Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Have you ever given someone a gift that meant immeasurably more to that person than you ever expected it would? Though it eventually broke, the Christmas gift that my dad gave me in 1966 touched me deeply. This man, usually at the bar with his buddies, showed at least some recognition of how much I yearned to be with him. Perhaps he, in his sober moments, realized the bond all boys feel with their fathers.

This short excerpt from Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) is one of many which demonstrated how deeply those rare acts of kindness from Dad touched me.


I associated Volkswagens with my father because he had always driven that make of vehicle. Even though he was an alcoholic, I felt great affection for him. Consequently, when I opened my gifts on Christmas morning, I was delighted to find a battery-powered metallic brown toy Volkswagen.

"I would have given you a blue one but the store didn't have that colour," Dad informed me. Though it was brown, I treasured that toy.


Deliverance from Jericho is filled with many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Read more about Deliverance from Jericho here. Please feel free to contact me directly as well.


  1. Children are amazing, so forgiving and non judgemental. I'm glad you had that VW while staying at Jericho, I'm glad your dad was able to show his love to you in some way.

  2. Millions of children are in a similar situation. They love both parents but marital tension deprives them of the love they crave. From my adult vantage point, I can see that both of my parents had flaws and weaknesses. That doesn't excuse them, or anybody, but it does explain why people are the way they are.

  3. I'm glad your father, despite his alcoholism, had the forethought to show you some kindness once in a while. Is he still living?


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