Dad and I weren't close; things just didn't gel that way with us. Not that he was a bad father - he looked and acted like most men from the small Quebec town where we lived at the time. He wasn't a man of many words and certainly not one given to outward bursts of affection. At least not with his awkward son (that would be me). But he was a strong, stubborn, impulsive man and a good provider who once, during his mid-life crisis, went out and bought a used black and gold Trans-Am (you know the one with the eagle on the hood,) and a Crocodile Dundee hat (you know the one with the crocodile teeth around it) He wore that damned thing all the time! Strangely enough I can't find a photo of him with it anywhere. To me, dad was the man who built and fixed stuff and took up the whole couch at night after supper. He was the man who teased my sister and doted on her and called her "puss". And that was okay; I didn't need a nickname. But sometimes, often really, I wondered what mine would be if one had been offered. I don't know why he and I never got close; perhaps we just didn't understand each other enough. I was a strange young boy; shy and not good with my hands. He was into building kitchen additions and fishing with his buddies up in Northern Quebec. But as we both matured we did find some common ground; an appreciation for cooking, drinking good wine, photography and designing furniture. I think deep down both of us wanted, needed that connection. It would just take a bit of work. He died of a massive heart attack when he was just 50 and I was 25. That was almost 20 years ago. Yesterday, I was thinking of him, wondering how old he would be now if he were still around, but I couldn't remember his birthday. I know it was sometime in September of 194...?. I guess I'll have to call mom and ask her. Man, the tongue-lashing she's going to give me.