level tool webIn the eyes of the world, my father was just an average man — never invented anything, never made a speech, never sat on a committee, rarely ever gave his opinion to anyone. Truth is, I couldn’t tell you much about what he thought, or even what his political leanings were. What I do know about is his heart. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII and was in an airplane mishap when everyone bailed out. His parachute malfunctioned and he ended up with a steel plate in his knee, one in his head, and blind.

 

He was supposed to rehabilitate as a masseuse, but somehow it didn’t suit, and instead, he learned carpentry. When he was discharged from the Connecticut hospital rehab center in 1946, he went home with a small pension and a room full of major carpentry items, like a large table saw, circular saw, drill press, miter saw, jigsaw, and countless other power tools, all with braille markings.

He learned quickly and soon was remodeling — First our kitchen, then our living room, then building a bedroom onto our home. The only help I know he asked for was when his friend had to measure out the dimensions for the new room and place the studs. Many times, I would come home from grade school and hear the sound of that huge saw, and when I opened the basement door, it was all dark.


Of course, he didn’t have any need for lights. He was as independent as they come. I remember him carrying paneling for our living room, six or seven sheets at a time on his back, a distance of about 4 miles from the store to our home. He never used a cane; instead, he whistled whenever he walked and somehow that got him where he wanted to go. I was almost eight-years-old before I knew he couldn’t see, and then a friend told me. He used to have my mother read him my Golden Books, and he’d memorize them and then “read” them to me.

And his heart: all anyone had to do was mention they liked something and within a few days, he would show up at their door with the item. He was the fix-it man in our neighborhood for everything from record players to electrical items to plumbing and of course, the go-to man never took a dime for his labor. When I had my first job in high school and worked at a dress shop from four until nine on a Friday night, he would ride with me and then stay in town for the entire time so he could feed the meter on my car that only allowed one hour at a time. These are only two examples of a man who spent an adult lifetime giving to others.

That big heart started giving out early. He had his first heart attack at 49, and his last at three days past his 60th birthday. It’s been over 43 years since he’s gone, but every Veterans Day I honor the daddy who may not have meant much in the eyes of the world, but who meant everything to me.

More Lifestyle Articles

  • Celebrate Older Americans Month

    Celebrating Older Americans Month all older adults are encouraged to blaze a trail to civic engagement. Civic Engagement means working to make a difference in the lives of your community and its...

  • Strange and Unusual Facts

    William Marston engineered one of the earliest forms of the polygraph in the early 1900’s. Later he went on to create the comic strip Wonder Woman, a story about a displaced Amazon princess who...

  • ’69: Looking Back

    Do you remember ‘69? 1969, that is, not when you were 69! If you can’t get out and jog, you can jog your memory with these nostalgic lists!  Herein we have lists of memorable items that were notable...

  • ’Sno Time Like the Present

    Twelve hours ago, I was fast asleep, and there were 3-4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. Now, there is barely a trace on the ground, and the temperature is in the mid-40s. Welcome to February in...

  • “Small House” Design Nurtures Residents with Dementia

    Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is challenging. In addition to the emotional difficulty of seeing a loved one struggle cognitively, there are marked differences in how...

  • 10 Tips on How To Take Dad Fishing

    (BPT) - What are two things that dads all over America would love to do the most this coming summer? Spend time with their kids — and catch fish.So, if you're looking for a unique way to celebrate your...

  • 16th Annual Unsung Hero Event

    Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services is accepting nominations for Unsung Heroes! To celebrate Older American's Month, the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services recognizes Lehigh County...

  • 1972: Looking Back

      The Honda Civic is imported to the U.S. for the first time. President Nixon signs a bill authorizing a $5.5 billion, 6-year program, to develop a Space Shuttle craft. The U.S. Surgeon General...

  • A “Short” Biography of Mickey Rooney

    Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule, Jr., on September 23, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York.Rooney passed away April 6, 2014, at the age of 93. Joe Yule, Jr., only 17 months old, joined his parents on the...

  • A Clean House Means Peace of Mind: A History of Spring Cleaning

    The first signs of spring create excitement in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the Northeast. After four months or more of staying inside because of cold, snow and rain, we can hardly wait to...

 
Contact Us

Please enter your data here. Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
Please provide us with a phone number or email so we may respond to your request.


Full Name(*)

Please type your full name.

E-mail

Invalid email address.

Phone

Invalid Input- please enter in form: 123-456-7890

How may we be of service?(*)

Please tell us how big is your company.

If you wish to subscribe enter your full address.

Invalid Input

Please enter the characters shown.(*)
Please enter the characters shown.
Refresh
Invalid Input