Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Father, The Aqua Velva Man...

There's something about an Aqua Velva man!

My father was a handsome man and he knew it. He looked especially distinguished with his mustache, kind of like Clark Gable. As for the rest of his face, it was always clean shaven and smooth. Well it was smooth for a couple of hours and then his beard would start to grow in. He had a very thick and rough growing beard. After a few hours it would feel like sandpaper. He shaved every day and when he was done he would slap on some of that ice blue Aqua Velva aftershave. He always smells so good. It’s been years since I thought of his after shave, but writing about my mother in yesterday’s blog, brought back memories of my father.

Aqua Velva wasn’t very expensive. Still my father used it sparingly. When my brother and I were old enough, we would save up our pennies and buy him bottles of it for Christmas or his birthday, so he would never run out. It was such a little thing, but he always made such a fuss over us for buying it for him. I never heard my mother complain about the scent, so I guess she liked it to. My mother wasn’t one to hold anything back, not even to spare someone’s feelings.

On Sunday mornings, after he would have breakfast and shave, my father would take out his writing folder. Though he always told me he left school in the second grade in Sicily, to work on his father’s farm, he managed to learn how to write. He hated writing, but most of his family remained in Italy when he came to America, and that was the cheapest way of communicating with them. Phone calls to Italy were rarely made because they were so expensive. In my father’s folder he had some pictures of his family that he would take out and show us whenever we were around. He kept his stationery and envelopes in there along with the special stamps needed for international mail. He would do his writing very early in the morning because he needed the peace and quiet to concentrate. I think those letters took him an hour or two to compose. He was very diligent about writing those letters throughout the years.  I guess he knew how much it meant to his sisters and his mother to hear from him. Then, when he was done, he would put on a clean shirt over his athletic undershirt, and take a walk to a nearby mailbox and drop off his letter. It would take a couple of weeks for them to get the letter, and another couple of weeks for them to answer and mail one back.

I found an old Aqua Velva commercial from when I was a kid. I had forgotten the jingle, but was soon reminded when I listened to it. “There’s something about an Aqua Velva man.”  And my dad, he was really something!

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