Another pair of pictures sent by my sister Marcia this year!
When I was born, we lived on 5 Gaines Street in Binghamton, NY, on the second floor, a property owned by my maternal grandmother. These pictures were taken on the back porch. At some point in the next year, my parents and I moved downstairs, perhaps when my mom was pregnant with my sister Leslie, or at the latest, just after she was born.
My paternal grandparents then moved upstairs. The second floor hand only one bedroom, while downstairs had two.
I’m struck by how relaxed my dad was in these pictures, just sitting on the porch with his eldest child, who was me. I certainly knew my father to be able to relax, and I knew him to spend time with me. We did have the music connection, which WAS huge; however, outside of singing, usually with sister Leslie, the hanging out with me, and the relaxing, tended not to coexist, at least in my childhood.
He was very clever with his hands, doing floral arrangements, painting (both artistic and signage), and the like. I was not so adept, and I often felt he was frustrated, and even disappointed with me.
I don’t think it was until I was an adult, and he, my mother and my sister Marcia were living in Charlotte, NC, that I realized, or that HE realized, or that he was willing to share the fact that he was proud of me for whatever intellectual prowess I had.
I was almost in shock when he mentioned that he always told his coworkers how great it was that, when I didn’t know something, I would look it up in the dictionary or encyclopedia or World Almanac; this was before Google. (He talked about me to his co-workers? Knock me over with a feather!) I never knew until my 30s that the skills I possessed he thought were useful, even though it wasn’t his mode of operation.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads, especially my father-in-law. Special shout out to my online buddies Greg and Scott, who’ve been great dads despite the travails.