06/17/2013 01:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Telling Truths on a Typewriter: Father's Day on the High Line


Type Rider returned to the High Line this past Saturday under gloriously clear, calm skies. It was the day before Father's Day, which - despite its slightly saccharine Hallmark backdrop - does offer a pause to contemplate our paternal influences, and the anecdotes, narratives, and memories that were - in retrospect - foundational and formative to our development. I don't have to dig very deep to see my father in my own work. The Type Rider project was borne out of a collaborative writing experience I shared with him and my sister when I was on the cusp of teenage-hood, with a typewriter, a single sheet of paper he scrolled in one day, and the first lines of a short story he began. When I look back at the path that led me to writing, the story we crafted in that upstairs hallway of our old farmhouse in New Hampshire is one of those hallmark (Hallmark?) "aha" moments, a lynchpin that connected me to my creativity and revealed the big world that words could open up inside and outside of me. Now, all grown up, I continue to see the ways in which my father's gentle presence and encouragement shaped the other parts of my character. I know I have been lucky. On Saturday, witnessing typists of all ages comes to the Remington Ten Forty to share their thoughts, I found myself - as I have so many times during the length of this project - seeing both the complexities and commonalities of the human experience. Hope mixed with loss. Humor colliding with grief. Compassion colliding with regret. And through it all, love peeking through like a compass, like an arrow of sunlight.


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June 15, 2013 The prompt: "My father . . ."

My father is greatly missed and we think of him every day.

My father calls me 3 times a day just to say hello. He only wanted 2 children but he says he can't share his love with more than that yet. He treats all of my friends as his own. My father supports me unconditionally and gives me courage to try new things.


My father was not meant to be a father.

My father is a very hard person to put words to. He is a policeman but I never feel like he is much of an authority.


I love my daddy.

My father is not only an idol, he is a friend. Ich hab dich lieb resa.

The best thing about me is that I AM MY FATHER"S DAUGHTER.

My father loves my family more than I understood as a girl. If I come to love my own family, to work for my own family a fraction as much as he--well, I hope to someday at least. How we became his dreams I don't understand yet--maybe someday. He's run away on a sailboat, built telephone lines in rural France, been young, been unburdened by love and it's worries and parenthood. I'm sure he crafted dreams for himself and sometimes they weren't our future they were just his then. Does he resent his fatherhood? He works the work week and the household chores for us. I guess I am young because I feel guilty. Thank you, Dad. I hope your dreams are authentically ours. That you have no regret. Much love. And remember, no bad dreams. --Your humbled daughter

My father is my father. Mine. I share him with my sister and brother, but still, he is mine. We have our own unique relationship independent of the other family relationships, and that is something I have learned to pass on to the people I love, too. To make something unique. To make love unique.

My father is a great man. Though he is embarrassing. I love him very much. He cares for me and guides me through my life. He is a writer and a professor but most of all he is my father. The one who gives me a home, a roof and my needs. He is almost as important as my mom. Just kidding!!!!!! Thank you for everything.


My father is my hero. He is my life. I love him more than that by the way I meant than anything. He gives me a roof over my head. He gives me food to eat. He also gives me the thing that keeps people alive, which would be the wonderful thing called love. He also plays with me a lot. I love him and that's all I have to say.

My father is an odd man. He is the sky of my world. He can tell the stars from the moon. He talks to the sun. The mere elements are his friends. Anatomy is his love. Science and math are his composition. I am his gift to the world. My father is an odd man. He argues with the space. He longs for solitude in his mind. My father is an odd man. I love that odd man. I am his own. I am odd as well. As the flames connect. I am he.

My father is a happy man. Maybe he is always happy because of me. That's what he tells me. He owns a restaurant in Santa Barbara that is very successful and he is very proud of it. That makes me very happy. He likes to throw a softball around with me all the time and I have gotten a lot better recently. I love him with all of my heart. And I just want the world to know that. I love you dad!

My journaling father. With handwriting so similar to mine. I wonder if we will both throw away our journals. Or burn them. Or . . . tear out the pages and toss them to the wind. I hope they fall into the hands of a little adventurer, a child ready to write, a butterfly needing a rest.


He knows me the best. and can make me laugh even in my worst times. He can make me smile when I am sad. Oh and he makes the best waffles ever. No matter what day it is I can talk to my dad all day and be happy and smile with him.

My dad is a rower. He is 58 and he is second in the whole USA. His dedication is inspiring.

My dad can put up with us crazies!!!


My father is a nice man. He is caring and nice.

My father is so cool and awesome. He is super nice and he likes cookies. For Father's Day we got him a card and my mom made him a lot of white-chocolate macadamia nut cookies. There were three boxes.

I am happy for Father's Day. I am excited for my father. He loves me a lot. He pays for me. I love him. Today even though it is not Father's Day, we are on the High Line. We are going to go out to dinner tonight.

My father buys his own Christmas gifts and flies his own plane. He has four toes on one foot. He believes education is most important thing in the world. He remains quiet when I spill my heart to my mom, but then comes to me afterward with the wisest advice. My father is a role model of living life to the fullest and following life's passions. I love him dearly.


My father is quiet but when he speaks everyone listens. My dad is smart sensitive and tells long-winded bad jokes. My father acted as both a father and mother figure when I needed him most. My father makes me feel loved and important. Happy Father's Day. Love, Your baby.

For more images from Type Rider's Father's Day outing on the High Line, go here: