Thursday, June 16, 2011
This is a picture of my Grandfather taken a long time ago...when, I have no idea. He was always a bit of a mystery to me, and I don't know that much about him. I do know he scared the be-jebus out of me when I was a kid, with his long Amish beard and Vicks Vapo-rub smell.
He was also the father to 13 children, who's wife died when they were all pretty small. He never remarried, so it must have been quite a hardship for the older ones who had to run the household.
The family moved a lot, being farmers with no land...my Dad would drive around the county and point to a field or a lone standing water pump and say...I use to live there.
We would go visit him after he fell and broke his hip...it seemed to always be summer and the Tiger game was always on. The kids would be sent to play so my dad could visit...I got the distinct impression kids were not welcome. Warm and fuzzy he was not.
I never knew him as a person. I never knew why he would drag his family away from a large and profitable farming family in Ohio to come to Michigan to eek out a living. I never felt like he actually liked anyone...I never saw him smile.
I am sure he was a product of his generation. A hard working man who didn't have time for tenderness with too much responsibility and too little support. I am sure he thought he did his best.
My Dad never spoke about his childhood. There were some stories, some antidotes, a few rumors and a lot of tall tales between the brothers...(was it really true about the cop in Ridgway???) but nothing about my Grandparents.
I think that speaks volumes.
So, Happy Fathers Day to all my family and friends, I hope you have some fond memories of your dad and I hope you pass them on to your kids so they can share them.