Top Drawer Ink’s web site and archives are loaded with essays about Mother’s Day, yet there’s hardly any mention of Father’s Day.
I’m not sure how that oversight occurred, but it’s time to make things right. After all, the short guy whose squat frame I inherited taught me to swim, ride a bike–and gave me the keys to his car so I could learn to drive on my own.
My father was born in Germany. He was the third oldest of four brothers and one sister. Before he boarded a slow boat to America, he worked with his family in their chimney cleaning enterprise while he studied original lithography.
In New York, he found the language a barrier to obtaining a job as a skilled craftsman, so like many immigrants, he migrated to the restaurant business. His career included stints as busboy, waiter, bartender and chef. In his spare time, he learned English, became a citizen, and painted beautiful landscapes. Later on, he owned a bar and a fast food place.
Even after he retired, he spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking up batches of shrimp scampi or fried clams. And as the guy who shares my space just reminded me–beer was the drink of the day and Father served every one with a perfect head.
Over the years, he wore many hats, but to my brother and me his name was never Dad, only Father. Or, if we were joking around, Vater.
So, here’s an early Happy Father’s Day to you, Vater. I hope wherever you are, you’ll be pleased to see your life story is at last enshrined in Carpenter Country’s hall of fame.
And if you’re saying, it’s about time–you’re right.