Saturday, June 19, 2010
My Daddy Read to Me
I didn't have Dr. Seuss, or any other kid's books, but my Daddy read to me. By today's standards, you might call him a house-husband. He was a priest, and he was home with me during the day while Mother taught school. Daddy did the laundry, and cooked dinner during the week.
I come from a reading family, so I would sit myself in Daddy's lap while he read the newspaper, and he would read to me. He read me the headlines, and the "funny paper." Mostly he read "Henry" to me, since Henry didn't have words, and together we would figure out what Henry was doing that would merit his being in the Funnies.
When my sister Toni went off the first grade, I discovered "Dick and Jane" and read all the old primary readers my brothers had discarded in the attic. I read to Daddy and he read to me.
When my siblings got married, he was the officiating priest for almost all of their weddings. When I got married in 1968, I asked Daddy to give me away. That was the only time I remember seeing him "dressed up" and not wearing clerics. Daddy retired that year, and passed away in September, 1968.
Sunday is Father's Day. It would also be Daddy's birthday. He used to say he was born in 1900. He didn't have a birth certificate, because in some parts of the South in those days, they didn't have birth certificates for black people. When Daddy applied for Medicare in 1965, they had to search the Census records to prove he was old enough for Medicare. Daddy was listed as a child in the 1900 census. So we concluded that Daddy was probably born around 1898. He would be 112 on Sunday.
My Daddy read to me.