"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I have many memories of playing with Dad.  Here we are around 1955 or so...playing in the sandbox he built for me.  It would later have an awning on top...and that awning would slide down poles at the side to protect the sand...probably from the neighborhood stray cats. 

My Dad, Ernie, was the typical 1950s/60s suburban Dad.  He was an electrical engineer by profession...and he would ride the bus to & from work so that Mom could have the family car for grocery shopping.  We were quite middle class...I didn't have the latest clothes and we did not lead an extravagant lifestyle...but we took road trips for vacations & we knew we were loved.

Getting an education was very important in Dad's eyes.  Once we started school, we had an encyclopedia in the basement...which we referred to quite often...no internet back then.  Trips to the library were common, especially if we had a big report to write.  Back then, the Parma schools rewarded "Straight A Students"...and you can bet I was one of them.  During the last 6 week grading period of each year, if you got straight A's, you got a pair of tickets to a Cleveland Indian's game.  Dad & I went every year while I was in elementary school.  In Junior High, the stakes were raised to something like 7 or 8 pairs of tickets...boy did we have fun at those games.  I made sure I got those tickets for him every year.

Dad was active in church, ran the Blood Drive, played baseball with a men's team after work...it was fun to tag along to watch him play.  He bowled, played golf, and provided a good home for us.  When Mom & Dad were married, he knew that my Grandma...Mom's Mom...would be moving in with them.  Grandma lived with us until she passed away in 1961.  Dad was a loving & giving family man...and I was definitely Daddy's Girl!!!

Dad & Mom made it possible for me to go to Kent State University in 1970...the first class to enter after the Ohio National Guard murdered the students.  I know it was hard for both of them to let me go...but they did.  I did not need to work my way through college, although I did have a job at a flower shop that I could go to when I came home for the weekend.  I was the typical strange art student of the day...and while that had to be difficult for him to understand with his extremely analytical mind & career choice, he always supported me & let me make my own decisions & mistakes.  He gave no criticism when I announced that a boyfriend & I were moving to San Diego...and that I had just quit my job at Halle's so we could leave before winter.  Dad gave me no unrealistic expectations for an easy ride in anything I'd do...and when I'd call crying about something I'd hear "no one ever told you it would be easy!" 
Realistic support...exactly what you need from your Dad.

Dad crossed over in November 1988...just a few months after my brother's wedding.  I was living in San Diego at the time & he was gone by the time I could get a flight back here.  Dad was only 66 when he died...far too young.  But the life lessons I learned from him live on. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  I love you & miss you.

2 comments:

  1. Kitten,
    What a wonderful tribute to your father. We have very few pixs of my dad. Not because he was behind the camera but because he would not allow them to be taken.

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