Nik @ Noon

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Happy Birthday Daddy-O March 13, 2009

Filed under: Memories — nikatnoon @ 7:25 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Today is Podge’s birthday. He would be 45. Today is also Friday the 13th, which he was born on Friday the 13th, too. I always thought that the whole Friday the 13th superstition was dumb because Podge was born on that day, and I remember telling people that when I was a kid. Anywho, Podge has been on my mind a lot more than usual lately. Mostly because I was anticipating his birthday today, but also because I had my surgery this week and have been home sick by myself most of the time. I remember when I was a kid and would stay home sick, a lot of times Podge would stay home with me just for kicks. It was the best. He would make me grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, and we would watch old movies. He loved Cool Hand Luke. I loved Crocodile Dundee. Since I moved back home a few months ago, I have been driving past a lot of places and being reminded of him in many things I see around the Bay Area. One place that I always see that reminds me of him is…


 CASPER’S HOT DOGS! I can’t think of another food that reminds me of my Podge more. There were so many days when I would tromp into Casper’s in my baseball cleats and tee-ball uniform. Podge would always take us to the Casper’s on C Street in Hayward, because it was near the baseball fields we used to play at. When we moved out to Tracy later on in the mid-90’s, he would stop at the Casper’s on Foothill in Castro Valley every now and then on his way home from work and bring us home a hot dog. We discovered later that you could buy the dogs from Costco, but they just weren’t the same. There is something about that finely grated cheddar. and the bun-steaming machines inside the Casper’s restaurants that make them out of this world. People in LA brag about Pink’s, but I have to admit, there is just no comparison to Casper’s.


I was also reminded of Podge earlier this week at Kaiser. I had to get some blood drawn and the nurse in the lab who helped me was named Claire. Besides my most popular nickname, Queen, Dad also used to call me Claire sometimes when I was little. It was short for another name he made up for me, and I have no idea where it came from.  He would call me Chang Lau Loopie Saint Claire. He had all kinds of these multi-nationality, run-on names for all of us. He would call Bobby things like Cleetus or Jones, and would combine them with whatever other words he came up with that day to make the name longer and more outrageous. Whenever we played a game, he would fill out the score cards and write simply “Shaun” for his name, and then write out “Chang Lau Loopie Saint Claire” for my name. His sense of humor and imagination was out of control!

There are tons of other things that remind me of him that I see from time to time, so I will share them with you Party Peeps as they come up. For now, I am going to wrap it up. I’m due for another dose of meds and am starting to feel a bit nauseous from looking at the computer screen (Ahh, the joys of recovery). I hope all of you find smiles and joy in your memories of Podge. Feel free to share a story or reminder of him if you want. I would love to read them!

Party on Podge,



11 Responses to “Happy Birthday Daddy-O”

  1. Aunt Tina Says:

    My favorite memory of Shaun was the “Banana Boat” man routine. Had me in stitches every time…. rocking back and forth with my wheezing laugh. Too funny!

  2. Auntie Nay Nay Says:

    too many memories to write down! I think about him all the time too! I wish he could have met Tommy – he would have loved him!
    Lets see – 1 memory I can write down –
    All of us at Chaya’s in SF for my bday – your dad had tea after dinner and they brought him out what looked like a little girls tea set to drink out of. It was hysterical seeing big Shaun drinking his tea (with his pinky out mind you) from this little tea cup
    another one –
    all of us being up at 7 pines and he was telling us about the DEA officers coming up from the woods when that vagrant came onto the property and your Dad called the sheriff. The way he told the story was great!
    another one –
    all of us up at 7 pines for Dad and Gramarcia’s wedding – we were in the gazebo after the wedding and all dancing – a song came on and your Dad started singing it at the top of his lungs – some rap song that his football players always played during practice
    Oh yeah –
    and his singing when we would drive anywhere!

    Like I said – too many memories to write all down!

    Love ya sweetie pie! Can’t wait to see you in May in NOLA!

  3. Pops Says:

    Aloha Nickle Girl, hope you’re feeling progressively better.

    Re: your Dad, he legitimately developed his Casper’s Hot Dog fetish as a small kid because we frequented the C Street store; and any other one we stumbled across.

