Blog 2095 – 06.20.2021
Happy Father’s Day All
On Father’s Day 1956, I was five years old and would turn six that November. That was my last summer before starting school. Two years earlier in 1954, Frank Sinatra had released the song Young At Heart. I put a link to my cover of that song on my blog yesterday. It is the only song that was not a country song that I ever remember hearing my daddy sing. One of my fondest memories is hearing my daddy sing Young At Heart as I rode along beside him in his red Ford pick-up truck at five years old.
Once, perhaps that very summer my brother Robert and I were tagging along with dad when he went to visit some of his family that lived on Park Avenue in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was nothing like the Park Avenue in New York City. Our town’s Park Avenue was, they tell me, my first address on this particular adventure in time and space, and at that time was a one block inner city street that dead ended a few blocks west of the Chattanooga National Cemetery that the land for which had been confiscated and consecrated by the Union Army during the Civil War after the Battle of Chattanooga to bury those who perished in that conflict. My dad and mom courted there and their bodies are both buried there in the same plot, Dad’s six feet deeper since he died first and mom’s on top because she died three years later. Dad’s information is on the front side of the government supplied white granite grave stone and Mom’s is on the back. They both wanted to be buried there together because they had fond memories of strolling together there and knew their grave would always be will kept. My brother Robert actually held a job there one summer tending those hallowed grounds when he was a young man.
On this particular day very likely just before or after Father’s Day 1956, Dad had my brother and I wait in the pickup while he talked to his family just outside their house. He could see us from where he stood, but was so involved with his story telling that he was oblivious to what we were doing. What I was doing was pushing the starter button on the dash in the truck which, though it would not start the truck without the key in the ignition, did cause the truck to lurch forward a foot or two each time I pushed the starter button. When the truck, Robert, and I were about half the distance from the house to Main Street dad finally noticed and ran to the truck to put a stop to our joy ride.
My dad who seemed to us then angry most of the time, was not that day, but smiled at us and sang Young At Heart to us all the way home to mom. “Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you, if you’re young at heart.”
Thank you, Dad, for yet another wonderful memory in a large treasure house full of them and Happy Father’s Day to all.
Your friend and fellow traveler,