Thursday, April 12, 2007


"Where, oh where, has my little blog gone?

Oh where, oh where can it be?"

Well ya'll, things at Season of Concern have been extremely busy - - it really hasn't slowed down much since late November - - but happily, I am experiencing the kind of "busy" that translates into more money being raised and more people being helped.

It's the kind of "busy" a certain poncho-wearing ex-con would call...

"A good thing."

I hate that bitch.

I also haven't been posting because this past weekend, I flew back home to Tennessee to spend Easter with my family and... surprise my father at his 60th birthday party!

My father is a CPA and works for himself, which means that from mid to late January until April 15th, he eats, sleeps, breathes and possibly makes love to IRS Tax Returns.

Now, why my father would choose a profession with so much pressure focused on a date that falls 8 days after his birthday is beyond me!!! But he did, so he rarely celebrates his birthday with a big party.

But this year being one of the "Big Ten's" and all, he invited about 50 people to the back room...

...not THAT type of back room...

...if it were MY birthday party, then of course I would be "hosting" 50 (or more) people in THAT kind of "back room," but the gayest thing my father has ever done in his life is attend a Cher concert...

...and he didn't know when to clap during DARK LADY, so trust me when I say that this was a "back room" of the restaurant variety!!!

...he invited about 50 people to celebrate his birthday in the back room of the best Italian restaurant in Knoxville, TN - - Naples.

He told me about the party a month or so ago, but never mentioned me coming into town for it because he knew I was busy and most of my weekends were taken up with performances.

But SEUSSICAL is over, I found a good fare on a flight, arrived in Knox-Vegas (as we rednecks like to call it) on Friday night, stayed with my mom and said nothing to my father, so I could surprise him.

A couple of days before this, I told him I would call him when his party was in full swing to wish him a Happy Birthday.

So, an hour into his party, my father stood up to thank everyone for coming and to tell funny stories on everybody - - and I mean EVERYBODY - - in the room. That's when I called his cell phone.

My timing was perfect, if I do say so myself

He answered and said that he was up talking to the crowd. He said he had just mentioned my name and told everyone that I was unable to come back into town for the party. He said that he was going to give the phone to my brother so that I could hear the rest of his thank you speech.

That's when I walked into the room behind him.

Everyone shouted and applauded. My father turned around with the phone to his ear and looked right at me with an expression that seemed to say...

"I'm talking to Steve on the phone. Who the hell are you?"

Then, he hugged me and thanked me for coming. It was an incredible.

My father told everyone how proud he was of me and my brother - - how proud he was of the work that we do and the lives we have created for ourselves.

And since I spent my childhood thinking that my father would never be proud of me because I would never be a star football player, hearing those words from my father meant more to me than any award, any medal, any money or anything that I could ever receive.

So, Happy 60th, Daddy.

And even though I never became one, this picture is proof that in the early 60's, my father WAS a high school football star!


Alanda said...

Yay! I'm so happy that you went and your dad acknowledged you and your brother. Your daddy loves you very much and it was so sweet of you to surprise him like that!


Stephen Rader said...

Alanda - Thank you so much. I definitely surprised him. So many of his friends came up to me and said that they had know him for nearly 50 years and that was the first time they had ever seen my father speechless! :)

yinyang said...

I feel the love, man. That was awesome. :D

Stephen Rader said...

yinyang - Thanks!!! "Awesome" is EXACTLY what it was!!!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

That was so sweet! I'm glad you got to surprise your Dad and that he in turn suprised you.

Stephen Rader said...

Whim - Your comment proves that you are an incredible writer. You synthesized my entire post into one perfect sentence.

Shakespeare wrote "Brevity is the soul of wit." I need to get me some soul!!!