Every Sunday he puts fresh flowers on my mother's grave, while Canada geese crane their necks at him from behind a nearby tree. The moment he drives away, they eat the flowers, a Fare-for-Fowl food program going strong in its 13th year.
In a closet of his small condo, he has stashed several hundred issues of SI, each with a colorful thumb tab indexing every article I've ever written, a ritual he evidently performs every Thursday, when his magazine arrives. And so I thought I'd say to him on this Thursday—June 3, 2004—Thanks, Dad: I have noticed. And happy 70th birthday.