KITH AND KIN
My father... November 21, 1915 - March 6, 1993.
My early memories of him come in vignettes…
We were on the way home after visiting my grandmother. I was standing in the backseat, looking out the front window of the car. It was dark, and the road was virtually deserted. I’m sure that I had ridden in cars before, but for some reason, this night is what I remember as the first time.
I noticed two bright eyes way down the road and instantly screeched, hitting the floor. A few seconds passed, and hardy laughter came from the front seat, followed by this explanation . . . “Honey, that is a car down the road and what you saw were the headlights. Stand up and look.”
I trusted my father with my whole heart, so shakily, I did as he said, and sure enough, there were the “two scary eyes” surrounded by a car. I felt instant relief and continued looking over the front seat for the rest of the trip.
I was always impressed by my father’s grasp of things. He was a brilliant man with a lusty sense of humor, loving his fellowman, while at the same time understanding their faults. He certainly seemed to understand mine. Impatient with me but still helpful, he would lose his temper first, then complement me, then figure a way to help me out of one situation after another. The one area in which he showed pride was my singing.
I told no one of my talent. I would sing only with the radio at night after we had gone to bed. I had my own room and would lie in the dark listening to the wonderful sounds, trying to match them. One night, Mom yelled up the stairs, “Bobbie, turn off that radio and go to sleep.” One of my sisters answered from the other room, “Mom, that’s not the radio, that’s Bobbie.”
She must have told Dad, because the next day, he had me at the piano, singing up and down the scales. A look of surprise and joy was on his face as he yelled to Mom. “Jean, do you hear that?”
He was always my biggest fan, quietly supporting me with a smile and praise. I’ll always remember the songfests we had, singing gloriously together. His voice was of operatic quality and magnificent. It was pure heaven.
A happy soul, he brought a smile to everyone he met. Mom, my sisters, and I adored him. I miss you dad.