In most homes when Lindy and I were growing up, the basement referred to a dark, damp, cold place where one went only to check on the furnace. However, when we moved to Indiana Court, our basement contained a beautiful recreation room suitable for teenage parties.
All Mary cared about, when it came to the rec-room, was that it had bar stools. She found some blue vinyl numbers that were almost okay, and that was her contribution to the decorating. Dad, Lindy, and I found some furniture and a new stereo was purchased. It was a fabulous place for teenagers to congregate.
Whenever I wanted to have a party, I would check with Dad and see if he was available to help me clean. That evening, after a long day of work for Dad, the two of us would scrub and wax the floor, dust everywhere, and get the refreshments ready.
Where was Mary, you might well ask. She was up-stairs watching television and smoking. She had a delineation of responsibilities that ended at the door of the basement. We were pretty lucky if she would go down once in a while and wash a load of clothes.
At the time, having Dad help me prepare for parties seemed the most normal of occurrences in my Far From Normal world; but as I got older, I realized not all dads were partners with their daughters in party preparation. I was able to tell my dad how much I appreciated his hard work and his cheerful attitude. For his sixty-fifth birthday, Lindy and I made him a book of memories which included the story of the basement adventures. Our dad was one of a kind—as was our mother!