Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Circa 1948

There is no date on this picture indicating it really was taken on Father's Day - it could have been taken on Dad's birthday (May 6) or any other almost summer day. I'm even guessing the year, but I think '48 is a good guess. Betty looks to be almost three years old which means I would have been almost five, Dad thirty-one and Ron, eight. (Not sure how old Laddie the dog would have been.)

I remember any time we had our picture taken, we always had to look into the sun - which meant Mom was always saying "open your eyes". It was hard to look toward the sun - therefore, we were all frowning or had our eyes downcast - except Betty. She was looking into the camera, smiling as happy as could be - maybe because she was showing off whatever it was she was holding - or maybe she was just happy her Daddy was holding her.

Dad has on his work clothes. He probably stopped only long enough for the picture. It's possible he had been mowing hay or perhaps "laying the corn by" - both June jobs. It would be the first cutting of hay and the second cultivation of the corn fields if it was being laid by, which meant the year's tillage for that crop was done. (I can't remember Dad ever using chemicals to kill weeds.)

I remember one time when Dad was mowing the hayfield across the road. He stopped the tractor and came walking across the field carrying his hat. When he got to the yard he showed us what he had - three baby bunnies. The sickle bar had run over their nest and killed the mama rabbit. I know we tried to keep them alive with milk in a doll bottle, but none of them survived.

Dad left most of the child rearing to Mom, so I have many, many more memories of her during my growing up years than of Dad. I do remember what it felt like when he picked me up. He was so tall (six feet, six inches) that I could reach up and touch the ceiling. He wasn't very demonstrative, yet I knew he loved me just as I loved him. And I was very proud of my Dad - somehow I knew he was a good, honest man.

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