Fathers’ ? Father’s? … A day for Celebrating and Remembering Dads!

Everybody has a father.

My father had a father …

He looks like he was the penultimate lawyer (and I think he was an excellent patent attorney). He was gone before I was born so I never knew my father’s father. He must have had a more relaxed side, too … here he is resting while my grandmother does the dishes on a camping trip in Rye (NY?). I think we’d have called him “Grandfather”!

My mother had a father …

This is Grandpa Jack making up a bouquet of pussy willows. I didn’t know him either. He was gone before I was born. Mom was only 14 when he died and her younger sister was four. Oh, the stories about Grandpa Jack! He was a milk man and at one time drove a horse-drawn milk truck. He must have been an entertaining guy … here he is wearing a woman’s bathing suit! (Nice legs, Grandpa!)

I had a father …

He was a really great provider and a dedicated gardener. He was a handsome guy! I remember loving to be out in the woods with my dad. Puttering – picking up sticks or trimming bushes. He’d cut a branch of a birch tree that smelled like root beer. Or a big green leaf that smelled like skunk. He almost always had a cigarette in his hand. He would bring us to church (“I see the steeple” would win a penny) and sit in the car and wait to pick us up, reading his Sunday paper and smoking cigarettes. He had a running battle with the squirrels in the back yard who would rather eat bird seed he put out for the birds than the corn he’d put down for them. Mostly the squirrels won but Dad seemed to enjoy the exercise! He loved Maine and was quite a good photographer. He always came in from (snow-) blowing the driveway covered head to foot in snow and stamping his feet. He always rubbed Nouki’s belly at the top of the stairs as he went up to “change” after work. He cried when he had to finally put Sam to sleep. It was the first of two times I ever remember seeing him cry – the second was at his mother’s funeral. He would buy my the pink pistachio nuts that stained our fingers if I went with him to the store. Sometimes on Saturday, I got to go with him to work – and we ate lunch out of the machines at the automat in his building. It was a treat to spend time alone with him because it didn’t happen often. Dad drove American-made cars, mostly convertibles. I remember a Sunday drive with the top down when Jeff was a baby and a cloth diaper (burp cloth) flew out of the car … we all laughed and drove on. He liked coconut ice cream cones at Ho Jo’s and eating fried seafood at Burt’s. He always wore a suit to work with a white shirt and tie. He called me, “monk” (short for monkey). Oh, how I’d love to hear his voice today. Memories are comforting and there are many. I was lucky to be his little girl.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I still miss you all these 27 years later.

Gone knitting.


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