Happy Father's Day to my father, George Crowther. Here he is on his wedding day with my mom.
It was 57 years ago on June 11th.
Here's Dad visiting me at my first apartment in Texas, circa 1980 or so. The furniture is leftover from PA - stuff Mom couldn't wait to get rid of. Thus Dad feels right at home.
Back in PA, here's Dad with my brother David in 1981. The point of the picture is actually the kitchen table. Dad still has this table and this is the focal point of Oakland Place. We've logged a lot of hours here - homework, reading the paper, eating, snacking, chatting. When I go to PA to visit, I tell Ray, "Well, you'll know where I'll be." And he says, "Yep, at the kitchen table."
A few years ago, I was in PA at Christmas time and we visited the Pearl Buck home in Bucks County. Dad's still dapper and fit.
I was thinking about Saturdays as a kid around age seven or so. David was two, Lori was a dream in the clouds. Mom slept in, Dad poured cereal and milk and I got to watch cartoons while he read the paper. Then, once Mom was up, and we were getting situated for the day, she'd hand Dad THE LIST. Off we'd go on our errands in a big old Chevy. We'd hit Graves' Esso station for gas (back when worker bees pumped it for you), the library, the bank (I'd get a lollipop and Dad would make a deposit to the Christmas Savings Passbook - lots of hand writing and stamping involved), and then Bennett's grocery store - the deli part. The deli was crucial for a successful lunch.
Once home, there was a huge discussion about the deli. Dad: "Oh, it was the grumpy clerk today."
Mom,"She never slices it thin enough." Then they opened the cheese, the ham, etc and bemoan the "slab" effect. We wanted paperthin sliced American cheese, and practically shaved ham. Oh well - there was always next week. And that round of errands might include the barbershop - another lollipop for me.
Dad still has his favorite deli or two, and makes the rounds, his own list in hand. Pumps his own gas, and trips to the barber are a bit less frequent. It's nice that for me, I can go home again, and a lot just doesn't change - including the Best Dad in the World.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.