Register now to get rid of these ads!

Folks Of Interest What did your father do?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 49merc, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. My father would be 101 if he were still with us, died at 83 in 2002. He was the son of a violent, abusive, alcoholic father and said that the most important thing he learned from his father was that he didn't want to be like him. After quitting school at 15 to work in the textile mill in Aragon GA, he enlisted in the Army as soon as he turned 18 in 1937 to get away from the craziness at home. After boot camp at Ft. Oglethorpe GA, he was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, which he loved. During World War II, he was part of the 41st Armored Infantry, Second Armored Division. Like many WWII vets, he didn't want to talk much about his war experiences. When the movie Patton with George C. Scott came out in 1970, my senior year in high school, Daddy said, "I don't want to see that movie, but I need to see it to make sure they got it right." When we came out of the theater in Rome GA, Daddy had tears running down his face. He spoke exactly four words: "They got it right." We rode home in silence. Daddy's wartime military decorations included two purple hearts, two bronze stars, and a silver star. He kept in contact with several men with whom he had served. I remember four who came to Georgia to see him over the years--a Florida truck driver, a heavy equipment operator from Illinois, a Wisconsin dairy farmer, and the chief justice of the New York state supreme court. After twelve years of Army that included all of WWII, he came back and worked textile mill work at Goodyear in Rockmart GA for about three years before going to work for Ford at the Atlanta Assembly Plant in Hapeville where he worked from 1952 (the year I was born) until his retirement in 1982. He was a kind, decent man, a Christian and a gentleman. I wish he'd had the opportunity to study engineering because he had the aptitude for it. Ford had an employee suggestion program that would pay awards that were calculated on how much money the idea saved the company. His suggestion awards paid for a big chunk of my college education. He was not a car guy. They were just transportation as far as he was concerned, but he indulged my interest. He said that as long as I was out in the garage working on the '38 Ford pickup (which I bought when I was 14), he knew where I was and knew I wasn't up to mischief or getting in trouble. He and my mother married in October of 1941, just a few months before the US entry into World War II, and they were married 61 years when he died. He had a photographic memory for names--in my years as a pastor, he and my mother would sometimes come to visit the churches I served. The second time there, Daddy was calling everybody by name. He could call off a company roster from WWII when he was past 80. I was an only child; he determined that I would have a better father than he did, and he succeeded at that.
    LSJUNIPER, cfmvw, 47ragtop and 11 others like this.
  2. Welditall60
    Joined: Jun 22, 2020
    Posts: 5


    My father was the chief electrition for the New York State Thruway for 20+ years and before that worked at Bell Aircraft as an electrition as well.....we had a farm in upstate NY and he tought me to do everything as he believed in doing things himself. I lost him in 2004 and I sure miss him but I feel him with me all times !!!
  3. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,569


    I have one story about my dad, who became an airline pilot with Western Airlines. Many years ago I was allowed to go through a small box of written data about his flying days. One day during his tenure as a pilot he was taking off from Los Angeles when suddenly there was a catastrophic failure of an prop engine, requiring it to be shut down. Dad barked instructions to the co-pilot to shut it down, and the co-pilot reached over and shut down the wrong engine. 2 engines down on take off! Dad realized the error and quickly got the good engine going and returned to the airport. Obviously the flight was cancelled, dad drove home to a startled wife. His first words were "You almost became a widower today".
    The final report, in part, blamed the co-pilot for his error in not following the verbal instructions of the pilot.
  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,674



    My father was the nicest dad a little kid could want. He knew that family was very important to him. He did everything possible to be nice to our mom and to the two brothers. I was told that my brother as a little toddler was a handful, but my dad always kept his cool separating the brothers when necessary, but in a gentle way. In looking back, that gentleness was probably what gave me the calm attitude I have had all these years. Sometimes, my wife asks if I am alive or just playing dead…HA!

    My dad never pushed anything on us as far as sports. He was a very good baseball player, played for a semi pro team out of Los Angeles and was a left hand throwing, right hand hitter, if that matters. You would think that he would push his baseball love and skills on us. He did not until we asked. He loved all sports and threw a football around with us, set up a basketball hoop and backboard for us, but did not force any type of formal teaching until asked.

    When we asked about baseball, then he gave us pointers as if we needed them. He was just good at teaching or showing us how to do something, but only when asked. He was calm about the two rambunctious brothers, but waited until we were interested in something.

    As far as specifics on anything else, he was just a guy in the family, but stayed in the background in/at public events. He had his quirks, like all people, but for us, they stayed in the background and were not noticeable until we were teens. Even then, he supported both of us in whatever thing we wanted to do or showed an interest. When we were little, we learned to read by sitting next to him reading everything to us that he could get his hands on, books, comic books, newspapers, magazines and letters, etc.

    Everything was fair game. (in college, we learned that this technique has been used from a long time ago and was given the name of "Neurological Impress Method of Reading.") Most parents that did this probably did not know it was a great way to have kids start enjoying reading with pop or mom. (Or knew the long name of the technique.)


