After college when I got married, started a career and became a father myself, I became a director at a large organization he became my mentor in business. Every month he would come to visit me in the city at work and we would go have dinner. We would also visit one of the jazz clubs we loved. We used to go and watch Patricia Barber at the Gold Star Sardine Bar, and drink scotch. He always requested that she sing his favorite song, “Someone to Watch Over Me.” It’s one of my favorites standards now too. We would talk and make jokes about how the kid with the long hair and beard was now clean-shaven, wearing a suit and wing-tips...and about how Dad was now wearing jeans and driving a convertible. On the ride home he would give me unsolicited advice on how to be a good husband and father. I always listened.
At the end of the day, when my stepmother got home, and it was time for me to go, my father hugged me again, kissed me on the cheek, and handed me the messy scrapbook. I didn’t look at it at first, but when I got back home to the garage that one day would become my studio, I did. In that scrapbook was everything I ever wrote. There were papers he had stolen when I shared them with him, articles he had clipped from high school newspapers and the Daily Illini, miscellaneous early fiction and non-fiction drafts that he had taken from my room (that I always wondered where they went), and the one or two things I was actually able to publish. In the front of the book there was a funny little post-it note that just said, “For Posterity.” I loved that.