Saturday, February 8, 2014

Born in 1914

If he were alive, my father would have turned 100 this week.  He died at age 93.  Up until age 86, he was of sound mind and body, but then Alzheimers' set in, and the prostate cancer we thought he had beaten in 1997 came back and got him.

He was a very bright man who didn't go any further than high school, which was par for the course for someone born on a iittle farm to Irish immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century. In those days, it seems to me, the only people who went to college were children of parents who had gone to college, or who had wealth.

He was a lifelong reader who married a lifelong reader who both gave me their love of reading. He's the one who introduced me to poetry, too.

One of my favorite memories is a trip he and my mother and I and one of my college classmates made to England and Scotland in 1972.  My parents had never been on a plane, much less out of the country, but I managed to talk them into it.  I can still see them, as we lifted off from Philadelphia, looking out of the window of the plane at the city, shimmering in the night lights below.  I can still see them as we emerged from the London Underground to the sight of Big Ben.  I could go on and on, but enough. 

He worked his whole life at gas stations.  By the time I was 9, he had his own station, where he stayed until he retired at 65.  People loved him.

1 comment:

JenW said...

Anne- I love your photos. How handsome your Dad looks. My parents were English immigrants and my father's family was from Ireland. Your fathers background sounds very much like mine- hard working & loved by all. I never heard my father say a cruel word about anyone- he saw the good in each person. We were fortunate to have them with us for so long (my father died at age 85) but it's still very hard when they do go. I can see you in your father. Good parents are such a blessing- the memories and love
are always with us.