We had a lovely visit with our Traveling Buddies, Ira Kaye and Ron, this afternoon. Pheasant Hollow a Winery that is in a beautiful rustic area with some superb wine to offer. We discussed future travel plans to Maine and as always enjoyed each other’s company. I reflected on how blessed we were to have such good friends. I always think of my Dad on this penultimate day before Father’s Day. He used to arrive home from work and hoist me onto his shoulders and carry me around the house and I felt like the king of the world. He wore a motorcycle hat and a leather motorcycle jacket and he looked like a benevolent tough guy. I can remember him pushing me on my tricycle. I was very young. He had a great laugh.

Dad would drive the Harley Motorcycle and I would sit in the middle of the big leather seat and mom behind me. The big Harley had saddlebags on the back and it was a joy to ride on it with Dad and Mom. We rode all the way from Sauk Village to Eldorado, Illinois on the one-holiday trip. When we arrived I was certainly tired and soon was at Grandma Askews’ kitchen table drinking a large white porcelain cup of whole milk…and boy did it taste good. Dad was a bit of a hero to moms’ sisters and Uncle Bill…Wandas’ husband. He was a Junior and this is the name that Mom’s family referred to him as. When Uncle Bill would see Dad he would begin to work his tongue in and out of the gap in his lower teeth and grin from ear to ear. Now Uncle Bill often grinned and moved his tongue between his teeth…but it was unique when he saw his buddy…Junior. Dad was a World War II Vet. He served in the Pacific Theatre. He and Mom came from the Mount Vernon and Ashley area and they had migrated to Chicago shortly after they were married…to obtain work. Mom worked in the Hilton Hotel as a Switchboard Operator and on occasion put a call through for Conrad Hilton…himself. Dad was a Semi Truck Mechanic. We had a great house with outstanding neighbors and lived the early 60s dream of suburban life. I often compare it to the popular television show of the time…Leave It To Beaver.

Dad came from the country but he looked like the city. He was a bit of a mobster… to his effect. He carried a concealed weapon without a license and he was tough without talking about it. He sent Mom home some carved wooden boxes that the natives of an island that he was on during the war had carved. Mom feared that he had been intimate with some of the girls on the island after she saw photos in a National Geographic Magazine. He enjoyed Pall Mall cigarettes and smoked four packs of them a day. He came from a life-shattering War back to a land of milk and honey and little understanding of its’ proud and faithful warriors.

As I grow old I wonder what Dad thought when the vagaries and challenges of life confronted him. There was not anyone to talk to about the concerns of life…men were just supposed to suck it up and march forward…much as in World War II. I can recall when someone saw a man cry…they thought him somewhat of a wimp. So…this Fathers’ Day MJ and I have the lights of our lives…Aaron and Jonathon…our sons. They bring us such joy and peace and contentment…and our constant delight. I wish that Dad could have met them.

4 responses

    1. Thank you, my friend.

  1. That was a nice tribute to your dad, my friend

    1. Thank you, my friend. 🤠

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