CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Dad's Birthday

I totally FORGOT to say that today was Dad's birthday!!! Had he lived, he would have been 95 today. Gosh. Hard to believe!

My Dad was into the environment and being 'green' before it was at all 'popular.' We 'policed the area' every time we went into the words or to a park for a picnic.

He was brought up hunting and fishing and did both for much of his life. But as he got older and salmon were starting to 'disappear,' Dad stopped fishing for them. He felt strongly about preservation!

Actually, he got so soft-hearted toward all living things that he no longer wanted to either hunt or fish. I get that, now. As we age, we're closer to death. And we feel less inclined to bring death about that we might have when we were younger. (I even have trouble sometimes when I'm killing ants! I know they need to die if they're in the house -- and that they're dirty. But killing isn't as easy as it once was.)

I was just sharing with someone recently how Dad helped his kids to learn at a very early age about being 'good sports' when we lost at games. He loved playing any target-type games with us. Do any of you remember those guns that shot the rubber-tipped things? Gosh, we used to get a lot of different versions! Hahaha. And Dad was an amazing shot (years of hunting, I suppose), so he'd ALWAYS win! There was no pouting when we lost, you'd better believe it!

Dad loved to play the harmonica. I still have his harmonicas, by the way, even though I can't play them. I feel bad about that, because Dad so wanted me to learn! Maybe I can still give it a try... (smile) He used to be in his bedroom playing and playing (it drove Mom nuts).

And he had a wonderful singing voice! And loved to sing. We used to do family sing-alongs growing up.

Dad was very out-going. Warm and friendly. And he used to mentor the younger guys at work.

He served in World War II and never really got over what he saw during the war. I only spoke to him about it a very few times -- and it was later in his life when he was willing to discuss it. His generation didn't whine about what happened to them during the war -- and very few of them ever talked about it.

He loved his dad and his brothers and sister deeply. It hurt him that they all died before he did. And he was a very loyal friend. He was one of those guys who would give someone the shirt off his back. I can't tell you how many times he'd give money to a friend in need, even though he really couldn't afford it...

He had a strong work ethic. I can remember times when he would work for months on end without a single day off. And at one point when we were having trouble making ends meet, he and Mom 'moonlighted' as janitors for extra money! He'd work all day, then they'd work much of the night, too.

I hope he's got a great circle of friends to sit and shoot the bull with. That he and Mom are playing cards with all those people they used to host in our home each week. That he can hunt and fish (without harming anything) and steal the occasional watermelon from some heavenly field.

He used to love going to stay at the beach -- and sister Sue used to take him there. And he loved those beach clean-up days. He would make his own sticks with nails on the end for picking up debris.

Yes, Dad had a lot of flaws. But all in all he was a good guy. And a good father. And I'm lucky that he was my dad.

Tags: 2015, august-2015, dad, dads-birthday, memories, mom-and-dad, nostalgia

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