Today is Father’s Day. Many people will be writing blog posts about their fathers. I’ve written about my father before and I will probably write about him again; this blog veers off into the ditch of Memory Lane from time to time.
When I first learned how to read, I used to read and study my father’s high school yearbook, the 1951 Lisbonian. The teenagers in that yearbook were as real to me as my next door neighbors because they were my next door neighbors. Carl Huston lived across the street, Dianne Whittier had married Ted Drottar and they lived up the street. Jeanne Dumas lived on the other side of town. I knew who had played football with my father, who had been the class valedictorian, and what each person’s favorite songs were back in 1951.
In the senior superlatives, my father was “most popular.” I think he was also a bit of a class clown.
When I’m home, my mother and I will occasionally take a walk without my father; just the two of us. Inevitably, we’ll pass someone in our travels who will say “Where’s Hermie?” I am always tempted to say “he’s home polishing up his saddle shoes for the sock hop tonight,” but I don’t. When we get home, we report these fan sitings to “Hermie.” I like to tell him “you’re so popular, Dad.” The last time I said it, he made his trademark smirk and said “I was always tops among teens.”
It’s true; he was “tops among teens” in 1951.
(Left to right, Erving Bickford, King of Winter Carnival, ’50, “Hermie,” Dianne Whittier, Rita Baumer, Queen of Winter Carnival, ’50)
He’s no longer a teen, but he’s still popular. He’s the “King” of our house and hearts and I am fortunate to have had him around all these years. I’m at that age where more and more of my friends are missing their Dads today; I’m thinking of you.
I know it won’t be the same, but I’m happy to share my popular father with you. We’ll be sitting out in the back yard in our lawn chairs and the “King” will be holding court.
See you there.