Monday, March 3, 2014

Thanks Dad.

Today is my Dad's Birthday.   Gosh I loved love, my dear old Da.

Alan Richard Nunn.

He had a wonderful smile,

With is his sister Joan.

and a zest for life.

With mom, the love of his life.
He was silly and irreverent.

With my brother, Darrell and me.

When I asked a question, he'd say "go look it up".   As a result if there is something I don't know, I "go look it up" to this day.

On Hillsdale Avenue after moving to Canada in 1956.

When we were both adults, we went for a walk one day in the rain and created little dams of sticks and leaves in the gutter; watched the water back up; dropped a leaf into the water; broke the dam, and followed the leaf as it rushed toward the sewer grate. 

He wasn't afraid to be child like. 

He taught me to look through a camera lens, and to chuck out bad photographs.

He was handsome, with a dreamy, actor-trained English accent.  The ladies at the church loved listening to him read lessons.

As he got older, his ears that stuck out prominently, began to tuck nicely against his head -- that or he grew his hair longer so he could cover them.  

In the 1970's when he was in his 50's he got a "man-purse", which he had to stop using as he kept leaving it on the bus.  In his early days, he made his living as an actor at the Canadian Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto and the Red Barn Theatre in Jackson's Point. He did some T.V. commercials and radio plays on the C.B.C.   When finding enough work to support his family became too difficult, he had to choose between moving us to the U.S. or remaining in Canada and finding a different line of work.  

He chose to stay.   

He worked his way from the ticket order department at the O'Keefe Centre, to becoming House Manager during the marvellous hay-day of Broadway Musicals, resulting in a life-long love of same for me.  Later, he moved on to Administer the National Ballet School of Canada.  In his mid 50's he changed careers and taught Theatre Arts at Seneca College. 

Did I mention that Dad had the equivalent of a Grade 11 education ?

He decided to rectify that after he retired, and graduated from Trent University with a B.A. at the age of 74.

He enjoyed travelling with mom or my brother Darrell.

Dad in Italy.  
I love this photo as it sums him up.
Wearing denim at age 80, and posing with a pigeon on his head.

 He's been gone almost 10 years.

Gawd I miss him.

When it rains I still find it hard to resist dropping a leaf in the swirling water that rushes along the gutter, and following it.

Thanks Dad.


  1. What a nice remembrance. He must have been a wonderful man, and I admire his late-in-life

    1. Les, I turn 65 next year and plan to start working on MY degree. I would like to duplicate his feat.

      Note: waiting till I'm 65 coz it's free then ...

  2. Aw Sybil, your dad is great, now I love him too! Happy birthday Dad. I know he's reading this, still feeling your love for him and swirling those leaves through the water with you. ~ Joanne. xx

  3. Your dad was a remarkable achiever. Always looking forward to something new. Such a great inspiration. You were lucky to be able call him dad. I enjoyed his story very much.


    1. Thanks so much Yvonne. He was very silly. Can't recall how many times we'd be out somewhere and I'd look at him and he'd have deliberately put his glasses so they were wildly crooked on his face. He was just waiting to be noticed and to make us all laugh. Whether it's good or bad, I crave making others laugh or smile ... and in a selfish way, be the centre of attention.

  4. Aw, gulp... that was so beautifully written, Sybil. He sounds like quite a character. How wonderful that you have such fond and happy memories of him.

  5. That's the trouble with having someone who was such a BIG part of my life. His passing left an enormous hole. Happily I have filled it with love and exploring and wonderful memories and now it overflows ... perhaps I should go find a leaf to set in its swirling current. (My, aren't I waxing poetic today ?)

  6. Wow, handsome and brilliant man. I see where you picked up your spunk.

    1. Thanks Linda. He was a "pistol" ! Such fun to be with. Taught me not to be afraid of being silly ...

  7. Your dad sounds amazing! Thank you for telling us about him. I love the last picture of him in denim with a pigeon on his head. :) We never stop missing our parents, do we? My dad would also tell me to "go look it up," and I think of him every time I'm looking something up. You were fortunate to have such a wonderful and playful father, Sybil, and this is a lovely tribute to him.

    1. Thanks Barbara. I get my, "Look at me ! Look at me !" childish (or child like?) desire to be the centre of attention from him. We'd be having dinner and I'd look up and he's be sitting there with his glasses on wildly crooked, just waiting for someone to notice him being silly.

  8. Sybil, this is amazing. What a great way to honour your dad, he sounds just wonderful. I enjoyed your photos and stories very much.(I think I've finally figured out how to make my comment work this time, fingers crossed!) just love the last photo!


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