My Dad died Boxing Day 1976. He was 56 years old and except for the massive heart attack in pretty good health. He met his granddaughter; she was a year and half old when he died. His grandson didn't meet him but was born a couple of years later.
Dad wasn't much for a lot of chit-chat but when we were kids he did stuff for us. We didn't have a lot of money but we also never felt deprived. No one had money, really, but kids especially had a grand time.
Jay Leno and I have this in common. We both once owned and drove 1928 Oaklands. Mine is pictured above and it's the car I learned to drive in. Four on the floor gear shift and the brake and clutch had welded extenstions I could reach them. Dad bought the car from a bachelor neighbour's selling out auction and its engine was siezed. He was a pretty mechanical man so he spent the winter bringing the engine back to life. The Oakland smelled a little of musty mice but it didn't matter when compared with the freedom of the, not road, runway. Dad had a two-seater Luscombe airplane and he had made a airstrip out of part of one field. My brother and I were allowed to cross the road and drive up and down the runway ourselves. I was 11, my brother was 8.
Our mongrel dog, Skippy, was allowed to come along and her excitement matched ours. She'd hang her head out the window and when my brother popped the clutch, she'd bark. Good times.
So...although Dad died at Christmas, each year when I remember him, it's something like the Oakland. He did a lot for us and was quiet about it. I miss my Dad.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.