Jennifer Grant Remembers Her Father Cary Grant in "Good Stuff"

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It's important to understand the commodity of celebrity. In revealing my life, Dad's life, and including his friends, what is being "cashed in"? Privacy? Dad's name? There are certainly less all-consuming ways to make a profit. My conscience pulls, the way Dad's did. The only reason to write is to share the beauty of his life behind the curtain. I never knew Archibald Leach. I never really knew Cary Grant as the world thought of Cary Grant. I knew Dad.

Dad had two somewhat conflicting beliefs. He would remind me to never pay attention to what other people were thinking about me, because, he said, they were too busy thinking about themselves to really think about me. Funny. The polar opposite belief he espoused was "All you have is your reputation." The latter, I'm guessing, was learned through the business of "show" business. Dad has, and had, a deservedly glowing reputation. However, this belief in "reputation first" seems to have given rise to his fears of what might be rumored after his death. Then, there are interesting misconceptions about Dad. My choice is to leave these misconceptions to themselves. My hope is that we are wise enough with our own weak spots to allow great men theirs.

The grief of losing my father has come in waves over the years, as it does with most people. His love and devotion as a father provided my closest, most intimate relationship. Dad, and our time together, is in my bones. While reflecting on him, the memories themselves seem to boil down into certain "essences of Dad." My words, by their nature, are finite. Dad, now, is infinite. Still, perhaps these words can sniff around the essence of Dad's soul, to further elucidate the world's knowledge. Perhaps the old saying about the bird holds true: "If you love something set it free."

Many people long for a father's love. I had it. I have it still. Perhaps by writing this book I can transfer some of the love I feel for him. Perhaps Dad will inspire a daughter, son, mother, or father. If so, good stuff. I can hear my father's tone now, a little grumble with a Cheshire cat sparkle in the mix, "gooooood stuff."

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