I would like to celebrate Father's Day this year by posting a few pictures of my father. These pictures are special because as far as my Dad knew, all copies of them had been lost in a house fire many years ago. He mentioned this to his cousin Joanne, and she mentioned to me that she had found a few copies of Dad's baby pictures, and would I like to have some scans of them?
You can bet I jumped all over that action. And boy, did it pay off.
This first post will include just one picture:
The white streaks are glare in the actual photo, not a problem with the scanner or anything else that can be fixed without a time machine. The man and woman are Melvin and Kay Sack, my grandparents. The tallest girl is Dad's sister Charlotte, and the other girl is his sister Opal. The baby is my Dad, Richard Sack. Isn't he cute?
In this close-up it's easier to make out their faces. When I look at Grandma and Grandpa just right I can recognize them. It's a good deal harder for me to imagine them in color and moving around, but I have it on very good authority that color had been around for quite some time in 1945, when this picture was taken.
As you can see, Dad's father was very proud of his little boy. And I am sure that he always was, even though he was not very good at expressing that kind of feeling.
Seeing Grandpa with a pipe in his mouth also makes me sad. He had given up smoking long before I knew him, but he had replaced it with chewing. However he took it, the poison eventually got him, just as it had gotten Aunt Opal some years previously.
My mental picture of him is thinner than in this picture, but still strong. And quiet. He just didn't talk much. I remember his laugh, though it was heard less than Grandma's. My strongest memory of him is not really a direct one. Chris and I used to stay with Grandpa and Grandma Sack in Emporia once a year. Our parents would drop us off and go do the stuff that parents do when they aren't dragging their kids around for a few days. (I'm finally coming to a better understanding of this.)
One time my brother got in trouble with Grandpa, and Grandpa yelled at him. A little later they went off together for a talk. And much later Grandma told me that Grandpa had apologized to Chris. She told me that it was a pretty hard thing for him to do. And I remember thinking that it must be hard for someone as old, no, make that ancient, as Grandpa to change his way of thinking. And I was proud of him for it.
Now I realize that you don't have to be in your 50s (or 60s, or whatever) to be stubborn. That kind of change is hard for most people. But I am no less proud of him for it.
Right. It's Father's Day, but that also counts as Grandfather's Day, right? Check the next post for more about my Dad.