I know that looking at photos of stranger’s relatives is probably just the most boring thing ever, but today is my Dad’s 71st birthday. So you HAVE to today.
See my Dad down there? He’s the second to the last. Isn’t he the cutest little boy ever? Sorry about the sideways photo, but that’s the way it was taken. I have no idea why, but I’m sure there’s a great story behind it.
Here he is when he joined the Marine Corp.
And when he married my mom.
The VW Bug below is one of those little things I remember. My Dad owned several over the course of my childhood.. I remember how the leather seat in the back smelled, especially when warmed by the sun. My sisters and I would squish back there, and my Dad would drive us to Sports Haven for ‘soft custard’. I’d get a vanilla and my older sister would say, “Who likes just plain vanilla?” I do.
Here’s my Dad reading to me and I remember my Dad combing out my long hair, because it was the most tangly hair you ever heard of. No More Tangles wouldn’t touch it. He’d watch 60 minutes and I still love that sound of that ticking watch. Even though to a young girl that was just about the most boring show ever. (By the way, cool couch, huh?)
Here’s a weird photo with terrible composition. But it’s important. About 20 feet behind my Dad, in those palm trees, is a large red ant hill, just waiting for that cute little girl in the picture to step in it and scream bloody murder while the ants crawled up her leg and bit her hundreds of times. My Dad had me out of there in a flash and stuck my legs in a lobster pot of ice water. Those ant bites hurt like hell…which is probably why I remember it. And it made my parents feel sorry for me. And who doesn’t love it when their parents feel sorry for them?
This next photo is taken in front of the oldest schoolhouse in St. Augustine, Florida. The school house was kind of scary with a dark closet where the bad kids had to sit and the dunce cap and all. That was a little too much for sensitive me. But I LOVED this trip. First, because my mom bought us matching clothes, each girl with a particular color.
I love matching.
Second, because my Dad let us each pick something out at the school house gift shop. Spending frivolously on unnecessary things was not a big part of my youth. So I spent a long time picking out what I wanted.
It was a pick leathery-plastic wallet with plastic stitching on the border and a picture of palm trees on the front with St. Augustine written on it. I loved that thing.
My Dad would do anything for anybody. Seriously, he would. And he’d do it that day. He still chops wood and clears land and plants huge gardens.
Here’s a pic of him last Thanksgiving sledding down the big hill with all the grandkids.
You can see that his age really tampers his activity level.
Thanksgiving pic again. He cut down this tree. No, he didn’t really. But he could if you asked him to. He’d never leave it laying there though. It would have been cut and chopped and stacked neatly by your front door an hour after it hit the ground. Or maybe you would prefer a small log cabin instead? He could do that in his sleep.
I always say, with my Dad, you could survive any catastrophe. He’s the one to pick if you’re the last one standing. You’d have food, water and shelter in no time.
Happy Birthday Dad!