|I know I've shared this photo before, but it is a good photo of my father, Gene.|
I am a veteran garage sale, tag sale,
flea market shopper.
On Saturday mornings, once a month,
during my high school years living in the town of
Shingle Springs, California
(one of the little towns that sprung up during the Gold Rush era),
my father and one of us kids
would load up our old GMC van
to take our trash to the El Dorado dump.
Afterwards, Dad would always take
the helper to brunch somewhere in Placerville.
It was a fun treat to help my father, quality alone-time, really!
Often, we would also swing by
the flea market being held
at Placerville's Fair Grounds.
Years later, I realized where I get my love of flea markets
Not really a where, more a "whom" ~
My father was the adopted son of an
Italian immigrant and his wife. He grew up in the Boston area
back during the 1930's.
During the Depression years,
he worked as a shoeshine boy (his first job at 5 years old), as
a pin setter at a local bowling alley,
and he cleaned up a bakery every Sunday afternoon.
One day he ate 18 leftover eclairs, however, that's a story
for another day!
Those early years taught Dad the value of hand-me-down goods,
the value of hard work and dedication
to something greater than oneself.
He was a friend to everyone and taught us four kids
to love everyone.
Racism wasn't tolerated by him, by anyone.
When my parents had parties where military friends were invited,
both officers and enlisted were guests.
One colonel didn't like this and said so.
He was invited to leave, if he so chose.
Daddy had been both:
enlisted in the 1950's in the US Army, and later after college,
as an officer in the US Air Force.
two back-to-back tours of Vietnam (1965-1966).
He brought home a lovely silk dress for my mother,
two rice-patty hats for us kids to make-believe with
(loved the silk ties!),
and a few little trinkets
and a Vietnamese bride and groom doll set
that I still have,
lovely and faded...
His travels and ours touring America
gave us a home rich with little jade flower table decorations,
carved balls of ivory, large and small wooden elephants,
The Three Sisters bronze statues,
lots and lots of books,
My parents were voracious readers.
...and so am I.
Dad's sense of style and design were my eyes and beginnings
into that world for me.
He couldn't draw but he had a really good eye
for beautiful things
to furnish the home.
My design hero, my mentor, my esteemed father...
Love you and miss you, Daddy!
Happy Fathers' Day,