- His family (family always came first)
- His home
- Chocolate anything, especially
- chocolate covered raisins
- Hostess cupcakes
- Coffee, strong with one spoon of sugar and just a very, very, tiny bit of milk
- Once I used an eyedropper to get it right.
- Well-done hamburgers
- Collecting stamps
- and pennies
- A good joke or even a not-so-good one, even when it was on him
- Once, on his birthday, our good neighbor and good friend “Uncle” Frank brought over a birthday cake, complete with candles. Daddy blew out the candles and began to saw into the cake (chocolate, he presumed). Even the sharp replacement knife didn’t work on the Styrofoam cake that “Aunt” Daisy decorated so beautifully. Daddy laughed about that cake for years. It would have been decades if he had lived that long.
- John Kennedy
- A green lawn with no weeds, neatly edged at the driveway and sidewalk
- Red Skelton
- Ed Sullivan
- Fedoras (until President Kennedy whooshed them out of fashion)
- Good manners
- Bing Crosby
- Spam (the kind in a can)
- The Smothers Brothers
- Camel cigarettes, no filters
Daddy valued honesty and an honest day’s work. He wore a shirt and tie with his suit coat. His shirts were always short-sleeved, though. He didn’t like to be hot.
He came home right after work the same time every day.
My dad was great at spelling and great at math. I remember my brother racing him with columns of addition. Dad won. When my mother told me to look up a difficult word in the dictionary, I just asked my dad how to spell it. He was always right.
He taught all three of us kids how to play chess and tap out Morse Code.
Daddy could recite anyone’s phone number by heart. My sister and brother and I all shared that talent until cell phones and caller ID made it irrelevant.
He had a great sense of humor and a great temper. He was fun-loving and disciplined. He was meticulous in his work and neat in his habits.
He expected us kids to be polite, well-groomed and hard-workers. I think we three did just fine making him proud.
Daddy may not have been the best, but he tried his best. He may not have been able to give us everything he wanted to, but we never lacked for any material thing. I’m sure he loved us all, even when we disappointed him.
My dad loved to laugh. I hope he was happy.
Happy Birthday, Daddy.
Today would have been my father’s 99th birthday. Here are some things he loved, in no particular order:
I'm a children's writer and poet intent on observing the world and nurturing those I find in my small space .