Monday, September 6, 2010

My Dad!

My Dad, my Dad, my Dad, talking about my Dad!

My Dad!

Today my sweet Dad turns 80!

My Dad, GWB, is a depression baby.

He is also the 'baby' of the family.

GWB grew up in Ogden, Utah with his parents and siblings.

They lived on 12th Street and he attended Mound Fort Elementary School, Mound Fort Middle School and Ogden High School. His Uncle was the architect of Ogden High School.... a very cool building in it's time.

His parents were gardeners and grandpa worked for the railroad and was a tool and die maker.

GWB served an LDS mission to the Central States. Kentucky was his area.

After his mission he served in the Army during the Korean conflict. While stationed at Fort Ord, California, he met his future wife and my sweet Mom.

The story goes that while participating in Sacrament meeting, my Mom and her friend were a bit, shall we say, irreverent (noisy) and my Dad asked them to be quiet! After the meeting, he introduced himself and apologized for getting after her.

Upon completing his military service he moved his new little family, my Mom and oldest sister Jane, to Utah where they went about making a life for themselves.

Some of my cherished memories of my Dad........

The summer between 3rd and 4th grade, my Dad had to go on an extended TDY to Pennsylvania. Not wanting to be left home all summer with 6 children, my Mom arranged for all of us to join him. We stayed in Hershey, PA and it was awesome! That summer we travelled up and down the East Coast and traversed the Midwest to and from PA.

On our way to Pennsylvania, we took the southern route. While driving through New Mexico we made a pit stop. Because there weren't any facilities, my Dad ventured out into the wooded area. While 'out there' he found a tarantula and brought it back with him. That gargantuan spider lived in an empty peanut butter jar on the stove top of our trailer for a long time.

I hated that thing!

It was fuzzy, creepy and I really, really hated it.

Whenever it was my turn to clean the kitchen, I really loathed moving the bottle to wipe the counter/stove.

One morning we woke to a dead spider.


We think it must have been cooked to death the previous day while my Mom was preparing something that required a higher temperature.

When in 5th grade, I attended a maturation seminar with my other female classmates. During the seminar we received booklets with 'the drawings'. One day as I headed down the hall from my bedroom, there was my Dad on the stairs (the stairs I wanted to ascend) reading my booklet. I was horrified! So horrified I made a beeline to the bathroom and stayed there until he left. I was so, so embarrassed. What was he thinking reading a girls book with illustrations of fallopian tubes, et al? Really!

As a little girl with two older sisters, we had lots of Barbies. One year leading up to Christmas, my Dad worked in his shop every night. Whatever he was working on was so top secret, we had to kiss him goodnight with his head sticking out from the door of his shop. We were under strict orders to 'KEEP OUT'.

Christmas morning, we had the coolest Barbie Dollhouse with furniture and everything. My sweet Dad and my sweet Grandpa collaborated to make us a doll house with all the trimmings. Dad made the house and Grandpa made the furniture... Dining room tables and chairs, sofas, end tables, beds, closets, everything a Barbie could need. Of course I didn't know until years later it was a Father Son collaboration. I thought Santa and his elves made the wonderful Barbie Pad!

When you grow-up in a home with five siblings, one on one time with Dad is rare. Especially when he worked two jobs. Well, at the ripe old age of 24 I required oral surgery. At that time I was living in Seattle, alone. I was also new to the area and didn't really know anyone I felt comfortable calling on to help me when I had the surgery. So my Dad flew from Battle Creek, Michigan, where he and my Mom were living, to take care of me. He came for a week!

As I drove to the airport to pick-up my Dad I remember having a moment of panic. I was nervous about what we would do with each other for a whole week... just the two of us. It had never happened before.

We had an amazing time!

Seattle was the first place I lived on my own. Because of that, I wasn't fully equipped with household goods. Dad went shopping with me to insure I bought the right type of box spring and mattress. He helped me arrange my furniture, went sight seeing with me to the Space Needle, Pikes Place Market and other fun downtown haunts and he cared for me post surgery.

Interestingly, because he didn't live in the area, and wasn't familiar with it either, I drove to the surgeon's office. Still woozy from sedation, my Dad had to drive me home... I slept the entire way home (about 30 minutes drive time). Later that day when I woke and felt somewhat normal I wondered how my Dad knew to find his way back to my apartment. He told me that every time he needed to make a turn I would sit up and direct him, then lay back down until the next turn. I had no recollection of the drive home. Our spirits are amazing, aren't they?

Those are just a few of the many memories I have of my wonderful Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Thank you for giving me such an amazing life filled with love and support. I'll love you forever!

1 comment:

The Mechams said...

Thanks Ruthie for that blog, I don't know many older stories about your dad. It's hard to get him to chat when my mom and I get going. He really is amazing, thanks for sharing him with me a little.