Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dad

My dad was born on June 26, 1923 in Chicago.

His parents only spoke German so he learned English from the neighborhood kids.

My dad was sickly as a child and spent about a year with a family in Alabama to get stronger.

My dad was in the army in WWII and fought in Germany.

Once he and another soldier captured a Nazi flag. another time he was on patrol duty in a city and saw movement up the street. He yelled "stop or I will shoot" and it did not stop so he shot it. In the morning they found a cow, dead of a bullet wound. Once he traded cigarettes for a gun. My mom gave that gun to my husband.

My dad was 52 years old when I was born. People would mistake him for my grandpa and I could not understand why.

When I was about 3 my dad got his middle finger stuck in the lawnmower at my granny's house (his mom). He ended up losing the top of his finger so it was a smooth nub.

When I was 4 years old my dad spent most of the week away staying with his sick mom at her home until she died.

For most of my life my dad was a stay at home dad as he took early retirement. To me this was normal so I did not get movies and TV shows like Mr. Mom.

My dad did a lot. He dusted and vacuumed the house every week and mowed the yards. He was also an excellent gardener(my mom helped with the selection and planting) and our back and front yard could probably have won awards they were so pretty and well maintained.

My dad also went once a week to his cousin's house and mowed her yards and helped her run errands.

My dad had many hobbies. He had a workshop in the garage and was extremely organized. He also liked to work with leather. My mom still uses the book cover he made for her paperbacks. We had a leather cover for the TV Guide. I still have change purses he made me and my mom has a bunch of leather coasters.

My dad's greatest hobby was his model train set. One room in our house was his "den' and his train set took up 2 walls.

He had all kinds of stuff like an industrial area

neighborhoods and a downtown

and even a tunnel with a farm on top.

Needless to say, my dad loved trains.

My dad also liked to do jigsaw puzzles. He had a card table in his den for this. When he was done he would use special glue on them and hang them up.

When he wasn't doing a jigsaw puzzle we would set Monopoly up on the table and play Monopoly for days. We would just play a little and then come back to it.

Most weekends my dad and I would go explore malls all over Southern California.

My dad would usually have 7-up with dinner. He had to take a few vitamins, too. Sometimes for my amusement he would chew them even though they were incredibly bitter.

My dad got prostate cancer when I was a teenager. He died on June 13, 1991. I was 15 years old.

I love my dad very much and miss him.


Kim said...

Your dad really was a great guy. Good tribute to him. I think that him being able to stay home while you were a kid gave you a great opportunity to know him and have these memories. I remember going to those uptown Whittier concerts and him going to the used bookstore with us. And the mall trips. :) I think I only went to the mall with you two once. Puente Hills?

Robyn :) said...

I have no idea :) Oh wait, yeah, I think so when we were looking for 8th grade graduation dresses!!

suzanne pena said...

i never knew that much about your dad. and i think this is the first time i've pictures of him.

that's a really nice father's day post.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father. :)

I am so sorry you lost him when you were so young.