Wednesday, September 13

PAPA KASAMBA

My Dad.
My Dad is a born and bred New Yorker. He was a captain in the US army and is a Korean War veteran. The two things the army gave him are health benefits and the voice of Drill Sargeant. My Dad has the best stories about what it was like to be a frum Jew in the secular army. After he was honourably discharged, he married my Mom and before retired, he worked as an engineer and architect.

Everything in my Dads world requires plans.
Even the plans need plans.
If you want to get from point A to point B, you’re gonna need a map, a plan for how to get there. If you want to build something or fix something you’re gonna need a plan for that as well.
This means in my parent’s home not much ever gets done.

I would say my Dad’s hobbies are woodworking, painting, photography, talking about me and hoarding.
My Dad believes that his home is his castle and all he owns are his subjects.
I guess he figures that he’d be less a king with less of an empire if he would throw anything away- so he just doesn’t. He also thinks that anything that’s sitting around could be used for alternate purposes. (Ie. A broken toaster can be used to cut Lucite) My mother, being his Ezer Kenegdo, tries to throw most of his stuff away when he’s not home, only to find him later, rummaging around in the garbage for his precious goods.

My Dad loves Costco.
Costco was made for him. Not only does he buy everything in bulk, each item he purchases looks like it was created for the Land of the Giants.
Yes, it is cheaper to buy ten lb cans of tuna, but once you open a can you have to finish the entire ten pounds in three days to avoid salmonella. Not that my Dad believes in all that at all. He thinks that if food turns green, you can just scrape it off and eat what’s left.
Waste not, want not.

My father is also the creator of the innovative ‘Papa Kasamba Anti Theft Program’ which is a scheme involving theft deterrent. His patented method involves leaving a vehicle, in his case a car, in the driveway, thereby screaming out to the would-be-burglar, ‘caution, do not enter; this house is occupied’! The sheer genius of this method means that he can leave all the windows and doors of his home open 24/7 without fear. And the best part about it is that the vehicle in question does not even need to work!
It just needs to BE THERE.

Lately, because my father feels the world has become a more dangerous place to live he has added a new component to his antitheft scheme. This involves closing all the lights in front of the house plunging it into a satanic darkness and rendering the steps out in front a veritable obstacle course. The icing on the top of this cake is the garden hose that is placed like a snake strategically on the aforementioned darkened front steps. Any intruder that dares to enter my Dads home has great odds of tripping and breaking his neck, cuz if the stairs don’t get him, the hose surely will.
Unfortunately this also includes family and friends who decide to visit Chez Kasamba Papa after nightfall.

My Dad has always been inordinately and disproportionately delighted with me and everything I do. He has always encouraged me and made me believe that I was capable of anything. Whenever I would do a project for school he would notice whatever I did well and that compliment would stay with me always. I always loved my reflection as seen through my father’s eyes and have always strived to be as wonderful as my father thinks I am.

As a child I always imagined that my father was some sort of superhero and was secretly working for the CIA or the FBI on top secret projects. In my mind he has always been supremely capable and wise above all others.
Now that I’m much older I realise that he couldn’t have worked as hard as he did, spend so much time with me and have had time to save the world afterwards.
Besides, if my Dad would have set his mind to saving the world, the plans would surely have been ready by now.

28 Comments:

At 9:36 AM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

Your Dad and my Dad would get along terrifically, bonding during trips to Costco (if in America) or other bulk/wholesale places and comparing prices and good deals they've found on, well, anything really!

"My mother, being his Ezer Kenegdo, tries to throw most of his stuff away when he’s not home" --> same here but there's usually some yelling involved looking for the stuff.

Lovely post, sounds like you have an amazing Dad.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger student said...

lol! are all dads the same??

you literally could have been writing bout my dad- n u havent left anything out!!
(never ever let our dads meet.. theyll spend days talking bout 'interesting inventions'!!)

love em!!

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger kishmech said...

"My Dad has always been inordinately and disproportionately delighted with me and everything I do."

He has every right to! It's unconditional love....besides....definitely something to be proud of.

Reminds me somehow of a kid i know who didn't lift a finger at home because when at his very lovely sefardi grandparents house, he was applauded and encouraged when he so much as put one foot in front of theother. He obviously didnt get the same treatment at home so he just didn't bother.

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice ode to your dad interesting to find out about his life thanks.

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

PLans have plans......... i know someone like that....... OMG

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

What a beautiful post..
Are you an only child?
I'm also a notorious hoarder..I simply cannot throw things out. Once a year..my wife chains me to a chair and purges my dresser..as anxiety overtakes me..

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Scraps said...

I have unfortunately inherited my packrat genes from my mother. I try not to hoard things, and if they're truly junk I will throw them out (no inventing for me, thanks) but I have such a hard time parting with stuff...

