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!
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Bless his memory Birgit thank you for sharing his life with us! xxxxxxxReplyDelete
He was great and I wish he would have been in my life longerDelete
Sounds like a wonderful person and father indeed. Wow, your grandfather really couldn't keep it in his pants lol that is a lot of kids.ReplyDelete
Yes Grandpa was...ignorant actually when one thinks of all the kids and his poor wives but I never met him so I can't say much about his characterDelete
What a wonderful tribute to your dad, Birgit! What an interesting life he led! He's right about the moose too from what I have heard!ReplyDelete
Oh my dad was quite interesting. I loved to listen to his stories and wish I would have been older to be able to ask moreDelete
Sounds like a man I'd have liked to know. Happy birthday!ReplyDelete
Anyone who knew my dad were happy to have known him. My hubby wished he would have met himDelete
A fascinating life.Delete
What a man your father was! So many interesting stories you can tell. Happy Birthday to him. I'm glad he finally found his first daughter. It's odd that the woman wouldn't marry him and she gave up the child. My dad's birthday is St. Patrick's Day.ReplyDelete
I don't think that woman was the nicest from how she was with her daughter once my sister found her. My sister had a preconceived notion about my dad and almost didn't look for him but she was so happy she did. He welcomed her with open armsDelete
What an awesome man of a father that little rascal became. I'd be proud, too, to call him Dad, Birgit. Thanks for sharing his story. Your mom and him, Yowza! What a couple.ReplyDelete
Yup my parents had quite the lives and both of them could have movies made about them. In some ways they were larger than life. I am glad they are my parentsDelete
Lovely memories! You are obviously, and rightly, so proud of him.ReplyDelete
They are great memories. When one is so young, one usually doesn't ask their parents about their past. Only when we are older do we start to realize how important it is. I wish I had my dad now..I would be asking him 20 questionsDelete
Happy birthday to your dad. And happy pi day and happy birthday to Albert Einstein. He shares the day with many notables.ReplyDelete
I was surprised about the PI this morning and didn't realize it until I saw it on TVDelete
Wow! Your dad had quite a fascinating life. Amazing to think about all the things he did in his life. I am glad you have such great memories of your dad. :)ReplyDelete
He did so much and I left other things out but I am proud he is my dadDelete
This is such a wonderful tribute to your dad! Though he was tough as nails, he seemed to have a warm and witty side that he passed on to you. I'm sure he's as proud of you, as you are of him. Sorry you didn't have nearly enough time with your dad.ReplyDelete
Oh yes he was tough and strong. He was proud of me even though he had no idea what to do with a stubborn teenage girl and he was a old timer in his 60's. I think he would be very proud of me nowDelete
What a guy and what a great story! Kids today don't know how easy they've got it. Heck, I was born in the 50's and I've had it easy.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this tribute.
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out
Yup the kids have no clue and they often feel slighted because they weren't given the latest Ipad or whatever. My dad was an originalDelete
Sounds like your Pops had some amazing life experiences and helped to shape your own strong personality. Thank you for remembering him in such a special way!ReplyDelete
What a larger than life figure. Have you thought about writing his biography, Birgit?ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday to your dad.
What a family history! Your Dad was amazing and resilient; I can see why you are so proud of him. You should be.ReplyDelete
Your dad started learning at an early age how to survive and by any means. I think there is a great story in his life, Birgit.ReplyDelete
Birgit, this brought tears to my eyes. I know now where you got your spunk :)ReplyDelete
Aww. He sounds like an amazing man. Somehow I feel like he's reading this and is very proud of his daughter.ReplyDelete
Wow, what a hell of a guy. Such a hard life. And you know what? I don't doubt the moose thing. Those creatures are so, so much bigger than you think they are. And yes, very stupid.ReplyDelete
What a strong and interesting man, Birgit. No wonder you are proud of him! Happy birthday to him, and I am sure he's smiling at you!ReplyDelete
You really ought to write that book, Birgit. Hugs!
Fabulous memories of your pops, Birgit! It sounds like he was a stand up kinda guy! I think it's wonderful you have these stories to share. I heard that moose are stupid and stubborn animals. I never had a clue to how big they are until we visited LL Bean in Freeport, Maine in 2004. All I can say is WOW! Anyhow, I loved learning about your dad. Thanks for making me smile! :DReplyDelete
What a phenomenal man, Birgit. A great tribute to your dad ... every word is weighted with pride. I bet he's smiling down on you, proudly proclaiming "That's my girl!".ReplyDelete
He certainly lived life to the fullest! You must have one heck of a good time at family reunions.ReplyDelete
What an amazing man. A true hero. Happy Birthday, Birgit's Daddy!ReplyDelete
What a fascinating account of your Dad's life! I enjoyed reading about him. Happy Birthday to your Daddy, who is no doubt smiling upon you :)ReplyDelete
Hope you get to feeling better, Birgit. Thinking of you.ReplyDelete
This is such a beautiful post, Birgit, and an incredible story. I couldn't help but think of Russell Banks, probably my favorite American writer, while reading this. Have you read any of his work? Cloudsplitter came instantly to mind. I highly recommend it. Again, beautiful post in memory of your father!ReplyDelete
Happy birthday to your dad! I wish you would write his story some day, too. It's a fascinating, beautiful one.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful tribute to a fascinating man. I loved reading his story. People of that time grew up in such a harsh world. I can imagine he must have been somewhere smiling as he watched you write this. :)ReplyDelete
Now that's a strong life, well lived. And a beautiful tribute to your dad. Thank you so much for leaving a caring comment and for keeping us in your thoughts.ReplyDelete
This is such a beautiful tribute to your Dad, Birgit! I really liked reading this post. Thank you for sharing a bit about your remarkable father. He would be happy to see how he is so lovingly remembered by his daughter.ReplyDelete