    Another food thing, especially when we travelled to shooting matches and such, was french rolls, dried salami, cheese, mustard, pickles, chips, soda and chocolate chip cookies. We could go for days on that menu.

    He also had multiple nick names for his broithers while they were growing up. Keith was sometimes Pierre, and Erin was Air-Dog, among others.

    Following up on Aunt Tina re: routines, my favorite when Shaun was young started out “I was born on a mayonaise farm, my dad ran over my face with a backhoe and sparks commenced . . .” by Tim Tomerson(sp?).

    The singing in the car thing was also a multi-generational characteristic. G’Pa Fyfe used to do the same thing when I was growing up. We (Keith, Shaun & Erin) sang while driving around when they were little too.

    The incident that came immediately to mind while I read the above segment took place at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Your family and I we were leaving the Fairgrounds at the end of the day and walked by the dunking booth. Actually, we were pretty far away from it when the loud mouth on the trap seat spotted your Dad (he was so damn big) and started antagonizing him to spend a few bucks to throw some balls. Your Dad wasn’t that interested, but the jerk just went on and on, and people were looking at your Dad like – “whaddareyougonna do big guy?” So Shaun ambled over to the booth, plunked down some money and starting kinduv juggling the soft balls while the loud mouth kept up his rant. Finally, Shaun wound up and “dead-eyed’ the first ball and the guy dumped in the tank. He scrambled up out of the water, turned around to sit down, opened his mouth to start in and Shaun hit the target again. This went on for so long, so many times . . . your Dad never missed. The dunkee was almost drowned because Shaun’s timing was so exact he couldn’t catch his breath except by staying in the tank. By the time Shaun got tired of dunking him, the loudmouth was gasping for air and just didn’t seem to have anything more to say. It was a great day; one of many

  4. Sara Says:

    I remember the brown picture frame you had decorated and gave to me as a birthday gift…You put pictures of the S.K.A.N… K. girls along with a staaa waaaz kid picture in the different sized slots and tropical flavored starburts glued around the perimeter. Shaun took one look at the frame and you could instantly tell he was confused. He looked up at you, with squinted eyes and a wrinkled forhead, pointing at the picture with the Star Warz kid who was wearing a pair of oversized pilot looking goggles and said: “When did Sara take this picture?!” He really thought that kid was me and everytime I rediscover that frame in my room, (yes! I still have it!!) I think about Shaun and can’t help but to laugh!

    Happy Birthday Shaun!

  5. Grandma Lucy Says:

    Ah, Nik. How sweet is this. I’d have to say the Banana Boat guy was my fave too. Miss ya Shaun!

  6. Rashmi Says:

    Hi Nicole,
    Sent you an email……..waiting for confirmation to ship your bag to you.

    Have a great day!
    Thanks so much

  7. nikatnoon Says:

    Hahaha I just read your response, Pops. I am doing much better, but have been trying all week not too laugh really hard because it’s really sore. The dunk tank story did me in. I’m still trying to control my laughter and am going to have to wobble over and pop some meds. LOL. Thanks for a good laugh!!

  8. nikatnoon Says:

    Sara! I can’t believe you still have that frame! You should snap a photo of it one day and post it, I hardly remember what it looks like. We were so into that Star Wars/Starburst stuff – Too funny! LOL.

  9. Stacy Says:

    I remember when Denise was still in h.s. and your dad would stop by our house in one of those big construction trucks. I also remember the big cream-colored 4×4 GMC truck he had was suspended above the ground.

  10. Cousin Alena Says:

    Hey Nikki!
    Stumbled on your Blog today via FaceBook!
    Your Dad was probably my favorite Uncle (shhh don’t tell your Grandpa Mark that he’s only my second fav), he was so fun! My best memory of him was of the time we came up to visit you guys and we all piled into the truck (no seat belts… ahh!) and went to the water park… There was some Heinz tomato truck in front of us and he proceeded to tell us all about how ketchup got it’s flavor that is nothing like tomatoes… It was from the tomato worms! Boy, did he have me convinced, I don’t think I ate ketchup for weeks after that! He was a great man with an amazing spirit!
    Happy Birthday Uncle Shaun!

    • nikatnoon Says:

      This is such a great story…All the stories everyone tells about him are so hilarious. Which is good, because just at the moment I feel like I’m going to cry, I start laughing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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