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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day!

I'm fortunate that my Father is still around. The Old Buffalo (A term of endearment that goes back a long time) will be 81 years old on July 7th.

Let me tell you a bit about this man.

He left home early, lied about his age and joined the Army during World War II. His outfit was sent to the Battle of the Bulge right after training except for my Dad; he caught pneumonia and was sent to Texas. I'm not sure of the dateline but I know he was stationed in Alaska and in the Army of Occupation in Japan. By then, he was in the Regimental band, playing a Tuba. He never saw combat, but he was honorably discharged.

He came back and got a job in a car factory. That lasted several weeks and he quit became a cop in the city of Pontiac, MI. While walking a beat in downtown, he would routinely stop to steal popcorn from this cute little gal at the Eagle Movie Theater. Yeah, that was my Mom. They got married 59 years ago this month. In April of 1989, mom passed away from a stroke. Dad is still going strong. Later on, he started repairing the police radios and and retired from the city as the director of city communication systems.

He's a Past Master of Pontiac Masonic Lodge #21. He's still active in Masonic work and the Shriners. For a long time, he was in charge of the Provost unit of the Detroit Shrine. He was the leader of the their Brass Band for several years and he still plays his tuba with them. He is fairly savvy around a computer and writes snippets of his life story for our private family blog.

He was no war hero, although he faced down a few rough customers as a beat cop.

But he's my hero.

Growing up, we knew we were safe with Dad. We knew that he would move Heaven and Hell in order to protect us. We knew that he was there for us.

He worked a lot of long hours to support us. But we would save our pennies and dimes and we would take these fabulous family vacations – road trips that took us all over this country. The house always seemed to need a little fixing up and the money that might have gone for that somehow always wound up in our trip fund. Looking back from 55-years-old, those road trips were certainly a lot more fun than having a new bathroom. On one of those trips, we came out to Seattle. I was 13 then and I proclaimed that someday, I would live out here. Funny how that worked out.

The Old Buffalo and me on a boat last September touring the Thousand Islands between New York and Canada

There are four of us. You will be hard pressed to find four siblings that love and honor their father more than us.

Happy Father's day!



M. Sugimura said...

Another very warmhearted and uplifting piece.

Lorraine Hart said...

Perhaps I'll give my father the moniker of "Ol'Bulldog," to go along with your "Ol'Buffalo!"

Cheers to Fathers everywhere.

Stephanie Frieze said...

I hope the "Ol' Buffalo" had a marvelous Father's Day and every day. You are lucky to still have him, VW. I am sure you know that and enjoy each day. Thank you for sharing him with us!

Kim Thompson said...

I love it best, VW, when you write about your family. Your other posts are interesting, but I think this is where you shine!