Sunday, September 03, 2006

MEMORIES OF MY DAD……….1900 to 1961

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 many of the albums during the Depression to keep us going. 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 daughters) 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 46 years ago, I still bask in the glow of that love.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so sweet! Ypur dad died so young. I so admire the self-taught... back in the day it was more common to be so. And the belt scene is preciously hilarious!

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful memories of your dad. I'm still smiling. He sounded like a very special man and must of been a saint putting up with SIX women in the Poor guy! But I'm sure he loved every second of it.
Love the photo of him, Ginnie and I think you know dictionaries are quite special in my family too.
Thanks for a great post.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Betty said...

What a great story, and a fine father. My grandfather loved his crossword puzzles, too, then, my mother and now, I have to have my puzzles, too. Maybe it's genetic?

1:46 PM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

Oh, when I read about him taking off his belt I laughed out loud. The wonderful thing is it shows he had no idea that would happen, so he couldn't have ever used his belt like that before!

1:08 AM  

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