June 19 was recognized as Father’s Day, and originally I had expected to write a column about my father who died in the year of 1953, almost 60 years ago. However I thought about how many have also lost theirs and they also worshiped their fathers.
A strong loving, caring, compassionate responsible family man is truly a blessing. As a youth growing up I was fortunate to have known a large number of such fathers. I remember a father who would walk from Terrace Village to Mt. Lebanon and back for his second job and saved the carfare so he could put it in a jar. This was a common story because a vast number of fathers in that period of time understood responsibility and lived it to its fullest. There were some families that had no fathers and a number of fathers fulfilled the role of neighborhood fathers.
My two brothers and I had to shovel coal and snow for senior citizens and widows. These men took and performed jobs that lesser men would not, jobs that were dirty, hard, and dangerous and the pay was often much less than it should have been, but they did not complain because father’s love of family was the overwhelming factor. A record numbers of fathers could be found in church every Sunday, thanking God for helping them provide for their families.
It was mandatory that we respected all adults, even the neighbor alcoholic had to be referred to as Mr. They helped us to understand that being poor was a state of mind not a state of being. The overwhelming majority of our fathers had limited education but they understood very clearly the importance of their sons and daughters going to school. Although fathers had limited formal education, they possessed wit, common sense, intelligence and had the kind of knowledge you can’t find in books.
My father died relatively young and I never told him, “Daddy I love you.”
If you are fortunate enough to have your father still with you, then take the time to tell him that you love him, and don’t wait until its Father’s Day.
Kingsley Association in these times of budget cuts needs your support.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)