My father was the eldest of three sons of my grandparents. He was extremely close to his father. They both enjoyed hunting and fishing. When my father was in high school he wanted to be an architect, but he graduated in 1930, in the midst of the Great Depression so he apprenticed as a carpenter. His father was also a carpenter. He also loved to fly airplanes. He and his friends taught themselves to fly gliders and eventually my father became the principal of the local aviation school. Then came Worl War II and the school was school was closed and my father and the staff entered the Army Air Corps and taught others how to put damaged airplanes back together.
My father met my mother after the war. She was the best friend of the woman his brother married and they had a letter-writing courtship and married in 1948. A year later I came along. By this time my father was teaching building construction in the local high school. Two years later my brother came along and a year later my sister was born. He designed and built our house where we grew up complete with a swing set, a jungle gym, a fort, and a play house that he built for us. He taught my brother to hunt and fish and he built furniture for our house as well. He always stressed the value of education and though he was quiet and introverted, he did not hesitate to tell our teachers at school what he thought about our education if he thought something was not going right.
His family was all-important to him. We were close to his parents and his brothers and my cousins. My father did not raise his voice nor his hand to us, yet we behaved and loved him beyond belief. And we knew he loved us. And that’s what mattered. And that’s why I miss him still.