Dad loved to laugh and was always seeking unique ways to share his sense of humor. One of his favorite things to do was to use funny voices when calling us on the phone. When my sister and I were teachers, he would pretend to be an irate parent or a salesman or a person looking for someone. He loved to use dialects and always hoped that he would fool us. One of the funniest things is Dad would almost always call us at the same time. So we were expecting the special call and played along until we began giggling and chuckling. Then we would say
He would always act surprised that we knew it was him and by the end of the conversation we would all be chuckling.
Mother also impersonated people but in a much less funny way. She used her voice to tell you about some annoying person she met or some soon-to-be former friend she had grown weary of. Her voice would change to a whiny, annoying one as she tried to imitate their voice. It was unpleasant because we did not enjoy hearing her strain her vocal chords. We also knew that unless we agreed with her, we would never hear the end of it. Until we gave in and said that the person she was imitating was, without a doubt, the most shallow, boring, worthless person on the face of the Earth, Mother would keep going with her unpleasant impersonation.
Unfortunately, Mother used her impersonations to belittle and ridicule others. Dad used his talent for everyone’s enjoyment.
When Dad married Beatrice, he would call her every evening right before he left his office to return home. He loved to use his special voices on her also. But once again, because he called at the exact same time, our stepmother was never fooled. She would laugh and play along as they shared this special moment. Unfortunately, Beatrice’s ability to play along did not last as long as Dad might have liked. I guess she grew tired of the game and although he continued calling my sister and me using his funny voices, the calls using funny voices to Beatrice stopped.
Oh how we would love just one more call from Dad so we could hear that hearty laugh and share one more special memory!