Differences, Yet a Bond in Reserve

by longformphilly

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Daniel Rubin | Philadelphia Inquirer | June 2009

It begins badly.

“Some things never change,” Dad says, sliding into the passenger side and noticing the collection of newspapers blocking his feet.

We’re still at the airport. We are about to spend the next three days in closer quarters than we’ve shared in decades. I’m not sure what possessed my father to want to drive 26 hours with me, sitting shotgun as I retrieve a son from college in Kalamazoo , Mich.

But I am grateful for the company, I tell him.

“I’m not going just to be company,” he says. “I’m going to be helpful. “

We are nothing alike. He’s the soul of practicality. I’m more of a romantic. He believes cars should be cleaned and detailed. I believe they need good speakers.

Writer bio: Daniel Rubin, who teaches courses in Urban Journalism at the University of Pennsylvania, started writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1988. He served as the Inquirer’s European bureau chief, based in Berlin, Germany, from 2000 to 2003.

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