Sunday, January 06, 2013

My Father rides into the Twentieth Century on his tricycle

It's about 1910. His sisters, one older, one younger, flank the walkway to their house in Portales, New Mexico. He told me it was five acres, with a garden and orchard in the front and fields in the back for growing feed and for pasture. Later, they moved to a farm in Yuma, Arizona. He graduated from High School there and won a scholarship to the University of Arizona. He sold his rifle to go to college and never owned another gun. He captained the polo team at U of A.. I always knew I would go there, too, and did attend school there my freshman year. He came to visit me on Homecoming Weekend and won an A blanket at the game for having come from the greatest distance. I still have this very heavy blue wool stadium blanket with the centered red A -- it's in the cedar chest we inherited from my husband's mother. Just like new.

When I was a girl, Dad wrote a letter to his mother almost every Sunday.

These are the sorts of things I know about my father; he was quiet, though; now I really wish I had known him better. His life from 1905-1987 covered times of great change. What did he really think about? Once he said with pride that he had never read a whole book since he was in college. Books have pretty much been my life, first as a child, then a librarian and now in my Kindled retirement. There has been ever-accelerating change since he died. In three more years, I will be as old as he was when he died. After his retirement, Parkinson's Syndrome (he often said it wasn't a "disease") gave him a lot of trouble. I often wondered if the vast amounts of DDT he used on our "Victory Garden" might have been at least partially responsible. He was very proud of being an engineer and had a great trust in the works of SCIENCE, which, at that time, imcluded more effective pesticides.
There are a great many things to think about in this new year. Hopefully, we'll get to work on them.
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