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Happy Father's Day

Memories of Dad this Father’s Day:

Dad would walk through the door after a shift at the firehouse,
smelling slightly of smoky fires, and pulling Necco Wafers out of his pockets for us.

He would often tell jokes at the dinner table that he heard around the firehouse
(the clean ones), laughing before he ever got to the punchline.

He would drive to our community pool after he got off work,
watching patiently as we all called out to him-
showing off our underwater hand stands, or dives.

Dad would wake us up early on Christmas morning,
making sure our teeth were brushed and hair was combed
before he turned on the super 8 movie camera with the
six attached flood lights;
literally blinding us as we tried to walk down the stairs.
We hated the ritual, but those movies survive as
a testament that we were once children.

Family vacations:
Only Dad would take six small children to New York City,
to  blueberry farm in New Jersey (to work!), Gettysburg,
to see history!
But the best was-
two weeks at a cottage a block from the beach.
In exchange for the use of the cottage,
Dad spent two weeks painting the exterior,
while we frolicked in the sand and sea.

His cooking skills were non-existent,
but he could make animal shaped pancakes,
and always drew pictures on our lunch bags.

He wasn’t particularly athletic,
but he supported his kids sports endeavors.
And once broke the bank buying two coveted
sports jackets for my brothers.
Because he loved them and was proud of their
commitment to their team.

Dad was often impatient, and he was very strict.
But he taught us the value of a job well done.
He showed us by example, how to take care of your family.

Happy Father’s Day Dad.