Remembrances of My Father

I would like to talk about what I remember most about my dad.  He died in September 1999 from complications from lung cancer, but I still believe it was part loneliness from missing my mom, who died in 1993.  He was devastated.

Anyway, in continuing my posts about people from my past who were “characters” in their own way, each having real unique qualities about them, I would like to honor my father with special remembrances of him.

My Dad

-I’ll always remember his big bulky sweaters and brightly, colored shirts. He always looked neat and sharp.

-His wavy dark hair that had a widow’s peak in the front and his great smelling after-shave cologne.

-Every Friday, he’d stop by my house from work in his Woodlawn Laundry truck.  Patrick, then about 7-8  years old, and Caitlin 5 – 6, thought this was the greatest.  Sometimes they would go out to the truck before he’d leave and let the kids up in the driver’s seat and look around the truck.

When he would come over, he would walk in his quick way and bound up the sidewalk and up to the front door.  The kids would be in the window waiting, watching from the couch.  They would knock to him from the window and he’d laugh.  I loved to see him laugh. “Hullo!” he’d say. When he came in, and after making a big deal about the kids, he would talk of “The Old Fart’s Club”(a group of older men he’d hang around with) and playing ping-pong amongst other small talk, all in about 1-2 hours.

-I loved his quick wit and sense of humor, and I’d like to think I’ve acquired this from him.  So has Caitlin.

-His thick furry “Russian hats” he’d wear in the winter time.

– Dad laying on the couch after work when I lived at home. Our pug dog would lay with him s he read his paper. His baby.

-The way he would bust up my mother at the supper table by asking her “where’s the butt?”(butter), while she was busy getting everything else. He’d give us a wink to know he was teasing her.

-as it got close to the 4th of July, my father would acquire  all kinds of fireworks, “from work” he’d tell us.  We were always excited to see them all and he would always get in trouble by the police after he set off a few.

-he’d come down every morning and let out a tired sigh, and keep it up until you could’nt stand it any longer and you said,”Will you shut-up!” He thought he was so funny!

-Narragansett beer

-Lucky Strike cigarettes

_the large wad of cash he’d have in his  pants pocket.  I grew up thinking I was rich. Turns out, it was just the laundry’s money he was carrying. Shoot!!!

-he loved morning glories and had them growing up the  front porch every spring.  They were beautiful.

-he had the best grass in town.  He loved taking care of his lawn, and it looked like a lush, green carpet.

– At Christmastime, helping him open up all his christmas bonuses from all of his Woodlawn customers

-his workbag on the floor

-the way he always hugged us and said he loved us

-his vast collection of toilet paper and paper towels.  He bought them weekly even if he didn’t need them

-his favorite-chicken salad on a roll

-how he changed after mom died.  I always told him I couldn’t picture him going first, because we wouldn’t have known him like we had.  We definitely got closer to him because of this, which I’ll never regret.

He was a very loving,sweet,sensitive and humorous man whom everyone loved to be with.

Love you and miss you Dad.<3


Mom and Dad together


3 comments on “Remembrances of My Father

  1. Colleen Travis says:

    Very nice blog, Cheryl. Hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to add some memories of my own, as well as some things Gregg and Chris remembered:

    How he had nicknames for fast food places. McDonald’s was “Micky D’s” and Dunkin Donuts was “Dicky Dunkin”. Gregg remembers waiting in line at McDonalds with him and Dad would say, “This isn’t fast food. This is slow food.”

    His paper towels and toilet paper had to be arranged evenly, i.e., 4 rows of 6.

    How he could recite the script to “Saving Private Ryan”, word for word, while watching it, because he had watched it so many times before.

    How he would order his coffee “microwave hot”. He hated it lukewarm.

    Having the same whistle every time he went up the stairs.

    In the mornings, while getting ready for work, he would sing a song about how his shirt matched his socks and shorts.

    How he would fidget and dance when he happened to answer the phone (before portable phones were here) when Grandma Robinson called. He knew he would be there for a while.

    “Edging” his perfect lawn with clippers. Chris actually remembers him using scissors once!

    Reading books to Gregg and Chris that I had read to them numerous times. However, when Dad read the same books to them, he would make up his own stories, or alter the events, thereby changing the story completely. Gregg (probably 6 or 7 at the time) actually got upset about how he changed one book, “Maxi, the Taxi Dog”. Dad thought that was pretty funny.

    How he would hide his money in a sock in his sock drawer.

    While on his route one day, he came upon a runner stretching against a tree. His sense of humor overcame him and he drove up to the man and said “No matter how much you push, you’re never gonna move that tree.” The man promptly gave him the one-finger salute (the runner apparently did NOT have a sense of humor).

    Forever loved and sadly missed.


    • Wow, thanks Colleen! There are some things here I almost forgot! I do remember the shirt and shorts song, and I tell the kids that one often! I didn’t know about Private Ryan though, and now I will think of him when I watch it now.
      I also remember the way he used to pound that ink machine down on his customers metal cards for billing. He would pound, then recite each and every customer’s last name. It’s almost like you got to know who they were after awhile. I do remember “Oster” from Newport or Barrington! I also loved his stories about his customers from the days of the Laundromat and the time he hid us in his truck!
      Thanks for commenting and other remembrances! 🙂

  2. Cathy Smith says:

    Whenever we were dealing with an issue that needed to be resolved–he would always tell me, Remember it’s not over til the fat lady sings—then he would add—i think i hear her starting to hum.

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