Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Where are you going, where. . .

This is my father, obviously off on a business trip. Those might be the steps to an airplane behind, or the entry to a train or boat. There is a line of other travels boarding. Dad (we always called him "Daddy" then) is wearing a suit which is most probably of the color my mother called "mailman blue" -- she got him to buy a brown suit once, but it was never worn. Hats were the ticket, then, too. I remember seeing a picture of a Brooklyn Dodgers or New York Giants crowd with the men all wearing hats. Daddy always had his shirts professionally laundered. This photo of my father was probably taken in the mid-1940s perhaps when he was going to an annual convention (circa 1942) to deliver a paper on metals. 
I found the announcement in my mother's papers after he died. 
I was seven or eight at that time, so don't remember anything about it. 
When I get back to my papers, I'll try to give some details here.

Addendum: My sister-in-law sent me the following note after I posted the blog. My brother, John, remembers: "I understood that this was a photo taken just before Jack boarded the airplane that took him to Holland. Olga followed on another flight. John remembers. You might have been older than seven or eight. ??" Jeanne Hopper

With this new information, I can reconstruct that it was probably about 1953. Dad did go to Europe in 1953 and was not at home in New York State for my high school graduation that year. Dad does look slightly older than in the 1940s. I've left my original note as it was and offer this correction. I love family history!!


To get into it
As it lies
Crumpled on the floor
Without disturbing a single crease

Of the way I threw it down
Last night
The way it happened to land

Almost managing
The impossible contortions
Doubling back now
Through a knotted sleeve

Charles Simic

Classic Ballroom Dances, Braziller, 1980, page 35

Yesterday I found this short poem by Charles Simic. Three four-line stanzas.
Very short lines. No rhyme, no punctuation. The impossibility of having thought
about getting back into a shirt without disturbing the way you left it. Simic!
Getting back into the shirt reminds me of the difficulty of recovering my father 
in his business-travel getup so many years ago. Goodnight, Daddy!

In Memoriam, Jack Hicks Hopper
December 1906---April 1987

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