Reflections: Remembering my father

By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel

Father’s Day is just a few days past but I want to share my memories of my dad whom I called “Daddy,” until the day he died at the age of 53.

I was 23 and had just reached the age where I could talk to my father on an adult level. My father grew up in a home where his dad was the “head of the house,” and doled out the punishment when he felt it was needed. My father although he was “strict” in the sense of the word, also had a wry sense of humor.

He stressed to my three sisters and I, not necessarily in this order: education, spirituality, truthfulness, independence and dedication to whatever career or purpose we chose in life. He also taught us to use as guides in our lives, the Bible, the U S Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

There were times I resisted his guidance such as when I had my driver’s permit I asked that I drive only with my mother because she was not as prone to find fault with my driving.

The other side of my father was demonstrated one evening when I had practiced and practiced the piano solos I was to play at the Globe Hotel for a women’s group.

My parents had started me on piano when I was five years old and I took to it like a duck to water and took lessons and eventually played for choirs, operettas, soloists, weddings, etc. and even taught.

This particular evening when I was in my early 20’s, and one of my numbers was the technically challenging “Malaguena” (no, not as good as Liberace played it) I had it down pat and two hours before I was to leave, a lady called and said they just discovered the Globe Hotel had no piano. My father felt so sorry for me that he said “come on, we will go to a movie.” And we did just that.

When any one of us girls was ill or if we were ill at the same time ie: measles, chicken pox, etc. – I remember his concern right along side our mother’s.

He had a deep bass voice and he also sang with me at the piano for many groups and on the radio. When he lay dying of lung cancer,

I was playing one of his favorites, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and he forced himself to sit up in his bed and sing that song for one last time. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Through the 17 years that my three sisters and I participated in school events, my dad was there, often taking valuable leave from the farm work.

To us, though, it brought encouragement and nerve calming to look into the audience and see him and my mother. My dad was a hard working farmer but he allowed time for his family and for his country. It did not matter if the crops were behind on Memorial Day, he attended the Memorial Day services every year.

I know many of you readers who grew up in my era will identify with my relationship with my dad. I also realize the role of fathers has changed through the years with many one parent families, some with only a father and others with only a mother. I was fortunate to have the influence of both.

So, even though he is gone, I still think fondly of my father on this holiday because not only was it Father’s Day but his birthday was June 21 so we would have a double celebration. I will always miss my dad. I hope that whether your father is still with you or has passed on, that you hold him in your heart.

June of 1956

Kenneth Wayne Barber, 12, suffered a broken nose in an Ashley-Waldo Little League baseball game. He was struck on the nose by a baseball. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Barber.

The Cardington Village Council authorized advertising for bids for the sale of the village jail located in a corner of the basement of Long’s Garage.

Bill Snyder was elected commander of Jenkins-Vaughan Post 97 of the American Legion, Cardington.

Inducted into the Armed Forces were Ronald McClarren of Iberia, John Doran of Mt Gilead and Prentiss Hankins of Centerburg.

Named cheerleaders for the 1956-57 school year at Cardington were Janice and JoAnn Pearl, Carol Betts and Sylvia Barton. Reserve cheerleaders were

Marcella Dixon, Gretchen Wetzel and Meriman Kaelber.

June of 1986

Clifford “Bud” Lamson of Cardington, was honored during a dinner, upon his retirement from HPM where he had been employed since 1939.

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

Reach us at [email protected]

Reach us at [email protected]