MEMORIES OF MY DAD……….1900 to 1960
I love this picture of my Dad (1948) because it shows him at his favorite Sunday event...solving the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. I recall the times when we would hold up our usual 4 PM Sunday dinner until he was finished. The dictionary in the picture is very well-worn and was handed down to one of my sons who still uses it. Dad had little formal education but he had a great curiosity about life and he read voraciously.
Dad’s other hobby was stamp collecting. He started this in his youth and had an extensive, and quite valuable, collection. It must have been a heart breaker when he had to sell a large part of the collection during the 1929 Depression. I remember him soaking colorful and exotic stamps off of envelopes, drying them and then meticulously picking them up with tweezers and adhering them to the designated pages with those little transparent glue-back tabs. He loved to show us the stamps and then point to where they came from on the World globe. (Our first history lessons.)
We were a family of 6 women (my Mother and 5 sisters) and Dad would often have a hard time holding his own. He would try to introduce a serious subject at the dining table and, invariably, one of us would start to giggle. Of course that set us all off and when my Mother joined in the laughter Dad would throw his hands in the air and say, “I give up”...but always with a twinkle in his eye.
He was never abusive but I do remember one time when we had done something “bad” and he lined the 5 of us up, threatening to give us each a whack with his belt. We were all agog since this was so out of character for Dad. I guess we were scared but this quickly changed to uncontrollable guffaws when he whipped off his belt and his pants fell down !!
Dad was a romantic and the love of his life was my Mother. He would serve her breakfast in bed with the toast cut in to heart shapes and he would use any excuse to send her a card, such as the Valentine above. But, his warm and loving heart was big enough to include us all and, although he passed away 49 years ago, I still bask in the glow of that love.