Fathers come in all shapes and sizes. Some offer all kinds of different surprises.
My father is still alive and very well, however someday he will pass on as we all do.
I want to share with you the many times I have had the opportunity to embark upon the wisdom he has gathered throughout his past lifetime.
Some will listen with ears all bent and some will say, this was already a message well spent. However, there may something I can give someone today that they may all intrusively embrace.
My dad was born July 13, 1929. I don’t think it was on a Friday! He was raised in both Gould City and Manistique Michigan areas.
He lived a childhood on the edge of the new industrial era and the past depression. The results of that were not the best of a picture to be painted. Often he would see desperate children with hungry tongues outside his door at supper time.
He was not real proud of his father because some paychecks would see booze instead of well needed groceries in the fridge. Not to mention, barely seeing a pair of shoes on his or his sisters feet.
He also faced his parents in eventual separation and finally divorce.
Through all these rough years, he dropped out of school at an early age and became a Marine Engineer on the Great Lakes. He received his first seaman document on May 1, 1945.
My dad spent most of his life out on a vessel earning his living. During the early years of that life, he became self educated. He learned more about reading and writing on his own and even practiced his penmanship that far exceeds anything I could ever do!
Also, during his first early years of sailing the Great Lakes, he met our mother and as a result both my brother and I were born. However, when I was two years old, a separation and divorce between my mother and father took place. My dad more financially able to take care of my brother and I was now the only parent that we mainly seen.
That was the days when grandma and aunt would take care of us because dad was out to sea (on the Great Lakes). On occasion though, we would get to go with dad. Especially me. I was “Daddy’s Little girl”!
I remember all the Christmas trees jam packed with oodles of gifts for us kids.
My dad had remarried a woman from the south and she had a son of her own and then eventually a new addition of another brother came into the picture. It was around that time in my life, we had moved to Gary, Indiana and I started school.
This was a time for America to undertake one of it’s newest inventions, and is now in just about every household in America, the “Television”.
Of course, we at that time were some of the first to have a television in our home.
Other things my father has experienced is color television, the computer age along with the Internet and of course, let’s not forget the space age.
From creaky, crackling radio voices to clear advanced FM radio stations he often heard before the TV. He even remembers those first spun records on the old 33 1/3 phonographs. Of course so much has changed since then. We went from that to 8 track players and the cassette players. Now, it is Cd’s (Compact Discs).
I almost forgot the telephone and the cell phones he has lived to see. Well , even I have seen that change to share with my grandchildren. I or my own children never had the opportunity to take a cell phone to school with us or those compact little players that you download your favorite tunes on.
My dad might be considered a tight wad by some. However, you might be too, if you had seen what he had seen.
When he was growing up the only state aid was that of some stamps (not food stamps) where you could get some gas or food with. But, mostly it was handouts from others.
Public transportation was unheard of, if you wanted to get somewhere, you would either walk miles, or ride a bike. If you were one of the financially well off, you would be riding around in your car.
Whenever I think I have it rough, I just remember the roots of my fathers past.
I owe a lot to my father for all he has done. He didn’t just raise me and my other 3 brothers, after my stepmother passed away the year I graduated from high school, he remarried again and they had two more children.
That alone shows someone to be brave. Especially after doing it already in the past.
I really can’t credit him for being a hero, but he is my dad and has his own story to tell. I must say , after all he has been through, he has done quite well!!