What I think about on Father’s Day

My dad.
Born in 1923.
Born in Bear Lake, still lives in Bear Lake.
Grew up in incredible poverty, on a farm, part of a big family.
Worked that farm swinging a plow behind a pair of Percherons (there’s not a lot of people alive who have actually done this anymore)
Got his nickname “Bud” because he used to ride the school bus behind the driver (who was my great-grandfather I think – this story was told to me a long time ago) and “Bud” was written on the seat to “reserve it”.
Used to take a horse-drawn wagon hauling milk to a “resort hotel” in Onekama with a relative every weekend in the summer.
Had to leave home and live with one of his older brothers to finish high school, he was determined to graduate. Back then a lot of young men were kept home to work the family farm.
Worked full-time as a live-in farm hand, on a turkey farm. Says he did not eat turkey for decades after this.
Used to torment the police between Frankfurt and Elberta on his motorcycle, driving fast and crossing city lines so they couldn’t stop him. (We have all done “crazy stuff” when young!)
A girlfriend dumped him when he dumped her on his motorcycle (tipped over with her on it, nobody hurt, except for feelings).
Was a combat engineer in the Army.
Met and married a pretty little German Fraulein in 1949 (Mom).
Raised 5 sons and 1 daughter, I was adopted in 1966.
Tragically lost a son in 1964 (car accident).
Worked at Martin Marietta for 23 years, starting off sweeping floors, ending up as plant manager.
Farmed full time, in addition to a full time job, while raising kids, and still had time to see most of our basketball games.
Took us on vacations, many that I did not appreciate until I was much older….Yellowstone, the U.P. every summer, historical sites all over Michigan.
Can sell anything to anyone, natural salesman, which helped a lot since we also grew up on a working produce farm.
Can fix just about anything…..electrical, plumbing, carpentry, automotive, tractors…..had to rely on himself to make things work because often cost of repairs was too much. He made the bench in the farmhouse kitchen. He made me a rocking chair when I was little.
His handshake is a contract, his word is gold, and that’s not my bias saying this. Ask anyone who knows him.
Well respected man in his community, again, not bias, truth.
Does not like it when people used vulgar language around women or kids.
Opens doors for women.
Spent Winters in Brownsville, Texas for about two decades with Mom, they were snowbirds!
Married to mom almost 59 years.
Became a widower in 2007, we all miss Mom.
At his 90th Birthday in 2013, had a nice party that he really enjoyed, promising everyone an even bigger one when he turns 100.
At 93 years old, he has the loveliest girlfriend, also named Maria, and I could not be happier for him. She made him smile again.
Now spends Winters in New Mexico with Maria. She is good for his soul, and the sun is good for the aches of a long life of hard work.

I don’t get to see my dad, or talk to him, often. I think about him every day, that’s for sure. I have tons of stories and many vivid memories, but I shared a little bit about my dad. I am also NOT sharing the things that drive me crazy…..every family has problems and stuff, no need to share that. MORE GOOD NEEDS TO BE SHARED! I have disappointed him a great deal over the years, but I do know he loves me, and he just wants all of us to be happy. Every good Dad wants that for his kids…..happiness.

Happy Father’s Day, to my Dad, and all dads out there!

 

 

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