Dad was the coolest. Most of the kids don't remember that because he was laid up for all the time they can remember. But us older ones remember when he worked. How he'd get off work at 5, and by 5:30 we'd be eating dinner. Every day. Every single one of us would be there.
That's unheard of today.
It wasn't that it was a rule or anything, it was just how things were done back in the 50s. We had nowhere else to go. We played outside until it was time for dinner. Afterward we watched TV, if there was service at the time, and played games.
Dad and Mom both loved the game shows that were on. And of course there was Gunsmoke and Dragnet.
But the best was playing games. My whole life includes those memories. Laughing. Always laughing.
And Dad was a really good tennis player. He taught me to play, and I ended up playing varsity in college. Dad also enjoyed acting, and was proud that I was a "chip off the old block." He not only performed in Quincy Community Little Theater, he also was on several radio shows before he went to Pearl Harbor during WWII.
He joined the Marines at 16 by lying about his age. I guess no one checked in those days; they needed enlistees so desperately. Luckily he was sent to Pearl Harbor after it was bombed and not before. He drove a truck. This kid who barely had a drivers' license. I have a handkerchief that he sent his mother on Mothers' Day when he was in Hawaii. The card says To the Best Mother in the World, Love, Eddie. It makes me cry when I see it, thinking about him so young. So young and not knowing what the world would deal him. Nine kids and a disability check. No one thinks their life will end up like that.
Yet, no complaints. We were happy. Thanks to a remarkable Mom and Dad.
Happy Fathers' Day, Eddie. I miss you!