Friday, August 8, 2008

Memories of my father ... (part one) ...

Like those of my mother, these posts will normally not be chronological. They might even be few and far between. Having said all that, here's the first installment.

We were living in Akron, Ohio. The year was 1940-something. Grandma (Dad's mom) had been down visiting from Frederic, Wisconsin. She had arrived by train.

[I remember Grandma having an 'odor'. I can't really put a name to it. Mothballs? No. Denture adhesive? Maybe. Uncleaniness? No. But, an odor nevertheless. What an odd thing to write, it occurs to me. Well, what can I tell you? The memory came to me, and I wrote about it.]

Anyway, Dad was going to be driving Grandma back to the train station, and we all had one of those typical tear-jerking, hugging, kissing, etc. sessions seeing Grandma off into Daddy's car. He'd be back in a couple of hours, he said.

Three hours went by. No Daddy. Four hours went by. Still nothing. A few hours later, madder than **** and swearing like a trooper, he was back.

What had happened?

Well, he and Grandma had arrived at the train station on time. No problem. Her luggage was unloaded and given to the redcap. No problem. Daddy accompanied her onto the train. No problem.

They were still getting her all situated when the train began to pull away from the station. Problem.

Daddy shouted at the engineer to stop the train and let him off. Engineer refused. Big problem!

Then the conductor came through, wanting Daddy to pay for a ticket to Chicago. Bigger problem!!

I can only imagine the scene (s) that must have ensued. All I know for SURE is that he got a 'free' round trip train ride from Akron to Chicago and back!

My father never flew if he could avoid it. He drove everywhere, except the one time that he and Mom went to Hawaii. I'm being serious here!

In later years, this became a problem. At least, I thought so! He developed a stiffness in his neck that prevented him from swiveling his head around enough to get a good visual of his entire surroundings, and would depend upon passengers to inform him. Not good enough. Nowhere near!

I wouldn't go so far as to say that he had a "fear of flying". No. Rather, I suggest that he really preferred to be as close to the ground as possible, 'just in case'.


Tammy said...

I'm glad you are sharing these with us as well. Your posts on your memories with your mother, and now your father, have *almost* inspired me to do a set of my own. I'm not sure I will do them yet, but I'm thinking I might eventually.

Craig Peihopa said...
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Craig Peihopa said...

It is amazing what we retain in our memory isn't it Goldenrod. Smells, good or bad, tastes, sounds or especially music can all be triggers for a place and a time.

Wonderful insights into your life.