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Reminiscing about Pop … and Carmel

My Sentiments Exactly

I heard the craziest thing the other day.

Someone told me a local company was offering potential staffers an extra $2 an hour “bonus” simply to (A) accept the position and (B) once hired, work their full, regular old standard, run-of-the-mill 40-hour work weeks consistently.

Meaning, er, weekly.

I was like, huh? Am I missing something here? Hmm.

Wait, I don’t understand. So, like, full-time employees? Getting whatever percentage higher hourly pay — just to, what, not call off? I’m confused.

Snagging $2 bucks extra an hour. For, you know, showing up.

And staying.

I found my head cocked to the side like a confused puppy trying to figure out if his name is “Good Boy” or “Not Inside!”

Anyhoo, I supposed a crucial detail had been lost on me at some point in this conversation. But nope. It was just what I suspected I’d heard. No one’s interested in going to work because they’re actually making more money on COVID-19 relief support.

I immediately heard my pop’s voice in my head, which was now cocked to the other side. “I’ll be go to Carmel.”

Only, you do understand that he didn’t say Carmel.

He never said Carmel. He never went to Carmel-by-the-Sea. He never even had any particular interest in California.

But you get the idea. Suffice it to say, the word I’m subbing out for is of the cuss variety. A monosyllabic quip rhyming with a place hotter than Carmel, capisce?

It would irk the Carmel out of Pop to know that folks who were physically capable of working opted out for any reason. That’s just not how he rolled, yo.

As I chatted with him at the cemetery on his 86th birthday yesterday, I updated him on the state of the union. I gave him this latest tidbit, knowing full well his reply would be: “You want something in this life — work for it!”

Indeed.

“Oh, Pop, you left and everything just sorta went to Carmel,” I told him.

And it’s true, really. After we lost Pop on Feb. 28, 2020, COVID-19 hit. And it’s been a veritable poo show ever since.

Hmpf.

Sure, there have been SOME good things — babies is the first thing to pop out, um, I mean up in my head.

But the bottom line is, things are weird and I just really miss my daddy.

I miss how enthusiastically he’d greet me whenever I walked in the door. “Hey, Bone! Che succeed? How in the Carmel are you?”

I miss hearing his stories of the hilarious pranks he and his buddies pulled on each other “down the mill” back in the day.

I miss how I’d walk up the road from my previous job (at the end of my folks’ street) at lunchtime and see him out there tending his sun-soaked garden, donning his wide-brimmed hat and with his opera music blaring.

I miss how he never feared offering his very private opinions in very public places and when told to be quiet, would only up the decibel level. No one told him what to do.

I miss hearing him sing “O, Holy Night!” on Christmas Eve with Franco Corelli’s version playing on the phonograph.

And I miss his response of “I lova you, too,” every time I hugged him goodbye.

Though it’s never goodbye — just like it’s never not his birthday on May 15.

Buon compleano, Papa. We’ll chat again, when I hopefully make it to that place all the way to the north of Carmel. #TiAmoPapa

• Kimerer is a columnist missing her Dad. Reach out to her without cuss words at www.patriciakimerer.com.

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