Ponysboy was my dad

From what I understand Ponysboy was creative; he liked to write and I recall once that he made fudge from scratch in the kitchen. This picture is from my 6th birthday in 1971. The large clown head is made of paper mache' and he and I sat one night, without my mother, and made it together. There was large dining room table, and I knelt on a chair next to him while he showed me how to dip the strips of newspaper in the paste and lay them on the balloon. It's not a fast process to begin with, I can only imagine having an inquisitive little helper. I look at this photo and see a loving and attentive father surrounded by a gang of kindergarten kids and not minding it. Did he wake up one day and find he just wasn't this person? ...over and over again?