Tag Archives: hanging out with dad

Easy Company, HBO, and Dad

11 Nov

On this day most Americans remember veterans and other military personnel who served our country. Most people pause and give thought to the sacrifices given by these brave people. However today I found myself thinking about my dad.

He wasn’t in the military at all, but he really enjoyed the Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg mini-series  and movies that chronicled the World Wars. He especially appreciated the realistic story telling and drama of The Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Every year since HBO aired these mini-series one of the cable stations usually hosts a Veteran’s Day marathon and it’s a day-long watching event. I wasn’t able to watch the endless hours of intense drama today, but I caught a couple of episodes, and all I could think about was my dad.

Image via HBO

Now even though he’d seen the series air on HBO when it premiered, he probably would have recorded the episodes and then watched them after dinner. He’d brew up a pot of coffee, pour himself a cup, throw some pillows around and try to do his best to fix up the couch in preparation for his marathon. He so wished he had a Lazy-Boy.

My dad would call me to let me know of his plans and see if I wanted to stop by, and most of the time I would. We’d hang out … him with his coffee, me with my tea or chocolate, and hours of HBO drama. Not too many conversations during the show, just hanging out, watching the based-on-true-story accounts of soldiers. Just someone to watch television with and share a comfort zone of silence. The talking didn’t really begin until after the episodes finished, sort of a book club discussion, but without the books. Just HBO television with my friend.

So today as everyone remembered loved ones in the military or armed forces heroes from the past, I found myself rearranging the couch pillows, wishing I had a Lazy-Boy, and lying down watching Easy Company do its best to physically and emotionally survive the war. I thought about my dad and wished he was sharing the comfortable silence with me.

The HBO Club and My Dad

16 May

It was no surprise that as I flipped through the channels I would think of him.

It was no father-and-daughter tearful family moment on a television drama. Nor was it was a family reunion of the long-lost daughter meeting her Dad for the first time on a made-for-TV movie on Lifetime. It was detectives Lester Freamon and Jimmy McNulty trying to figure out the code Baltimore’s notorious drug dealers used on The Wire.

The police; from left, Roland "Prez"...

The police; from left, Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski, Cedric Daniels, Jimmy McNulty, Rhonda Pearlman, seated: Lester Freamon, and Kima Greggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This show featured violence, drugs, corruption, and the media. It’s a cop show, but not like the others. It was HBO. Apparently it won the Peabody Award … that David Simon is badass. HBO … My Dad loved that channel. He must’ve seen every original drama that channel produced … and we were there watching every minute of it.

Well … my Dad started The Wire at season 1, I didn’t come along until season 5. He kept talking about this one show and how he couldn’t miss it. He’d be glued to the TV. Then I saw one episode and was hooked. We had HBO power-talk sessions after each show, analyzing characters, examining plots, and throwing out predictions for next week. It was like a book club, but without books. It was the HBO Club. We had snacks. My dad was the organizer, leader, host, remote-control holder, and caterer. I was the moderator.

A week before the series finale I was able to get us into a lecture and Q&A session with creator David Simon. It was hosted at my alma mater. My dad was so excited to have been there. It was a bunch of college students, alumni and my dad. It was awesome. My dad was able to meet the dude that created this series and I was so happy I could do that for him.

So as I was flipping through the channels and saw a re-run of the show, it brought memories of our HBO Club and our little field trip to my old college campus. I missed my dad and our conversations. I wished he hadn’t passed away. So in an effort to be somewhat closer to him, I had a HBO Club Pow-wow myself. I rented the first season of The Wire on Netflix. It was a marathon. I saw six episodes in one sitting. It was a late night, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I thought of all the things my Dad would say as I watched part of the first season.

It was good to have the HBO Club resurface. But now I was the organizer, leader, host, remote-control holder, caterer, moderator and lone member.

Club is still in session and my Dad is watching from above.