Dad had been sickly as a child but fought it hard and overcame it, deciding at the early age of eight, around 1912, while cleaning a doctor's office after school that he, too, would one day be a doctor. That doctor had an Oldsmobile, the fanciest car of the day, and Dad decided that when he was grown he would own one, too. So, he worked hard in school, then worked for four years at Newport News Shipbuilding to earn college money, graduated from college at then Wake Forest College in pre-med, successfully completed studies in medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, before going on to complete his internship as an ear, nose, throat and eye doctor at Bellevue Hospital in New York City under the auspices of New York University and the Newark Eye Institute. He met my mom who was a studying to be a Registered Nurse at Bellevue, they fell in love and, a few years later he brought his bride back to Newport News where he worked for another doctor for two years and then opened his own practice. He practiced medicine until his timely death and yes, the only care I ever remember that Dad drove was an Oldsmobile. The last one, purchased in 1954 was a new Ninety-eight, black in color with dark red interior and a back seat that felt like a sofa.
My two siblings and I came along in the 1940's with me, the youngest, arriving in 1947. In those short nine years I had with him I can remember those special times we had at Nags Head on the beach, wonderful visits to the amusement Park at Buckroe Beach on the Chesapeake Bay, playing catch with a baseball and especially the joy he had for special days like Christmas, Thanksgiving and even Halloween. I even remember fondly now, not so much then, when he would come home and find me with a sore throat and proceeded to tell me to sit still while he painted it with silver nitrate. Yuck. But the pain in swallowing was gone in moments and I could then go my merry way with no worry. But Dad having the same joy at watching us be children and playing along is what I remember most. You see, Dad never had time to be a child. He was always working and he threw his life into it, so when he finally "made it" he lived his childhood through his children. He loved to wear masks at Halloween and decorate the outdoor evergreen in lights for Christmas. He even made a great Santa and I'm told that when he was at Bellevue he would be the Santa for the children's ward. The only thing that gave him away was his Virginia accent, likely mixed with a slight Scottish brogue which he learned from his father.
There is so much more I could say to share the joy that he brought to a little boy's life but I won't bore you. But to you, Dad, you've always been in my heart and on this day, I will always remember those wonderful days that you gave us which came to a sudden close much too soon, sixty-three years ago today. And Dad, I look forward to the day when I will reunite with you and Mom when my time here is also up. It will be the reunion to end reunions because we will all be together, parents and children, again in a place of no pain, suffering or worry. What a grand time it will be.