Following are some photos of my dad. One was taken for his senior year in 1966. The other is of him and mom dancing together in 1995.
Because I do not know how to crop appropriately, I had a difficult time getting these together. The following pictures are of dad and his 3 younger sisters. In the picture is Aunt Sue, Dad and in the front row, Aunt Paula and Aunt Debbie. I'm not sure the year in that one. The one below that is of dad and grandpa - 1997. Dad lost a front tooth when he was around 10 in a baseball mishap. He trained himself not to smile much afterwards.
I just want to share one story about my dad. It's my favorite. Most of you already know I'm an only child. It was just dad, mom and me for years. Although, there was a boy in my class who lived just a few blocks away, who for some reason, always had a special place in my dad's heart. His name is Robert. Robert was a card, very entertaining and maybe a little misplaced at times. You couldn't help but like him. Looking back now, I think Robert and my dad had a lot in common. Robert would come over, hang out with dad or run to town with us on occasion.
Sometimes when Robert would come to visit, he'd come the back way. Meaning he could follow the creek (really a big ditch, but I liked to call it a creek when I was young) through the woods to get to our house. There was a fence line following part of the property. I believe we were in the 6th grade. It was very cool and gloomy that day. Dad was watching football when Robert knocked on the door all upset. My dad asked him what was wrong. Robert declared, "Johnnie, my cat is hung up in the fence out back, I just saw him!!" Robert was crying buckets. Dad went to get some gloves and took some sort of tool and left with Robert. They were going to try to get the cat out. Hopefully alive and intact. I didn't want any part of that. Mom and I stayed in the house sometimes peaking out the kitchen window to see what we could see.
After about 30 minutes (or less in 6th grade time) Dad returned without Robert. The cat didn't make it. Dad sent Robert home to get something to make a cross. Then he and Robert were going to bury the cat in our family pet cemetery near the railroad tracks. Dad found a box and waited for Robert. I even remember Dad saying something like, " if Robert was that upset about his cat, he must be a good kid".
Robert knocked on the door a little while later. I followed Dad to the door because I wanted to check out the cross Robert made. I fully suspected he made it out of tree branches. Dad opened the door and asked, "Robert, did you find something to make the cross?" Gleefully Robert answered, "I didn't have to Johnnie, when I got home I found out that wasn't my cat!" Dad just giggled kinda funny and walked back through the house shaking his head.
I do not know what they did with the strange dead cat that day, but I do know that was a side of Dad I wish everyone knew.