Your Dad: Fondest Memories

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by Mendel, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. In honor of Father's Day, what are some of your fondest memories of your Dad?

    As many of you know, I grew up in Michigan. My father owned a Jewish wholesale bakery. He was one of the famous Jewish bakers in the Detroit area. I loved working at the bakery during the summers. The smells of freshly baked goods would fill the air several blocks away. Warm onion buns are still my favorite.

    I have three older sisters and no brothers. I am the baby of the family. As the only son, my dad and I had a very special bond. He was my pal and my buddy. He taught me to shave when I was 12. I sure wish I would have kept his vintage Gillettes! Saturday's we would often shop for aftershave lotion at our local department store.

    There are so many other wonderful memories:

    Playing catch. I came home from school one day, and my dad had bought us new baseball gloves and Detroit Tiger caps. He was so excited because he knew I would be excited.

    Watching football together. University of Michigan and Detroit Lions games.

    Attending wrestling matches at the Cobo Arena. Bobo Brazil, the Original Sheik, Lord Layton, and Mark Lewin were some of my favorites.

    Finally, simply spending time with my dad talking about life was fantastic.

    My dad died back in 1980 at the age of 58. He was a diabetic, overweight, and a smoker. He underwent an artery bypass operation and suffered three strokes. He never made it out of the hospital.

    I sure wish I could have another day with him so he could meet my wife and pets. So he could visit our house and watch sports on our big screen TV. So he could examine my array of shaving stuff. And most of all, I would love to know if I made him proud... if I became the man he wanted me to be.
  2. My fondest memories are my Dad showing up on a nice spring day and taking me out of school (4th grade) to go fly a sailplane with him.

    Once up and flying, he's let me take the stick for a while.....

    It was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Playing soccer in the back yard in Glasgow.
    Going to see the Rangers vs Scotland XI at Ibrox for the John Greig Testimonial.

    He passed last year and I miss him terribly.
    Those of you with fathers stil around - treasure them :001_smile
  4. I did the classic things with my dad, play catch, build things together, etc. One of my fondest memories was when we went to get gas for our old Impala station wagon in the 80's. I remember him giving the clerk a bill and asking for $20 on 5. We got gas and when we got home Dad realized he had 2 bills in his pocket, one was a $20 and the other a $1 bill. Without mentioning anything to me and being tired from a 14 hour workday as a short-order cook, we went back to the gas station and found the clerk being henpecked by his boss for his mistake. My dad came in and said I think I owe $19. He gave him the $20, got his change, and we went back home. He didn't mention anything about it but as a 7 or 8 year old kid, I knew what had happened. This has made a big impression on me til this day.
  5. 2 things for me stand out

    The life lessons and good talks experienced in the deer stand or duck blind when I was younger.

    The look in my dad's eyes as he holds his 2 grandbabies.

    I guess that is really 1 thing. The love my dad has for his family is unreal.
  6. I lost my dad last week so really can't write about him yet, but the baking part of your story reminded me of one of my fondest childhood memories. My maternal grandfather was a Jewish immigrant from Romania in the early part of the 20th century. As a boy he taught me to make the Challah for Friday night Shabbat dinner. This is something I still do to this day and always think about him. Following this lead, my daughter is part of a "Challah for the Homeless" at her Hillel House up in Boston. They sell it on campus using the proceeds to feed the needy. So the tradition continues.
  7. In the 1970's, my dad would put our Honda 50 minibike in the back of his Dodge pickup truck (shortbed, sky blue, with mag wheels). We'd stop for McDonald's Egg McMuffins or at the local greasy spoon for a full breakfast. And we'd go out to the local trails and ride all day. He'd bring a large can of gas. He sometimes would bring his 125cc Honda, but usually he was content to watch us while sitting on the tailgate drinking a Dr. Pepper and smoking a Marlboro. Also, the camping trips were fun. He's a mechanic and would keep our motorcycles running great. And he is a Dodge and Honda man, so I am too. :)

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  8. My Dad (now deceased), taking a Friday off from court in '71 to travel and watch me a play a weekend hockey tournament (back than I played for the 'traveling' Pee Wee [11-12yrs], Lansing Senators), in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada. :thumbsup:

    [​IMG] "To Guard and Protect…for only God saves more than Goaltenders". CBJ
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  9. In an odd way it's as if I've had 2 different dads in my life even though they're the same man. When I was growing up my dad was a hard working guy, on the quiet side most of the time with a temper that was the thing of legend (don't misunderstand, not abusive in any way, just didn't take any guff). We were close when I was young and over the years our relationship strained mainly because we were more similar than different. I have always loved and respected my dad even if we were at odds. He was himself when he saw his grandkids come into the world and got to enjoy them when they were both very young.

