Friday, August 22, 2008

My Folks

Today is the anniversary of my parents wedding, forty some years ago. Let me tell you a little about them.

Mom grew up on a farm with three sisters, her folks, a bunch of cows, chickens, corn, mice, cats, and various other flora and fauna. When she met my dad at the U of I(owa), she was a frat girl, professional piano bar player/singer, and engaged (or nearly so) to a wealthy guy. I think she grew up wanting to be a city girl.

Dad grew up in Iowa City with one sister, four brothers, a small yard (compared to Mom's acres) and very little money in the family. His dad was a lineman for Iowa Electric, and they grew up having a great many adventures in and around town. When he met my mom, he was working his way through school. I'm pretty sure he always wanted to be a farm boy.

The two of them met at a bar, but not in the usual way. It was April Fools Day and Mom's boyfriend/fiance was tending bar and she was moonlighting as a waitress waiting for his shift to end. Dad was also waiting for his date, and I guess mom was his waitress. As she approached the table, he said,

"Hey, you're kind of cute!"

"You're not so bad yourself." She replied.

I have not heard the story for years, but I seem to recall that mom thought of dad as 'that other guy who's fun to be with'. I don't know what exactly happened, but between their painting dates, where they would paint on canvases together, or sitting on benches with wet paint, or perhaps when they swam across the river and Dad had to save Mom, or their driving adventure to meet her folks (a whole gas fiasco thing) Somewhere they fell in love with each other. Less than five months after they met, they were married.

All these years, three kids, and five grandkids later they are still going!

Today I am most thankful for my parents. They raised me to be the man I am. Fatherhood lessons, patience lessons, letting me be who I am, and giving me more support - emotional, financial and otherwise- than I probably deserved. Thanks Mom and Dad, and Happy Anniversary! I love you very much.

More Later

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