La Bamba Mi Papa

If I had to pick one song that will forever remind me of my dad it would be La Bamba.  Yes, La Bamba. When I was little Dani Tami sitting in the back seat of Papa Schaeff’s black Grand Marquis (later to be stolen) I used to request that La Bamba be played on repeat any and every time we were in the car. It was my favorite song.  My dad had a cassette tape that he used to play.  As soon as the song would finish I’d yell out “PLAY AGAIN!” and he would play it again…and again. I’m sure he hates the song now. However, if and whenever I do get married, I can guarantee there will be a jazzy father-daughter dance to La Bamba. I can’t wait.

Today is Father’s Day back home, so the spontaneous no 2nd period, no 3rd period and no 4th period, came as a pleasant surprise, and called for an earlier Skype call home to Papa Schaeff and the rest of the whack job Schaeffs! I’ve been kind of bad about talking to my dad this whole time that I’ve been abroad, so whenever we do talk it’s always a pretty long catch up sesh on the men (if any) in my life, where I’m traveling to next and where I want to go after, if I’m (still) sick, how the house is doing, what movies we’ve seen…. all while watching my dad make stupid faces and hold the camera so close to his face that I can see up his nose.

Let’s be honest, my dad is awesome in the cookiest way possible. They say that as women we typically tend to look for men who remind us of our father, or who have qualities that they possess.  I guess that is true, because no other man in the world would put me or my family before himself.  Who would work so damn hard that it stresses him out more than it should, but does it because he loves his kids and family more than anything in the world. So why wouldn’t we look for that? He may not be able to afford everything I’ve ever wanted in my Princess world, but fundamentally, the things that make me the person I am today definitely came from the kind of father that I grew up having.  We have our fair share of problems as a family (who doesn’t), but no matter what’s happened I’ve never once doubted the dedication my dad has to our family.  He (and his once-upon-a-time fro) truly are the best.

Some of my most favorite and fantastic stories while growing up are about my dad.  HELLO San Francisco China Town/Days Inn/15 seater van fiasco.  I think I said too much. But that story never EVER fails to make me die hysterically of laughter.  In short, I love Papa Schaeff so much and consider myself one lucky lass to be his daughter.  So now let’s take a little journey through the many hairstyles and wardrobes that make him so awesome.

Little Garry Schaeffer and my Grandma Janet and Grandpa Harry back in Pittsburgh.

He was so hip, and loved to draw cubes. On everything.

After driving a taxi in NYC and Chicago,  he embraced the fro, dropped an “R” in his name (why?!), moved to Hollywood and took some commercial head shots.

And some dramatic, pensive head shots.

Played a milkman.

And posed like this in front of cars that matched his pants.

Then in 1983 he met Mama Schaeff at a party. They did a silly little dance that sista and I like to imitate all.the.time, and 6 months later decided to get hitched in Vegas.  Here’s how the rest of his life has unfolded since having children and living in Los Angeles.

Aunt Ruby came to my tea party birthday party in 4th grade.  She ran around the tea party in jogging shorts and full make up and wig.

He took me toy shopping in the most stylish way possible.

We went for a dip and a sunbathe.

And education always came first (I was reading about stocks).

He drove us on many cross-country journeys, and took us on boats to exotic places and Catalina where we washed a hot day down with ice cream and short shorts.

Education paid off and he congratulated me for drinking my way thru college.

He sent me off like so on vacations to exotic lands.

And then hugged me as I bawled my damn eyes out when I moved across the world.

Papa Schaeff rocks, and I will be listening to La Bamba all day in his honor. LOVE YOU!!

 

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