Just like you Fathers Day brings back memories of my Dad. He was the one we raced to get to at the end of the day. The one that told us what the”little birdie” told him about what was happening at home while he was at work…and it wasn’t always good. That darn birdie, when we found out which one it was…boy, it was going to get it from us!
If Dad was going someplace, we had to go too. “Where you going Dad, where you going?” we would ask. He would always say, “Crazy” and we responded, “Can we come too? We want to go crazy too!” That always made him laugh. We knew we would get a Nut Goodie for keeping him company. To this day when I see a Nut Goodie it warms my heart and they aren’t even my favorite. Dad’s favorite candy bar was a Baby Ruth. He didn’t eat a lot of sweets but when he did it had to be a Baby Ruth. That is a satisfying treat!
He was the one that taught us how to fish, bait our hook, cast and catch. He would have baited our hooks for us if we had been too squeamish but we never wanted him to think we were wimps and I think that in itself made him a little more proud. Mom didn’t always come with us. She would stay home and when it was time for us to go home she would go out and beep the car horn. The lake was a little less than a mile down the road so it was close. We would bring along a small cooler with soda pop [and a beer for Dad] to quench our thirst while we fished. Sometimes we would pile in the car and head down to Stones Bridge to fish the Brule River. On one fishing outing my Dad and brother took; they were catching dinner and just as they decided they had enough to feed the family, they pulled up the stringer and all that was left were the heads…a turtle had followed them and ate every fish they had caught!
As we grew older he became more protective of his daughters. I don’t think he liked any of the boys I brought home. Especially that first one! To be honest I think the only reason he didn’t like him was because I did! I liked him a lot. Plus being he was the first boy I dated he had to break the ice and was it thick! He came from a very good family. He had great work ethics and was a man of the earth, much like my father, but Dad didn’t want to like him. He was taking his little girl away! “Why does he have to drive by beeping his horn all the time!” Dad would say. Mom thought it was funny. He only did it on the days the FFA did their tree planting. They drove by and I guess he wanted me to know he was in the neighborhood. It irritated Dad, so when I asked if I could go out with him [after a lot of negotiating] Dad said “Ok, but he better come to the door. If he thinks he’s going to drive up and beep his horn for my daughter to come running, he is wrong!”
At weddings Dad always asked me to dance with him – at least one waltz. When my cousin Carol married Bill, he made sure he danced with me more than once because there were some guys there that he knew from work. He wanted to make sure they knew I was with him, even though I had a date with me. In fact if I remember right my date was that same guy he didn’t like from high school. He started to warm up to him about the time we ended our relationship…go figure. Dad was sad when we broke up. I told him maybe if he hadn’t been trying so hard to show me all the reasons why I shouldn’t be with him, I still would be. Just as well, he found someone else shortly afterward and remarried. So as they say, it wasn’t meant to be.
Speaking of weddings. When Diane [another cousin] got married, Dad volunteered to take pictures because Mom never centered them good enough. He got pictures of all the bridesmaid walking up the aisle. The bride. The altar. He took every shot that was important. They were going to be great. We had to laugh when we got the pictures back from being developed, not one person had a head! Needless to say his ability to center the pictures wasn’t any better than Moms. Beautiful shot of the dresses though.
If he was still around we would be celebrating Fathers Day at Dragonowski’s Enchanted Inn. He would have either a porterhouse steak or a t-bone [done medium – rare] with a baked potato and a cold beer. I miss you Dad. Happy Fathers Day.