This is the first Father’s Day that I won’t be able to call my dad and wish him a Happy Father’s Day. But I will spend the day looking back at the great memories I have of our good times together. I have no pictures to share that accompany some of my best memories. I won a college scholarship in a tractor-pulling contest that my dad encouraged me to try. When I made the only “Full Pull” in the student category, there was the biggest grin on my dad’s face. When I was in the county Dairy Princess contest in 1971, my father and three other fathers dressed up in drag as beauty queens and paraded down Main Street. Again, no picture, but I will NEVER forget that day. And every time I would leave after a visit, he and my mother would stand in the front yard and watch me drive off until I was out of sight.
Pat’s father left us in 2003. Dad O’Brien welcomed me to his family when Pat and I married. I heard stories about the strange pets he would bring home; a squirrel, a pig, a crow, and many stray dogs. He served in New Guinea and the Philippines in World War II, and he talked about flying in towed gliders. He and Mom O’Brien traveled on the Amtrak train from Chicago to Arizona once to visit us. When asked about the scenery, he said “I saw lots of junkyards and graveyards.” He was different from my father, but was a great father-in-law!
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads! And missing all the Dads who are in our hearts.