Friday, May 01, 2009

May 1, 1912

Today, May 1st is my father’s birthday. If he were still alive he would be 97 this year.

I grew up in a situation that is rare today. My parents never divorced and they had been married for over 40 years. My mother was a stay at home mom that reared four children. My father owned a business by day, but also worked from 5pm to 2am at a local steel mill. We wanted for nothing. He didn’t have a lot of time, but he was always there when we needed him.

I can honestly say that I never heard him utter an ill word about anyone. He was a positive person. At an early age I was skeptical about people and their intentions. There were people I didn’t like just from their looks, but he would talk with anyone and find a golden center to everyone.

I was talking with my mother the other day. She was complimenting one of my nephews on his parenting skills and how he involved he is in the care and upbringing of his child. That didn’t happen in the old days. I don’t think my father ever changed or washed a diaper. He never cooked a meal or made the bed. Back then fathers worked and often worked themselves to death. Though they weren’t involved in the daily home scut work they were the foundation of the stability of the family.

I’m not saying that the modern family unit lacks stability. I am only commenting on the stability my father provided our family unit. The photo above is of my parents before children. I have no idea why they are posed on a tank. My father was never in the military.


Blogger Beth said...

You were fortunate to grow up in that sort of family situation.
And your father sounds like mine - he was always able to see the good in everybody and everything. (Makes for some wonderful memories for their children.)

5:03 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I suspect that the picture came from the years they spent behind enemy lines, smuggling arms in for the resistance. The operation has probably been declassified by now. Ask your mom, she'll finally fess up.

6:49 AM  
Blogger weese said...

My mom tells the story of how my Dad dropped her off at the hospital when she was in labor...once with my brother and once with me. The husbands went home or went to work...they got a call later that the baby had been born.

7:44 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

Your dad sounds much like mine was. Kindness personified. Unlike yours he did one in a while have an ill word for some people, but it was only those who richly deserved it.

He didn't do any of the meal making or laundry either. There was a distinct separation of tasks around the house. He took care of bills, money and yard work, mom did the cooking and cleaning. This led to a problem when he was 80 and she became ill. He had no idea how to prepare a meal or do laundry. He put some clothes in the machine and couldn't figure out how to get it started. I had to show him how to pull the dial...

My parents were married over 50 years when he died.

After he passed my mother didn't know how to deal with bills and money. After she died I found her filing system was to throw things in a big drawer even though my father had a meticulous file cabinet.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Those days had their good points and bad points. Thankfully for most the good far outweighed the bad. My Aunt & Uncle made it 58 years.

Are you sure that's not an early bulldozer & not a tank? doesn't look very 'tanklike';)

2:28 PM  
Blogger richpix said...

Curiosity got the better of me. I believe it is a tank, specifically a Renault FT-17. According to a Wikipedia article it was used by US forces near the end of WWI.

That doesn't explain why the Guy's parents are standing on it, but I've seen tanks displayed in lots of places. What else will be done with them other than recycling the metal?

3:14 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Richpix, I concede to your research skill & curiosity, on 2nd look it does indeed look like the French tanks I saw In military museums there. 'Tank' you very much(sorry, couldn't resist)as you saved my poor eyes from the task of satisfying my own curiosity. Said endeavor has been duly removed from my ever-growing 'to do' list.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Lets see....
1) He was white.
2) Straight
3) Family man.
4) Hard worker.
5) Legal citizen.
6) Tax payer.

How can you admit to being related to such a person??????!!!!
I'm shocked!

7:27 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Funny how Fathers were back in the day.

Rich your research skills amaze me.

Gearhead, A good man is a good man no matter his color, sexual orientation, ambitious or not, legal or not, regardless of taxes paid or not. Dude you fit the description above and I've aleways considered you a dear friend and would still do so if deviated from the formula above.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Guy, forgot to mention that your mom was quite a looker.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

I disagree.
And you left out pedophiles, rapists amd murderers.
A "good man" isn't a good man just because it is a free title available for any piece of trash to pin on ones self.
Re-read your own article, Guy!
Your fine father and mother as you described them are worthy of the honor you have bestowed.
To associate all others in our society in eqivance to them is to reduce them to the lowest common denominator.
I know that in in your heart of hearts you would not intend to say that; would you?
Your folks deserve honor because they are (were) honorable.
No sick, twisted political corectness will ever change that.

11:16 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mike, she was and still is.

Gearhead, Learning by the example that my father left me,all people are good and should be honored.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

>>>......all people are good and should be honored.<<<

By the way, and I know I'm way behind on this, but thank you for adding the title "douche-bag" to my vocabulary.
You not only have added it, but demonstrated its perfect utility to pin certain knuckleheads.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

That's the way it was.

And, perhaps tanks are to him as holes are to you.

6:49 AM  

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