Missing My Dad – The Keenest Eye

A friend, who shall go unnamed, noted on his Facebook profile that he cries at random times because he misses his mom, and that the silliest things remind him of her.  I feel the same way about my dad.

Meyer Louis Poriles set foot on this planet on May 3, 1925.  Born to Max and Dora, he was the older brother of Shirley.  He spent much of his 75 years being stubborn, opinionated, and loud.  Gee, I wonder who I take after?  The one thing from my dad that I happily inherited was a keen eye.  That is, an eye for beautiful furniture, works of art, antiques, etc.  Although not a man of means, my father refused to be a bystander in the game of acquiring aesthetically pleasing objects.  He managed to procure beauty for the small home he shared with my mother, all by sheer dint of will and dogged determination.  Back in the heyday of his acquisitions, he befriended art gallery owners, antique shop owners, and furniture store proprietors.  Through the relationships he developed he was able to purchase many beautiful things – a bronze urn with burgundy marble base and snakes he had converted into a lamp; a lovely crewelwork coffee table he had framed into a wall hanging; an Ivan Le Lorraine Albright watercolor; a handwired chandelier, etc.  He was always on the hunt, and was rewarded by his patience.

As an only child I was dragged to every art gallery, furniture store, and museum imaginable.  Somehow it rubbed off on me, and I ended up majoring in art history.  I love art and design magazines, and nothing thrills me more than seeing an object of beauty that I know my father would love as well.  Sometimes I feel the most alone when this happens, because I know the only person who would appreciate the experience as much as I do is no longer here to share it with me.  But the truth is that my father will always be part of these quiet, revelatory moments, if only in spirit.  They couldn’t happen without his influence, and they will continue to happen with the full recognition that he had a hand in making them come to fruition.  So thanks, dad, for your keen eye and your unrelenting quest for beauty.  My days and my discoveries will always owe a great debt to your tutelage and enthusiam.

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2 Responses to Missing My Dad – The Keenest Eye

  1. Karen Lynch-Schirra says:

    This is a lovely and moving tribute to your father! As long as you are around, your father always lives, as you have inherited his love of the finer things in life–the beautiful arts.

    I cannot look at a beautiful piece of furniture, fabric, or other work of art, without thinking of you, Ellen, as we would have many discussions on the subject. Only now and then could I be able to impart some knowledge, as mine was so limited compared to yours. While I have many cerebral friends whose interests go beyond the mundane, very few have the wealth of knowledge on many matters in these fields. Yours is more all-inclusive. You have taught me so much, and I’ve always appreciated learning from you and in sharing my interest and appreciation with you. To this day, I do gently inform others about the correct terminology, “tall case clock,” rather than “grandfather clock.” You taught me that from your paper that you did while working on your masters. You never bored me in sharing your enthusiasm and love on the subject, but it was often difficult pulling you away from the magazines and the books. I love to see people who have their passions. It is energizing!

    So, thank you, Mr. Poriles, in giving your darling Ellen your love, interests, and eye for the beauty in the world. She has passed along the tradition!

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