 1950s. In 2000, he almost went back. He wanted to take my mother to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau………and drive on the AutoBahn………and visit the Black Forest………..and tour most of the rest of the country.

He was 66 years old.

He never made it.

Now, at almost 80, he’s agreed to take a crazy trip with me along the Natchez Trace, a place that is decidedly NOT Germany.

Our parents make us who we are. They give us their good bits. Their bad bits. Everything in between.

I wish……….I hope………Oh hell, the Deep South will never compete with Germany. At least, he’ll have plenty of time to tell me all about those women in Germany, the ones who thought him HOT.

Ew.

Again.

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