    All of that changed 6 years ago when he was in a horrendous motorcyle accident that left him with severe closed-head TBI's. It was not anyone else's fault, from what we can guess he blacked out and wrecked (had some heart issues prior). Anyway the man I knew as one of the physically strongest men I've ever known even though not a large man, has become a very frail and physically weak man that has basically lost the ability to communicate (his speech is very garbled and non-sensible). We almost lost him 4 times while he was in the hospital. The biggest change though has been in his spirit. He is so kind and not afraid to show his emotion now. When he sees his grandchildren his eyes light up like the brightest star in the sky. It's been a brutally painful journey for all of us in the family, but we're blessed to have him in our lives everyday.

    For those of you who have lost your fathers, may God's peace be with you. For those who still have your father, enjoy the time you have with him.
  10. In the mid 70s my father had a TTO with a plastic handle and I used to watch him load blades into it. I was amazed. He would talk to himself while shaving! It was a kind of whisper so I could never make out what he was actually saying! I would hang around the bathroom door, laugh at his lathered face and listen to the razor mowing down his whiskers. I remember the smell of shaving soap and the cologne was pretty manly too! It seems like a long time ago now and it's hazy but I can still recall the scent. God bless you dad wherever you are, DE heaven hopefully!

    This post is in memory of my father Gus (1933 - 1998)
  11. Argonaut

    Argonaut Moderator Emeritus

    When I turned 16 my father gave me a carton of Marlboros and said "Happy Birthday! Smoke up Johnny!" Which was weird because I didn't smoke and my name isn't Johnny.
  12. Another fond memory I have is when I was young boy (I must have been at least 10yrs), and my dearly departed Father would come home from work (he was a trial lawyer), with a Cuban (he had so many in the large humidor on his desk in the home office [besides the cabinet humidor],…which my brothers and I were told [on pain of a whopping], never to touch and/or open), between his lips and I would ‘hang’ on his waist begging to have a ‘puff’ (every now and then).

    Slyly, (and of course out of range of Mom…mind you), he would give me a puff, but instructed me [​IMG] to never, never to inhale the smoke, but to taste, smell and savour it.

    From those days, I ‘grew’ to love cigars and as I ‘grew’ to 16yrs…I used to ‘cabbage’ my Dad’s cigars to smoke with my buddies. Then one day, my Dad sat me down in the home office and cut up a cigar into the various parts (binder, filler and wrapper), with a small pen knife. He then began a ‘homily’ on cigars and taught me the differences between handmade (long & shortfiller), machinemade and ‘others’ (Swisher Sweets and the like…yuck).

    I remember my Dad telling me if I couldn’t afford a good handmade cigar…then you shouldn’t smoke lesser types. To further my education, he took me to ‘Campbell’s Smoke Shop’ (still there in East Lansing, MI), to ‘show me the ropes’ on cigars. I think he did this to keep me away from cigarettes (which were the ‘craze’ of my age and time …without result). However, my Dad did tell me that he knew I was ‘cabbaging’ his cigars, but I should at least ask him.

    Later on, I did enjoy a Cuban and a cognac (or two?), with him before I joined the Army in 79 on the front porch…and it was the best father to son ‘bonding’ I had ever had with him. I had become of age, became a man and going to be a solider…just like my ‘Pa’. Like most kids of my time...I was 'in awe' of my Father and felt that all I am, or hope to be, I owe to my Dad (and Mom...of course).