    My brother and I went our separate ways after our drag racing days. For a while, desert motorcycle racing kept us together as well as surfing and those long road trips. My dad tried to participate in our sports days in junior high school and definitely high school varsity games. But, while he loved cars, he did as much as possible to keep the hot rod/drag racing flame alive throughout our builds and racing, as well as the recovery period. Let alone, allowing us to use his valuable 16 mm movie camera editing equipment and that giant projector any time we had the need.
    upload_2020-6-23_4-32-6.png upload_2020-6-23_4-32-17.png
    The two brothers shot from the HB Pier.

    As far as surfing, he did embarrass his teenage sons by being up on the Seal Beach/Huntington Beach Piers on those cold mornings filming us in our early days surfing or trying to surf. But, as we both got better and better, he was proud of us doing our thing in the water. At least, we acknowledged him on the pier with a "Hey, what's up..." head nod, that brought a big smile of satisfaction.

    upload_2020-6-23_4-33-11.png A photo of a photographer...

    All of these years later, we suffered thorough snide comments like…”Hey Nak, your dad is following you around again…” or “Your dad is filming everything from the pier again, including the babes…” We just let it slide back then, and the last laugh is from us, as 61 years of surfing history in our family is nicely portrayed in 16mm color films. Now, they are digitally preserved as a part of his contribution to our family history and long lasting help from “a dad for his kids.”

    upload_2020-6-23_4-30-21.png 1941 Buick Fastback Sedan parked in the street.

    Thanks, dad…Happy Forever Father’s Day !!! We learned a lot...

    off to dinner in Los Angeles…Whee, break out the party stuff !!!

  5. I also went decades trying NOT to be the person my dad was. I realize now that he was way over his head with raising 5 kids, but the males on his side were always distant from their kids and he had a strained relationship with his dad, who was a hustler and provided well for everyone. I'm more like my grandfather and inherited his love of exotic flowers and plants. My dad was not a gardener by any stretch.

    I did pick up carpentry from him, he was also a master carpenter and I learned concrete work by the time I was 9.

    So the more I have tried to get away from him, the more it backfired on me. He spent 32 years at Grumman and retired at age 60, I spent 38 years at a defense plant and just retired. My mom died at age 52, my wife died at age 58 so its like I'm going down the same rabbit hole and have to consciously avoid the pitfalls he did, so far so good.

    We later came to an understanding and became close. He did set some examples like getting up every day to get to work and wasn't one to shirk that duty. I rarely saw him get dirty even when working around the house or even at work. He wasn't a drinker, I did enough of that for us. Now I'll enjoy a drink and I'm not one for getting close to drunk.

    I think I set a decent example for my kids, I get them to help with carpentry jobs that are too big to do alone. They were never much for plants, I had the interest since I was a little kid, but kids are different these days. The concept of hard work and patience is something they will have to learn on their own I suppose.
  6. My Father , My Dad. It makes me sad when I think of him , his life and how he did what he had to do for our family. Born in 1922 in a sleepy coal mining town in north central Pa. He was one of 12 children . He lost his parents at 10 years old and relied on his siblings to care and provide. It was tough in the 30's and coal mining was the only work that the simple folk went to. Young kids were used in the mines to extract the coal . Only educated till the 8th grade he somehow made it to join the U.S. Army to fight in WWII. He married my Mom after the war ...... they were schoolmates in the one room little schoolhouse in the small patch they came from. As the mines closed up work became harder and he and Mom opened a small mom and pop general store. As my brother and I came along he decided to join the Baltimore City Police force . He lived in Baltimore and came home every weekend to his family Not sure of relocating his family to the city he did this for a few years before moving us to the hellhole of Baltimore. As an officer he had to deal with the riots of the city in the 60's and could not believe the looting , burning and disrespect of that time . His heart was not good and he suffered many major heart attacks . He died in my arms on his 50th birthday, I was 18 . He suffered from black lung disease from the coal mines . I can only imagine the hard times he went through and I feel he was cheated in life ....perhaps that is why God called him home give him some comfort and grant him eternal life in Heaven. As I age and look at my family I can only hope he sees his grandchildren he never got to enjoy. My Dad is my biggest hero ....God Bless ya Pops ! Happy Fathers Day.
  7. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,088


    joecattelinogilewi0001.jpg My Dad was a poor Italian kid whose Father died a month before his birth. He longed to become a Dairy Farmer, and he prevailed. In his late 20's, he married my domineering Mother. She took the wind out of his sails, but he soldiered on. Eventually, we developed a good herd of Registered Holsteins. We displayed out herd at fairs and shows. We sold breeding stock. In his late 50's, he was very seriously injured in a farm accident. The herd and part of the farm were sold. He recovered and rehabilitated himself and went on to have a nice career operating a large produce operation. He made and sold maple syrup and he raised tons of vegetables in his five acre garden. My Father was a leader in his community, his church and his business. He was a proud Director of the local farmer's cooperative. He passed in 2015. He lived a life of working 12-18 hour days, very limited social life and the constant scrutiny of his wife. He raised four children, but struggled to understand the methods of being a loving Father.

