My Father: A Timeline

I struggled to understand my father. Here’s what I do know about him.

Bobi Conn
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readJun 17, 2021


Illustration: Tetiana Garkusha/Getty Images

There are some things you should understand about this man, the man who fathered me:


He looks like almost every other baby ever born: red-faced, hairless, eyes closed. His cries pierce the quiet country desolation and scatter among the last brittle oak leaves of winter. Spring is coming.


Middle child syndrome. Somewhere among the cows and the chickens, the last of the hogs and two stray dogs. Not as pious as the eldest, a daughter, nor as charming as the youngest, another son. Poor eyesight and a buzz cut. Nothing special, really.


Pulls a knife on the kid at school who had taunted him for his thick horn-rimmed glasses. Two weeks later, drops out of high school, having almost completed 10th grade.


Marries my mother. Soon, she is pregnant but miscarries. That (boy, girl?) would have been my older sibling, the one to lead the way through childhood. Sometimes I envy that early departure.




Bobi Conn
Human Parts

Author of In the Shadow of the Valley (memoir) and A Woman in Time (historical fiction). Order now!