Before Coffee: Years

May 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

My dad turned 90 over the weekend. As in, nine decades. He was born in 1926, when cars were metal boxes with wheels and telephones still had cranks on the side. Tesla was a scientist and inventor, not an automobile brand.

My dad has seen a lot, in other words.

When Dad was born, there wasn’t a TV station; the first one would go on the air in 1928. As a kid, his main entertainment were radio shows. He was born after World War I and before World War II. He was drafted into the army during World War II, after flunking the physical when he tried to join the navy. (His unit was never deployed overseas, but it would have been the first one called up if we’d had to invade Japan. So he thinks the Bomb was a pretty good thing.)

He got married in 1951, had three kids, and thought he was done with that. I came along as a surprise for his 39th birthday, and my younger brother came along 17 months later.

For the first third of Dad’s life, blacks and whites were segregated.

I could probably spend all day listing out the things Dad’s seen in his life. The first man on the moon; heck, the first man in space. The invention of the internet and the World Wide Web. Cordless phones. Cell phones. Smart phones.

So yeah, the world has changed a lot since my dad was born, and it’s changing faster every day. (But only in some respects; in others, it seems like we’re moving backwards.) I imagine if I’m lucky/cursed enough to live to 90, I’ll be grumping at technology the way my dad curses and grouches about his cell phone and computer.

Here’s the man himself, surrounded by his family. Eleven people in this photo were produced by him and my mom. One more (my nephew Brandon) couldn’t make it.

dad at 90




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