Dad’s Day

by wjw on June 21, 2015

DADHere we are at Father’s Day, and here I am, a big-headed blond Minnesota kid, with my dad.  I believe I am helping him read a comic book.

You can tell it’s Minnesota by the big heaping piles of white snow visible through the window.

I’d like to thank my father for being gentle, understanding, and loving, and helping to give me something like a perfect childhood.  (Having a perfect childhood was a handicap when it came to becoming a writer, but after diligent practice I believe I have overcome it.)

My father was born in a sauna, on an isolated farm in northern Minnesota.  The household spoke only Finnish.  He worked hard in the Great Depression, tried to get a college education but couldn’t afford the textbooks, and ended up working as the foreman of a bridge construction crew.  (The other foreman was a smart young Canadian named Gordon R. Dickson, later to become a writer and a friend of mine.)

Despite spending a dismaying amount of time being shot at, my father seems to have had the time of his life in the Second World War, and when he came back finally got to go to college on the G.I. Bill.  He and my college-educated mom together are probably the reason I haven’t spent my life working in an iron mine, like most of my male relatives.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

He supported me wholeheartedly in my eccentric choice of profession, and we remained a mutual admiration society until his death seventeen years ago.

Rest well, dad. You did a good job.

PhilRM June 22, 2015 at 5:57 pm

That was a beautiful tribute, Walter.

wjw June 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Thank you. He was a lovely man.

Foxessa June 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Such a lovely photo-memory.

Love, C.

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