FAMILY MAN

He always knew the correct answers to questions that stumped me. I thought he knew more than my school teachers. I wanted to learn from him and, someday, know as much as he did.

He studied to be a contestant on a San Francisco radio quiz show among local newsmen. The subject was Abraham Lincoln. Daddy knew everything about Lincoln. Daddy was smart; I knew he would win.

At the appointed hour, Mom and I sat by the radio. Men answered the questions, but we didn’t hear Daddy’s voice at all.
“Is Daddy there?” I asked.
“Shh! Listen,” Mom said.
When he came home, Mom said, “I know you were there because the announcer introduced you.”
“Christ, I was so nervous I just froze.”

One winter weekend at Twain Harte, Daddy drove us above the snow line until he saw a “nice little slope” as he called it. He parked the car off the road and lifted the rental toboggan from the car.
“Let me try it first,” he said, “to make sure it’s safe.”
He pushed off down the slope and disappeared over a rise at the bottom. We waited for him to reappear. And waited. And waited.
I ran down the hill and over the rise. There he was, sitting on the toboggan in the middle of a shallow, icy stream.

Daddy planned more than one vacation a year: summer at the Russian River or southern California beaches, and the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game New Year’s Day.

Mom & Lynne – Dad & Ransom, La Jolla Caves, 1948.

Dad and Mom, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C., 1948

Dad and Mom, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C., 1948

 

Mom, Dad, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, 1949

Mom & Dad on Ensenada beach, Baja California, Mexico.

I thought we enjoyed our times together.We never missed an episode of Hopalong Cassidy after Daddy bought our first black and white television set. For Christmas in1950, Daddy’s coworkers presented him with a Hopalong Cassidy doll.

Dad in office with Hopalong Cassidy doll presented by co-workers

Dad in office with Hopalong Cassidy doll presented by co-workers.

Daddy looks happy in all my album photos. Decades later, however, I heard that “his life was filled with unhappiness and frustration.”
He sure fooled us.

 

Additional excerpts from my memoir, His Daughter’s Remembrance, to follow . . .

 

 

 

 

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About Lynne Schaefer

Lynne Schaefer has written two newspaper columns ("The Schussboomer" about skiing in California, and "Notes from Lynne's Journal" about Oregon wildlife); travel and garden articles for regional magazines copy for DVD tours of the High Desert Museum and the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, both in Bend, Oregon. She has published three non-fiction books, A Traveler's Guide to Historic California, Christmas Trivia Quiz, and His Daughter's Remembrance.
This entry was posted in Family, History, Human Interest, Memoir, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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