Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad

Today, October 18th is the anniversary of my Dad's 1896 birth. The picture is cropped from a family picture taken during the summer of 1930. Dad would have been 33 years old at the time. He and Mother had three of  us kids by then, they owned their "little home" in Seward and had a new '29 Model A Ford. Dad had worked for the State Highway Department for 9-10 years.  However, the fumes from the tractor that he drove maintaining Highway #34 between Seward and the Lancaster Co. line were affecting his health. He would come home every night with a headache and gave up the job to work as a door-to-door salesman for the J. R. Watkins Co. I can distinctly recall the looks and smell of a Vanilla bean, enclosed in a glass tube that he used for demonstration. Vanilla extract was one of his big "sellers".  A couple years later, we took advantage of the opportunity to move to the old Vrana family farm north of Garland, not knowing that a drought and depression were bearing down on the country. It was still a great move and we were all "richer" as a result of the experience of growing up in the Bohemian Alps. I have no idea what Dad may have been thinking with his hands on his hips. The total picture is of his Mother, my Mother, sisters, and a number of cousins, including sister Vivian, baby Don and me. Had he struck that pose looking down on me today, he would probably be asking, "Is playing golf on an afternoon with the temperature in the low 50's and the wind blowing 35mph, the best use you can make of your time??" And one of his favorite questions at the end of the day was, "Did you do it Justice??" Which was his way of asking if you had done the best you could.

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