Memories of my Dad

I always enjoyed times with my dad when we could be together and talk or just be there for each other. In the wake of mom’s death it was now very important to be there for dad and help him get through this time. Dad was always a hard working and driven man who occupied himself with his hobbies. He loved to build replicas of things he was familiar with as an ironworker. He had built a tower crane out of cardboard and toothpicks and it was true to scale and looked exactly like the real one in a photograph he took from a jobsite. He also built a replica of the steel frame of a building under construction also based on a photograph.

Dad was also a big fan of Charles Lindburgh and he must have read The Spirit of St Louis about a dozen times as he thought his flight from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to Le Bourget airport in Paris, France was an amazing feat and he enjoyed building replicas of the plane Lindburgh flew in and built it amazingly to scale out of cardboard, toothpicks and balsa wood. He was very talented and had a lot of patience and an amazing attention to detail. He also liked to draw pictures of foot soldiers and he was well versed in war history as he enjoyed reading about events that took place during WWII. He had a collection of his favorite WWII movies that he would enjoy watching and he admired John F. Kennedy and read his biography and he loved the movie PT 109 with Cliff Robertson based on his time serving during WWII. He also liked to watch the Spirit of St Louis with Jimmy Stewart.

Dad also built fighter planes and ships including an aircraft carrier modeled after the WW II carriers and he spent hours at a time with his craft. He was truly gifted and it was enjoyable to see his completed works.

He derived pleasure from simple things and preferred to stay home and build his models and watch his movies. When the summer came in 1990 as we were still grieving mom I planned a trip to Washington, DC and Virginia with a work friend, Doug Slater and I thought it would be good for dad to come with us and I was happy I was able to convince him to come. We drove down to Washington DC to see the Smithsonian and the Vietnam Memorial. Dad enjoyed the Sea, Air and Space museum and the memorial. We did a lot of walking and sight seeing and stopped when we needed a break. After a day in Washington DC we headed down to Williamsburg, Virginia where we went to the parks and the historical village. Dad enjoyed the colonial marching band and stepping back in time at Colonial Williamsburg.

After spending a couple of days in Williamsburg we headed for the Virginia Beach area. The beach was fun as we took advantage of the nice weather and swam in the ocean. It was good to see dad enjoying himself and getting away for a little time. He had been through a lot emotionally as did I and we felt going on a trip would help put aside our sadness for a short while. Dad looked good and kept himself in good shape as he had still followed habits he learned when he served his country in the navy in the early 1950s. I enjoyed having my friend Doug accompany us also as he was a good work friend.

We stayed in Virginia Beach for 2 days and headed back home as we enjoyed the trip and the company. It was my first real trip away for an extended period of time with my dad and it was enjoyable and gave us a chance to bond and spend time together as I always wanted to spend more time with dad especially now.

After our week trip it was good to get back home and see Kathy and Joannie and their families. Dad seemed to enjoy the trip as I remember him talking about it with the family. I felt good about that and hoped we would have more trips planned together.

I was very concerned for my dad and wanted him to know that I would always be there for him and I always cherished the wonderful memories of him.

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