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

LOL I think your fathers anti theft system is pure genius!

 
At 6:35 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Sarah:
Thank you- he is amazing!
Lets get our Dads together!

Student:
Wow! They've been cloned!
We should have some sort of reunion!

Kish:
That is by far the nicest thing anyone could have ever said to me!!! Sniff!

Socialworker:
Thanks!

Limey:
COME ON, TELL US WHO!!!

David:
I'm the oldest of two brothers- it's the 'only girl' thing!
Oh, after watching my mom, I know what your wife goes through!

Scraps:
So you can really relate to my dad then!


Frumgirl:
And the best part is that it WORKS!!!

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

kasamba: what a beautiful tribute to your dad. You brought me to tears with this one line: "I always loved my reflection as seen through my father’s eyes and have always strived to be as wonderful as my father thinks I am". From someone who has not had her dad since the age of 10, it was lovely to hear how much you appreciate him, and how much he mattered in your life.

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

Kas,
Cruisin Mom's comment mirrors my sentiments.... i loved that line - amongst many others.. but i really loved that one
so special
Imagine how far his recognition and love of who you are - have taken you....
It has made you the person you are today... and if I may say so myself...that person is extremely special...

 
At 5:06 AM, Blogger Renegade said...

wow, do we share the same father? I'm reading this thing thinking "hey, Thats MY father"
that description fits him exactly!

(although my father did actualy work for the government on top-secret projects, I didnt have to Imagine it)

Great post (as usual)

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger student said...

Kas- I reckon its far too dangerous to let them meet..imagine what kinda plans theyre going to hatch if 2 brains are better then 1!!?!

and bout the reunion-surely u can only have that if they've met before- but then again they may well have...strange init?!

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Chasidishe Shaigitz said...

"My Dad believes that his home is his castle and all he owns are his subjects."

Funny, that reminds me for some reason "A man home is his palace, until his queen arrives"

Love the anti theft program, (Although I remember reading up somewhere on home security something about how darkness can sometime be more comfortable for a burglar while light deters them...) either way in my home its my mom who runs the program and is always reminding us when we leave the house to leave a light on when we leave so THEY will think someone is home, I have also have some great memories of going on family vacations and my mom yelling goodbye through the door (to the ghost who was doing the house sitting,) in case anyone was watching us leave with all our luggage...

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

What a touching and humorous portrait.
I suggest using a new song using this post as lyrics "Yiddishe Tatte"

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

OK I feel all warm and fuzzy. Your dad sounds like one heck of a guy-- the hose on the front steps is brilliant.

BTW I think men are natural born palnners. My dad, father-in-law and husband have been planning an addition to my parent's cabin for going on 11 years-- not a nail has been hammered, but a whole lot of planning has been underway.

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

Limey:
COME ON, TELL US WHO!!!

Pizza pie's Dad

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

who's favorite saying is those who fail to plan, plan to fail
well he does both, fail and fail and plan and plan
a mentsh tracht un gut lacht!

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

Kasamba,

I’ll say it once… (Will I have to repeat it on every post?)

You are awesome…

 
At 2:52 AM, Blogger HanginUp said...

So how on earth did your American Dad snag a hysterical Hungarian lady?

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

is artichoke coming to watch Man u and arsenal (sunday 6 am after slichos)

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

crusin:
Thanks for that!
I love the posts you wrote about your Dad- that even though you had lost him at such a young age, you will always have those cherished memories.

TOWIK:
Whoa!
You always say what I need to hear!
Thank you my friend.

Renegade:
I think they clone them!
WOW, your Dad really IS secret Agent Dad!
Thanks!

Student:
Can you imagine! LOL!
I think they all met in petri dish when they cloned them!

Chassidishe Sheigetz:
That's a brilliant saying!
About the dark thing, I know- that's why Dad is so very, very special and different!

Prag:
What a great idea!!!!
Thank you!

Bonnie:
Yup! I think 90% of the fun for them is in the planning!

Limey:
LOL!

Also:
You do have to repeat it!!!!
THANKS CHUSSID!

Hanginup:
Now THAT is one of the seven wonders of the world!

Limey:
NO WAY!!!!

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger Mia said...

My dad is pretty much the opposite of how you described yours. No plans, he is throwing stuff away faster than we can look and has no theft-system :D

They only have one thing in common and that´s the way how they see us children! My father can´t stop talking about us and mostly to one of us about another sibling, always saying how good the other one´s are. For a long time I thought he meant that the others are better than me and that´s why he wouldn´t stop talking about them, but then I found out he does the same exact thing with my siblings, he is talking non-stop how fantastic and great I am :D

 
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