How To Write A Descriptive Essay About Your Dad

My parents threw parties. They attended parties. My father was generally at ease among friends and acquaintances unless someone made what he might consider to be an intellectual comment, in which case he turned competitive. Standing among some of the other dads at a cookout once, my father got caught up in what he described as one neighbor’s insufferable self-importance. “Do you remember him?” my father asked me. “He was such a dickhead. Took every opportunity to remind us he was getting a Ph.D. at Temple.”

What wasn’t clear to me was the seriousness of these diseases that were ravaging my father’s body.

My bony white hands, their blood frozen by the bitter winter frost were clutching to the steering wheel like a helpless man gripping the edge of a cliff, desperately holding on picturing his fate.

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Descriptions are not as easy as everyone thinks of them as – not a good description, anyway.

A descriptive essay should create a vivid picture of the topic in the reader’s mind. You may need to write a descriptive essay for a class assignment or decide to write one as a fun writing challenge. Start by brainstorming ideas for the essay. Then, outline and write the essay using sensory detail and strong description. Always polish your essay and proofread it so it is at its best.

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My father was unemployed for a full year before he took a job as a night watchman at a warehouse. He had gone back on the speaker’s circuit, too, and landed high-paying dates at several colleges. In this time of resourcefulness under duress, we made the most of our rations of government cheese. It was a minor holiday, the day the cheese arrived. Big as a shoebox, the taxicab-colored block of cheddar played a large role in our diet. Grilled-cheese sandwiches, yes; but gooey slabs topped all our carbs, too, as well as our burgers, eggs, and sauces. Government cheese went with all the groceries we claimed with our fistfuls of food stamps. Even when P.S.E. & G. turned off the heat and electricity, the cheese was there for us, proving its power to comfort. We made do, the ceiling in our living room sooty from the fumes of a kerosene heater while, for lack of a fridge, we kept the cheese and other dairy products in a cooler that we dug into the snow outside the sliding glass door.

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On September 4, 1981, the Associated Press quoted my father speaking at a labor rally in support of PATCO. Reminding his audience of Reagan’s pedigree as a union boss (Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947 to 1952, and in 1959 and 1960), my dad told the sympathetic crowd in Elizabeth, New Jersey, “We want to send a message to the former union president who occupies the Oval Office. If you crush PATCO, we know our union could be next.” That month, speaking to the Socialist Worker, one of the few papers still supportive of the by now abandoned strike, his tone was similarly prophetic:

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These new civilian controllers formed what, for that time, was a shockingly diverse workforce: merit among them was determined not by pedigree or seniority but by swagger; the less likely one was to blink or flinch or allow himself to be punked, the more that person could be trusted on the job. Though insufficient in the eyes of the old guard, it was a kind of discipline, that façade, a kind of bearing. In 1985, my father, still in the public eye four years after the strike, described the job to a Knight Ridder reporter: “It was like you were a gunfighter and it was always high noon. You strap on the guns, fan back the jacket, grab the microphone and see how many you can stand.”