    [​IMG]"A cigar is as good as [the] memories that you have when you smoked it". Raul Julia
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  13. Claire's a fat girl's name...
  14. Periodically, he would put a candy bar in his lunch box and hand me his lunch box when he came home from work to check. Simple, I know, but a great memory for me. I can see him now walking across the drive way. It was one of those black, half dome, metal lunchboxes. Somedays I recall him saying "no, not today buddy" and that memory is just as sweet.
  15. My father was a physician in a small town north of Louisville, KY. Once he got a call in the middle of the night from a girl (not one of his patients) who was in labor in a phone booth in the poring rain. She asked if he would deliver her baby. Dad told her to go to the hospital and have them call him when she got there. She showed up at the emergency room and they called him. Dad went to the hospital and delivered her baby, a little boy. When he got home my Mom asked him what had happened, he told her that a little girl from ten miles up the highway whose mother didn't know she was pregnant, had just had a little boy. She was going to put the baby up for adoption. My mother told him "Lyle it is time, we need another child." He told her he would take care of it in the morning. He adopted that baby, and it was me.
    Thinking of the first time I heard him tell that story brings tears to my eyes as I type this. We were having breakfast with his golfing buddies befoe we went to play a round of golf, and he related the story of how I became his son.
    Dad died on July 4, 2009 and I miss him every day. I inheirited his Rolex Datejust and wear it everyday. Whenever I check the time I remember my dad. He practiced for 56 years and worked until he was 87, the last time he played golf he was 90. I guess he had a pretty good run. Thanks for the opportunity to relate this story. I could go on for pages, but I'll spare you all that. Le's just say as far as I am concerned "He was the man."
  16. My father, a US Marine during WWII, sitting down with me in our kitchen on a hot summer night in the Bronx, NY in 1975 having a few beers and finally sharing with me what it was like to land on the beach in Iwo Jima. He had never really discussed it until that night.
  17. I lost my dad when he was 48 of a sudden heart attack. I was 12, but I have so many wonderful memories that are as vivid to me now as they were in my childhood.

    Sunday mornings, he would call my brother and I into the bedroom. We'd jump into the bed, he'd wrap an arm around each of us, and read us the comics.

    Sunday afternoons were always an adventure with him. He'd take us hiking, sometimes to a relative's house for a visit, a zoo, a kiddie amusement park. It never really mattered where we went, because we were with dad.

    He and my mother both had beautiful singing voices, and they would always sing in the car, usually Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. To this day, when I hear, You'll Never Walk Alone, I break down in tears.

    One of my very fondest memories was the day my dad took me to my first Red Sox game. We had the best day together, and I've no doubt that started my love of baseball.

    There are many many more memories and I wish I could have had him for a lot longer, but I will always love him and miss him tremendouly.

    One last thing...Mendel, from the obvious love and reverence in your post when you talk of your dad, I have no doubt he would be very proud of the man you've become.

    Happy Father's Day everyone!

  18. Austin

    Austin Moderator Emeritus

    My fondest memory of my dad was that he loved me. He had many flaws but he was my dad. RIP dad.
  19. +1. R.I.P Dad.
  20. My dad and mom had us late in life (I'm a twin). We didn't really play sports with my dad because he was older than all the other kid's dads and was past playing sports.

    My brother and I were the apple of his eye and he doted on us. He was a gentle spirit who everyone loved. Never talked badly about others,
    didn't really curse except to let out an epithet in Italian from time to time, like " fa Napoli", which means "go to Naples". That was the harshest he ever got.

    Dad had a plumbing and heating business and mom did the books. He would get an emergency call from some little old lady that had been his customer for a million years. He would leave the house at 8:00 p.m. on a cold N.Y. winter evening to deal with it. In the morning, my mom would ask him why he hadn't billed Mrs. Jones for the service call the previous night. He would respond, "all I did was replace a washer, how can I charge her for that?"' My moms patent response was always, "thats why we will always be poor"! He was that kind of guy. He was the anti Enron guy who truly cared for his customers. My brother and I would work for him in the summer time and learned how skilled he was and what the meaning of hard work was.

    My mom was a polio victim and my dad was her legs, driving her everywhere. Patiently waiting for her while she was in the beauty parlor, etc. Dad made sure that we were a real family and celebrated Christmas each year with a giant tree with presents and a huge Italian meal with plates of homemade antipastos and baked lasagnas, etc. Always finished with wonderful fresh Italian pastry from Victoria's Bakery in Little Italy. He could cook Italian meals with the best of them. The Italian side of the family would gather and my dad would get buzzed on a few glasses of vermouth and sing in Italian and play his clarinet. Dad was an avid fisherman and taught my brother and I how to fish and crab. He fished his entire life, often getting up before the crack of dawn with a full thermos of coffee and his fishing gear to throw his line in the water off some pier in Brooklyn. He needed his alone time and a break from my mom and rambunctious twins. He could smoke cigarettes and not get ragged on by mom.

    Dad is gone now these past 20 something years, but his love of people, sense of humor and gentle spirit live on through his two sons, my brother and I. In various situations, I often think, "what would dad do here"?

    I miss you every single day, dad. You were the best father a kid could ever have.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

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