The beginnings of a story, date 4 Dec 2013, never completed.
Deià was enveloped in mist, the church seemingly sitting atop a cloud as seen from Son Bauzà as we entered the village. C’an Pep Mosso was open but only the bar; the colmado was closed on Sunday. Las Palmeras glowed with interior lights, and through the steamy windows you could see Margarita resting her impressive bust on the counter, staring out the window. There were a couple of drinkers at the tables, staring out the window at the occasional passing car. One was John Biram; I wondered whether Cathy was with him. The last time I knocked on their door in the Clot, she spoke to me through the iron bars of the kitchen window. John didn´t like her going around loose, she told me. She was virtually a prisoner of his passion.
I parked outside La Favorita, a combination bakery and grocery store.
On 22 December 1990, my adopted father John D Dillon passed away. He was Patrick’s first father-in-law, Donna’s dad, the man I called Granddaddy when I was a wee tyke.
After my adoption when I was 12, my new parents and I sat down to discuss naming conventions. I’d been calling him Granddaddy but my mom Willie seemed too young and glamorous to have a name like Grandma and we wanted their names to be of the same pattern. Since I was already calling her Willie (short for Wilma), they became “John and Willie” from that point forward.
Meanwhile, they asked what I’d like to do with my own name. I was originally John Patrick Meador. I gave it some thought and finally suggested tacking on Dillon at the end. (Gretchen, Jennifer, and I were all born “Meador” because we popped out of Mother before Patrick discovered the error on his birth certificate.)
Now that I have a grandson, I asked the kids if I can be “Granddaddy” to baby Max. The term is doubly endearing to me: it’s an expression of love for Max, and for John as well, another one of those “circle of life” moments that will carry me through the coming days and years.
Here in the U.S. today is Father’s Day. I was lucky. I had two dads, Patrick and John.
I lost John in 1990. I still grieve for him, look at his self-portrait and the things he gave me, and ask questions that he can no longer answer, but that loss has lost the harsh edges, worn down and smoothed by liquid time.
Here’s the transcription of a conversation with Patrick about my mom and some other family members, recorded on 18 March 2017 in a very noisy restaurant. If there’s interest, I’ll convert the audio file to YouTube so you can hear it.
Patrick: One of the stories I haven’t really worked on, but I’ve got the title: “Barefoot and Pregnant.”