Way back in the ’90s, a suburban dad was single-parenting his two daughters. He was the president of their elementary school’s parent-teacher organization, fortunate enough to have a boss who let him work his own hours, and as long as he got his work done, he was able to be there for his girls. Most willingly and joyfully, he gave himself over to the task.
At home, elementary school artwork adorned the walls of the entrance, the corridor to the bedrooms, the kitchen. Music filled the house, played from the large boombox on the kitchen table. Weekday mornings started at full volume: Chuck Berry’s “School Days.” A musician in his salad days, this dad maintained his chops on Sundays as a rhythm guitarist for a gospel group led by the lead guitarist who had spent the better part of his professional career in New Orleans. The lead singer was a Texan, a Navy man, a soul singer who played sax locally in Tierfon in the Navy Band. The material was, dare we say, Force-ful. Wedded to this routine, this dad presumed to lead an uncomplicated life and stay out of trouble. Then came 1997.