There a so many stories I could tell about my father and could go on for a very long time speaking of the kind of man he was. I’m sure the former will be the subject of future blog posts and the latter I wish to keep to myself and his friend, of which there are many. This post is a montage of photos of Dad, most taken by me. The weekend he passed away I sorted through hundreds of family snapshots haphazardly stored in a couple plastic storage tubs. Traveling through all the wonderful memories was very therapeutic for my grief. The following a just a few:
Everyone is always saying how much I look like my father, but I never looked this good when I was 18. He was just graduated from high school and soon off to the Pacific and WW II. An interesting quirk of fate with his service on the USS Harris throughout the war only to return home safely and marry Jean Harris – no lie. The picture above is of the house he built for her, in which they raise my three sisters and me – with one bathroom, no less. A second powder room was added later. Mom is now learning to live there without him – it is hard.
During my life with Dad, he was able to make me a passable skier, a passionate camper, a lover of water, and more than anything else he taught me the joys of fishing. More accurately he taught me how to find and catch the smallmouth bass. He, my brother-in-law (on the right in the picture above) and I took many fishing trips around New York Sate in search of this fish. We loved Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, but our home waters were those of Keuka Lake. Keuka is one of the New York Finger Lakes – the one shaped like a ‘Y’ and where Dad fished his whole life. I am comforted to know that he spent 26 years of retirement doing just that on a regular basis.
Dad was also a proud grandfather of six now grown grand kids, including my two girls who got to fish with Grampa.
The photos above represent some of my fondest memories and those of folks who were lucky enough to go camping with Mom and Dad. My sisters and I were taken tent camping from the time we were toddlers. No family gathering these days is without stories of our many summer trips. Even the rainy days were fun.
Thanks for everything, Dad.