My Great Memories: Father’s Day Celebrated

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1950s family for Father's Day article

by Jan Cox

In the 1950s and 1960s we children didn’t see as much of dads as we did our moms. Dads traditionally worked outside the house, yet everyone’s dad experience is unique. This Father’s Day, I remember and celebrate my dad.

My sister and I won the dad jackpot; most notably, he was gregarious. He was well suited to his sales endeavors as he “talked to everyone” as Mom would say. He took any opportunity to talk sports; having been both a basketball and baseball player in high school and college he was excited to write a monthly sports column in school under his nickname “Ecks.” 

Always aspiring to be a good sport himself, the competitiveness of the business world was an aspect we heard about at home around the dinner table. 

As an only child and a college graduate, the Army inducted him into the medical corps where he was trained as a surgical technician. With the 96th Evacuation Hospital, he followed General Eisenhower’s path through Europe in World War II treating the wounded, giving them the will to live through the night and recover. Dad wrote a self-published memoir of these experiences titled “It Seems Like Yesterday.” 

When he finally came back to America after Victory in Europe Day, his stepfather introduced him a beautiful strawberry blonde soprano in the family church. Soon afterwards they were engaged, married and off to a Niagara Falls honeymoon! 

After the war, he was more than glad to start a career, have a family and buy a house in the suburbs, a Cape Cod style frame house one mile from Huntington Beach Park on Lake Erie. The house was reminiscent of his favorite vacation spot on the Cape in Massachusetts. We often enjoyed family visits to beaches and seafood restaurants. 

When we moved to the area, there were ten acres of undeveloped land at the end of our street with an abandoned orchard of grape vines, blackberry bushes and apple trees. Mom quickly caught on to the neighborhood penchant of sending the kids there to harvest the fruit, which she made into pies and jams. Delicious baking fragrance! 

Dad liked to start the summer workdays early, then change into swim attire and meet us at Huntington Beach. He was a dashing father figure, always dressed to the nines for work, and a fine complement to Mom wherever they went. His love of education was contagious, as the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. His dream was for his kids to follow in these footsteps, and we did! 

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