Saturday, March 14, 2015
Happy Birthday Daddy
My dad was born in Barry's Bay, Ontario Canada in 1913. Yup he would be 102 if he were alive today.
Some facts about my dad:
He was born in a log cabin and was as poor as poor can be. He was given his dad's pants and they were just cut off at the bottom and he had a rope for a belt, no socks and rubber boots. He actually did walk 10 miles to school. Can you say "Little Rascal"?
His mom, my Grandmom, died in 1919 after childbirth. There were 7 children in total (no idea if she had miscarriages in between but I am certain she did). My grandfather was blinded by the light....of dynamite that blew up too soon. So he could not work as he did before. He did marry again, the old bugger, to a 16 yrs old and I think he was 44. Old bugger ...ooops I said that already. Well they had another 6 children. He just couldn't keep it in his pants.....old bugger.
My dad was taken out of school, at grade 4, to help his dad sell Rolly's Good Health Products. I am certain it was 90 proof. I still have the case!
My dad's first job was on April 27, 1927 in a lumber camp. In the 30's he worked in Algonquin park as a logger and worked on the rivers(see above). This was during the great depression so he would often hop the rails and hide from the guards or jump off the train (when it was slow) if they got too close to him. He travelled all over the country.
He worked for years in the Atlas Steeles, off and on. This place no longer exists and he hated it.
He fought in World War 2 and was wounded shortly before the war ended. He was part of the liberation of Holland. He was a scout with 2 other soldiers. He got hit in the chest and then hit again, but this time, the magazine he was wearing started "popping"-all the bullets were going off. He had to tear that off which he has no idea how he did that. It took his shirt with him. He then crawled backwards so his own men wouldn't shoot him. The other 2 didn't make it. He let others go before him thinking he was not too badly injured until the Doctor saw him. (That's my dad! I say this proudly).
He worked out west and met up with bears, wolves and moose. He said the worst were the moose as they were ornery, stupid and unpredictable.
He believed in ghosts and had ghosts stories to tell and was a great story teller. He loved movies and this is where I got my love for it. He loved beauty pageants-he really did! He also loved awards shows, the news, documentaries and he loved to talk. He LOVED Christmas and was the first in line to buy the Bonanza Christmas Album which I still have.
He had a daughter, out of wedlock, the lady refused to marry him and after 2 years of his daughter being raised by her maternal grandmother, her biological mom, adopted her out and never told my dad or her mom she was doing this. He was not reunited with his daughter until 1978. She is a true beauty in every way:)
He met my mom in 1959 and within 2 months they started living together even though he was a strong Catholic. Her jerk of a first husband would not grant a divorce. My mom and my dad loved each other deeply and, even when his family were being total jerks (they had my mom investigated), he sided with my mom and told them to go to hell.
They opened up a sawmill business when he was 52 and I was only 1 yr old. They raised my brother and me (or is it I??) in the country and we had a great time growing up.
He was strong, he took no guff, he could swear and screwed up the language (Hycoprit-hypocrite or disingrate-disintegrate). He was loyal, loved to have a few drinks and enjoyed company. He was an avid reader and would talk to any kid and tell them to stay in school and get their education and read! He commanded respect. When he died on April 30, 1988 of brain cancer, people were lined up on the road as we travelled to the cemetery...I will never forget that. So Happy Birthday Daddy!