Last week, my mother sent me and my brother a handful of old pictures of Dad in his various incarnations. A few with us kids. A few from his own childhood (he idolized and dressed up as Roy Rogers -- I have the proof!). One or two lovelies of him and Mom back in their California days.
This one, in particular, I love so much -- that hat, that hair, that quiet, pensive, far-away look. I wonder what he was thinking about, caught there in that beautiful moment, or if he was thinking about anything at all.
I sent it to family friend Bill, with whom I've been spending quite a bit of time these last few months. He wrote back almost immediately saying, "That was a Bill I didn't know. Goddamn long-haired Berkeley hippie, I suspect!"
This made me laugh, and in a funny way made me feel a little better about the fact that I didn't really know him in those days, either. Today would have been his 68th birthday.