    My Dad worked me like a rented mule. When I rebelled, he beat me until I was bloody and bruised. I wore hand-me-down clothes, including underwear. We worked and worked and worked. He had no money to pay me, other than a minimal weekly allowance. I was very limited as to the amount of time away from the farm. Other than 4H, a few extracurricular activities and my one choice of basketball, it was all about trying to keep the farm running.

    I learned very early on that each task takes time and energy. So do it right the first time! I learned early on that it was important to be organized and efficient in order to maximize the use of time and energy. My Dad loved his cows. He was an awful mechanic. Out of necessity, it became my duty to keep the farm equipment maintained and operational. I discovered that preventive maintenance was much better than making repairs. I learned to be inquisitive and to do my research on how to operate and repair a piece of equipment. Dad's "can do" attitude has helped me adopt his perseverance.

    The biggest lessons I learned were how to work hard. I am very task oriented and find great satisfaction in my accomplishments. Another lesson is to value whatever money you can accumulate. Don't squander it. Waste not, want not. And most of all, I have learned to value a good meal and a good night's rest.

    I would love a do-over with Dad. I bet he would too.
  8. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,248


    Dad started farming at the ripe old age of 14 for his grandfather. He passed 2 years ago on July 4th just shy of his 84th birthday. Still full time farming! The day before he passed he worked all day on an irrigation center pivot. During slow times he ran heavy equipment building bridges, maintaining roads, wired, plumbed and built or remodeled homes. I guess you'd say he was a "Jack of all trades".
  9. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 380


    My Dad just turned 80. Being a teacher and later a principal, he had sumners off, so he and Mom took my two brothers and me out on a lot of sailing and camping misadventures! For a time he was commodore of the Rockland Yacht Club, and had the distinction of having the smallest boat in the fleet, something that we still laugh about. We didn't know it then, but we had a privileged childhood growing up like that, and being raised in an 1855 Victorian overlooking Penobscot Bay. Dad has mixed feelings about his own childhood, and wasn't that close to his side of the family. But he made something of himself, and we gave him the pride and satisfaction of saying that his three sons all went to college, and we are all doing well for ourselves... although we gave him plenty of reasons for sending us to the orphanage for some of the things we put him through!
  10. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,723

    from Oregon

    My father, grandfather, and myself, were all Journeyman Electricians. Dad and grampa are gone for a long time now, and I've been retired for a decade. So none of us doing it now. But my niece and nephew are both electricians, so the legacy continues in them.
    54delray, TomT, bobwop and 3 others like this.
  11. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,569


    Well, the emotions just sort of opened up with this thread. Final comment I hope. There are 2 things that remind of my dad, now gone for 52 years. First, is music. We had an incredible selection of 78 RPM records and they would be stacked the full length of the record player spindle. Music all night. Very cool and relaxing.
    The one song that defines my dad is "Melancholy Serenade" by the Jackie Gleason Orchestra. You have to have lived in the 1950's or 1960's to appreciate the instrumental tune.
    The other memory is the movie "The High and the Mighty", as dad was a pilot. At the very end of the movie co-pilot John Wayne has just experienced a gut-wrenching episode in the air and landed safely, and is seen striding into the darkness with his briefcase. That also reminds me of my dad.
  12. railcarmover
    Joined: Apr 30, 2017
    Posts: 445


    My father could float shift a model a like butter,the only time he used the clutch was taking off..smooth as silk.He instilled the love of the car in me,I carry it..and him to this day.
  13. mopacltd
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 854


    5 foot 6 at 135 pounds, my Father was awarded 7 silver star, 3 bronzes stars, the air metal and the flying cross during WWII. To me should be awarded the metal of honor as a Father!
  14. Loving this thread! Thanks to all that have shared here.

    My father was an engineer for GM for 28 years and a car guy as well. He was a great father and taught me about work ethic as well as many practical skills as far as fixing things. The main thing that both he as well as my grandfather taught me was that pretty much any task could be figured out and resolved with some effort. Neither of them ever called someone to come fix anything whether it be on a car or around the house. I think as much as anything they instilled in me that I could fix pretty much anything myself too.

    My dad was not necessarily into old cars like I am, but always was interested in cars starting in high school (his were just all fairly new at the time he had them). He later became interested in Corvettes and even restored a few for other people in the late 70's/early 80's when he was laid off from GM for a time. He taught me how to paint cars and helped me build a 67 RS/SS Camaro convertible as my first car starting when I was 12. He later got into riding Harley's and did that until a few years ago when he put one down on the highway getting hurt pretty good. He still has his latest bike although it just sits in the garage now, but he doesn't ride anymore. I am thankful to still have him in my life and hope to for several more years since he just turned 73 less than two weeks ago now.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    Stan's senior picture 1965.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.