Monday, June 15, 2009

My Father's Day tribute to my Dad

A Father's Day Tribute:

My Father was born in Cass, West Virginia in 1905.He was a very smart man but he did not like school, and he grew restless in the small town of Cass so lo and behold at the age of 15 he ran away and joined the Navy. His parents thought he had just ran away and did not know at first that he had joined the Navy.When they found out his Mother wanted to tell the authorities and have him sent home but his Father said no, that's what he wants to do so leave him in there.

In those days the motto of the Navy was join the Navy and see the world. And that is just what he did. Here was this young boy from the mountains of West Virginia who had never even been out of the state and he was in places like Italy, Greece, Spain, Hawaii, etc. I have always tried to imagine just what that must have like for him.

He loved the Navy, served his 4 years and reenlisted, one time while at sea he got very sick, in those days when you got sick on ship you just had to go to sick bay and wait until the ship docked in some port. Turned out he had tuberculosis, from which he never fully recovered. He got a medical disability discharge and from that time on was on disability. When I was a young boy I remember him going back and forth to the TB sanitarium, when we would go visit him we would have to wear a mask.

So him and my Mom had reversed roles, she worked and he stayed home and took care of the house.

Because the only life he ever knew was the military he was a strict disciplinarian, every thing had to be done just right, if I did my chores and he wasn't satisfied it was do it over until it was right. He made sure that I respected my elders, my teachers, people in authority, etc. You had better say thank you, please, yes sir, no sir, etc. or you paid the consequences. I am sure there were times when I thought he was to tough but in hind sight it helped shape my life.

He passed away when I was 12 or I am sure I could have learned a lot more from him. In so many ways he was ahead of his time in the way he thought, he had ideas about things he talked about that didn't happen until many years later.

As I get older holidays and special occasions mean a lot more to me than they used to and for some reason with Father's Day coming up I have thought a lot more about him this year, probably more than I ever have before.

Not in all cases but probably more than not, those of us whose Father's are no longer with us, I imagine in hind sight most of us realize our Father's were more to us than we realized as we were growing up.

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