this post isn’t meant to be news. just some thinking about my Dad whom was neither a football player, nor citizen of San Francisco. just my Dad.
but, the 49ers were, improbably, very important to my Dad. he grew up, literally, dirt poor in South Dakota and Nebraska. his path from poverty to that of an elite military officer through the Army Air Corps that became the the Air Force, somehow equated with his views of San Francisco as the epitome of advantage, opportunity and example. I don’t know a lot of the reasoning around that, but I do know that Dad was happy whenever I saw him, there.
and, when Dad was happy his laugh was genuine, and his smile could light up an entire room, and one evening in particular, an entire stadium.
last night the power kept going out at Candlestick Park, and that was bigger news than the 49ers victory even though it’s certainly been too long since they found the play-off’s.
“The Stick” powered-up in 1960, the year I was born, and the 49ers played their first game in that place in 1971. Dad and I were there. he was just back from another tour in Viet Nam.
it should be noted that The Beatles gave their final full concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. and, inexplicably Dad was there, as well. Dad was something of an enigma, to many. amongst Dad’s favorite songs he firmly counted John Lennon’s Imagine. of course, by way of karma, that song found it’s own light by Lennon’s hand in 1971. I think dad may have viewed himself as a world citizen (a significant part of the songs message). that may explain why he fought so hard for his country and relished the air of San Francisco.
in any event, I spent most of that day nestled under my Dad’s arm while he roared with the crowd. the details of the game were meaningless to me, as were the hot dogs. there was a moment when Dad looked at me and said, “I love this town and this team. Good things are possible here. I sure do love you, son”. although I can’t immediately recall who actually won that particular contest, I can tell you that the 49ers won their second straight divisional title in 1971 with a 9-5 record. they also won their divisional playoff game against the Washington Redskins by a 24-20 final score. I know that because Dad talked about it. and I always listened to my Dad. Dad also loved the Redskins, but mostly, and evidently, because they were associated with Washington, DC. and, Dad was a patriot, albeit not a New England fan.
so… whenever I see the 49ers play, especially at Candlestick Park, I immediately think of Dad and his electric smile.
I love you Dad. I miss you so much. I coach a lot of other guys’ sons in Lacrosse now. it’s all bitter sweet. I try to be a beacon in my own right. I really do. but, thanks for showing me the way and lighting my path. and, you know I’m listening to, Imagine, by John Lennon (for Dad). but, check this out… while I share that particular Lennon’s effort with you all, consider the Imagine cover by Taio Cruz. Dad would have appreciated it. in fact, I would have called him to talk about it. so, I’ll share it with you.
peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
brian patrick cork