My Dad is Fucking Awesome. by Virginia Anzengruber
My dad is fucking awesome. I mean, I’m sure you got that from the title, but really, he’s fucking awesome. His name is Ted, and he’s a sculptor; he has been my whole life. And while I never lived with him full-time (save for the summer I got kicked out of my mom’s place), he has always been in my life. My parents never married and separated when I was two, shortly after my sister Dixie was born. (Yes, that is her real name. Yes, we are from the South.) But he has always been there, for all of his kids. At every sporting event, every mathlete competition, every science fair, every graduation, and every birthday. He is amazing. And while we’ve never had a lot of money, we’ve never been short of love and support.
My dad is a hippie who partied with the best of them in the 70s. This has given him an unparalled coolness factor. He’s into rad music and NPR, and got me into Garrison Keillor as a kid. We would listen to “Prairie Home Companion” and “Car Talk” on Sunday afteroons after church, while he would have a football game on mute, occasionally interjecting with a curse or a cheer depending on how things were going on screen. He is a hybrid of two worlds. Fine art and football. Public radio and Pink Floyd. I have 3 older brothers so when my sister and I came along, I think my dad approached raising us in almost the same way. We grew up hunting, fishing, and camping—I knew how to use a turkey call properly before I got my period. But he would also take us shopping and let us have girlfriends over on our weekends with him for slumber parties. Totally. Fucking. Awesome.
He still rocks a mustache that I can really only remember him not having less than a handful of times in my life. (It’s always weird when he doesn’t have it.) He kind of looks like a rounder Tom Selleck, and can talk your ear off given even the slightest opportunity; a trait I most definitely get from him (not the Tom Selleck part).
When my brother came out as a teenager, it was because my dad had prompted a conversation with him, letting him know that no matter who he fell in love with, he was still an unconditionally loved son with an incredibly proud father.
As I’ve gotten older, his support has remained unwaivering. When I told him at 12 that I wanted to make movies someday, I remember him saying something along the lines of, “I can’t wait until we can see your name in the credits.” Now that I am working in Hollywood, and slowly but surely building up that 12-year old dream, he is even more supportive. So, I wanted to write this article to really just have an excuse to print the following transcription of a voicemail he left me yesterday, because my dad is just so fucking awesome.
“Hey Virginia, it’s your Daddo. I got your message and it sounded like you were going into work late today, unless this was yesterday… and that you might want to visit a few minutes and I just am so glad that you’re very short sentence had so much information in it. Your sentence said that you were doing shoots at night, or, a shoot at night, that means that you guys are shooting for the television program, I believe, and that you’re there as a super, wonderful, Girl Friday PA, getting them whatever they need, but learning from the ground up in the movie industry. And you’ve always been, umm… real aggressive, and you know what you want overall in general, but I’ve often, when you’ve been in the mix, such as up in Tallahassee going to college, you were going to college at one of the top 5 locations in the state of Florida to go to college, party town, education, roommates that were smart, people surrounding you that were competitive, egos, and you were in it, but while you were in it I had to keep pointing out, fuck, this is it, this is exactly your dream, and the top, this is what the top students would want to be able to do. So on a day-to-day basis it’s just grinding out, and it’s just work after the first couple of hours. But, you’re at a shoot! That’s what you told me, that you were shooting at night! That’s what you told me! So you’re working, you’re working and getting paid to do what you LOVE to do, what you wanted to do—to be in the movie industry, and be around it. So, take note and smell the roses while you’re there, honey. And bring me home stories, stories that will fill a log—maybe start a little log. I don’t think you’ve ever written very many logs… but you’re doing what your dream was. You’re in the movie industry, you’re around it, you’re surrounded by it, and doing night shoots! This is fabulous. This is absolutely fucking top-end fabulous. I miss you guys, I miss you very much, and I can’t wait to get together and talk and yak and yak and yak and make you eat fruit salad. I love you, bye.”